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When fans turned out for the premiere of Marvel's Black Panther they did so in traditional African Garments. With the Black Panther Movie hitting theaters across the country last month (February), more and more theater goers have found themselves inspired by the fashions depicted in the movies.
However these fashions are not replica's or reworked garments of the movie, but also include fresh and original African designs by contemporary African designers. It's almost as if this movie was meant to do more than entertain, but rather remind people of the heritage, culture and beauty behind African jewelry and clothing.
Not only has the movie inspired African design, the costumes themselves were inspired by different clothing from people and cultures from all over the African Contenient. Some of the costume inspiration came from the following sources:
While these tribes and areas influenced the wardrobe for this movie, the costume designers took this inspiration to a new level and in turn are inspiring designers from different areas of Africa.Out of Africa
African designs have long been used by Western designers with touches of patterns and styles showing up in some of the best known designers designs such as Louis Vitton. For decades some of the most influencial Western designers has come out with designs influenced by African materials and designs. Long before clothing manufacturers began using African designed materials and actual design elements in their works, African jewelry made it's way into the mainstream.
The "Black Panther" has simply focused people's attention on these beautiful styles and clothing. African fashion has always been appealing due to their rich earthy colors and uniques patterns, however since the Black Panther Premiere African fashion by African designers are gaining more and more attention. Stores that carry African American designs have seen a steady increase in sales over the last month and it is expected that sales will continue to increase as long as this film remains a box office hit and perhaps beyond the life of this particular movie.The Wakanda Influence
Perhaps it is the fictional area of Africa, Wakanda that is pictured in the film as a country untouched by western influence, but able to gain affluence in its own right that has inspired the creative juices of the contemporary African designers who are coming up with some thrilling and inspirational designs that speak both of their heritage and contemporary life. Many believe that it high time that African fashion and African designers finally come to the forefront of fashion design.
The fashions surrounding Black Panther is truly an example of art following real life and real life following art.