“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.” In The Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leaves her coal-mining district to compete in a battle to the death in Panem’s Capitol. But she’ll have to make an impression to earn sponsors before she enters the arena. Instead of showing the dark coal of District 12, Katniss’s stylist, Cinna, decides to show the fire. Costume designer Judianna Makovsky used orange silk taffeta and organza with crystal embroidery when creating Katniss’s gown for her interview with TV host Caesar Flickerman (played by Stanley Tucci). Makovsky told Entertainment Weekly, “In the book, it’s described as being covered in flame-like jewels. Well, to me, that’s very dangerous, because it could be like a Dancing With the Stars dress… I just wanted this image of what I call ‘the Gypsy moment,’ when Natalie Wood comes out in the blue dress in Gypsy. She’s only been in these boys’ clothes before that, and you go, ‘Oh my God, she’s actually gorgeous.'” Makovsky certainly achieved that vision – Katniss goes from the plain girl in the Seam to the “girl on fire” in this stunning sequence. And the Capitol will soon realize it’s a flame that’s inextinguishable…
“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…
TIPS ON BLENDING IN WITH THE CAPITOL CITIZENS
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…