An Homage to the Style Influence of Black TV and Movie Icons
For years, costume choices have impacted how characters' legacies are carried on to the future. Trends have been born and shared through the characters we've seen on screen. And while many fashion folk will refer to Rachel Green or Carrie Bradshaw as TV's best dressed, they end up erasing Black creatives who have been the trendsetters of every generation. Spanning decades of entertainment, Black characters have given us the best of fashion, from classic sitcoms to heavy-hitting dramas. Actresses such as Issa Rae, Karyn Parsons, and Tracee Ellis Ross have not only entertained their audiences in their roles, but they've also inspired many with their characters' striking ensembles.
Below, look at 10 iconic style moments from Black characters in TV and Movies.
Hilary Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The entirety of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air consisted of striking fashion moments, but Hilary Banks's looks stand out the most. Every outfit relayed confidence with her streamlined and color-coordinated aesthetic. All the elements of Banks's style remain on the trending list today, from strong and tailored suiting to dramatic color pairings.
Raven Baxter, That's So Raven
While, yes, Raven Baxter could see in the future, we think her best skill was in fact her fashion sense. Considering that story-wise she made most of her clothing, we're deeply impressed. Her fur collars, printed jackets, and bedazzled jeans have taken up permanent space in our brains. And with the Y2K renaissance still running among Gen Z, elements of Baxter's style still serve as inspiration.
Dionne Davenport, Clueless
While Cher Horowitz does indeed have a fabulous wardrobe, we think Dionne's looks are worthy of just as much attention, if not more. After all, just take a look at that hat. If the movie didn't provide enough looks for you to peruse, the spin-off TV show is filled with even more '90s goodness.
Zoey Johnson, Grown-ish
Yara Shahidi has major sartorial strength both off-screen and on-screen. Her Grown-ish character is almost always making a statement in bold prints, saturated shades, and layers galore. Despite the questionable decisions her character might make, she'll always make the right choices in the style department. She continuously proves that she's willing to experiment with her look and aesthetic.
Issa Dee, Insecure
When Insecure first was released in 2016, it quickly became a fan favorite for its authentic storytelling. Stylist and costume designer Shiona Turni (also a fan favorite, but in the fashion industry) brought each character to life, including Isa, with realistic takes on modern-day Los Angeles wardrobe. Throughout the seasons, Isa's fashion sense sees incredible shifts as her character evolves. While her character prefers comfort, she moves into more put-together looks with her personality shining through each.
Moesha Mitchell, Moesha
Moesha shows effortless '90s style (that's more on-trend than ever) and continuously celebrated black designers. Brandy's character Moesha had multiple looks to love which featured micro bags, monochromatic color schemes, and next-level layering.
Olivia Pope, Scandal
Olivia Pope is strong-hearted, bold, and determined to get what she wants. If anything, her clothing exudes the same energy. Pope's style energy is powerful, from sleek trench coats to full Prada suits.
Toni Childs, Girlfriends
When we asked others on who was the best dressed character on Girlfriends, the majority answered with Toni. We get it. How can one not be considered the best when their top looks include vintage Jean Paul Gaultier?
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