Capitol Fashion

Costume Design and Stealth Marketing

It’s no great revelation when I say, for probably the gazillionth time that I think Trish Summerville is the Cat’s Pajamas. Okay, I’ve never said that particular phrase in reference to her before, at least I don’t recall using it, but there’s gotta be a first time for everything, however the sentiment is nothing near being new coming from the likes of moi. Well, yesterday an interview with the lovely lady herself was released in Grazia Magazine, and the lady does not disappoint, at least not from where I’m sitting. Trish just seems like a solid person, and of course she did the interview with the ulterior purpose of promoting the up coming release of Catching Fire as well as the tie-in clothing line that

Trish Summerville AKA Cat's Pajamas lady

Trish Summerville AKA Cat’s Pajamas lady

will be available for purchase through Net-A-Porter (Porter is pronounced Portay by the way, ’cause it’s French, and the site deals in clothes, AKA couture).

I think I’m in the minority when I say, that I personally think that the Net-A-Porter partnership is a marketing coup. I’m not a tie-in-merchadise person in the traditional sense, I don’t buy t-shirts with slogans from films on them, or action figures, or adorn my home with posters sporting Mockingjays, or Superman, or pick a huge franchise/pop culture phenomena, which is why I’m more than keen on tasteful, well made, and down right stealth clothing being used as a marketing tool for this beloved franchise I’ve found myself neck-deep in for the last several years. See, I’m a big ass fan of quality, and from what I’m discerning from the interviews, excerpts, snip-its, tweets, and what not about this forthcoming clothing line, is that it’s all being put out with taste, quality, and of course with the better interest of the franchise in mind.

I’ve heard too many of my friends say how disappointed they are with the merchandise for this franchise, most tend to go on Hot Topic runs and end up leaving with nothing, or something so small that they probably would have been better off making their own Hunger Games themed t-shirt or jewelry at home. This quote says it all for me, “it’s a great marriage because the collection introduces The Hunger Games’ fanbase to the site and vice versa. My goal is that the Net-A-Porter customer who doesn’t know the series will see the clothes and want to check out the film. I also hope that people who watch the film will then check out the collection on Net-a-Porter.” Trish Summerville’s Capitol Couture line might be the answer for the few who don’t want to sport man-sized t-shirts with fire emblazoned on them, or cheaply fashioned earrings, nope– the line might be for the few who would prefer to quietly, and privately know that the jacket, or dress they’re wearing is really Hunger Games merchandise.

That my dear friends would be me!

Them There Eyes

The Realism of Capitol Couture

tumblr_mursx0Y0Ir1r9i187o1_1280I like Capitol Couture! There I’ve said it, I’m outed or something. I know Capitol Couture is not the most popular aspect of the promotional campaigns surrounding The Hunger Games franchise, but for me I think it’s kind of unprecedented, and a little bit on the brilliant side of marketing. I know, I know, what’s wrong with me? Capitol Couture is a glorification of the Capitol’s ass-backwards way of thinking, living, walking, talking, and dressing. Yeah, it is– but isn’t the Capitol deserving of a little hype every now and again? I think so, especially considering how much Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games did not set a very solid, or inspired visual base, or well– not much of anything for it. Which, for me at least, is one of the reasons I like Capitol Couture, because while it is rather surface, and bubble-gum at times, it’s doing a better job at building that world of The Capitol in the virtual world than what we got in the first film to begin with.

Social media, and the Inter-net are still very new things, or better yet tools, that the film industry is seemingly just now latching its teeth onto, and using them to degrees that many of us never thought was possible. Just think how much bigger, or better some films or film

Alexander McQueen Fall/ Winter 2007

Alexander McQueen Fall/ Winter 2007

franchises could have been if Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or Instagram existed ten to fifteen years ago, or hell– if people had known what those platforms were capable of five years ago! So, yes, Capitol Couture is a virtual representation of The Capitol spouting its point of views on things that many out there in the ether consider pointless, time-wasting, stupid, and weird. I disagree though, because eh-hem, I like fashion, I also like fiction which is something else Capitol Couture has been doing– fleshing out more aspects of the fiction, and for gods sake I love art, and I like having my culture put under a microscope and given a weird, slightly sickening new twist. Sadly I’ve noticed that some are seemingly so adverse to anything and everything that may possibly put The Capitol in any semblance of a positive light, they scream “foul!” or “I don’t understand this… this… this weird fashion, it serves no purpose!” Fashion is art though, and art isn’t supposed to make sense, and fashion my dear friends more often than not is not pretty, sometimes it’s even, dare I say it– ugly. I posit this, don’t we want ugly, don’t we want weird, don’t we want The Capitol to seem frivolous, superficial, dead-in-the-eyes, and isn’t that exactly what Capitol Couture is doing?

If it’s not, erm I need to get my eyes checked– again.

Them There Eyes

Marie Antoinette and the Fish

Today, Covergirl unveiled two looks from their The Hunger Games: Catching Fire collection. You know those silhouettes? We’ve come to find out that they’re actually models done up in high fashion interpretations of each district using products from the line. So far we have District 1 (Luxury) and District 4 (Fishing).


What we’re seeing so far is lots of color, which is a far cry from the gray-brown, muted nail polish line we got from China Glaze for The Hunger Games (yes, there were a couple bright colors but overall it was pretty dull). Like Them There Eyes said, if you want to go Capitol, go Capitol.

That being said, there might be the opposite problem with this line. Is there really going to be blue lipstick? It’s a little hard to imagine that’d be a huge seller for anyone that isn’t a diehard fan who just needs to get every single item from the collection. The look is fabulous (dare I say, abnosome?) in the photo, on the gorgeous dark-skinned model with fans in her hair to represent fins, but the translation to real life is lacking. I don’t think I’ll be able to walk into the office with blue lipstick.

Covergirl seems to be doing their best with marketing this line so far, revealing the looks to appeal to girls and young women who have grown up on America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway and know what editorial looks and photos are like, very different from their ultra-commercial magazine ads of close-up faces. If anything, the photos so far are very much like if tributes in the tribute parade were models instead of children or victors. Which, though executed incredibly, is a little disturbing. Sorry guys, I’m now running with the head-canon that these are concept photos by Capitol stylists testing their looks out on models first.

The line will be available on October 1 so we have a month and half-ish to save up for the seemingly extensive line. I’m ready to add yet another mascara to my collection, all for the name of The Hunger Games.

I hate that I’m probably going to buy them all, blue lipstick be damned!

Fashion Gaps

6e1505e0cebdca31176d43851a5fd063I’ve noticed this odd, but wholly predictable trend happening amongst the cast of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire– and it’s a fashion gap. This isn’t a big reveal-y topic mind you, it’s just a silly little observation, but there is definite favoritism where it comes to fashion and fashionable amongst the cast, and it’s seemingly split decisively down the middle between the males, and the females. I noticed it over the last few days, and mostly because members of the cast were very visible at the recently concluded Comic-Con 2013– the ladies were dressed to impress, but the men were dressed for comfort.

The Casual Vs. The Painfully Planned. There is no doubt about it that Jennifer Lawrence has stepped up to the fashion plate over the last couple of years. She’s had some hits, and she’s had some misses, but I think she’s come into her own– and knows what to say no, and what to say yes to. Last Saturday (July 20th), she showed up in the press-line preceding The Catching Fire panel at Comic-Con in a well planned, and fashionable out-fit. The color scheme was on trend (black and white), actually everything was, all the way Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchersondown to her lace detailed opened toed black heels. She even stayed on trend later that day when she changed into a fitted white ruched dress for The X-Men: Days of Future Past panel. However, when you stood Jennifer next to her co-star, and good friend Josh Hutcherson, there was a fashion disconnect happening– and mostly on his part. True, Josh gets points for trying to color scheme his clothing (gray), but in all honesty he looks like he could be going out to hang out with his buddies, not network, and promote one of the biggest franchises in the modern world. I think this says less about Josh than it does about our own society though, because it’s simply right there for the taking. Women are expected to be on point at all times, have their hair coiffed, lipstick in place, and not a nipple out of place– but men, at least from an image stand point can show up to one of the biggest entertainment industry events of the year, and just seemingly not care what they look like at all.

The Unfairness of Fashion. It’s screamingly true that there is an uncomfortable unfairness happening in fashion, actually it’s an unfairness that seems to have been here since the dawn of fashion. The corset for example: Horrible thing that it is– it’s been around for centuries, and guess what, it’s still around, it’s still glamorized, and they’re built into prom dresses across the planet! It’s a perpetuated myth that women are supposed to be shaped a certain way, when frankly not one woman is shaped exactly alike. Uniqueness is also a contradictory trait that’s bombarded at every fashion conscious human being on this world, and I say contradictory, because we’re all told to be shaped a certain way, but also have something special about us, something enticing. So what happens? Easy, the same shade of lipstick, or same colored top, or shoes, or watch, or wallet, or sunglasses, or hair color is shoved down our collective throats– because that’s what will make us unique, yes– having the exact same lunchbox as your best friend in grade school is still the basic need we have in life. Well, at least according to the mass media. What does this have to do with The Hunger Games though? Simple– Suzanne Collins and the women in charge of visualizing the fashion styles she envisioned in the made up world of Panem, pulled from our own reality.

Unless you’re Lenny Kravitz.

Them There Eyes

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Capitol Covergirl

CG announce 2x2 v2I think we all knew a day like this would come, a day when it was official in our minds that The Hunger Games is a cosmetics companies wet dream come true. Yep, I said wet dream. It’s true though, because today it was announced that Covergirl Cosmetics is partnering with Lionsgate Studios, and creating an entire Capitol based campaign for the up coming release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Am I surprised by this development? Nope. Am I disappointed? Not really, because this is a bona fide money-maker of a franchise, and Covergirl is one of the most commercial, and successful cosmetics companies in the world. Covergirl are also no strangers to partnering with successful, and highly commercial ventures, like America’s Next Top Model the hugely popular modeling competition program hosted by former super model Tyra Banks. Come to think of it, Tyra Banks even wrote a Hunger Games-esque novel, called Modelland not too long ago. Anyway, Tyra and her attempts at authoring mediocre novels aside, Covergirl and Lionsgate are in for a real treat, and the treat is most likely making a butt load of money.

It’s no stretch of the imagination that with these two companies partnering up,

More like this, less like anything we've ever seen before.

More like this, less like anything we’ve ever seen before.

they’ll likely come up with some fairly interesting ad campaigns that will pique even the most illiterate individual’s interest. I’m also not surprised that the

campaign being teased already is Capitol focused, we are the Capitol, there’s simply no way to get around that fact. I only ask this if both companies, don’t skimp, don’t hold back, if you want to go Capitol, go Capitol. And when I say Capitol, I mean Wizard of Oz meets Brazil, meets Marie Antoinette, meets French and Italian haute couture, covered in feathers, and painted baby blue. Think of a peacock, add sparkles, with a dash of the Jazz Age– do not be scared, do not pass go, go crazy like you’ve never gone crazy before. Then breathe, and then scream, and then design to your hearts content. I also suggest some Radiohead, and some Pixie Stix be purchased ASAP, maybe some Bjork for good measure.

This is the Capitol, ladies, and gentlemen… not Top Model.

Them There Eyes

The Capitol at Fashion Week

Sam Claflin has spent the last several days gallivanting around New York Fashion Week with his fiancee, Laura Haddock, which was totally adorable. But there’s another reason for fans of The Hunger Games to be excited about Fashion Week: The Capitol comes to town!

We’re not exactly fashionistas over here at Victor’s Village, but we’re pretty confident that if we had to ft in with The Capitol crowd, we could rock that shit. As much as we love over jeans and t-shirts and hoodies, we’re forever picturing our own version of Capitol Couture. The Capitol look in the first film was great, but it was all very similar. Fashion Week is just an explosion of different colors and designs and accessories, much of which seems tailored specifically for The Capitol!

These designs are from a handful of different designers and collections from different fashion weeks, so there is no continuity. Also, ignore the models. That’s just how there faces are. We imagine it’s the lack of junk food.

Zuhair Muhad

Zuhair Muhad

Leave it to The Capitol to go about emulating Katniss’ Mockingjay dress without realizing it’s a sign of The Rebellion. They’ll make it shorter, shiner, more see-through and impossible to miss, kind of like this little number from Zuhair Murad.

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson is the mother of her insane fashion. Much of it might be considered a little too juvenile for the sophisticated Capitol crowd, but these people want attention and this loud, bright color pattern will get them plenty of that. If nothing else, it’s a perfectly viable option for Capitol children.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne

It’s Capitol business chic! Leave it to them to take the obnoxiously large shoulder padding of 80s style to a whole new level, going straight into the boxy look with lots of eye-catching details (look at the flower tights!) with this design from Thom Browne. The citizen would be almost completely covered from head to toe, but that certainly wouldn’t stop anyone from looking!

Ellie Saab

Ellie Saab

It’s a controversial debate in modern society, but it’s a universal truth: Nudity (or at least looking a bit nude) SELLS. By the time The Capitol rolls around, we imagine the world will be over that and citizens will be all about nude and skin-tone shades that give them an au natural look with a bit of flair. Ellie Saab is just a few decades ahead of the curve!

Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli

This Giambattista Valli dress harkens back to the loud neon sensibilities that we saw in The Hunger Games movie, but it’s got more layers and structure. The WOW factor that was missing before is the X factor of this outfit, yet it doesn’t go too over-the-top. The movie could have used a bit more of this!



Costume Fail

I failed you all, it’s not even Halloween where I live anymore, and I totally failed the challenge that I set for myself– or did I? The thing is, I’m not much of a costume person, nor am I that into Halloween, too many childhood disappointments, two involving my sister being very naughty, blaming me for it, and me getting punished in the form of not being allowed to go trick or treating. Halloween is a rainy (yay soggy candy!), cold, kind of pointless holiday from my bedraggled, and traumatized P.O.V. Mind, I did want to follow through on the challenge of making the greatest, most bestest, and fantastic Capitol costume ever. So, here’s the deal– I’m a photographer, not a big name one with tons of money at my disposal, I mean– if I was even remotely known at all, I’d have the job of the still photographer on the set of Catching Fire, and that clearly has not happened (maybe for one of the Mockingjay’s? Girl can dream), push comes to shove– I’m planning a Capitol themed photoshoot with a good friend, and fellow Hunger Games fan.

I think this project came about for two reasons, one – turns out I would have had no place to wear the super fantastic costume I would have come up with, because my friend who normally throws a Halloween party, did not throw one this year, and two– I am not comfortable being photographed (I always end up doing this weird frown/smile thing, hate it), and I knew I’d have to document my costume. The only solution to these problems, at least in my crazy ass brain, was to recruit my friend who I’ve been trying to schedule a photoshoot with for going on a year now, and just do the whole thing up in a fashion we’d both be proud of. My friend, Renee who works for, is a costume enthusiast, she loves Cosplay, and she has a B.A in art, which is something I do not have– I do however have camera with tons of megapixels, and eye for artful photography, and an insane desire to do a themed photoshoot again (haven’t done one since 2010). Anyway, we’re in preliminary stages of planning, we have no budget, two sewing machines at our disposal, lots of buttons, both our makeup collections, and hopefully a couple of other willing friends to be dragged into outlandish colors. We’re just going to have fun with it.


Wish us luck, we’re going to need it!


Them There Eyes

Challange Accepted

I feel like The Girl With the Pearl has issued a call to the masses, or perhaps I’m reading into things too much, or I have hit a serious inspirational dry-spell– but, just this week she wrote about Capitol Citizen Halloween costume ideas, and it stuck me– I NEED TO GO AS A CAPITOL CITIZEN FOR HALLOWEEN!

Let me tell you a story. Last year, I went as Katniss Everdeen– I had an orange backpack (my own, didn’t even have to buy one), a black nylon jacket, a black t-shirt (obviously I went as Movie Katniss here), and a pair of tawny tight fitting cords (the movie pictures were unclear at that point, couldn’t see she was wearing cargos), a pair of mid calf brown boots, and I made my own Mockingjay pin with card-stock and a $2 can of spray-paint. I was rockin’, I tell ya’, except when I walked into the Halloween party I always go to, and only one person knew what I was, the host– ’cause she’s awesome. However, no one else knew what the hell The Hunger Games was. Since then though the film’s been released all over the world (possibly even space), and I know without a doubt that several people who were at the party last year will be there this year as well, have read all the books. Therefore, I know this time I can walk into the room all decked out in crazy fantastic colors, and I won’t have to say “Capitol Citizen” when they ask what I am. If not, I’ll bring a fucking flag that says “District 12 Rules!” if people have the audacity to ask, let alone not know what the hell The Hunger Games is after it being in everyone’s face for the past year.

I have to say though, after going to a midnight release of The Hunger Games, and I seeing several people’s attempts at Capitol Citizen costumes, including my good friend who did a good job by my outrageous standards– I kind of want to one up pretty much everyone I saw that night, because unfortunately the majority didn’t go far enough. And, when I say far, I mean the colors were a bit muted, the makeup was a bit stayed, the hair was semi uninspired. So, here and now I declare to all, and to the lovely Girl With the Pearl, unofficial challenge accepted!

May the odds be ever in my favor! Oh, and I’m totally dying my hair, and yes– I will take photos, just not of me dying my hair. Who the hell wants to see that?

Them There Eyes

Pink, Pink – Think Pink!

Well, I was going to write on something entirely different, but then all these Elizabeth Banks interviews starts filling up my Google alerts, and I got distracted by her articulate and naturally funny nature, so bear with me while I gush over the lady who gets to embody the amazing, stupendous, fantastic, very pink, very punctual, Effie Trinket. Or better yet, lemme go crazy over one thing that Ms. Banks brought up – the fashion!

Doesn’t she look amazing, guys?  She’s so, well… very, um… pink? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m all for the fuchsia dress and the pink eye lashes, and the funky multiple colors of lipstick, not to mention the wig and the massive Fascinator (thanks Kate for changing the face, I mean heads in fashion).

When I first read The Hunger Games I have to say that besides the characters being the most impacting aspect of the books, the next most fascinating for me was quite possibly the fashion, and so far the stills and the trailer’s glimpses of what we’re in store for are doing wonders for my closeted fashionista tendencies. I mean, I’ve watched a few seasons of Project Runway, hell I even watched Project Runway Australia and Project Cat Walk out of the UK. Some people like to envision Capitol fashion to be like Lady Gaga on crack, but I somehow doubt that as bizarre as Katniss likes to think the Capitol is, for some reason I doubt that meat dresses were ever all the rage. Anyway, when I envisioned the Capitol, I thought of the oddly colored people like I thought of the aliens in the original Star Wars Trilogy, and the fashion to be distorted versions of the ballet in An American in Paris, early 20th century France in Gigi, Holly Golightly’s bright orange coat, the courts of Marie Antoinette, The Wizard of Oz, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, and lastly – The Neverending Story. So far, I’ve been pretty spot on with that vision as far as the nibbles we’ve been given.

Judianna Makovsky is the head costume designer on this project, and now I shall give you a little bit of background on her. First things first, she’s amazing – just gotta get that out of the way. Now, she’s probably best known for her work on Pleasantville, where she outfitted everyone in period costume, that while to us now they seemed ridiculous – I assure you they were entirely authentic to the era in which the film took place. However, for some of us, the first time we may have seen her work was in the absolutely gorgeous 1995 film, A Little Princess. You know, the one where Sarah Crew is sent to boarding school at a strict school in Manhattan, and the school looked like a brick version of the Emerald City, and all the girls uniform dresses matched the school in a deep rich emerald green color? Yeah, that one – also, it’s the one that if you have a heart, makes you cry like a you’ve lost your favorite parent too. And then there’s the fact that she was a costume designer on the very first Harry Potter film, that’s right folks, she designed those amazing witches and wizard hats!

All right, if you’re not excited to see more of these Capitol fashions, you may as well blind yourself now – ’cause we have this to look forward to! It sparkles, people!

Them There Eyes