‘Wakanda Forever’ clothes include Iris van Herpen, Hervé Legér, Mugler, Adidas – WWD

Watching the theater premieres this weekend, the next few months of superhero movies and fantasy movies seem to merge together.

Except one: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.

The sequel, which received rave reviews and racked up record grossing, is two hours and 40 minutes of pure, unforgettable eye candy, thanks to the aesthetic genius of director Ryan Coogler and Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

The female-led story grapples with the death of Black Panther and star Chadwick Boseman, the rise of Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), and the threat of a new enemy Namor (Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta Mejía) from the undersea world of Talokan.

“It was about elevating,” Carter said of the project, which was four times the size of the original in terms of costumes, and involved working with African and Mesoamerican historians, sneaker giant Adidas, luxury designers Iris van Herpen, Mugler, Hervé Legér and more.

The film begins with a touching and beautiful celebration of life for Black Panther and Boseman, where everyone is dressed in ceremonial white.

“We had the warrior falls in BP1 where everyone was wearing traditional clothing from their tribe. And since this was the procession for Chad’s funeral, we wanted to have the same traditional, Wakandan aesthetic but with everyone celebrating their lives in pure white,” said Carter, who created jewelry, beads and printed fabrics inspired by the Maasai, Ndebele. and other African tribes, all in white, hand-dyed and painted hundreds of pieces. The dancers’ grass skirts, she improvised, untangling the rope and creating raffia-like strands.

A scene from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Carrying the coffin, Dora Milaje’s all-female warriors wear gorgeous asymmetrical one-shoulder white goddess dresses made of sheer white fabric and strands of pearls, creating a prominent silhouette.

“The dresses show the power and vulnerability of women,” Carter said of the looks, topped with stunning floral crowns. “They hold his coffin showing a bare arm.” It’s powerful.

When Queen Ramonda (Bassett) visits the United Nations with a stern message for the world council, she stands out from all the usual business attire in a strapless red carpet-worthy dress anchored by a necklace, crown and cuffs. gold filigree armbands. “I wanted more than to show the strength of the queen who now takes the throne, but to carry her arms too?” Carter said, explaining that the dress was chosen by Coogler, who loved her glamorous entrance.

Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’.

marvel studios

Another feminine force, Princess Shuri (Wright) cultivates her power in the tech lab by wearing more casual, but no less elegant clothes. Carter wore a Hervé Legér jumpsuit in the first movie which didn’t get much screen time, so she returned to the brand to work on a chic, cable-knit gray rib-knit ensemble for the pending lead, and another burgundy set with metallic lacing and sleeve closures worn by historical scientific prodigy Riri, or Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), who invented a machine capable of detecting the vital resource vibranium.

When Shuri and Okoye (Danai Gurira) travel to the United States to find Riri, they try to blend in. Shuri wears a blue tracksuit, custom-made by Carter and Adidas, with a throwback detail on the jacket that catches air like a cape when she speeds on a motorcycle.

Carter has worked with Adidas’ SEED program of female designers and BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] on several custom looks for the film, as well as footwear, including negative-soled high-top sneakers. Versions of some pieces are part of the Wakanda Forever collection from Adidas and Marvel Studios.

(L-R): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri in Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER.  Photo by Eli Ade.  © 2022 WONDER.

(LR): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri in Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’. Photo by Eli Ade. © 2022 Marvel.

Eli Ade

The film also veers into high fashion, when Okoye wears a black Mugler shoulder-pad jacket with cutouts, complete with a custom Adidas bodysuit printed with Wakanda symbols. Look closely and you’ll spot Gurira’s own pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses in one scene. “She looked fabulous, so why not?” Carter said she included the glasses she wore on set to remain incognito while filming on the streets of Boston.

To develop costumes for Talokan’s underwater world, Carter tapped Iris van Herpen “who is so successful in drawing inspiration from the ocean in her couture line,” she said of the Dutch designer, who in 2011 created a revolutionary collection called “Crystallization”, with one of the first 3D printed dresses, inspired by a splash of water.

Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

marvel studios

Van Herpen made the beaded dress that Shuri wears when she first visits Namor. “It’s a sheer white dress with this high neck and all these clay beads. It’s beautiful but it’s not traditional for Iris,” Carter said, explaining that the designer also made a formal dress. for Namora (Mabel Cadena) with Mayan mosaic and silk organza sheets, but that she was too delicate to be submerged and had to be redone to film underwater.

The Talokanil were influenced by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, mixed with an Atlantis-like undersea world, using as fish bones and jade, kelp and feathers as costume materials.

Ruth Carter

Ruth Carter

Trevor Smith/WWD

“It was a huge undertaking. We’ve introduced nine new superheroes and their military factions. We built three worlds and we revisited Wakanda and remade it so it could have its own water element. Ramonda had four new crowns,” Carter said, adding that Marvel will put four of the “Wakanda Forever” costumes in its traveling exhibit, “Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design, at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle now, and due to travel to Chicago next. “There are so many details that you can’t see on camera,” she said.

Next, the designer works on Marvel’s “Blade” with Mahershala Ali.

“I like to bring fashion as much as possible because it’s also storytelling for me…and the ability to have these artisans doing amazing shapes and seams, I love that,” she said. said of her process, adding that she recently had a zoom call with Rick Owens, who ultimately turned down her idea to collaborate. “You know, you win some and you lose some.”

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