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The Guardian view on women costume designers: film’s real superheroes | Editorial

Though they rank low in awards tables, Oscar winners such as Black Panther’s Ruth E Carter are creating new ways of seeing the world

The film awards season, which culminated in the Oscars last Sunday, often seems to be a red-carpet stroll for fashion designers in search of mass-marketing breaks. But within the films themselves, clothes have a more serious role that is rarely given the attention it deserves. Consider the winner of this year’s Oscar for best costume design, Ruth E Carter.

This was the second time Ms Carter has taken the award for her punctilious reimagination of the world of the Black Panther, who was originally introduced as a Marvel comic strip superhero in the 1960s. For once a repeat award – this time, for Wakanda Forever – seems justified, as the success of the two Black Panther films stands or falls on the representation of the people who inhabit the Afrofuturist kingdom of Wakanda.

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