South African stars came out in numbers to attend the premiere of the Black Panther sequel - Wakanda Forever - which will be released in cinemas worldwide on Friday, 11 November 2022.
While celebrities rose to the occasion and honoured the invite’s Afrofuturism theme on the red carpet, iconic actress Connie Chiume - who features as Zawavari in the international film, stole the show in her custom-made gown by fashion designer Imprint ZA.
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While the overall dress - featuring a dramatic silhouette, splashes of colour and even feathers - turned out amazing, the message behind it is even more impressive.
“This dress has a whole lot of messages,” Connie tells TRUELOVE.
“The yellow on it depicts all the resources that we have in Africa. It also has messages about us as Africans and how as we rise, we rise with other people, love one another and we don’t stop dreaming. Another message on the dress is calling for a stop to the killing of queer people. The stairs symbolise rising up,” she explains.
@theblackpanther actor @ConnieChiume shares the meaning behind her @Imprint_ZA gown for the #WakandaForeverSA premiere. pic.twitter.com/tm4YTfMKaH— TRUELOVE Magazine (@TrueLoveMag) November 9, 2022
Speaking to TRUELOVE, the designer of the dress, Mzukisi Mbane - who is the founder of Imprint ZA, talks us through the process of creating the gown.
“I’ve always wanted to work with her, so her PR connected with mine and we met. Just the connection with her was beautiful and I think most of what got to become the dress came from the person that she is,” he says.
“It was also about showing what Imprint is. We’re basically Afrofuturistic but what Wakanda is also about inspired the dress,” he continues.
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On working with Connie regarding the design, Mzukisi says the experience was pleasant because he saw the 70-year-old as a mother figure.
“All she wanted was something that made her beautiful and that’s what I love because she’s basically uMa. I saw her and I felt like I was designing for my mom. She wanted something beautiful that is flattering to her body and something that’s very dramatic and that’s why we also connected because I’m very bold and very colourful,” he shares.
He says the colours of the dress were inspired by the film’s theme.
Here’s a look at Connie’s gorgeous dress with a purpose:
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