Hair, costume and makeup in ‘Black Panther’ are a celebration of African culture

On Thurs., Feb. 15, Black Panther is released in America and is sure to take the cinema by storm. Not even released yet, Black Panther is already getting hailed by critics with a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has set records for the largest presale in Fandango’s history. Fans are eagerly awaiting this movie.

Before it gets released, it’s a good idea to take a look behind the making of the film.

Instead of exploiting black actors and culture to pander to a wider range of audiences, the team behind Black Panther actually celebrates a deep-rooted African culture and heritage.

RELATED: Facebook fires back at group protesting Black Panther

Fashionista recently sat down with the team behind the hair, costume and makeup of the film to discuss the ways they worked to get the set and characters into a way that enriches the tradition of African culture while also exploring the high-tech society of the fictional Wakanda, the kingdom that Black Panther takes place in.

The team behind the camera includes Hair Department head Camille Friend, Makeup Designer Joel Harlow, Ryan Meinerding and Anthony Francisco in the Visual Development Department, and costume designer Ruth Carter.

Many aspects of the film that the team delved into great detail included the look of Black Panther’s suit, which was updated from the look he had in 2016’s Captain America Civil War. It was updated to reveal updated facial features and improved mobility for action scenes.

The other characters that had detailed costuming are most notably the dora milaje, an elite force of female warriors. Their costumes are a combination of “80 percent Masai [from southern Kenya and northern Tanzania], five percent Samurai, five percent ninja, and five percent Ifugao tribe” according to Francisco.

Two other members of the T’challa family that showcase African culture our Angela Basset’s Queen Ramonda and T’challa’s sister, Shuri. Queen Ramonda looks the most traditional of all, with a regal gown and hairpiece that sets her apart. Shuri is the most technologically advanced of the bunch. Her sleek style is accentuated with her hairstyle, that changes throughout the film.

Another fun aspect of the costuming was Michael B. Jordan’s scarification marks as the villainous Erik Killmonger. The prosthetic molded to his skin and makeup was used to make it look natural. But the best part is that it took hours to take off, a process that included a sauna steam where four guys used silicone oil to sweat it off Jordan’s skin.

To read all the in-depth looks, take a look at the full article on Fashionista.

Are you excited for Black Panther? What look is your favorite?

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