TheGrio Style Guide: Ciara’s Allure, Issa Rae on Elle, and the Wakanda women’s unbreakable bond

Bold magazine covers, head-turning red carpet looks, and '90s nostalgia have been captivating style lovers over the past week. 

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Both stateside and across the pond in London, Black beauty has been reigning supreme this week. From stunning magazine covers to luxury brands announcing new faces to highly anticipated collaborations dropping, Black creativity continues to lead the world of style.

Issa Rae Black Panther Ciara
Covers: Cass Bird for Elle; Shaniqua Jarvis for Elle UK; Peter Ash Lee for Allure

This includes the women of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, who channel the ’90s nostalgia of a (very high fashion) Delia’s catalog on the cover and pages of Elle UK’s November issue. Elsewhere in London, Black actresses strutted the red carpet of the BFI London Film Festival, premiering their films and turning heads. In the virtual world, Jonathan Majors’ muscle-bound new cover from Men’s Health proved he is, in fact, the “Kang.” And from Biden’s inauguration to Prada’s newest campaign, Amanda Gorman’s star keeps rising 

The Women of Wakanda

Women of Wakanda Black Panther
Covers: Shaniqua Jarvis for Elle UK

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright tell Elle UK they were initially unsure if the “Black Panther” franchise could continue without their late co-star Chadwick Boseman. As indicated by the recently released trailer for the sequel, the trio of actresses confirms “Wakanda Forever” will pay homage to Boseman’s character while centering more on the women of Wakanda. 

“We get to see them be fully human. That’s something that, as Black women, we are often not afforded on-screen,” said Nyong’o in the interview.  “And there are so many female characters. All too often in these movies, there’s a token one or two. Here, you’re seeing a community.” 

For the accompanying photoshoot, which took place amidst a busy week of Comic-Con promotional events, the women are styled in looks by Alaïa, Balmain and Jean Paul Gaultier. 

Our favorite looks from BFI London Film Festival’s red carpet

Last week, some of the buzziest upcoming films made their UK premiers during BFI’s London Film Festival. This year, Black talent is represented in several categories, from acting to directing to writing—and of course, red carpet style.

Actress and rising style icon Lashana Lynch turned heads and made headlines at the premiere of “Matilda The Musical” in a sparkling, patchwork-inspired knit dress by Ashish. 

Lashana Lynch attends Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” World Premiere at the Opening Night Gala during the 66th BFI London Film Festival on October 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Jodie Turner-Smith did not disappoint in a decadent platinum number by Balmain as she attended the UK premiere of “White Noise.” Later, at the premiere of “Bardo,” Smith again turned heads in a sultry black cutout dress and gold accessories. 

Jodie Turner-Smith during the 66th BFI London Film Festival in London, England. Photos: Getty Images

Actress Zephani Idoko channeled one of this summer’s hottest colors in a sweet citron-colored strapless gown paired with white nails and a regal braided style for the premiere of “Nanny.” Also at the “Nanny” premiere, co-star Anna Diop delighted in a dramatic tomato-red backless gown with floor-length sleeves. 

Zephani Idoko (left), and Anna Diop during the 66th BFI London Film Festival in London, England. Photos: Getty Images

Canadian actress Taylor Russell stole the show from celebrated co-star and style icon Timothée Chalamet, wearing a black and pink corseted Schiaparelli couture look during the premiere of “Bones and All,” for which she has been dubbed a new style star to watch

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 08: Taylor Russell attends the “Bones & All” premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Singer and actress Janelle Monáe was also in London, discussing her ambition to play “transformative” characters during a London Film Festival panel. While there, she also found time to attend a party celebrating the Frieze London, dressed in a stunning sheer black bralette and hip-baring skirt with a leather beret atop her blonde braids. 

Janelle Monae arriving at a private dinner hosted by MONOT celebrating Frieze London on October 12, 2022 in London, England.
(Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

Ciara on Allure

Cover: Allure

Ciara Princess Wilson is known for mixing up her style and hair, and takes it a “1, 2 step” further with bold looks and colors in the pages of the November issue of Allure. On the cover, Wilson, with help from longtime stylist Cesar Ramirez, takes a high, angled afro high-glam, dressed in a hot pink Versace corset and gloves. In another image from the shoot, long brown black waves envelop the entertainer as she wears a barely-there black top by JW Anderson. 

The various looks may seem in stark contrast to one another, but are spot on when you read the multifaceted multihyphenate’s cover story, where she chats about her Atlanta heritage, upcoming music, managing both a family and multiple brands with her husband, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, her new skincare line, and more. Wilson is in an ever-busy phase in life, manifesting different versions of herself all at once.  

Musing about the growing number of multi-talented creatives dropping various lines and projects alongside her own, Wilson says: “I think that’s a really beautiful thing that’s happening…As far as the competitive part of it, all I know is what I built, and I know what I built is something special, and I believe in that. I think whenever something is right, if people receive it, it rises on its own way.”

Elle US celebrates Women in Hollywood 

Issa Rae Ariana DeBose Zoë Kravitz
Covers (from left): Cass Bird (Issa Rae) and Sharif Hamza for Elle magazine

Issa Rae, Ariana DeBose, and Zoe Kravitz are among Elle magazine’s 2022 Women in Hollywood. For their individual covers, Rae gives a sweet smile in a fuchsia mini dress; Kravitz looks cool and relaxed in a neutral-toned knit two-piece, and DeBose suits up in a black tuxedo and stilettoes. 

Rae talks about her evolution from being an “awkward Black girl” on YouTube to a full-on media mogul aspiring to own her own studio in South L.A. She also speaks candidly about the abusive figures she sees going unchecked in Hollywood and the rare ability and station she has to combat them.

“What I have realized is that I can control my own environment and who I work with,” said Rae, adding, “I can hold people accountable within my world and my bubble. I don’t have to work for everybody. All money isn’t good money. All people aren’t good people.”  

Kravitz dishes about her latest Hollywood pivot to writer and director. She spent three months in Mexico filming her first project, “Pussy Island,” a movie about a wealthy man who takes an unsuspecting waitress to his private island, where things take a turn.  

“I really thought I would be producing independent films and theater. The fact that I’ve been working for this long and have been in the kinds of movies I’ve been in, and now that I’ve directed a film, it’s crazy,” Kravitz said. 

Kravitz further explains that the story of her movie has changed several times since she first began writing it and that the #MeToo movement has had a huge impact on the direction of the story. 

Hot on the heels of making history as the first openly queer Black actress to receive an Oscar, and only the second Latina to win an Oscar for her role in “West Side Story,” DeBose talks with Elle about what’s next. The history-making triple-threat talent will next appear in Sony’s “Kraven the Hunter.”   

“My strengths lie in my ability to fully accept a challenge and humble myself enough to realize there’s still so much more to learn,” said DeBose. 

Jonathan Majors’ major muscles cover Men’s Health

Cover: Men’s Health

We may be a long way from “Lovecraft Country” but Jonathan Majors’ star remains on the rise as he takes on not one, but two powerful upcoming film roles, villain Kang The Conqueror in February’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” followed by a turn opposite Michael B. Jordan in “Creed III.”

Appearing as the cover star for the November issue of Men’s Health, Majors’ sculpted physique effectively set Twitter aflame. The actor details the grueling workouts that transformed his already muscled physique in preparation for his role in the next installment of “Creed” but it was co-star and director Jordan who brought home the impact of the method behind the muscles. “Jonathan, you know, lives a little bit of the character, so there’s a fluidity from off-set to on-set that you respect,” he said. “The time it takes to do these fights and what it takes out of you daily is truly incredible.”

K-Dot poses for W magazine

Kendrick Lamar
Cover: Renell Medrano for W magazine

For the “New Originals” issue of W magazine, rapper Kendrick Lamar talks about his emotional return to music after a few years of silence. The Pulitzer Prize-winner also serves some fashion moments, tapping into the men-in-pink movement with a baggy look from Balenciaga Couture as well as a leather moment that gives some major “Matrix” vibes, among other mentionable moments. 

The moody images feel at home in tandem with the emotional nature of the interview. Typically a very private person, Lamar confesses that while cathartic, some of the more intimate lyrics on his latest album, “Mr. Morale,” were news to his friends and family. 

“I could have cut corners and got flashy with it and worded my words a certain way—nah, I had to be in the rawest, truest form I could possibly be in order for it to be freeing for me, in order for me to have a different outlook and the perspective on people I’m talking to,” said Lamar. “I had to reap whatever consequences came behind that, and also be compassionate and show empathy if they were hurt by it.” 

Lil’ Kim teams up with Mackage

In the ‘90s, the female rap phenomenon known as Lil’ Kim rose to prominence—and the luxury outerwear brand Mackage was founded. So it was fitting that the brand would reach out to the rapper decades later, inviting her to be the face of its new monogram line

In stores and online now, the brown-scale collection ranges in price from $160 to $1,290 and features bodysuits, sweaters, puffer jackets, hats, and bags, all with the Mackage “M” monogram. 

In a press release, Lil’ Kim reflected on her longtime affinity for the luxury brand. 

“I love their incredible leathers and puffers. When the team reached out to me to collaborate on launching their first monogram, it just felt true to me. They knew and understood the history of my style and most iconic looks and built campaign looks around that,” she said in the release.

You can wear Virgil Abloh’s version of Mickey Mouse

On Thursday, two icons came together as a collaboration featuring the late Virgil Abloh and the founding mascot of Walt Disney Co. dropped at the Brooklyn Museum. The limited edition line features an Abloh-created, Warhol-inspired-rendition of the classic cartoon character Mickey Mouse printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts for both adults and children. 

Items in the collection can be yours from $30 to $120, on sale as long as supplies last, according to Women’s Wear Daily. 

The collection is a part of the Abloh-curated, three-year-old traveling exhibition “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” (on view through Jan. 29) that includes its own pop-up shop where you can buy these items and other designs by Abloh. The apparel is also available now online.  

Choose your fighter: Sneaker collabs edition

When you think of ‘90s style, you may think of oversized shirts and jerseys, baggy jeans, and chunky sneakers. You may also think of music videos, specifically of the hip-hop genre. Bearing that in mind, it’s little wonder that legacy sneaker and streetwear brand FILA has recently partnered with the Shakur Estate—as in Tupac Shakur—to bring to life a first-ever exclusive collaboration inspired by the rapper’s iconic style. 

Shakur famously wore FILA often back in his day, particularly the Grant Hill 2s, which were a staple in his wardrobe and even used in a recent exhibit celebrating the rapper in L.A. Those shoes and so many more iconic items from the FILA archives are getting a second act through this collaboration.   

The exclusive FILA x 2Pac collection will include footwear and apparel, including archival items reimagined for today.  

If apparel and footwear lines steeped in turn-of-the-last-century nostalgia ain’t your thing, perhaps Adidas’ latest Marvel collaboration may be a better fit. 

This week, Adidas also dropped a new collaboration with Marvel celebrating the upcoming “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The line includes revamped versions of the Ultra Boost 5.0 DNA and Adidas Ultra 4D, created in black, purple, and gold accented colorways that pay homage to the franchise. The line also includes a pair of cleats along with joggers, shorts, leggings, and tops. 

Amanda Gorman sustains in gold for Prada

Last year, Vogue rang the alarm on poet and activist Amanda Gorman’s rise as a style icon and some of fashion’s most valuable players took serious note. Wednesday, Prada unveiled its first fine jewelry line, with Amanda Gorman among the faces of the collection. The line will be the first made entirely from certified recycled gold by a global luxury brand. 

Photographer David Sims helped bring the campaign to life featuring Gorman, American actor, model and singer-songwriter Maya Hawke, and Dutch-Korean-Canadian musician Somi Jeon. For the campaign, sleek gold pieces pop set against black-and-white portraits of the campaign stars. 

Fans of Prada will revel in the fact that its iconic gold triangle motif has been worked into the line as clasp closures for earrings, pendants, and ribbon chokers. The debut collection contains 48 pieces, 10 of which will be available on a made-to-order basis, with prices ranging from four figures to $60,000. The collection goes live to shop on Oct. 17. 

Fashion designer Jeffrey Banks honored for 60 years in the industry

Designer Jeffrey Banks attends the AAFA American Image Awards 2019 at The Plaza on April 15, 2019 in New York City. (
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for AAFA American Image Awards)

New York fashion designer Jeffrey Banks will be honored at multiple events this fall for his 60 years of influence in the fashion industry. 

According to the CFDA, the Jeffrey Banks Signature Men’s Wear Collection, launched in 1977, “established a new benchmark for men of style.” 

In the ‘80s, Banks took the helm of Merona Sport as design director, creating a groundbreaking line for men, women, and children that grew Merona Sport sales from $7M to  $85M.

Later this month, Banks will be awarded among others at the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s annual gala. Following that event on October 24, Banks will be honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America on November 7 for his contributions to American fashion and his status as a long-time member of the CFDA. 

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