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A Closer Look At Black Panther’s Powerful Costume Design

A Closer Look At Black Panther’s Powerful Costume Design
[Photo: Marvel Studios]

Black Panther has broken box office records for its rip-roaring action scenes and its social significance alike. But if you want to see how seamlessly the two are sewn together, watch this clip by Vanity Fair in which director Ryan Coogler annotates a scene and points out subtle design details you were sure to have missed.

Yes, there are some (minor) spoilers, but nothing that should impact the film for you if you haven’t seen it yet. In particular, the first half of the clip features Coogler breaking down the significance of the costuming by Ruth Carter–finite cues ranging from prints to colors that actually add up to greater significance. One thing I’d missed was that two characters actually combine to form the red and green colors of the Pan-African flag, literally embodying the idea that all people of African descent should come together as one, which is an ideological theme the film challenges throughout its duration. For an even deeper dive on the costuming, NPR has a nice piece, too.

As for the second half of the clip, it’s more about how Coogler actually filmed a two-story casino fight sequence without the use of green screen. It ends up that he 3D-printed a model of the casino that sat on his desk, and he staged the battle over and over again with little action figures to get things right. Sounds like the play date of my adult adolescent dreams.

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