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September 7, 2020

Chadwick Boseman: A Red Carpet Tribute

Posted by Catherine Kallon
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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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