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September 7, 2020

Chadwick Boseman: A Red Carpet Tribute

Posted by Catherine Kallon

This year has been so tough, but it has taught us how precious time really is.

The passing of Chadwick Boseman hit really hard. 

The shock was two-fold.  On a professional level he had so much more to give. Not only with the ‘Black Panther’ sequel on the horizon, but despite all his accomplishments I felt that he was only in third gear.

When he was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, as reports state, he was able to give us ‘Civil War,’ ‘Marshall,’ ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Infinity War,’ ‘Endgame,’ ’21 Bridges’ and ‘Da 5 Bloods.’

What he must have been going through on a daily basis to get the strength – physically and mentally – to perform at the highest level, especially for the Marvel films is not only a glowing testament to his professionalism, but also to him as a man.

To us his ‘Black Panther’ character T’Challa was the superhero, but in reality, the real superhero was Chadwick, who was battling this horrible disease without seeking pity or attention.

On a personal level, he was so young. So very young. That’s the part which is the most hardest to take. 

They say that men 45 and over should get tested for colon cancer, but we sadly lost Chadwick at 43. 

Playing King T’Challa in ‘Black Panther’ was said to be one of Chadwick’s proudest moments, and he gave us a promo tour to end all promo tours. 

It’s the first time that the men – Michael B Jordan included – were on par with the female leads Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira.

With Ashley Weston, his stylist who worked with Chadwick for six years, they pretty much elevated the landscape of red carpet dressing for men.

The long coat became his signature look. But when it comes to the ‘Black Panther’ promo tour itself, we got to see nods to African culture with prints, textiles and colours.

I usually put my “top 10” (I can never usually narrow down to 10) looks in chronological order, but on this occasion I am going to countdown to my favourite…this is another reason this post has taken me so long. 

How does one put looks that are all worthy of top spot into number order?

Here goes.

15. 2018 NAACP Image Awards – Prada Suit. Christian Louboutin Loafers.

The actor wasn’t adverse to a more “traditional” suit as showcased at this event in Prada.  But even with that being said, the contrasting lapels and brooch added a touch of modernity.

14. ‘Black Panther’ New  York Screening – Musika Frere Suit. Christian Louboutin Boots. David Yurman Jewelry.

My love for colour and texture ensured this Musika Frère look was included in this top 15. 

But in truth, I feel the suaveness was really enhanced with the black turtleneck.

13. Denzel Washington’s AFI Life Achievement Award – Givenchy Suit. Givenchy ‘Cruz’ Shoes.

Sadly, the actor won’t be here to collect an AFI Life Achievement Award, but I’m sure there will be many posthumous awards granted to the actor in the future.  Which is why we should honour greatness in the moment.

This post inclusion is bitter sweet, as I remember the comments about his weight.  To me, in this moment he looked fine.  The only actors who looks like their superhero character year round are The Rock, and Henry Cavill.

Chris Hemsworth doesn’t look like Thor, and Chris Evans doesn’t look like Captain America 365 days of the year, so I wasn’t as worried about his weight as some were; but then I’ve never been one to comment on weight on this website.

Yes, the magpie in me was drawn to this look.  It’s not often we see an actor wear a suit decked out in sequins, but Chadwick made it work as a full look, and not with just a blazer, which I admired.

12. 2017 Governors Awards – Bottega Veneta Suit. Christian Louboutin ‘Cousin Greg’ Shoes.

Yes, I am a lover for all things colourful, but my adoration for this Bottega Veneta suit boils down to the texture of the fabric, and that super slick double breasted jacket.

11. 2019 Oscars – Custom Givenchy Haute Couture

The Oscars is the one night on the red carpet were actors are expected to wear a traditional tux. 

Chadwick ripped up the rule book by attending the event in what was his signature long coat, with a black tie neck blouse which added to the allure and regality of this look.

10. 2019 Golden Globe Awards – Atelier Versace Suit.  Christian Louboutin Shoes.

I would’ve loved to have seen this ice-white Atelier Versace suit on the Golden Globes red carpet among a sea of black and navy suits. 

I could admire this all day for the glittery Louboutins alone, but the embroidery on his blazer on another level of brilliance.  It deserves a spot at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

9. 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Givenchy Mauve-Pink Suit.  David Yurman Accessories. Christian Louboutin Shoes.

For the colour alone this look makes the top 10. 

This was instantly refreshing. I adore this salmon colour against his gorgeous skin. 

However, I do still wish the shoes had been in a lighter colour, but they take nothing away from the look in my opinion.

8. Saturday Night Live – Versace

Some of you may have forgotten about this look, as red carpet outings tend to stay longer in our memory as we attribute them to an awards show or premiere; but how can one forget this striking combination of this plaid coat with the iconic Versace printed sweater?

It’s kinda preppy with a twist and a lot of personality.

7. 2019 American Music Awards – Atelier Versace

From the leather to the metal mesh sweater, the actor channelled his inner rock star wearing this Atelier Versace look.

This is another example of the actor setting his own standard, while dressing for the occasion, and trusting the vision of his stylist.

6. ‘Black Panther’ World Premiere – Emporio Armani. Christian Louboutin ‘Cyprien’ Boots. David Yurman Accessories.

Geez.  I remember this like it was yesterday.  How can two years and seven months have flown by?

This was a real gem from Chadwick’s stylist Ashley. So much so that it could’ve found its way much higher on this list. 

I love how this blazer from Emporio Armani managed to be the perfect look for an actor playing an African king.

Between the print and collarless blazer, it was the look that incorporated a nod to African textiles.

5. 2019 NAACP Image Awards – Atelier Versace

Chadwick and Versace had a beautiful working relationship, as this is one of five looks from the Italian fashion label to make this list.

Inspired by the womenswear Pre-Fall 2019 collection, I love Chadwick’s own spin on this look which made the giraffe print jacket – which also felt like another nod to the motherland – the hero piece of this look.

4. 2018 Met Gala – Versace

This is perhaps the most poignant of all the looks on this post due to the godly, religious nature of tuxedo and cape.

This look was on theme for the Met Gala’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination event. 

It now makes my pause and feel very reflective. 

Did he have some form of spiritual awakening?  You don’t put on a piece like this without feeling something.  Especially considering his situation at the time.

3. 2018 Oscars – Givenchy Haute Couture 

Regal. 

That’s the feeling I get each time I see this image of Chadwick. 

It’s not the most standout look in terms of colour, but in style, poise and character, it can stand strong in this top 3. 

2. ‘Black Panther’ Seoul Premiere – Dzojchen Suit. David Yurman Cufflinks. Christian Louboutin ‘Samson’ Boots.

The top two was always going to be the hardest for me, as I always had them as joint favourites, but I wanted to give this tribute a proper conclusion if you will.

In terms of style, and uniqueness this Dzojchen suit is one of Chadwick’s most memorable looks. 

It elevated the status of Dzojchen, who then went onto dress many of Hollywood’s elite, but this is the moment that they will look back on in their history as their proudest moment I’m sure.

Considering the premiere was in Asian, this set the right tone in honoring the traditional fashion style without a hint of appropriation.  

1. ‘Black Panther’ London Premiere – Givenchy.

And here is it.  My favourite Chadwick Boseman look of all time.  He looks like the true king here.  There is a sense of seriousness here, but he made red carpet menswear fun.  I also feel strength which is married with sensuality and flair, that makes this the standout look for me.

I want to thank Chadwick, along with Ashley Weston for giving us so many magical red carpet moments.   

The sequel for ‘Black Panther’ won’t be the same. I hope they find a way to honour Chadwick in the way that is fitting for both his character and the man himself.

Rest In Power.  We love you, and we will miss you.

Wakanda Forever. 

Below is Ashley’s (Chadwick’s stylist) beautiful tribute the man she calls her big brother, and her king.

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32 Responses to Chadwick Boseman: A Red Carpet Tribute

  1. Los_NGLS September 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm #

    A beautiful tribute Catherine! What a challenge it must have been to choose these. I would say the Dzojchen is my personal favorite, I just about passed out at my desk the day I saw photos from that premie. But at the moment I can’t help but gravitate to the 2019 Golden Globes Atelier Versace, for it’s heavenly nature.

    Growing up, my favorite superheroes were usually mutants, they were the only ones I could relate to, in our deviations from the “norm”. It was an indescribable feeling to see and experience Black Panther. I saw it 5 times in theatres, 5 weekends in a row. I wish I’d had him when I was a little kid, but I was happy to have him now.

    Chadwick truly changed the imagination of a generation, and off the screen took fashion risks that paid off in spades, while simultaneously helping build up the careers of the people around him, and in the case of Dzojchen even build up a brand.

    He will be missed.

  2. TeaAtTwo September 10, 2020 at 11:09 am #

    Forever iconic, in fashion, in film, in life.

  3. anonymous as always September 8, 2020 at 9:35 pm #

    This post got me crying. Beautifully written and with the respect a man like Chadwick deserves. Thank you for this.
    A real king in every way. You’ll be remembered and always loved by millions.
    Rest In Power.
    Wakanda Forever.

    • Catherine Kallon September 9, 2020 at 6:49 pm #

      I cried at the end too.

      I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much over someone passing who I’m not related to.

      • anonymous as always September 9, 2020 at 8:42 pm #

        It’s wonderful though, that although his career wasn’t very long, he still managed to make such an impact on so many people.
        And I don’t think it’s simply because he played an iconic role, or because he was so stylish and good-looking. I think it’s because his charisma, kindness and bravery were so oozing that he was loved even by people who never had the change and privilege to meet him in person.
        So sad his fans were deprived of seeing him evolve as an actor. As you wrote, he had so much more to give.

  4. Noemi September 8, 2020 at 4:21 pm #

    It’s always sad when a young (I thought he was about 35, he looked so much younger), talented person dies. It’s even sadder if it happens during a time like this. I can’t hardly believe he managed to play so many challenging roles when he was ill with such a disease.

    I remember his amazing outfit for the Met Gala, in 2018. I voted for that one, because it’s so memorable, to me.
    But gosh, he had such a sense of style! He took risks without looking like he was trying to stand out (like many people do on the red carpet).
    I don’t know if there’s something after life, I’m not religious, but may he rest in peace…

  5. H September 8, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    Thank you for always doing amazing posts and for dedicating such a good one to Chadwick. I think his talent will remain forever the same way his style will inspire many to get out of comfort zones. He truly was the only man, next to Michael, who was on pair with female counterparts. So sad to see him go.

    • Catherine Kallon September 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm #

      My pleasure. He deserved to be honoured. I’m glad you all feel that I did it well. I have been nervous about publishing this

  6. Amy September 8, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    I was gutted to learn about his passing and the disease he was fighting. To think he was very sick while doing all those things is unbelievable.
    Back to the fashion, Chadwick was on a whole new level. Seriously all the stylists better take notes for their clients. Never a dull moment, the man did a salmon suit for crying out loud.!!
    Kudos to Mrs Weston as well

  7. fromchi-town September 8, 2020 at 2:21 pm #

    Thank you, Catherine, for this beautiful tribute to a beautiful man! This loss hit so hard in an already gut-wrenching year!
    He redefined the red carpet fashion for men! I never would be interested in looking at men’s looks, but Chadwick changed that. He was regal, elegant, graceful, and had impeccable taste. What a loss! Revisiting these looks made me teary-eyed – I am sure this was a very hard post to put together.

    The Givenchy at the Oscars 2018 and the Met Gala 2018 looks – those are the images that come to mind when I think of Chadwick. Those are the most memorable for me and my favorite looks.

  8. Oren September 8, 2020 at 11:46 am #

    Catherine – your tribute was well worth the wait, and reminds us why you and RCFA are such treasures. His style pushes boundaries without descending into kitsch or excess, and he pulls every look off effortlessly. To paraphrase your post the other day, Chadwick “wears the hell out of” these clothes. It’s hard to imagine anyone else doing them justice, or succeeding with the same breadth of style. So very, very sad to lose him so young.

  9. Lashae September 8, 2020 at 7:34 am #

    Thank you Catherine for a lovely tribute to such an awesome man that will surely be missed. Since his passing I’ve been watching as many interviews as possible of him and looking back to all of his iconic redcarpet looks and it just won’t be the same without him.

    My favorite is the Dzojchen suit in South Korea and it seems I’m in the majority who loves it too.

  10. Caitlin September 8, 2020 at 2:03 am #

    Thank you for this post, Catherine. He was a beautiful man, in every way.

    Since this is a fashion website, I wanted to share a funny little way that I think about Chadwick when it comes to men’s style – I think of him as a bit of a Renaissance man. In ancient times, and even right up to the image of the Oscar Wilde dandy, men used to have such fun with fashion. It seems it’s only in modern times that style and expression became something that was “for women.”

    I truly believe that Chadwick and his stylist were responsible for bringing the love of style back to men’s fashion.

    • Catherine Kallon September 8, 2020 at 10:50 am #

      This is beautiful Caitlin. Thanks for sharing.

      And you’re so right. The 2019 Oscar look is very dandy. Many actors would’ve avoided a look like this in fear of how it would’ve been perceived.

      My excitement with regards to red carpet menswear was really elevated when he came along.

      There is only so many ways you can comment on a black tuxedo.

      Cx

  11. Brandy September 8, 2020 at 1:51 am #

    This tribute is beautifully done. Thank you so much for celebrating yet another side of him.

    • Catherine Kallon September 8, 2020 at 10:51 am #

      Thank you.

      At first I didn’t want to make it too fashion focused, as he is more than just a clothes horse, but we fell in love with his style as well as his craft, so I hope I found the right balance.

      Cx

  12. JHH September 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm #

    Thank you for this tribute. Chadwick Boseman always presented himself with such grace and it shows in each of these pictures. My family is heartbroken. We feel like we lost someone we know. I can only imagine the loss his family is feeling. This retrospective is amazing and here is one of the great things about Chadwick’s style, there are at least three other looks, including his last one on this site, that I adore. You said it well, Rest in power.

    • Catherine Kallon September 8, 2020 at 10:54 am #

      JHH, thank you.

      It was the same emotion in my family.

      I think the last time we all went to the cinema together as a family was for Black Panther. We were all so excited to see black superheroes for the first time.

      It was really hard to narrow down. I could done this list many times over.

  13. _Hannah_ September 7, 2020 at 9:50 pm #

    Thank you so much for this tribute.
    He was (it is so strange to write about him in past tense…) such an amazingly stylish man. He always looked so fierce, powerful but also you could see that he’s having fun with fashion. His stylist captured it perfectly.
    I think I will be coming back to this post from time to time, not only to look at these great fashion moments but also to read your thoughts and memories – I do appreciate the respectful and warm way that you write about him. So thank you, Catherine, once again.
    Rest in Power, Chadwick. You’ll be missed.

    • Catherine Kallon September 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm #

      Thank you for your message.

      This was harder to write than I expected.

      So many great memories. I feel like he took us on a journey, which is why this loss feel so raw

      I managed to hold back the tears until I got to Rest In…then I was gone.

      • _Hannah_ September 7, 2020 at 10:53 pm #

        Oh, I understand this so well. I still cry a bit every time I read/watch something about him…

  14. Ashley Weston September 7, 2020 at 9:19 pm #

    Thank you for this ? and thank you for understanding the vision for each moment x

    • Catherine Kallon September 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you Ashley. It means so much that you approve of this post.

      It was a loss for his family, but you were his family too. So sorry for your loss Cx

  15. Lindsay September 7, 2020 at 9:10 pm #

    The promo tour for the second movie will never be the same

    • Catherine Kallon September 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm #

      It won’t. I hope Marvel find a fitting tribute for the sequel

  16. Chryss Chryss September 7, 2020 at 8:20 pm #

    Gorgeous man,iconic style!A true superhero,may he rest in peace..

    • Catherine Kallon September 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm #

      Very much so. When I hear the tributes from his colleagues, especially the director Ryan Coogler, it’s even more telling of the kind of man he was.

      They all looked up to him too.

  17. Amanda September 7, 2020 at 7:21 pm #

    Sigh, thank you for this lovely tribute. I can’t even bring myself to vote for any of them, it’s too difficult and too sad. Rest in peace Chadwick, and thank you for the memories.

    • Catherine Kallon September 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm #

      Very sad. Very sad indeed. Thank you

      • Miss H September 8, 2020 at 6:35 am #

        What a lovely fitting tribute, Catherine. Thank you for writing this post and for taking the time and consideration that it needed. Lots of love xx

        • Catherine Kallon September 8, 2020 at 10:55 am #

          My pleasure Miss H.

          It was so nice to go over his archive. He is such a beautiful man inside and out.

          I have spent a lot of time reading tributes. We have really lost one of the greats.

          Cx

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