The Hunger Games fashion has become a focal point of the movie franchise. We take a look through each film at the evolving Capitol fashion.
The Evolution of The Hunger Games Fashion
The Hunger Games is a hit trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins that has now become a blockbuster movie series. They’re set in a divided, highly stylised post-apocalyptic future in former North America.
Society is divided into districts and The Capitol in Panem. High society is characterised by avant-garde high fashion and amoral values.
The nation is entertained by an annual Hunger Games that pits pairs of children from the 12 districts against each other. Only one tribute can survive.
Meanwhile, The Capitol live in luxury and bask in excess. Now, much like The Great Gatsby, their fashion has become aspirational and an icon of the films.
The Capitol fashion embodies the new trend of maximalism and shows it’s as much a part of our society as their fictional post-apocalyptic one. Let’s take a look at its evolution through the movies.
The Hunger Games
(Image from Collider)
The first movie is The Hunger Games (2012) where tributes are given stylists for the promotion of this torrid tradition. The lead character Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is paired with Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).
In reality the movie’s costume designer was the award-winning, Judianna Makovsky (X-Men: The Last Stand and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). She spoke to Vogue about bringing this futuristic world to life.
She said, “You don’t think of it as science fiction. And I always say: A suit’s been around for over 100 years; what makes us think it’s not going to be there for another 100 years? I find if you go too far afield from what we know, it becomes dated very quickly.”
This highlights the balancing act between referencing history and creating a futuristic fashion. Something the current fashion industry knows all too well.
Judianna also said, “These are people who like to watch children beat each other to death in an arena. So it has to be a sort of—not meanness—but we looked a lot at Schiaparelli.
She added, “We used a lot of black to break such bright colours. I just thought it would be funny if these people, who have such a vicious streak in them, are sort of covered in flowers and ruffles.”
It's not the first time that Schiaparelli has been used as influential for high fashion obsessed antagonists. Simply look at Cruella de Vil and the talons on her gloves.
The influence of Schiaparelli manages to be both whimsical and intimidating which sums up The Capitol culture perfectly. The next film then took the Hunger Games fashion one stage further.
(Image from Blastr)
For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) the viral campaign took off online with a 16-piece collection, Capitol Couture. Likewise, other character’s style caught the public’s imagination.
Costume designer, Trish Summerville (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) took the helm and incorporated more real-world fashion designers.
The tributes’ handler, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) was already the embodiment of Capitol fashion. Then the internet went wild for the pink Alexander McQueen dress (above). Trish Summerville spoke to Vanity Fair about this colourful character.
She said, “Effie is in a really tough position. She lived this Capitol life, but she starts to realise how damaging this all is. She looks happy, and she’s very Capitol, and she’s vibrant and she’s colourful—but she’s always uncomfortable.
She added, “Her waist is always pinched in just too tight. Like she can never really relax and be comfortable.”
We’ve all heard beauty is pain and Trish also spoke about edgy statement shoes. She said, “There’s a pair of Iris van Herpen shoes that are these fanged shoes—the heels are these very sharp, fanglike shapes.”
(Image from Vanity Fair)
The men’s Hunger Games fashion isn’t anything to sniff at either. Male tribute Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) nails sartorial splendour in white.
He wore Korean designer Juunj along with boots created by super-cool US designer Rick Owens, according to Grazia. This set him apart as a white hat and matched Katniss.
(Image from Digital Spy)
Up and coming designer, Tex Saverio, was enlisted to create the long-anticipated wedding dress to be worn by Katniss Everdeen. Not only did it have to be breath-taking but it had to spin and then, yes, catch fire.
Trish Summerville told Elle, “There was a bit of pressure to it, but it was a collaboration I did with a Jakarta designer, Tex Saverio.
She added, “I did not have several people submit dresses or sketches. I just felt like he was the right person for that particular item and it worked out perfectly.”
This sets The Hunger Games fashion as a forerunner in the current fashion climate with a clear vision of the future.
(Gif from Vanity Fair)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
(Image from Radio Times)
The final book has been split into two action-packed films and we can soon enjoy the first, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014). The viral presence of Capitol Couture has also taken off.
Capital Couture is further blurring the lines between fiction and reality. The website boasts fashion coverage, beauty advice and culture news.
It says, “Capitol Couture is proud to commemorate President Snow's "One Panem" initiative with a special issue focusing on collaborations in art, fashion, and design, Today we celebrate the incredible achievements coming out of the Capitol - the beating heart of Panem.”
The lines have further been blurred with its dizzying, beautiful and a believable portrayal of our culture. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fantasy.
The now all-white propaganda posters or “propos” could see the likes of this Viktor & Rolf dress fit right in. Whilst, the districts have also been depicted in all their glory which you can see on Fansided.
As the world of Panem turns to civil war we can’t wait to see what combative gear is on show. Not to mention, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015). Until then enjoy the trailer for the latest film.
(Main image from Empire Online)