“As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve.” Katniss Everdeen is the iconic heroine of The Hunger Games, both a wildly popular and groundbreaking book and movie. Author Suzanne Collins seamlessly weaves politics, history, philosophy and social commentary into a young adult action-adventure novel about a dystopian society, so it’s no surprise she also has a lot to say about the role of appearance in this horrifying future. Oscar-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (for her stunning work in Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) was given the herculean task of bringing the style of The Hunger Games to the silver screen. For the past week, we’ve highlighted some of the film’s most memorable moments, looks and costumes. The Hunger Games begins in the home of Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) in District 12 – a depressed mining area in former North America. Katniss spends most of her time hunting with her best friend, Gale (played by Liam Hemsworth, pictured, above left) and providing sustenance for their families, since their fathers were killed in the mine. Makovsky told Vogue, “We looked at a lot of photographs of coal mining districts from the turn of the century to the 1950s, because we wanted it to have a very American feel.” The people of Katniss’s district are starving and struggling to survive, so they’re not very worried about looking good. Makovsky continues, “We wanted to make a very serious impact, and color was very important – to keep it mostly gray or blue… very cold because coal leaves a black dust everywhere.” The lack of color throughout District 12 certainly gives it a bone-chilling look, and makes the over-the-top publicist Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, pictured, above right) stick out even more when she comes to collect the male and female tributes for the games. While the children of District 12 appear in fifty shades of grey, like Katniss’s sister, Primrose (pictured, above left), Effie appears in bright magenta, crazy makeup and a powdered wig. Makovsky was inspired by the Elizabethan era, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen, to create the frivolous and frightening citizens of the Capitol. She told Vogue, “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.” When Katniss sacrifices herself by volunteering to take the place of Prim, she and the male tribute of District 12, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), leave for the capital city of Panem. They make their first impression on the Capitol by arriving in a glorious chariot ride, hand in hand (pictured, above). Along with Effie, Katniss and Peeta are accompanied into hell by the only living victor from District 12, Haymitch Abernathy (played by the fantastic Woody Harrelson). Haymitch (pictured, below left) is a drunk, and is living proof happiness doesn’t always come with winning… Makovsky told EW, “He had won the game, he had money… We didn’t want him to be the cliché filthy, dirty drunk. There’s a bit of a dandy about him. He puts on a bit of a front so you don’t really know who he is… he knows how to play the games. He’s done it before. And we thought he would dress for the capital. So he has a little bit of Edwardian cut to his clothes.” In the days before entering the arena, Katniss and Peeta have to show off to the Capitol, too, to gain sponsors, who can pay for items, like food and medicine when they’re in the arena. They also face several days of “training,” which might as well just being a showing-off session to their competitors… Each tribute wears a black tracksuit with grey and red piping and their district number adorned on their sleeves (pictured, above). Following this physical training, they also take part in televised interviews with TV host Caesar Flickerman (played by Stanley Tucci). Waiting to meet with him, the future killers are lined up in different shades of pastels, like lethal Easter eggs. Katniss and Peeta stand out, once again, in a coordinating gown of flames and a dark suit – just like coal and fire. But it turns out, there is a burning passion inside of Peeta Mellark, too. Sexy duo Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson weren’t the only men who got to wear significant costumes. Katniss’s stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) makes her come alive through clothing, but he dresses pretty simply, himself, in a black Lurex Prada sweater and his famous gold eyeliner. Stanley Tucci is completely redone as TV host Caesar Flickerman (pictured, below left), with false teeth, bright blue hair and a sparkly suit to match. And according to the Washington Post, even President Snow (played by the highly under-appreciated Donald Sutherland, pictured, below right) had costumes with deep secrets. If you notice, he wears a white clergy shirt underneath his suit made of sharkskin – it’s obvious why he’s wearing clothing made of a vicious animal, but that’s certainly saying something about religious oppression/manipulation by putting him in a clergy collar… When Katniss and Peeta are finally thrust into the Games, it seems their getups match, once again. In the book, all of the tributes wear identical outfits in the arena, but that didn’t work on film. Makovsky told EW, “It was my problem to find a look that looked good on boys and girls, and from kids that are age 12 to age 18… All the jackets were specifically dyed – that took forever just to find colors that would read in the woods.” Apparently, the jackets read quite well – because they’re now available to purchase online! Between Katniss’s bow-and-arrow skills, and the upcoming Pixar film, Brave, we’re sure archery lessons are going to go through the roof, but that isn’t the only thing from The Hunger Games that is catching fire… Not only are the arena jackets for sale, so are the training uniforms, backpacks, makeup, and numerous mockingjay accessories on Amazon, Etsy and Cafe Press, among many other outlets. Despite the fictional novel’s futuristic element, Suzanne Collins has created one of the most realistic female characters of all-time. This is a strong girl who knows herself, and isn’t ashamed of who she is – a rarity among many “heroines” that Hollywood and publishers seem to churn out. Katniss Everdeen is a hunter, sister, daughter, tribute, rebel, friend, soldier, symbol, survivor – she IS the mockingjay. And this bird isn’t going to stop singing any time soon…
Tag Archives: Peeta
“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.” It seems the color of the sun will forever play an interesting role in Katniss Everdeen’s life… Here she is with fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in The Hunger Games. The two make quite an attractive pair in a bright blue suit, and a soft, non-threatening yellow dress – nothing like what Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has worn prior to this moment in her young life. Without revealing too much about the series or the film, this seemingly happy moment will only be short-lived… Let the countdown to Catching Fire begin!
“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. ❤
“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.”
“Yes, frosting. The final defense of the dying.” Suzanne Collins’ epic series makes sly commentaries on war, death, politics, fashion, love, hunger, bravery, cowardice, history, destruction, life, birth, and even reality TV, so it’s no surprise, she has something to say about makeup, too. Three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill (Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire) was the head makeup artist on The Hunger Games, and she did some truly exceptional work: making Jennifer Lawrence look striking using very little makeup, giving Lenny Kravitz just a slick of gold eyeliner, and designing Seneca Crane’s infamous beard. Besides creating the crazy faces of the wealthy people of Panem, she also had to do extensive work on burns, blood, gashes, and other injuries to demonstrate the true brutality of the games. Avoiding starvation is usually the main thing on the minds of the people in District 12 – not selecting the perfect shade of lipstick. But it turns out, makeup will help Katniss and Peeta in ways they never imagined when heading to the arena…
- Lose Your Brows: Costume designer Judianna Makovsky insisted that Capitol citizens’ eyebrows be powdered into nothingness. She told Vogue, “It immediately takes the face somewhere else. It takes it high fashion, but also a little scary. And also beautiful, funnily enough.” The ghostly look certainly makes the Capitol creeps look soulless – maybe to show the monsters they truly are.
- Make those Lashes Flutter: Effie Trinket always brings to mind a small, skittish animal or a spastic butterfly, running and teetering around on her heels, so it’s no surprise that on closer inspection, you can actually see the little bugs and antlers accenting her eyes. The fake eyelashes were created by PAPERSELF.
- Wig Out: Katniss’s hair, face and body are au naturel, so it makes sense that the decadent denizens of Panem are completely fake from head-to-toe. The people in charge of hair on the film were Cherry Petenbrink and Linda Flowers (God, those certainly sound like Hunger Game names!) Flowers told ELLE, “When you’re doing bright colors for hair it can look kind of Mardi Gras-ish. This was a very sophisticated group of people, so it had to be classic.” Capitol wigs are most often pastel-colored.
- Too Matchy Matchy: According to Allure, Ve Neill always made sure to match Effie Trinket’s makeup to her outfits. She used Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tars in lavender and pale blue to match Effie’s pale purple suit, showing her cool demeanor.
- Tie Up Those Lips: In the same article in Allure, Neill told the magazine why Effie’s lipstick was always in the shape of a bow, “That’s Effie’s signature. Her lips have a bow in every scene. We wanted her to be the perfect picture, always.”
- Paint by Numbers: Choose your favorite tribute by selecting a nail polish representative of each district (which is now available by China Glaze). Luxe & Lash for the luxury of District 1; Stone Cold for the masonry of District 2; Riveting for the technology of District 3; Hook and Line for the fishing of District 4; Electrify for the power of District 5; Fast Track for the transportation of District 6; Mahogany Magic for the lumber of District 7; Dress Me Up for the textiles of District 8; Harvest Moon for the grain of District 9; Foie Gras for the livestock of District 10; Agro for the agriculture of District 11; and Smoke & Ashes for the coal mining of District 12 (our personal favorite – from the rubble will rise a burning phoenix!)
“Cinna has given me a great advantage. No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.” Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna, Katniss’s stylist, who dresses her and Peeta as a team in matching black leather bodysuits when they ride into the Capitol of Panem. Accentuated by simple, but striking, make-up the two tributes make quite an impression when they arrive in their chariot, hands held and engulfed in flames. Costume designer Judianna Makovsky told Entertainment Weekly, “In the book, it’s described that Katniss and Peeta are wearing exactly the same thing. And that’s an instance where things don’t always translate. Boys don’t look good in what girls wear. So [we were] trying to have a similar look, but cut them differently so that Katniss has this beautiful figure and Peeta looks manly.” Although fashion and frills have no part in Katniss’s daily life in District 12, it quickly becomes clear that what she wears might determine if she lives. No wonder her stylist becomes one of her most trusted allies…