There 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
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
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 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 Hunger 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 would 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
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
’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
I 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
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 names, 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
I was so excited to write this article you guys, but then the rug was pulled out from under me, and now I have to share that the glorious, and in my own personal opinion, best damn rumor about Catching Fire in months– is not true. Or, more like– isn’t allegedly true, because I like to think all this Hollywood stuff is more cloak and dagger than it probably is. Iris van Herpen was rumored yesterday to be the brain tasked with designing Katniss’ infamous wedding dress, i.e. the one that transforms into a Mockingjay and shocks the entire country of Panem, and pisses off President Snow oh so very much. Yeah, according to Fashionista.com, it’s not happening. And that’s when I cried all the tears, because I may have just been introduced to this woman’s work yesterday, but I quickly fell in love with it! It’s demented, and weird, and innovative, and so fucking disgustingly Capitol, and I literally started bouncing up and down in my seat when I was perusing photos of her latest Haute Couture collection called Voltage. I’m sad, you guys– because even though I’m giddy over the places I see Trish Summerville taking the costuming in Catching Fire, I think that hiring a Haute Couturier like van Herpen to design Katniss’ most controversial costume is a brilliant, and inspired idea.
Look, it’s no big reveal when I state again that I was very disappointed with the costuming in The Hunger Games, and especially with Katniss’ interview dress. I know that when you see the gown in person it’s stunning, but come on– you and I know that it did not translate to film well, and that we were all expecting not a prom dress, but something deserving of a runway in Paris or Milan. I was expecting a jewel encrusted one of a kind, absolutely
staggeringly fantastic gown, we got 1990s prom– and some low budget looking flames. I still don’t know why they decided to add the flames to the dress, and no one try and defend that concept to me, I’m stuck in my ways in my old age. Part of me reads van Herpen’s denial of being involved with the film, as a tactic that the studio asked her to employ. Kind of like staving off the scent, when she’s really already designed the piece, and it’s already on film. Think back a few months to when Catching Fire was filming in Atlanta, and Stanley Tucci was quoted to have improvised during the interview scene, because Jennifer tripped, fell, and flashed the entire room her underwear? Well, I remember that, and no I was not in the room, but it means that the scene in which Katniss dawns the smokey Mockingjay dress is in the can, and that means the gown has already been designed– whom by though? We really may never know the answer to that question.
Oh well, at least no one is dead.
Them There Eyes
Blacksparrow Auctions are taking the costumes from the first Hunger Games movie on a nationwide tour and then auctioning them off. ALL of the costumes. So what do you need to know?
Well, they’ve announced some dates all over the US where they would be taking the costumes. If you want to see them, now is your chance because after they’re done, the costumes will be sold to the highest bidders. They will be choosing from all the costumes so who knows what will and displaying different sets of outfits at each location.
And this auction is not just for the rich and stupidly wealthy. There should be some for more modest price ranges too.
I must say that if you can make your way to a stop on the costume tour, you should go. I’ve gotten to see them up close, and they are great. Seeing the costumes in person is a whole lot different from seeing them in the movie. You get to appreciate the detail put into the costumes, like how Katniss’s hunter shirt is so raggedy looking up close. Imagine being able to size yourself up next to one of Effie’s outfits
They have announced these dates so far:
Seattle, WA – Emerald City Comic Con – March 1-3
Chicago, IL – C2E2 – April 26-28
New York – New York Comic Con – October 10-1
But keep an eye out because more dates may be added. We’ve just gotten wind that they may be at FIDM in Los Angeles. If you’re in the LA area and didn’t get to see them at The Hollywood Show, you still might just get your chance.
So check them out if you can! There are pics of me doing just that after the cut.
I wish they could auction off Seneca Crane’s beard
First thing first! Welcome to our newly designed site! We decided it was time for a change, a new look that added some funky fresh levity around these parts– we are a humor site, after all– and something that doesn’t make you nauseous if you’re on the site too long! Kudos to TFGeekGirl for the design!
But there is some bad news– Sadly, one of our favorite nights of the year, Halloween, has come to pass. It’s the only night when it’s perfectly okay to dress up like a huge fangirly geek and act like a total fool in a large crowd of people! We miss it so!
Therefore, we have found some of the best Hunger Games Halloween garb from this year and years past for your viewing pleasure, a few of which came from the official Hunger Games Facebook!
Let’s just start with the Overall Winner, shall we?
*Over the continuous chorus of ‘Awwwwww’s* Oh little one! Perhaps your best Halloween has occurred before you’ve even developed a long-term memory, which is a shame! We don’t know where your mommy even managed to scrounge up a shiny blue suit that fit a toddler, but we would like to give her the highest of fives for this achievement. Let’s just hope you don’t develop a costume complex in the future!
Onto an oldie but a goodie, Best Handmade Design!
There’s probably somebody out there who now seriously regrets bringing their old wedding dress to that thrift shop, but we cannot feel sympathy for them because the end result is too fantastic: Katniss, mid-transformation between the Capitol wedding dress and Cinna’s Mockingjay dress. Even though it’s only the bottom of the dress, it looks like making that would be a bit painstaking to put together! 10 cookies from Mellark bakery to the lady behind this getup!
When you’re not really sure what you’re doing, just go for the Best False Confidence!
It takes a lot of cojones to dress up like Panem’s equivalent of the sexist man alive, Finnick Odair, especially with those sandals and the guyliner and the awkwardly burned seaform shorts. But this guy looks like he’s got a rousing chorus of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” pumping through his head as he stands next to Katniss. We don’t know anyone else who could pull that off! Bravo, good sir!
Want to get wild? Check out the Best Take on Capitol Citizens!
Clearly, the girls were WAY more in this than their male companion, who just kind of looks like Willy Wonka. All the same, it’s pretty hardcore to see the Prep Team out and about. People from the Capitol other than Effie need love too! All the points to the woman who was gutsy enough to paint a large portion of her skin green, despite the fact that most people wouldn’t get the reference!
Last but not least, the Best Use of Sports Equipment!
Football pads? Baseball helmets? If you’ve ever played sports or know someone who has, you know these things don’t always come cheap, so why not fashion them into pure, unfiltered badassery in your spare time to save extra money?! Add some white clothes and it’s super simple, yet effective! You don’t always have to go crazy to make an impression, after all.
You may have noticed that we didn’t showcase any Effies! It’s not because none of them were great, it’s because this year was a veritable EFFIE EXPLOSION and too many of them were great. Just search “Effie Trinket costume” to see what we mean. Seriously, we could dedicate several posts to that hotness, but then you all may start to judge us.
Until Next Year, Shine On You Crazy Diamonds,
The Girl With The Pearl
We’re back with Part 2 of our tips for how to get your Hunger Games on this Halloween!
Katniss, Peeta, and the other tributes way be the most common stars of the show this All Hallows Eve, but if you want to show off your love for The Hunger Games and your hella wicked mad creative skillz this year, taking on the role of a Capitol citizen might be for you!
We’ll get into the specifics later, but let’s start off with some generalities–
The Capitol Look
COLOR! Lots of color! Bright, vibrant colors that make you stand out, but put together in a matching, cohesive fashion that doesn’t make it look like a magical glitter unicorn puked all over you!
Unfortunately, there’s no “Capitol citizen” costume laid out for you, so you’re going to have to get creative!
Step One: Get thrifty! Thrift/consignment stores can be an absolute goldmine when you’re searching for something out of the ordinary and even a bit outlandish. That neon green suit with puffy sleeves collecting dust in the back? Effie Trinket’s BIFFLE. That blue snakeskin blazer? Caesar Flickerman’s top style.
Step Two: Do it up! The hair must be outrageous or President Snow just would not approve!
(If you go this route, it’s also good to pick up a wig cap, because they make life a whole lot easier.)
You can use your natural hair color too, but if so, you better do it up more like this:
Except in a way that’s possible for normal humans to achieve.
Step Three: Accessorize! The Capitol is not bland! Search for some stunning Hunger Games themed jewelry on Etsy or do you nails with Capitol Colors nail polish to achieve that Panem et Circenses shine!
Of course, there’s one member of the Capitol that all the ladies really want to be!
Step one: Effie’s hairstyle is all her own, but thankfully there’s a generic “Chaperone wig” made by an unlicensed company!
Is that first one not your style? Try a Marie Antoinette wig!
Or perhaps a Lady Gaga wig!
Step Two: Heels to High Heaven! Elizabeth Banks said she sometimes had trouble walking around on set. If she can do it for several days, you can do it for a few hours! Any tall, bright, decorative pair will do, but here’s a few ideas:
What about the guys who want to show their Capitol side, you ask? Never fear! Caesar is here!
Step One: Assuming you don’t have enough hair to dye it blue, put in a bump-it, and make a neat ponytail out of it all, there’s a solution on the Internet! A Caesar wig AND eyebrows!
Step Two: We covered the snazzy thrift suit look already, so to complete the look, all you need is a really shiny pair of dress shoes! …And some teeth whitener, but don’t do overboard!
There’s also the Seneca Crane option, which requires a simple plain black suit and incorporates some facial hair madness! Thankfully you can grow that yourself, free of charge. Try not to hurt yourself carving it out with a razorblade!
We’re Down With The Capitol Style!
The Girl With The Pearl
Okay, now we’re talking about those types of costumes!
Too early, you say? FALSE. We’ve found that a good costume requires time and careful planning! A penchant toward showiness is welcome but not required, because it’s Halloween, when grown adults eat candy and drink at a friend’s house IN COSTUME!
There are A LOT of options for Hunger Games costumes out there. To be fair to them all, we’ll be covering them bit by bit, starting off with the most obvious option:
THE HUNGER GAMES TRIBUTE COSTUMES
Let’s start with Training Outfits, shall we?
Step One: NECA, who has an official license to all things Hunger Games, sells a movie replica District 12 training shirt:
It’s a great shirt, but therein lies two problems. One – The shirt is specifically for D12, so if you’re dressing as one of the other tributes, you’re mislabeled. Two – It runs between $49.99 and $163.99, depending on your size. Possible solution:
The Hunger Games District 12 Training Shirt at Hot Topic is only $36.
The movie tributes have matching pants, but as far as our research has told us, they do not exist on the Internet! So…
Step Two: Bust out those black Dickies, skinny jeans, or if you’re really adventurous, spandex pants! Also, a pair of kickass, shiny black boots!
On to Arena Outfits!
There’s a little more flexibility here because everyone wears the same thing.
Step One: Black or dark green t-shirt (depending on your preference to either the movie or book). Khaki cargo pants. Available in pretty much any store in existence.
Step Two: Arena Jacket!
The Arena Jacket also has the “official merchandise” problem: It runs between $68.99 and $119.99. The jacket has pretty positive reviews, so it’s totally cool if you’re willing to invest the cash! We just know that some people aren’t that dedicated the Halloween (and then a really freaking awesome autumn jacket!) There’s not any other option out there for jacket replicas, unless you have a black, hooded nylon jacket you’re willing to play with… or, ya know… going without the jacket.
Want to represent your District of choice while in arena garb AND have a nifty place to sneak all that booze into your friend’s dorm keep your stuff? Snag a nylon District bag like this one, available for every district:
Note on these: District 12 bags are MORE THAN DOUBLE the cost of any other district! Yikes!
What if being a tribute isn’t enough? What if you need to be KATNISS FREAKING EVERDEEN?! We got you covered for that too!
Step One: Assuming you don’t have easily braid-able dark flowing locks of hair, there’s a wig for that! Of course, it’s not officially license by Lionsgate and is thus only known (somewhat hilariously) as the “Arena Girl” wig!
Step Two: Get yourself a Mockingjay pin! Otherwise, you’re just some random tribute with braided brown hair!
Step Three: Pick up a (fake!) bow!
Yes, there is indeed an official replica of Katniss’ hunting bow from the beginning of the film:
And it’ll only set you back $80! *cough* … Or you could just cheat across fandoms and snag a Adult Legolas Bow and Arrow Set for $15! If your friends notice the difference, we applaud your friends!
Step Four: Swap your booze stuff from those nylon bags to THE ORANGE BACKPACK!
Or its mini-equivalents for 1/4 the price!
That’s all for this round, but we’ll be back with more Hunger Games related costume designs soon!
We Are Masters of Disguise (Which is Why Everyone Knows Our Real Names, Obviously!),
The Girl With The Pearl
No, we’re not talking about those costumes! We’re talking about the costume design for the films!
Guest writer Elizabeth is a bit of a clothing design fanatic. Sadly, she wasn’t all too impressed with the fashion choices in The Hunger Games. Let’s see what she has to say and hear her hopes for Catching Fire!
Filming for Catching Fire has begun, and there’s a new costume designer on set. And while we don’t know exactly what Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stylist Trish Summerville is putting our loved (and loathed) tributes in under those insidious white bathrobes, this reader certainly hopes it’s better than the last time around.
With the exception of Katniss and Peeta on the chariot, the Tribute costumes of The Hunger Games were underwhelming at best. Blue and hot pink fish for District 4? A frilly tutu for Glimmer’s interview, who in the books had been described as wearing a sexy golden gown? All forgivable, I suppose, but what broke my heart was Katniss’s interview dress. I believe the description I’ve heard some people use is “last-season Narciso Rodriguez,” which is dead on. With all the tech effects in this film, it’s startling they weren’t able to find some way to approximate the bejeweled spectacle that was our heroine’s interview dress in the books. The DVD commentary for The Hunger Games says that it was Gary Ross’s vision that was important for that dress, not Suzanne Collins’s, but man, what a miscalculation to not go with her description.
Costumes are so important in Catching Fire, much more so than in the first film. I would go as far as using the word “iconic.” Although the Hunger Games franchise can be read as an indictment on our materialistic culture, fashion is vital to the series and its theme of image as a means to an end. Each costume perfectly encapsulates characters and themes. Finnick’s golden net tied seductively at his hip says, “I am the sexy golden boy. I’m here to tempt you.” Johanna’s leafy outfit followed by her shameless elevator striptease says, “natural, exposed, confident. This is who I am, deal with it.” Katniss and Peeta’s radiant parade costumes, of course, are supposed to express the betrayal they feel, but that they are still powerful, defiant.
And of course, the single most important outfit is Katniss’s wedding dress and its fiery transformation to a mockingjay. That wedding dress has to be the dress to end all dresses, the last word on bridal gowns, as Katniss would say. It has to be a feat of craftsmanship, ethereal yet elegant, and it has to be exactly the way it was described in the book, because readers have had dreams about this gown. This isn’t the time for some up and coming designer to create an avant garde confection purely from their own imagination. Nope. The dress has to have the pearls wrapping around her throat, the sleeves that fall from the wrists to the floor, the fitted bodice and elaborate skirt. It has to be beautiful enough to make us cry at the tragedy that she will never get to wear it and the horror that she is forced to wear it as pretty much a burial shroud.
And they have to get the transformation right. The fire can’t look cheesy. She can’t look like a burnt chicken. I think the costume people can get a lot of inspiration from Natalie Portman’s Black Swan look. This IS the place to get creative. Since it’s a little harder to picture a designer interpretation of a black bird than it is to picture a wedding dress, there’s room to play. And like white swan vs. black swan, it must be the exact opposite of a virginal wedding dress even if the silhouette is the same. It has to be sexy. BAD. Dangerous. Plunging neckline, maybe a high slit. All the feathers should be long and shiny to catch the light.
In my ideal world, I would love to see Katniss’s dresses be designed by Prabal Gurung. Jennifer Lawrence already rocked a sexy Prabal Gurung gold cutout gown on the red carpet this year, and she looked like a babe from outer space in it. And the designer already has some gowns in a recent collection (in black and in white, no less) that mix shimmery fabrics with sheer or lacy details and feathers. Feathers!
Suzanne Collins could be a closet (see what I did there?) fashionista. She made one of the most beloved characters in the series a stylist! Let’s hope the producers of Catching Fire can make her droolworthy costume descriptions come to life so that the sequel will be filled with stunning sartorial eye candy.