At the ‘Black Panther’ premiere, it’s a regal night of stars and standout looks

Wearing a custom-made Atelier Versace gown, Lupita Nyong'o poses on the purple carpet for the premiere of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" on Monday night.
(Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever wondered how kings and queens of the fictional, futuristic nation of Wakanda might dress, look no further than Marvel Studio’s “Black Panther” premiere in Los Angeles on Monday night. In keeping with the “royal attire” theme dictated by the evening’s invitation, stars and attendees hit the purple-hued carpet in a kaleidoscopic display of regal, Africa-inspired fashion.

Taking cues from the film’s costumes (which were envisioned by Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter), Lupita Nyong’o channeled her warrior character, Nakia, while wearing a purple, custom-made Atelier Versace chiffon gown with gold metal hardware harness details reminiscent of armor. Chadwick Boseman, who stars as Wakandan ruler T’Challa, looked every bit the part in a black and gold blazer by Emporio Armani.

Lupita Nyong'o at the "Black Panther" premiere.
(Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong'o
(Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

For Letitia Wright, who plays the role of princess Shuri in the Ryan Coogler-directed film, that interpretation came in the form of a black-and-white embroidered Bibhu Mohapatra gown, picked out with the help of stylist Ade Samuel.

“We talked about what the movie meant and how strong it was and wanted to give that same powerful feel to Letitia’s look on the red carpet,” says the stylist, who drew upon her own Nigerian roots while researching the theme before landing on the ethereal, embellished number for Wright. “Letitia plays such a riveting character and she brings a light to the role. Keeping her fresh and young was the idea.”

But it wasn’t just the cast who took the dress code to heart for the occasion. Styled by Jason Bolden, “grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi wore a youthful, tasseled white Etro gown and Christian Louboutin sandals, while British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo wore a traditional dashiki. “Insecure’s” Issa Rae also got the warrior memo, opting for a sophisticated, pleated white Rosie Assoulin dress with a rainbow-colored panel, paired with metallic Giuseppe Zanotti shoes.

Fresh off the Grammys stage, where she delivered a powerful speech in support of the Time’s Up movement on Sunday, actor and musician Janelle Monáe worked with stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn to put her own spin on the theme while staying true to her own sartorial sensibility that she’s cultivated over the years. That meant “something black and white, but also something sculptural and avant-garde that felt very regal,” explains Mandelkorn, who worked with Monáe to select a look from Christian Siriano’s pre-fall 2018 collection that fit the bill. Dressed in a billowing skirt paired with an architectural top featuring two-tone sleeves, Monáe topped off the ensemble with an Erickson Beamon tribal choker and a traditional black kufi cap embellished with gold embroidery.

“It looks like a crown,” says Mandelkorn. “It was very fitting for the theme.”

More looks on the purple carpet

“Black Panther” costar Winston Duke on the purple carpet. At right, “Black Panther” costar Danai Gurira, center, with the Dora Milaje actors at the premiere of “Black Panther” at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Jan. 29.
(Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney (left); Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney)

Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett and Daniel Kaluuya

“Black Panther” costars Michael B. Jordan, from left, Angela Bassett and Daniel Kaluuya at the film’s world premiere in Hollywood.
(Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney; Valerie Macon / AFP/Getty Images)

Chadwick Boseman

"Black Panther" costar Chadwick Boseman at the world premiere of "Black Panther."
(Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney)

Janelle Monáe, Yara Shahidi and Chloe X Halle

Janelle Monáe, from left, Yara Shahidi and Chloe X Halle at the premiere of “Black Panther.”
(Rich Polk / Getty Images for Disney; Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney (center and right)

Letitia Wright, Issa Rae and David Oyelowo

“Black Panther” costars Letitia Wright, from left, Issa Rae and David Oyelowo on the purple carpet at the “Black Panther” premiere in Hollywood.
(Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney; Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney; Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images)

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