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THE EXPENSIVE FASHION IN NEW YORK CITY MEDIA-SET SHOWS IS MORE REALISTIC THAN YOU THINK

The costume designers behind “The Bold Type,” “Run the World” and “Younger” all weigh in on all that aspirational Gucci, Balmain and Chanel.

In recent episodes, these character portrayals through costumes also continue the ongoing discussion — and, hopefully, action — within the fashion and publishing industries to support and amplify Black-owned brands. 

Line, for instance, consulted with colleague Charlese Antoinette Jones and the Black Designer Database (which the “Judas and the Black Messiah” costume designer launched earlier this year) to feature the work of Black designers on “The Bold Type.” Former Scarlet social media guru Kat (Aisha Dee, who spoke out for more diversity behind-the-camera on the show), for example, wears two pieces from Keresse Dorcely’s Six/20: a statement varsity sweatshirt and a short-sleeved yellow baseball jacket with matching wide-leg pants, which pay homage to the Philadelphia Dolly Vardens, two late 19th century all-women and all-African American baseball teams (above). 

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The Meaning Behind The Bold Type’s Season 5 Fashion

After five seasons in the fashion closet of the fictional Scarlet magazineThe Bold Type is coming to an end. Since 2017, audiences have tuned in to keep up with the glamorous — if not slightly exaggerated — lives of Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy), and Kat Edison (Aisha Dee), all of whom are rising stars at the beloved magazine.

The chemistry between the three women is a big part of the show’s appeal, and a key part of capturing that dynamic is getting their respective styles just right, down to the very last detail.

As for social media director turned activist Kat, her wardrobe becomes more of a reflection of her personal values and passion for social causes. Line turned to the Black Designer Database, created by her friend Charlese Antoinette, to connect with Black designers who would be a good fit for Kat’s style.

“My approach was, who is Kat today?” Line says. “Kat is a strong Black woman still figuring out what she doesn’t want. She has this voice and I was like, ‘what am I going to bring to this? I need to bring heart and soul.’”

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The Bold Type Is Getting a Fashion Makeover for Its Final Season

InStyle spoke to costume designer Mandi Line about putting her touch on the Freeform series’ final episodes.

In addition to having images of Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett’s style “all over” her vision boards for Kat, Line turned to the Black Designer Database started by her friend, Judah and the Black Messiah’s costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones. “I wanted to bring Kat’s strong Black voice to her wardrobe,” she says. “I created a book full of BIPOC designers to go to first, so we could put money back into the community before going to retail stores. It was a little tougher because we were filming in Montreal and nothing was open because of the pandemic. But we really wanted to go for it, and we did. At one point, Kat wears a shirt that says ‘Support Black Designers,’ and later in the season you’ll see her in a two-piece yellow outfit and on the jacket, it has the name of the first Black women’s baseball team from the early 1900s, which is a really cool story.”

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Costume Designers Share Spring Fashion Favorites From Denim Jumpsuits to Go-To Birkenstocks

Hollywood costume designers set the sartorial scene for film and television shows, but their fashion influence reaches far beyond the big and small screens. Some have moved from behind the scenes to the commercial fashion world (see Janie Bryant and her menswear line, Taylor Draper), and creatives behind oft-imitated looks have amassed social media followings for their own personal style.

In addition to revealing their skincare secrets, the awards-nominated costume designers behind Barb & Star Go to Vista Del MarBirds of PreyDa 5 Bloods, Emma, EuphoriaI May Destroy YouMulan, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Snowpiercer share with The Hollywood Reporter their favorite fashion must-haves when they’re off and on the set. From the best red carpet-ready heels to a favorite pair of jeans and the best shoes for “working long days”, check out the top picks from these talents, all nominees at the 2021 Costume Designers Guild Awards, which will be held virtually on April 13 — and read on below.

4. Amina Muaddi Plexi Begum Slingback Sandals

“Currently, because of the pandemic, it’s sweatpants and cozy sweater sets. In real life, I’m obsessed with a great shoe,” says Judas and the Black Messiah costume designer and Black Designer Database creator Charlese Antoinette Jones. “I have a lot of sneakers I love and heels for days. A good shoe can elevate anything you’re wearing in my opinion. I’m obsessed with this purple glass slipper from Amina Muaddi.”

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Black Futures Month: 8 Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

As we near the end of what has been traditionally known as Black History Month, it’s a good opportunity to talk about the people shaping Black Futures. The Movement for Black Lives defines Black Futures Month as “a visionary, forward-looking spin on celebrations of Blackness in February… using this time to both consider and celebrate our Black radical history, and to dream and imagine a world in which we are free and self-determined.” 

3. Charlese Antionette is one of the nation’s top costume designers, recently showcasing her skills as lead designer for Judas and the Black Messiah. She is also the founder of the Black Designer Database. Her pick: Aaron Clanton, founder of 9toFive.

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The Costumes in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Offer a History Lesson in Social Justice

“There are a lot of people anticipating his story being told,” says “Judas and the Black Messiah” costume designer Charlese Antoinette, about the gravity and expectation involved in bringing the story of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton to the screen. 

Antoinette created distinctive color palettes for each group to then “marry together” for the wide shots, while staying within the overall movie’s “grounded in earth and jewel tones,” she says. The Young Patriots wear “Americana”-inspired red, white and blue across rugged plaids, denim, corduroy and cowboy boots, while the Crowns “look really cool and sleek” in monochrome black, a sprinkling of marigold and “money green” berets.

The movie acquired the legal rights to use the actual colors of the Young Lords, as seen in the deep plum berets. Antoinette’s team “stitched together” multiple vintage sweaters to replicate the group’s purple and gold cardigans. (Letterman jackets and preppy cardigans played an integral sartorial role in ’60s and ’70s Chicago street gang culture, as the costume designer discovered in her research.) The real Young Lords leader, Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez, (portrayed in the film by Nicholas Velez) also visited the set and gave his official approval, as well as a gift.

“He really loved everything and he said, ‘It looks just like that time,’ so that was really dope,” Antoinette remembers. “He personally handed me Young Lord pins to put on actors. It was beautiful.”

Her commitment and dedication to research not only helped bring authenticity to Hampton’s story — and continue his legacy — through costume, it also had an impact on Antoinette personally and professionally. She recently launched the Black Designer Database, which creates access and opportunity for Black brands to be featured on-screen. (She featured members’ designs during her promotion for the movie.) 

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Behind the Protest Uniform of the Black Panther Party in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones speaks to L’OFFICIEL about amplifying the story of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton through 1969 fashion in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

As a Black creator herself, this project carries significance not only for the history of Jones’ community but for its future, too. More Black filmmakers are telling their stories, educating, enlightening, and calling others to action through their work. Jones especially seeks to amplify Black voices in the fashion and entertainment spaces. In addition to her career as a costume designer, Jones also owns a jewelry line, Char Ant Gold, and is the founder of Black Designer Database, a community for Black designers to connect with new clients and media opportunities.

Reflecting back on the fashion in Judas and the Black Messiah, Jones notes that while the Black Panthers’ uniform offers a distinct historical marker of how the Black community has shaped contemporary fashion, the overall time period was rich with various social and cultural influences. “There were so many counter-culture styles emerging,” she says. “You had hippies, you had bohemians, you had the Panthers and various other political organizations that had uniforms, and it was just an amazing time in establishing what is modern in American clothing.”

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‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Costume Designer on Recreating Iconic Black Panther Party Outfits (Exclusive)

Amid the social reckoning on racial injustice in our country, Judas and the Black Messiah is a film that couldn’t have come at a more profound time. 

The biographical drama, directed by Shaka King, tells the true story of FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) who infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), leading to the police raid and killing of Hampton in 1969 when he was just 21. 

Costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones recreated the historical uniform of the Black Panther Party in the late ’60s, such as incorporating the iconic beret.

ET spoke with Jones on her research process and the impact of her work in the film, set to release in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max on Feb. 12.

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Black Designers Are Rarely Featured in Top TV Shows and Movies — But That’s About to Change

One woman has made it her mission to connect Black-owned brands with today’s top costume designers.

Sex and the City made Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo household names, and, everyone knows what “an AlaÏa” is — and that the couturier is a “totally important designer” — thanks to Clueless. Even when a brand isn’t name-dropped so bluntly, the impact of a pop-culture appearance can be a major launchpad for success. 

As a recent example, after Emily in Paris premiered on Netflix last fall, the titular lead’s green python-print mini-skirt by Ronny Kobo sold out, while search for the New York-based Israeli designer increased by 22% on global fashion shopping platform Lyst, and interest in skirts by French label Ganni jumped a whopping 289%.

“TV and film have a huge role in both cultural currency and the visibility of designers for both emerging and established brands,” explains Amiyra Perkins, Director of Mindset for trend forecaster WGSN, via email. She cites loads of Barbour in The Crown and the now-Instagram-ubiquitous Marine Serre moon print in Beyonce’s Black is King. “Consumers continue to discover brands and track down the items of their favorite characters or artists merging imagined worlds into real life.”

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No Time For Saviors: Black And Brown Entrepreneurs With Inspiring Responses To COVID-19

With an estimated 90% of businesses led by people of color and women locked out of the stimulus bill, Black and Brown communities across the country have done what they’ve done since the start of US history — take care of themselves. While recently we’ve all been focused on the pain and suffering caused by COVID-19, it’s also important to take a moment to celebrate all the she-roes and heroes who have found innovative ways to keep people employed and serve their communities.  View entire article here.