Post her historic Oscar win for Best Costume Design for Marvel’s Black Panther, Meauxgul client Ruth E. Carter reunited with a good friend for a momentous sixth collaboration — cultural icon Eddie Murphy, for his latest cinematic outing – Dolemite Is My Name.
Actor Rudy Ray Moore created the singular character “Dolemite” in the late 70’s and took it to independent and cult acclaim with a string of 4 self-produced and self-starring movies. Deemed “an eccentric urban dandy,” Dolemite was known for his fashions as well as his karate kicks and handmade looks.
Ms. Carter took Mr. Murphy through 75 looks that Moore himself wore in his films in order to make sure that Murphy’s styles were authentic. The Blaxploitation style of the 70’s had a heavy influence on the style of this movie – and since Ms. Carter and Murphy are close in age, it was also a time to visit memory lane – both as creatives and consumers.
Her process involved watching all four of Moore’s Dolemite films which she then used to get the vibe of all the custom clothes that he wore. In order to complete her vision of an “uber-realistic” portrait of the movie’s namesake, she studied classic Black cinema such as Super Fly and The Mack – the same films that inspired Moore himself when he created the Dolemite character.
The outfits were created from scratch for Murphy, down to details such as coordinating the texture of his shoes with that of his pants – a singular choice of Rudy Ray Moore’s. Ms. Carter had tailors from across the Los Angeles basin creating clothes for this project. As a touch of creative ingenuity, Carter even created a custom platform shoe that was partially made from Adidas sneakers so that Murphy could walk comfortably!
Up next for Ruth E. Carter – she teams up with Eddie Murphy AGAIN for his latest project, the sequel to another iconic Black cinema favorite: Coming 2 America.
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🗣🗣GOOD MORNING MY NEIGHBORS! It’s official! Preliminary fitting for Coming to America 2 with Prince Akeem, Semmi and Oscar. . . . . . . #RuthIsComingToAmerica2 #costumedesign #costumedesigner #blackfilm #eddiemurphy #arseniohall #oscar #oscars #ComingToAmerica #ComingToAmerica2