The 'BlacKkKlansman' Los Angeles Premiere Was a Powerful Display of Capital-F Fashion

Complete with hair looks that celebrated Black culture.
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Laura Harrier in Loewe at "BlacKkKlansman"'s Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday. Photo: Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic

Laura Harrier in Loewe at "BlacKkKlansman"'s Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday. Photo: Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic

On Friday, Spike Lee's hugely-anticipated "BlacKkKlansman," which tells the true story of an African-American detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s, hits theaters nationwide. Since the film's trailer was first released in May, it's received no shortage of buzz and with it, dazzling reviews — at press time, its Rotten Tomatoes score rang in at a near-perfect 97 percent — as well as critical fashion acclaim. The picture's costumes are, of course, significant, most notably those that were crafted for Laura Harrier's character, Colorado College Black Student Union leader Patrice Dumas. (You can read more about them, as well as costume designer Marci Rodgers's process, here.)

Ahead of "BlacKkKlansman"'s release, the cast met up in Los Angeles on Thursday to premiere the film for the West Coast. And while the red carpet was a mighty display of capital-F fashion in its own right, it was made all the more powerful thanks to the beauty looks that accompanied moviegoers's couture. 

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Both Harrier and Harvard University-bound actress-slash-activist Yara Shahidi wore hairstyles that were an intentional nod to celebrating Black culture: Harrier, above, in tumbling, mid-back-length box braids by hairstylist Lacy Redway and Shahidi, below, in Bantu knots by Nai'vasha Johnson. 

Yara Shahidi in Prada. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Yara Shahidi in Prada. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In an Instagram caption, Redway provided historical context and inspiration behind Harrier's braids, writing: 

Most of us remember iconic moments from the 90's of seeing Janet Jackson with box braids in Poetic Justice or Brandy in Moesha ...but how many of you guys know that Braids can be traced back more than 5000 years ago to about 3500 B.C. ? Braids started in Africa among the Himba Tribe in Namibia Who have been braiding their hair for centuries ( see slide ) . Braids were used to symbolize your tribe , material status , wealth, or power . Historians have also found traces of box braids on a woman buried in Egypt 3000 years ago . Today we love and wear braids as a protective hairstyle or just because they are beautiful.

Harrier paired her box braids with a patchwork Loewe (not Louis Vuitton, surprisingly) dress from the Spanish label's Fall 2018 collection, courtesy of stylist Danielle Nachmani. Elsewhere, Shahidi wore Prada, actress Damaris Lewis (who plays Odetta in the film) wore Moschino and Lee wore a T-shirt celebrating his late, great friend Prince.

See more looks from "BlacKkKlansman"'s Los Angeles premiere in the gallery below.

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