New York - Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters attended the Black Panther inspired presentation, "Welcome to Wakanda" at New York Fashion Week on Monday.
The Marvel Studios sponsored presentation featured designs by LaQuan Smith, Chromat, Wale Oyejide of the brand Ikire Jones, Fear of God and others, including the jewelry of Douriean Fletcher in a capsule collection.
Among Fletcher's work in the highly anticipated film that opens Friday is a bold amethyst and 18-karat gold plate piece at the top of a costume worn by Angela Bassett's Queen Ramonda. It's featured in one of the movie's posters. Fletcher also hand pounded gold-plate armor pieces for the female warriors of the Dora Milaje.
To say there's buzz about the Ryan Coogler-directed film based on the character from the comic series is an understatement. Mania is more like it. Excited fans have said they plan to show up at theaters in African garb.
Smith has seen the movie and created a trench coat with a matching jumpsuit -- both pieces covered entirely by black sequins -- for the inspired-by collection.
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Oyejide did a men's suit with a coat and scarf. One of his scarves made it into the movie, which he said shows off the nuances of people of color.
Cushnie et Ochs, Sophie Theallet and TOME were the other brands invited to participate. Like Fletcher, footwear designer Aurora James was asked to produce a small capsule collection.
And like Oyejide, James — founder of Brother Vellies — wanted her pieces to honor the film but also beg broader questions about race and inclusion.
She routinely sources materials in Africa and uses artisans there. One of her Black Panther pieces is a pair of boots adorned with sisal from Haiti, with the sisal curled on one boot and brushed flat on the other.
She worked on the orange pattern design with Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran. Their dress is made of ankara fabric from Lagos, courtesy of Aremu's second cousin there. They added a neoprene top to the dress to honor the technological achievements of the film.
"I thought of my mother," Aremu said. "Growing up she's always worn African garb and I wanted to make this an ode to my mom, being the superhero in my life. Afrocentric fashion is definitely having a fashion moment right now."