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To Have and To Hold: Hunger Games-Inspired Weddings

Let’s get Katniss Everdeen to her wedding in style.  The Hunger Games is a novel about survival, starvation, torture and fighting to the death, yet apparently some people seem to find that very romantic!  Several Hunger Games-themed bridal photo-shoots popped up before the premiere of the film last month, earmarking a huge trend to come surrounding the famous series.  The Wedding Event Institute announced a contest called “The Wedding Games,” where 12 planners and stylists will compete to create the best Katniss-inspired wedding.  (You think anyone notices the irony about turning a dystopian horror story into part of a competition that feeds the completely corporate and over-the-top billion-dollar wedding industry…?)  Hmm, well irony aside, some of the elements could translate pretty well: table numbers by District number, incorporating the herbs rue and katniss, as well as dandelions and primroses into a bouquet (you could even use the wilted dandelions to blow the spores onto the couple, instead of throwing rice!), and, of course, putting the bride’s hair into a long braid.  (Fun Fact: Traditional Irish brides wore braids, as they were a symbol of feminine power and luck. Hmm… you think Suzanne Collins did that intentionally?)  You could also easily come up with an entire menu, based on the absence and abundance of food Collins describes in the series – you could serve Katniss’s favorite lamb stew with plums, “sugar berry” jam, fresh-baked bread (or even bread for each district, like the seaweed kind from District 4 that Peeta describes), Mellark bakery’s cheese and apple tarts, hot chocolate from the train, Primrose’s basil-wrapped goat cheese, pudding the color of honey, and, of course, a beautifully detailed wedding cake adorned with handcrafted sugar flowers – just like the ones Peeta Mellark made while working in his father’s bakery.  (Damn, you could start a whole restaurant out of the delicious treats Suzanne Collins describes!  Those were just the dishes we could remember!)  All of the shoots incorporated the forest setting, which makes sense since that’s where Katniss hunts in District 12 and fights in when she’s in the arena.  Each of bridal models carried Katniss’s signature bow-and-arrow (considering that’s cupid’s weapon, that actually makes a lot of sense to incorporate that element).  Green Wedding Shoes featured an adorable table setting with tree stumps for seats (pictured, above), and a bouquet of arrows in place of flowers (pictured, above left).  We loved the stunning bright wildflowers and gorgeous table settings by Courtney Clarke Photography (pictured, below).  Our favorite shoot was done by Stacie Shea Events (pictured, top and bottom).  We found their use of berries, bread and bows-and-arrows to be the simplest, yet classiest.  Their idea of having mini berry jams and tiny baker loaves as parting favors was particularly adorable (pictured, below), as well as recreating the Katniss and Peeta suicide pact (pictured, top left) that feels reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet (not that we’re encouraging it!)  Each shoot included gorgeous wedding cakes decorated with mockingjays, but we’re surprised no one went with the descriptive passages Collins had written about Peeta’s beautiful floral handiwork on desserts.  (We’re also surprised they didn’t include any gorgeous blonde grooms – guess these stylists and photographers were all Team Gale?  Hehe. Although, a traditional wedding ceremony in District 12 features the bride and groom toasting bread – if the “girl on fire” and “the boy with the bread” marry, one would get toast…)  Rustic wedding settings full of birch trees, evergreens and wildflowers do provide a naturally stunning venue, so it makes sense people might be drawn to creating a Hunger Games-esque wedding, but considering the amount of death and destruction that takes place over the series, we don’t think that was the message Suzanne Collins was trying to send… Katniss Everdeen is not a girl just trying to get a ring on it.  Although, it’s not really fair for us to assume what the author would like, since all she ever wanted for her characters was happiness, and the prospect of hope. ❤

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Look-of-the-Day

Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”  Peeta Mellark is the other tribute from District 12 that has to enter the arena with Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.  For the film, he’s played by Josh Hutcherson, who it’s hard to believe, is only 19-years-old.  He carried the entire movie Little Manhattan as a young boy, made us cry in Bridge to Terabithia, and really showed his acting skills as the son of a lesbian couple in the Oscar-nominated film The Kids are All Right.  After auditioning for the role, author Suzanne Collins and director Gary Ross high-fived each other without saying a word when he left the room, because they knew they had found their Peeta.  We usually don’t feature too many male outfits on theSkinnyStiletto, but Peeta is such an integral part of the story, we didn’t want to leave him out!  Here, he’s wearing the matching outfit to Katniss’s arena digs – leather boots, a plain black t-shirt, and drab olive utilitarian pants (he has an identical jacket, as well, which is not pictured.)  Costume design Judianna Makovsky told EW, “In the book, [the Tributes] all wear exactly the same thing in exactly the same color… For film, that wasn’t gonna work well. You couldn’t tell who is who. Gary was very specific. He wanted each district to have their own color jacket and then they would all have the same color trousers.”  With all the hidden meanings of the characters’ names, it seems Peeta’s has stumped many of the readers… Our mother picked up that his surname, Mellark, probably comes from the word “malarkey,” which is slang for meaningless talk, or rubbish (hmm, just like the way he manipulates everyone with his words?)  Most assume “Peeta” is derived from pita bread, since his father is a baker, which makes sense, but it also happens to be Scandinavian for “rock” – the perfect word to sum up “the boy with the bread.”


Titanic: A Film to Remember

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day the Titanic fell to the bottom of the Atlantic, and we wanted to honor the vessel and her passengers, by discussing costume designer Deborah Lynn Scott’s intricate and beautiful early 20th-century Edwardian dresses that Kate Winslet wore in the film that was made fifteen years ago.  In order for this editor to write this piece, and do it justice, I decided to watch it for the Nth time.  (Our other editor got to see it in 3D last week, and said it was truly spectacular.)  Having been just shy of my eleventh birthday, when I first saw the film, all I knew was Leonardo was incredibly handsome; I hated Kate Winslet, because she was making out with my future husband; and I adored all of the dresses Kate’s character, Rose DeWitt Bukater, got to wear.  I no longer hate Kate – I have actually grown to appreciate her as a phenomenal actress, but I am still in love with all of the designs that earned Deborah Lynn Scott her Academy Award for Best Costume Design.  Scott’s resume is as diverse as it is magnificent.  She was the head costume designer for mega blockbusters like Back to the Future, all three Transformers movies, and the hugely popular, Avatar, but aside from the action-packed films she’s done, including others like Minority Report and The Patriot, you won’t be shocked to find out that she’s best known for her beautiful craftsmanship on this James Cameron creation.  Scott has been quoted as saying that she likes to design for all different time periods because they give her, “an incredible opportunity to delve into history, which is a real educational experience,” and she has proven her ability to tell stories through her variation of designs.  Scott studied theater at California State University at Northridge and ended up catching a big break working as a costumer on the set of E.T.  She was eventually promoted to costume designer and has been expanding her extraordinary range ever since.  While watching the feature, I noticed the beautiful subtleties of Rose’s transformation that is partially aided through her costuming.  Rose is first seen in a frock we’re fanatics about (we featured it in one of our first posts) – she appears in a fitted, pinstriped, high-collared suit and a major statement of a hat, but the dress that Rose is wearing at the end of the film, though equally stunning, has a completely different meaning to its presence in the movie.  Rose’s gowns that she wears to dinner are extremely formal, adorned in painstakingly, perfected bead-work complemented by satin and lace, in dark hues of scarlet and maroon.  For Rose’s daytime outfits, they are similar in style as well as color, gold and lime, with long, white sleeves, empire-waists, satin trains, and lace embroidered collars.  For the dress that withstands that most action and longest screen time, Scott created nearly two-dozen copies of the multi-layered, flowing, pastel sheath Rose wears, because she goes through the most physical scenes in it (pictured, above left).  It made sense that this pink and lavender dress was looser than the others in terms of fit and material, but it was also softer and uninhibited, showing the changes Rose was preparing to make with her life once she departed the Titanic.  (Note: Today’s Look-of-the-Day honors a character who is born to survive, just like Rose was.)  In the scene where Rose and Jack are running through the engine room, the dress could easily resemble the paintings that she loves so much.  The movement of the dress alone is filmed in its own shot to show the beauty and existence of Rose’s new found freedoms; freedom to do whatever she wants and the freedom to experience them with the love of her life.


Look-of-the-Day

She’s a survivor, that one. She is.”  In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen has to fight for her life, along with 23 other tributes, when she enters the arena.  The costume Jennifer Lawrence wears might seem simple, but let’s be serious – this character is an icon in the making.  Katniss sports her famous brunette braid, a black t-shirt, leather boots and a black jacket with grey piping.  Costume designer Judianna Makovsky told Entertainment Weekly, “The main conversation that we had was that it would be practical… We were shooting in North Carolina in 90 degree, 100 degree weather – and humid. So we didn’t want to kill the kids! With Katniss, we started out not having a black jacket and ended up just like the book, having a black jacket.”  Katniss’s stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), finishes her look off by attaching her mockingjay pin to her lapel.  The odds certainly aren’t in Katniss’s favor, but we know the “girl on fire” isn’t going down without a fight…


Mockingjay Jewels Catching Fire

They let you wear one thing from your district in the arena. One thing to remind you of home. Will you wear this?”  The mockingjay pin from The Hunger Games has become as synonymous with the story as Katniss Everdeen herself, and a symbol of rebellion against the atrocities of the Capitol.  The pin shows a bird in flight – the hybrid of a mockingbird and jabberjay, the fictional bird created by the government to spy on people in the outer districts of Panem, to report any sort of uprising brewing.  For the film, former Tiffany & Co. designer Dana Schneider (pictured, below) was hired to created the symbolic accessory.  She had previously worked with the movie’s costume designer, Judianna Makovsky, and is a favorite among clients, including Cher and Marilyn Manson.  According to the New York Times, Schneider doesn’t own the copyright (the design is author Suzanne Collins and a Brooklyn couple’s creation) and despite endless requests to make copies, the jeweler only made four pins – three for the film, one for herself!  Even though we can’t get one of Schneider’s original creations for Katniss, dozens of sites are selling their own version.  Cafe Press has pages of accessories, as well as Amazon and Etsy (for all of Schneider’s success, she does actually have her own Etsy store!)  This editor isn’t proud to admit it, but after I finished reading The Hunger Games, I jumped on the craft site and bought a mockingjay necklace, bracelet and pocket watch… hehe.  But that bird represents bravery, honor, sacrifice, rebellion, survival and standing up for what’s right – in these precarious times, that is certainly an accessory we can get behind.


Look-of-the-Day

At least you two have decent manners. The pair last year ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset my digestion.”  In The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta’s publicist Effie Trinket (played by Elizabeth Banks) has elaborate outfits and outrageous powdered wigs that bring to mind a modern-day Marie Antoinette.   Costume designer Judianna Makovsky and Banks actually worked together before on the 2003 set of Seabiscuit.  (Fun Fact: The actress’s wedding to husband Max Handelman was actually inspired by the 1930s-era of the film.  This editor remembers seeing her stunning photos in In Style when I was in high school.)  Despite all of Effie’s costumes being made specifically for the actress’s body, Banks told People, “They were all torture.”  Yet, this poofy-sleeved teal dress embellished with an enormous flower pin happened to be her favorite, because, “it was the most comfortable.”  We love the miniature black hat, and ridiculous manicure, which apparently took 45 minutes everyday to complete!  While the word “trinket” means a tiny, cheap ornament (like Effie’s whole wardrobe), “Effie” is short for Euphemia, which means “well-spoken.”  But, it is also happens to be the the name of a martyr, who refused to take part in her government’s ritual sacrifices, and as a result, was forced into an arena and tortured to death.  Hmm… Is that a hint where Miss Trinket’s true allegiance stands underneath that seemingly shallow persona of hers?


Words on Fashion

Never underestimate the power of a brilliant stylist.” – Peeta Mellark