Danai, Danai, Danai ... from The Walking Dead to Wakanda, Danai Gurira has slayed her way into our hearts, and does no less on the red carpet. At Thursday night’s European premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther, she wowed in black and emerald, rising like the beaded phoenix gracing her gown by Jean-Louis Sabaji—who notably also designed the incredible wing-embellished gown Mary J. Blige wore at this year’s SAG Awards. [Editor’s note: Scroll below to see the back of Danai’s dress. You don’t want to miss it!]
That beadwork? Imagine hand-sewing 2,000 iridescent sequins and 3,000 Swarovski crystals with silk thread. The feathers? Hundreds of hand-cut mother-of-pearl shapes, meticulously applied. This work of art took 320 hours to create, from its winged neckline to its mermaid tail. Curious about the artistic process? Via the ’gram, Sabaji himself took us through the creation of his “Phoenix Dress” step-by-step.
But our favorite embellishment on Gurira last night? The intricate designs encircling her close fade, variations of which she’s been rocking throughout this premiere season. It’s an artistic and surprisingly feminine twist on an already flattering haircut that shows off her gorgeous face to perfection.
Gurira was most definitely our queen Thursday night, but suffice to say that once again, the Black Panther premiere brought out the best in everyone, and looks were served to London town. Here are some of our faves: