The premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther was a red-carpet affair across multiple cinemas in South Africa, and attendees didn’t hold back in the fashion stakes. Everyone was photo-ready before and after the movie, contributing to all the colourful posts under the biggest hashtags of the weekend, #BlackPanther and #WakandaForever.
As we predicted on Friday morning, there were two clear themes that film-goers embraced: the all-black Black Panther Party uniform, and traditional African attire. Squads and couples alike coordinated their ensembles, complete with black berets or regal African headgear.
Black Panther, which has become a cultural phenomenon both at home and across the globe, took in over R16.8 million at the South African box office, with nearly 200k people seeing the film during its opening weekend (16-18 February). This debut ranks as the third biggest opening weekend ever in South Africa, as well as the biggest opening for a Marvel Studios film ever in our country.
With so many red carpets to choose from, you can imagine how difficult it was to narrow down our favourite looks. Here are our top 10:
1. Veteran actors Connie Chiume and Dr John Kani have expressed a sense of South African pride every time they’ve hit red carpets across the globe.
2. Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o remain graceful both on and off screen.
3. Dineo Ranaka, who styles herself, is often spotted in African prints, but what stood out the most this time was her glorious headwrap.
4. Award-winning presenter Thembisa Mdoda arrived to the premiere looking unapologetically regal. She was clad in umbhaco by Jessica Mbangeni and accessories by KwaNtu Afrocentric Designs.
5. We loved multiplatinum-selling singer Lira’s L’Aviye bardot top and red skirt combo.
6. This squad deserves every single like on this post – and more. This was a youth screening in collaboration with Spree/Leading Lady Productions/Air Movie Nights, featuring Thapelo Mokoena and Terry Pheto.
7. Tumi Voster painted the blue carpet red with this outstanding Khosi Nkosi gown.
8. Thando Thabethe also showed up in a Khosi Nkosi creation.
9. Actress Shalima Mkongi
B L A C K C H I L D | you have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved, your strengths did not come from winning, your stuggles developed your strength . . . you went through hardships but still decided not to surrender, that is strength . . . your brilliance rested on several decades that were mostly undocumented, uncelebrated and underestimated . . . yet when we say we are ready to conquer we are thinking of the present moment and not the decades of preparation those that came before us went through . . . black child this life is never about one moment it is about the journey, not a singular destination . . . in our story you are the page, the ink and the pen . . . in our story there will be haters, there will be doubters and then there will be YOU, proving them wrong . . . have you ever looked at who you are without the lens of your colonized mind?? i know what i bring to the table and trust me when i say i am NOT afraid to eat alone . . . W A K A N D A F O R E V E R
It was indeed a big moment for African fashion.