Alexander McQueen

The Costume Upgrade

tumblr_mdsvb26Hn81rbpy85o1_1280There are several things that are apparent when you compare The Hunger Games film adaptation to everything we’ve seen, and heard on or about the adaptation of Catching Fire, and one of those things is this– holy mother of god the costumes are a million trillion times better, and for me at least more like how I pictured Panem styles to look than what was seen previously. By the way that last few bits, yeah– you should read that as if I wasn’t breathing at all, running the words together, and basically being a flail-y costume enthusiast. What can I say, but ever since I made the unfortunate mistake of trying to be a theater major, and having to sit through a term long seminar on every aspect of the theater department at my then tiny university, and finding only the presentation on the costume department interesting, I’ve

This is Charlie Chaplin in costume as his signature character The Tramp

This is Charlie Chaplin in costume as his signature character, The Tramp

become a little bit fixated on, well– costumes. I may not have a stack of reference books on the subject, but I know that the feeling I get when I see a film costumed extremely well is very important.  I’ve written before about set design, or the background on furniture choices made in Catching Fire, so when I say set design, or the choices of furniture, art, and other set dressings help tell a characters story, to me it is on par, or the same as costuming, I hope you believe me. This is my point of view, set dressing, and the physical dressings of characters when you really think about it are one and the same, extensions of the story, tools that tell you sometimes everything you’ll ever know about a character, or a place that had up until that moment had only lived in people’s minds. Like this guy to the right, this guy never said a word out loud– but everything you need to know about him is right there in his costume, and his expression. Or that magical moment when Dorothy Gale stepped out of her bleak wind-swept house and into Oz for the first time.

This time around with Catching Fire there’s no doubt in my mind that the costume, and the set designing department has had a major upgrade, or cash injection. And, I’m sure the vote of confidence came about because of the success of The Hunger Games, and I’ve also heard through the grape-vine that the budget was doubled for Catching Fire possibly because of its success. To that I say, hell fucking yeah! And I say that for more than one reason, one of them being this– Alexander McQueen! And this– Junn.J! And this– Rick Owens! And this– Tex Saverio! If you’re at all like me, or even just a little like me you squealed with delight at seeing not just Effie (My Name Is Never Said Out Loud In The First Film), Trinket costumed in character, or costumed in pieces inspired more by the original source material, but other characters as well, then we’re on the same proverbial page. About other characters costumes, I think the costumes that are surprisingly intriguing me the most are Peeta’s. I know, you’d think they would be Katniss’, but there’s just something about Josh Hutcherson dressed head to toe in black leather for the Capitol Gala, or even his Capitol Portrait costume, with his chunky Rick Owens boots, his Junn.J white tuxedo jacket, slim fit

Altered to be more Tuxedo-y, of course.

Altered to be more Tuxedo-y, of course.

white trousers, and also amazingly styled gold metal collar, pocket square, and cuff bracelets also by Junn.J, that are keeping my eyes on him, and getting excited to see what else they’re going to put him in. I’ve become so intrigued by Peeta’s costuming that I’ve even made the conceded effort to try to find that black leather costume, and have come to this educated conclusion: The coat is looking like it’s by Junn.J, just like his portrait costume, only I’m strongly starting to believe that it’s custom-made for the film, however inspired by pieces that were in Junn.J’s 2012-2013 Fall-Winter collection. Fall-Winter collections tend to be showcased well before those actual seasons commence, so I’m thinking Trish Summerville got friendly, and asked to have a piece altered for the film. She literally put Peeta nearly head to toe in their clothing for the Capitol Portrait, and that includes the accessories, so– hey, if I were a designer and a Hollywood costume designer pulled that many of my pieces for a potential blockbuster film– and potentially asked for an other piece to be altered, I’d alter the thing myself! The trousers, I’m actually thinking they’re by Rick Owens, who’s a total leather master worker, and the boots, yep– those are Rick Owens’ as well. And it simply must be said, damn Peeta looks like a bad-ass in black leather!

Still on the search for Katniss’ Gala costume, for now it’s Versac-Balenci-something to me! It’s like searching for Spock, only way less cheesy. 

Them There Eyes

The Designer Details

The Capitol Portrait campaign concluded today, and I think it’s safe to say that we’re all feeling a bit of a hang-over from all the excitement, and then the lulls, and then the finger tapping whilst waiting, and then EXCITEMENT! Well, all that’s good and all, and so is a bottle of ibuprofen at the ready, or a glass of red– whichever, but the let down (not that kind of let down), of it being over is still a little hard to adjust to. Yesterday my fellow Victor’s Village residents and myself did a little chat break down of the portraits revealed to us up to Finnick. However sadly, if you think I’m going to go into the nitty-gritty, the pulp, and sinew of the President Snow’s portrait which was revealed to us today, I’m going to have to let you down easy, or hard. Not going to do it, unless you want me to talk about his chair!? It’s Victorian, with motifs from the Jacobean era or Charles I, William and Mary, and Queen Anne. There, that makes me happy.

Okay, okay, I’m a little disappointed with Snow’s portrait, not because of the way it was executed, because just like the others it’s impeccable. I’m disappointed, because the costume was ruined and/or spoiled for me, and many others by the paparazzi last summer, or summer in the Northern Hemisphere if you happen to be a “Southerner”. With “the paps” taking those photos, and selling them to the highest bidder, and us unlucky few who happened to still be frequenting Tumblr a few months ago, the cat got out of the bag, or better yet, the fur shrug, and the white rose in the tiny vase, got out of the bag– way, way, way too early. Can’t un-see it now, but I was hoping that Snow would be presented to us in something that the shit-heads with flashbulbs, and no sense for boundaries hadn’t gotten their grubby hands on. Oh well, best focus on the good, which is what I will commence to do in five, four, three, two, one.

I like fashion, all kinds of fashion, hand-made fashion, off the rack, designer, vintage, hard, soft, crazy, and traditional. What I like more at this moment though is knowing that Trish Summerville the illustrious costume designer for The Hungerst fashion Games: Catching Fire, went a totally different route from Judianna (the designer for The Hunger Games), because Trish has gathered pieces from established and up-and-coming fashion designers to be featured on the cast. Starting of course with the discovery I made myself minutes after her portrait was released, and also with the help of my friend Joan– Alexander McQueen is the brain who came up with Effie’s poofy portrait costume. It was literally a mad scramble, much like when casting announcements were released, but in this case it was Joan and I screaming at each other via Twitter, saying things like “I think Effie’s in Alexander McQueen! That looks like McQueen!” to “I’m googling the shit out of this!” less than a few minutes later we had the runway shots, and the look-book photo of the exact same dress and shoes Elizabeth Banks is adorned in in her portrait. If only we got paid for this ability to google things? I’m a McQueen fan, which I said in the break down piece yesterday, and I was hoping so very much that Trish 104814717-718x1024would see his work and think the same thing as me, which is “Capitol“. Well, turns out we think somewhat alike, and I’m tickled, tickled a fuchsia color, with red accents. I actually get the feeling that Trish talked to Elizabeth about what she liked most about her costumes from the first film, and I’m only guessing here– but I think she said she liked her shoes, and her hair. Which are the only elements that have apparently stayed, because McQueen designed Effie’s shoes, and she’s still sporting a pink French Neo-Classic era wig. Or maybe those are the only things that Trish liked from the Effie side of the costume trailer, who the hell knows? We also know now that Effie will sport more McQueen creations, thanks to this article. In fact, if my googling skills are still up to snuff, Effie’s going to be pursing her painted lips whilst wearing this lovely avant-garde piece to the right, and to the left, along with these fancy things.

More details have surfaced however, and they made me spend an exorbitant amount of time googling stuff again. It is the information that Katniss’ gown in the Capitol Portrait

Tex Saverio

Tex Saverio

was designed by an innovative designer from Indonesia called none other than Tex Saverio. He’s pictured to the right with a very similar gown to the one he was charged with designing for Katniss, and I think he’s a little bit on the adorable, and sexy side– but that’s just me. Anyway, Tex’s designs mesmerized me for a good part of the afternoon I have to say, especially his bridal collection, because his ability to layer fabrics together to make these full, and textured skirts is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Seriously, if you’re curious go and google “Tex Saverio bridal”, and marvel at his skills. Which brings us to the next name revealed to us this fine day– Rick Owens. Unbeknownst to me I’ve been a fan of his work for years, I just didn’t know his name. Owens is a designer whose gift seems to mostly lie with leather, and me– well, I’m always on the look out for the perfect leather jacket, with the right mix of the classic bomber jacket of the ’40s, and the classic biker jacket of the

Juun-j

Juunj

’50s. He’s made several versions of both, and I’ve been drooling over them virtually for much too long, only problem is is that his price points are a bit rich for a post-grad who writes for a Hunger Games humor blog. Beside the point, Owens is the fine mind who designed not only Peeta’s boots in his portrait, but also Cinna’s, and possibly Beetee’s, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he also designed Finnick’s– but my eyes are ready to pop out if I do anymore pouring over digital images. Speaking of Peeta, we now also know who designed not only his boots, but his white tuxedo look. His name is Juunj, they’re out of South Korea, and to the left is the a runway model wearing the jacket (possibly a capri-pant version of the trousers as well), that Josh is so artfully posed in in his portrait. Are you fashioned out yet? I’m not– no, really. Truth be told these 11 portraits have only wet my appetite for what Trish Summerville has in store for us next November.

To that I say, bring it on, baby. Bring it on– my googling skills are only getting warmed up. 

Them There Eyes

Ruffles, So Many Ruffles

o-CATCHING-FIRE-JOHANNA-PORTRAIT-900I don’t know if you’re aware or not, but ruffles are really in style, especially in Panem. And what do I think of this trend? Well, hot damn– I think it’s the Cat’s Pajamas! All right, so if you’ve been Rip Van Winkle-ing it up for the past week, we got our selves a sizable dose of Catching Fire promotional material dropped into a virtual laps this week. Yep, and we were also part of the unveiling of one finely detailed, impeccably styled, and so far so good– well cast Beetee. Check it out if you’ve been binge drinking in Mexico, lost your phone in some guy’s hotel room, and forgot your Facebook password! Also, if you fit that description, might want to do a cleanse, or a home pregnancy test, your pick! Back to the ruffles, because ruffles are important!

See, when I was a little girl there were two things I wanted, and sadly never got. A pink

It's pink and poofy, and it's not fairy floss!

It’s pink and poofy, and it’s not fairy floss!

tutu, and a pair of red sparkly shoes reminiscent of Dorothy Gale’s Ruby Slippers immortalized in The MGM classic, The Wizard of Oz. But, like I said I never got either, and to this very day I still want them both– yes even the pink tutu. There’s no logical place to wear a pink tutu though, especially when I’m very much so an adult, not a ballerina, and not really into 80s style dancing (think early Madonna), however just because I personally have no place to wear a tutu, or anything resembling one– I’m still allowed to admire fashion versions of them that grace the pages of magazines, or in my case the Women’s Fashion section on my crack fix, AKA Pinterest. Which brings me to this wonderful week in time, when my love of stereotypically girlie and frilly stuff has been utilized oh so tastefully in the costuming of my favorite book to film franchise. And the world rejoiced, or at least I did– because, oh my god so fluffy!

I’ll probably say it a million times until the film finally hits my retinas next November, but the costume designs and the styling so far where it comes to this film, is finally meeting the visions I’ve had running around my head since I caved in and finally read The Hunger Games four years ago. So, please remember their Anna+Karenina++Race+Dress+2names, because I’m making a bold statement in a couple of words. Trish Summerville, Ve Neil, and Linda D. Flowers are Oscar worthy judging purely on the styling of the handful of photos that have been released recently. I honestly put the gowns that Jena Malone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Elizabeth Banks (her costume, including the shoes are Alexander McQueen), have warn, up there with the costume designs of Jacqueline Durran, whom won for best costume design just this past month at The Oscars. There it is, bold statement– but I said that Jacqueline would win when I saw her work in Anna Karenina last December, and it happened, and I’m rarely wrong about this category, so… that’s that, cross your fingers, eyes, toes, and legs that I’m a little bit right this time as well!

Congratulations mom and dad, you raised a girlie girl! Where the hell are my Ruby Slippers?!

Them There Eyes