'Black Panther' filmgoers show off their best Wakanda-inspired looks

Welcome to Wakanda. After great anticipation and a passel of early rave reviews, Marvel’s Black Panther made its U.S. premiere Thursday night with midnight screenings nationwide.

Letitia Wright in a scene from <em>Black Panther</em>. (Matt Kennedy/Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)
Letitia Wright in a scene from Black Panther. (Matt Kennedy/Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)

And while there was no rule banning folks from turning up to theaters in basic jeans and tees, countless filmgoers opted to step up their fashion game with sartorial tributes to African style, black power, and the fictional nation Wakanda.

Along with the standard cosplay — masks, costumes, comic book merch — that accompanies the launch of every superhero film, influences spanning the African continent reigned supreme. On the beauty front, there were pleny of braids, Bantu knots, head wraps, and face paint, while outfits featured Ndebele beaded jewelry, kente cloth, and other traditional tribal prints in vibrant colors, kufi hats, and dashikis.

Royalty #wakandaforever #blackpanther #blackpantherchallenge

A post shared by Jan Lew Professional (@janelle218) on Feb 15, 2018 at 11:46pm PST


A post shared by Dane C. Collier (@danecolby) on Feb 16, 2018 at 2:26am PST

#blackpanther. You have to experience it for yourself!!! ❤️✊

A post shared by Yahosh (@yahoshb) on Feb 16, 2018 at 2:09am PST

EASTER SUNDAY #blackpanther #openingnight #gamechanger

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✊✊✊ #blackpanther @theshaderoom

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Many fans also took the opportunity to make political style statements with their interpretations of the Black Panther title. Huey P. Newton-inspired berets, all-black ensembles with a touch of Killmonger swagger, and black power poses dominated the cinema scene.

#blackpanther #2018

A post shared by Amira (@amira206) on Feb 16, 2018 at 2:20am PST

Tonight was a WIN FOR THE CULTURE ✊ #BlackPanther #BlackPantherWasEPIC

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Of course, nothing says commitment like a nod to that other African royal, Prince Akeem from the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, to which — fun fact — the Black Panther cast gave an homage in 2017 with a themed costume party in honor of Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s birthdays. These guys truly are exalted rulers of this land and masters of all they survey.

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