Advertisements
Advertisements

A look into the costumes in The Hunger Games

I have been meaning to do this post for a few weeks now, I even tweeted about it after I watched it at the cinema but alas, other commitments have gotten in the way. It goes without saying, well, for anybody who has seen the first installment of The Hunger Games that the costumes are fantastic. Even if some of them aren’t completely accurate to the book, costume designer Judianna Makovsky did an excellent job. She was influenced a lot by designers including Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Schiaparelli as well as the Elizabethan period which are all noticeable throughout the film.

For anybody who is not familiar with the plot, this is The Hunger Games in a nutshell through the words of director Gary Ross:

“In a dystopian future America [now called Panem], a nation made up of twelve impoverished districts, all ruled by a militant capitol where technology and excess are a way of life. Every year the capitol holds a televised battle royal, where one male and female teenager from the twelve districts must battle to the death for the pleasure of capitol. When a young hunter from District 12 named Katniss Everdeen sacrifices herself to save her little sister from the games, she embarks on a brave fight for survival that could change a nation.”

Heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is shown at the start of the film wearing the above dress which is known as her ‘reaping dress’ in which Makovsky took the description from the book to create it. The dress has a very vintage feel due to the 1930s to 1950s influence and the fact that they wanted it to look like something that could have been a hand-me-down from her mother. Makovsky found some vintage fabric and dyed it until it was the perfect colour giving the dress a very simple and elegant look. All of the costumes in district 12 are supposed to look like hand-me-downs or workwear and therefore most are hand-made or rented from vintage sources. The amount of extras in the film was high and therefore at least 1,800 costumes were used throughout the film.

This dress is one of the most memorable costume moments in the film due to it showing Katniss in a completely new light. The dress is showing how she has transformed but not in the sense that the dress has transformed her, but how she has transformed as a person. It’s a moment, if not the only moment where viewers stop and think she is beautiful. The dress is coral-red with several layers of ombre fabric, pleating detail at the bottom and Swarovski crystals scattered all over it. Makovsky wanted the dress to be simpler than the description in the book, not as sparkly but more elegant and subltle with the flames at the bottom of the dress only visible when she twirls around. Caeser (Stanley Tucci) the talk show host has striking blue hair and therefore his costumes are typical of a talk show host, they stand out but isn’t overly outlandish as the blue hair says everything it needs to about him.

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) sports some rather outrageous outfits throughout the film, especially when we first meet her at the start, wearing the above pink ensemble – she could give Dolores Umbridge a run for her money. Again, staying true to the book despite some slight alterations, Effie is noticeably eccentric in the way she presents herself. It’s not to the point in which it looks overly cartoon-like but comical in the way that she has a vicious streak yet is dressed in ruffles and florals. Makovsky aimed for Effie’s outfits to be the colours in which they were described in the book but chose certain shades in order for it to look slightly classic and tasteful.

Due to the location in North Carolina, it was difficult to figure out how to make the costumes so that they could be worn while shooting in 100 degree weather with humidity. The matching parade costumes in the above image were skin-tight which would prove uncomfortable in the heat and therefore were made into two pieces so they could get in and out of them as easily and quickly as possible. Here, Katniss is wearing her ‘girl on fire’ costume which many people think is leather but it’s actually a novelty stretch fabric with embossed plastic on top and stretch patent leather. The costume was created by Makovsky’s co-worker from the costume department of X-Men who has a lot of experience in creating striking costumes.

Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) plays an alcoholic and a previous winner of The Hunger Games, therefore has a lot of money which needed to me shown through his costume. He has an Edwardian cut to his clothes and puts on a front which confuses the viewers into understanding who he really is, despite the obvious referrals to his relationship with alcohol. He is a stylish alcoholic.

In the book everyone involved in The Hunger Games, all members of all districts wear completely the same outfit but due to the transfer to screen, it would be hard to distinguish each character. All of those taking part wore the same trousers but had different coloured jackets to tell them apart but it proved difficult to find appropriate colours that looked good on screen due to the location in the woods. Despite this, earthy colours were used which blend in with the background to the characters advantage but also distinguish each district subtly enough for it to not be an extreme difference from the book itself.

What do you think of the costumes in The Hunger Games? Are you a fan of the books?

Advertisements

The best costumes in film of all time part three

Continuing on from part one and part two:

Eleven: Marie Antoinette

I’ve spoken about Marie Antoinette before, it is an absolutely stunning film by one of my favourite directors Sofia Coppola and whenever I think about the best costumes in film this immediately pops into my head. The queen of France, Marie Antoinette is young, fresh and a lover of fashion (especially shoes) and enjoys indulging in cake and champagne. Costume designer Milena Canonero won Best Costume Design for the film at the Oscars in 2006 due to the pastel coloured dresses including duck egg, mint green, baby pink and peach which are all currently fashion trends this spring 2012. The lace collars, the wide exaggerated under skirts and corsets are a depiction of what the queen did wear during the late 1700s but with a romantic, edgier feel which has a traditional notion with a little modern-day cult thrown in.

Twelve: Inception

The wonderfully creative, mind-boggling Inception messed with our heads in the summer of 2010 and although the costumes are impressive for all of the characters (I can’t pin point just ONE great costume moment!), the costumes play a particularly important role in the way that the film is being told. Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland had to work extra close with director Christopher Nolan to make sure the clothes are accurate throughout the dreams and also the reality but while speaking to Clothes on Film he might have given away the ending. All of the clothes were custom-made and each character had their own individual style and colour palette as shown in the above image therefore everything was made specifically for each of them. Due to the architecture professions in the film Jeffrey chose sharp lines such as peaked lapels, windowpane patterns, and plaids.

Thirteen: Sex and the City

For the first Sex and the City film Carrie had more than 80 outfits to wear but this is by far the most memorable. The moment when Carrie receives a large dress box and a note from the woman herself, Vivienne Westwood stating that the dress belonged to Carrie, after seeing her wearing it during a Vogue photo shoot. It would only happen to her wouldn’t it? The dress is a little OTT, I remember seeing it and thinking it was lovely but Carrie is the only one that could pull it off even though I wasn’t a fan of her ‘something blue’ feather a.k.a. bird head-piece, yet it did give the outfit edge which you would expect from her. The beautiful fabric is luminous – the champagne silk is the perfect colour for Carrie whilst the fabric itself is very classic. The dress has a silk bustier with a built-in corset, a puff under-skirt which is also silk but a slightly off-white colour with an asymmetric hem. Sarah Jessica Parker and the Sex and the City films are sure great for marketing, particularly as shopping platform Net A Porter sold out of the Vivienne Westwood Carrie dress’ on their website for $10,000 a pop despite it only being a knee-length version (the floor length version is $15,7000 which you have to order from the lady herself, Vivienne and wait six months for it to be produced.) Were you inspired by this dress for your wedding?

Fourteen: Alice in Wonderland

I love anything Tim Burton and there’s no deny in the fact that his films excel in everything – production design, script, visual effects and of course, costume design. With his eccentric mind alongside his long-standing costume designer Colleen Atwood who has worked on many of Burton’s films (Edward Scissorhands, Planet of the Apes, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow and upcoming film Dark Shadows) the costumes ooze originality. Alice in Wonderland is no exception. There are wonderful costumes throughout, but of course Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter stands out to most. Colleen explored the world of hat makers in London from the Edwardian era which inspired her more than the previous illustrations of the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s book. Depp being a chameleon by adapting to all of his costumes so well that they don’t even appear as costume was dressed in very playful and eccentric clothes to portray his mad personality, yet not distracting away from his character and personal story within the film. The jacket is made from silk which is burnt by the break-down department to give it age, he also has a bow tie which reacts with his mood which rises up when he is happy and droops down when he is sad. He has a pair of scissors attached to the a jacket with scrap pieces of ribbon which he can use to create a hat at the last-minute, there is embroidery on his trousers which is an embroidered ‘doodle’ which he does while waiting for Alice to come to tea and he also has mismatch socks as he lost the pairs.

Fifteen: The Help


Being a huge fan of 1960s clothing, or ‘Mad Men era’ shall I say, I absolutely adored The Help. Costume designer Sharen Davis transformed the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett into costume heaven with sort-after dresses upon dresses of the ice-cream shade kind. The bold floral prints and pastel shades are so visually appealing and beautifully hand-made that it’s very clear how much effort she put into transforming sheets of fabric into wonderful shift dresses, pencil skirts and ultra-feminine blouses. Kathryn created 50 costumes from scratch using vintage fabrics with the rest being sourced from vintage and costume shops, the latter being difficult due to the rural location which meant cast members having to fly to LA for their fittings. Taking inspiration from old Vogue magazines, 1960s high-street fashion catalogues and Marilyn Monroe, the overall look is any fashion-lover’s dream and an expensive one at that – she spent $15,000 on just the period accessories which included leather structured handbags, pearl choker necklaces and cat-eye sunglasses.

%d bloggers like this: