High fashion and film have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. The 1990s brought us Sex and the City, and with the release of the SATC movies, Marks & Spencer hosted a collection from the show’s stylist, Patricia Field, inviting British women to make New York’s signature styles a part of their own wardrobe.
This year—as avid Semple readers may recall from Sophie Seymour’s January post – Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby, showcased mesmerising collaborations from Tiffany and Brooks Brothers with leading lady, Carey Mulligan, decked in spectacular Prada creations. Since the film’s release, in sections of almost every fashion store, female shoppers are encouraged to embrace slinky dresses with dropped waistlines, tantalising twenties tassels, sequins, sparkle, and jewelled headpieces.
This month, as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits the big screen, Net-a-Porter has teamed up with the movie’s costume designer, Trish Summerville, to create a 24-piece collection inspired by the much-anticipated sequel – and particularly by Summerville’s creations for the film’s stoic heroine, Katniss Everdeen.
Katniss – played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence – takes her sister’s place in “The Hunger Games”, a televised event in the dystopian world of Panem, which sees teenagers literally fighting to the death for their survival and the future of their district. The latest film sees Katniss become a symbol revolution against the controlling government in the Capitol.
Summerville’s aptly named Capitol Couture collection channels both Katniss’s poor background in the dark and deprived “District 12” and the glamour and grandeur of the Capitol.
Films aimed at young teen and adult audiences, like The Hunger Games, are not the likeliest showcases for high fashion, but in this story about power and strategy, fashion is huge part of the ceremony of the games, as well as the strategy employed by each district’s tributes to garner support and intimidate their rivals.
The new film is packed with futuristic and fantastical costumes from forward-looking designers like Juun J, Alexander McQueen and Tex Saverio. Much like couture on the runways of the world’s institutionalised Fashion Week destinations, for retail purposes Summerville’s new collection tones down the film’s fashion extravaganza and features wearable pieces carrying the fictional world beyond the screen.
The Capitol Couture line features a deep emerald green evening gown with a rushed waist, sleek contoured sports-wear in high-tech fabrics, a gray wool coat with dovetailed hem and detachable faux fur collar, a laser-cut patent leather dress with a rose-gold silk underlay similar to the chariot dress worn by Katniss, a honeycomb print jacket inspired by the uniforms worn in the Catching Fire arena, and accessories such as a silver cuff detailed with a bow and arrow.
The following for the Hunger Games has almost formed a cult status. We’re not talking lust-driven Twi-hards crying in the presence of Robert Pattinson, we’re talking big impact: hair braids, nail art, even archery lessons for some! Capitol Couture has over 33,000 followers on Instagram, and many fans have taken up the invitation to submit photos of themselves dressed as Panem citizens. Summerville, who also created actress Rooney Mara’s transformation for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo said she was inspired by some of the couture proposals on the fan sites in creating the costumes for the second film.
But the designer’s collection is not meant only for fans, Summerville says she hopes the collection will bring a range of other people into contact with the film and the original books by Suzanne Collins.
The Capitol Couture collection is now on sale at www.net-a-porter.com for between £60 and £800. Let the spending begin.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
By Olivia Parish