Local 706 - The Artisan

Fall 2018

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36 • THE ARTISAN FALL 2018 BLACK PANTHER Ryan made it clear from the start that he wanted this film grounded in reality and to honor African traditions. So, we looked at the colors, the textures and the textiles of Africa, working that into the hair designs. We decided from the outset to forego straighteners and relaxers. "Leave them at home, we want you natural," I told the ladies. That's not what they were expecting to hear, but they all quickly bought into that idea. That, plus a taste of Afropunk, which also embraces a natural look, but with color and extra textures in their hair. But mostly, we took inspiration from some of the real African tribes: the Zulu, the Hima and the Maasai. That wasn't enough, of course, since there are five tribes in the story, and each needed a distinctive look. Still, one of our biggest challenge was in telling the story of Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger character, a dangerous, strong and powerful man. We decided to give him dreadlocks on top, fades on the side. He looked really sexy and so natural, even though it required a considerable amount of fine work to get it just right. Our pièce de résistance wig work was Angela Bassett's Queen Ramonda, who is a regal presence, and her wigs needed to reflect that. In her day-to-day life when we first see her, she's formal and elegant. But later, Ryan really wanted her hair to show a transition. Danai Gurira as Okoye Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios He wanted her more regular looking to show that they were going through a hard time. That's when we see her in her white, snowy dreadlocks. That wig's dreads—110 of them—were all handmade in multiple colors. We sent those to Natascha Ladek, our wig maker. A month later, we had that wig in hand. We're very proud of it. On the other hand, Princess Shuri, T'Challa's young sister, wears her hair in microbraids, and in some scenes, she has them up in two buns for a girlish look. She's really smart, but with her brother, she acts kind of bratty. That personality translates to her hair. Her clothes were really ARTISANS TEAM UP TO HONOR AFRICAN TRADITIONS I t was a tremendous privilege, a great honor and a tremendous challenge to oversee the hair department on such an important and impactful film like Black Panther. I feel blessed and relieved that it all turned out pretty much as we sketched out during our first meetings with Ryan Coogler and his team. H A I R B Y C A M I L L E F R I E N D DEPARTMENT HEAD HAIR Letitia Wright as Shuri

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