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Costumes Define the Factions
"Carlo Poggioli is an amazing costume designer," states Burger. "What we were trying to do with the costumes is to simply be able to understand that people are in different factions, but we wanted it to feel very real. We didn't want it to feel like it was a uniform. Carlo came up with a really individual style for almost every person, whether they be a main character or a background extra. For example, all Abnegation wear their fundamental gray, but everybody is wearing it in a different way. Carlo made it a group of individuals, even as they are part of a larger faction of people. We had hundreds and hundreds of extras in some scenes, and every single one was costumed as an individual. Nothing ever looked like a broad stroke of costumes."

Poggioli arrived in Chicago in January of 2013 with just sketches, and the first batch of Dauntless costumes were filmed the second week in April. Multiple workshops in Rome, Budapest, Bucharest, Chicago, and Los Angeles manufactured thousands of costumes, using over 50,000 yards of fabric.

"We had to produce thousands and thousands of individual pieces. These costumes were not like a uniform with the same cut and fabric. The problem of this was that we had five different factions and for each faction, we had to make a thousand pieces minimum," explains Poggioli. "In addition, they are completely different colors and shapes and therefore different construction."

"I had to divide things. We started to make the prototypes in Rome and I'd bring those prototypes to Hungary and Romania. In each county, I had three or four different workshops, each taking care of a different faction," says Poggioli. "We started making costumes on the 13th of February, and the first shipment arrived in Chicago on the 13th of March. In one month, they did all the Dauntless and the Abnegation."

"I was crazy flying from Chicago to Budapest to Romania to Rome. It was a big deal," laughs Poggioli. "But we made everything for the principal cast in the Chicago workshop. For Shailene and Theo, for example, it was impossible to make those costumes abroad because you have to control and be able to alter things quickly. I found a wonderful crew here in Chicago and I brought a cutter from Italy."

The costume department logged over 1300 fittings. "It was a big challenge because we had to invent everything. It's my first movie where I made everything from the shoes, to the pants, to the jackets, to the accessories. Each outfit is completely new. This project was an opportunity to invent a completely different world."

"The Dauntless costumes are great and I would wear all of them in real life. The Abnegation costumes are intentionally made to look like they could've been created by a layman, and the Erudite costumes are perfectly tailored and so beautiful. I would wear all of them, to be honest," laughs Veronica Roth.

Abnegation: The modest civil servants known as the Abnegation faction put other peoples needs in front of their own with no hesitation. With deep-rooted selflessness, there is no need to inject color into their clothing, grey tones and natural fabrics is all that is needed to perform their function in society.

"The Abnegation costumes are the simplest in shape and color," states Poggioli. "We do not see many hems, everything is cut roughly. The color is different shades of the gray. We have the light gray; we have the more beige gray. For Shailene and Ashley, I combined wool and linen... a heavy fabric with the light fabric on top, a long jacket. Each faction has a different length of the costume and the jacket. The shape of the Abnegation is like little bit of sack. They are very straight. No vanity."

"I loved working with the costumes," states Ashley Judd. "It's wonderful to sit down with such a gifted costume designer and be shown this massive portfolio. It was like sitting with Mr. Armani when he was making my wedding dress. There was espresso and there were snacks. To be in a costume department where they're building everything from scratch, when there are rows of sewing machines and people who are so nimble with those fingers and, making sweaters is really hard and then fitting them, there aren't a lot of people who can do that craftsperson-ship anymore, so it was really neat. When we were filming the choosing ceremony, to see the totality of the factions and hundreds of people dressed within their style was really quite dazzling."

Dauntless: The faction of fearless protectors that face challenges head on are known as the Dauntless. To display their mental toughness and readiness, technical and 3D fabrics in the darker shades of black, burgundy, rust and plum show off attention to detail and functionality of their wardrobe.

"The Dauntless need something stronger than the other factions because they defend the city," explains Poggioli. "We didn't want to do a soldier uniform, Neil asked me to go completely away from the idea of a military society. We went with the dark colors, with accent colors that define their place in Dauntless. When our guys arrive to the Dauntless world, they're wearing orange to distinguish that there are new people arriving. The orange will help the audience to understand they're transfer people. Red details means Dauntless born. Four has some details in purple, meaning he is of a higher rank."

Shailene Woodley's costumes emphasize the big change her character goes through. "The most important thing for the Abnegation is they do not show too much skin. So, Beatrice is covered at the beginning. The Dauntless are completely the opposite of the Abnegation. Dauntless show a lot of skin. When Tris arrives in Dauntless, she has a completely different body. She starts the training and the fighting and her body transforms. The costumes will help her a lot. We start to discover her body, to see her shape. There's a big transformation."

"We had many, many fittings with all our actors, but especially with Tris and Four. We made many different patterns for Tris because of the fact that she had to move so much. We had to respect what she had to do. We made 80% of the fabric for Dauntless. We used a special fabric with some elastic in it. We used a combination of the 3D fabric, with the fabric that we made. We changed the fabric many, many times. At one point I had to ask the people in Florence that were making the fabric for us, to make a special fabric just for Tris because it was impossible to find something that was nice on her, but at the same time functional. We also needed a lot of fabric."

"The audience will want to wear these pieces because we didn't go far," says Poggioli. "The actors all said during the fittings that they loved the stuff that we made and would wear these pants and this jacket now. The 3D fabric they started to make only two years ago. In Dauntless, we have this new technical fabric. The challenge was to make something futuristic but something that you could believe and to wear today".

Members of the Dauntless faction wear tattoos. "Of course the tattoos have to combine with the costumes. We knew that Tris had to show Jeanine the tattoo of the three ravens on her collarbone, so we made her shirts accordingly," says Poggioli. "For most of the film, Four's back tattoo teases at the neckline of his t-shirt. The proportion of Eric's shirt had to show his forearm tattoo. For Tori, her costumes had to show the tattoo on the back of her neck."

Makeup department head Brad Wilder oversaw the application of several thousands of tattoos used on actors throughout production. "The hero tattoos were designed by the art department, overseen by Andy Nicholson and approved by Neil. Once set, the designs were sent to a man named Rick Stratton in Los Angeles, who made the applications that my team applied to the actors on set. Rick also designed some of the hundreds of tattoos used on the background artists," says Wilder.

Some Dauntless tattoos are rust color, some black, like Four's. "The Dauntless tattoos are referred to in the film as blood tattoos - in the movie a patch is placed over the skin as if it's drawing blood to the surface," explains Wilder.

The elaborate tattoo representing all of the factions on Four's back takes three makeup artists three to four hours to apply to Theo James. "There are 40 separate pieces that are applied like a giant jigsaw puzzle, each piece numbered on a map," explains Wilder. "The pieces are not real durable and can rub off, especially with all the action, so sometimes we have to touch them up or re-apply pieces altogether."

"What I liked about the tattoo was its aggressiveness and masculinity, but also its meaning. It wasn't just arbitrary symbols on someone's back. It felt like a tree and there were various influences, which I found quite interesting," says Theo James. "The tattoo is a big part of Four's identity, and mirrored in his mysterious nature. Through most of the movie, you just see this thing poking out the top of his neck, and wonder what it is and what it means. Also, Four doesn't dress like the others. He's not adorned with big neck tattoos and piercings, so that also adds to his level of mystery."

Erudite: Science, intellect and curiosity form the basis and foundation for the faction of Erudite. Shades of blues, stimulate the mind, sharp tailoring reminiscent of lab coats and long lines complete the look for this faction.

Poggioli says, "The color of Erudite costumes is suggested in the book, but the idea came from Neil to use a shape that looks like a scientist lab coat. That was a very difficult concept for me at the beginning because I thought they would look like too much uniform. But Neil was insistent and he was right and we made a variation of the lab coat. The lab coat was the key of the Erudite. There were variations - outside the school they're wearing a lab coat that could be a college coat. Also, we were not using all the same blue. All cold colors in accent. That means the blue. That means the green. That means the purple."

"Kate Winslet plays Jeanine, the head of Erudite. Her costumes are a little bit different from the others because she's allowed to wear some more green accent underneath. Kate really has really three or four different things, but they look similar," adds Poggioli. "When you look at her she looks that she's wearing the same thing, but it is not. She has little details, like the inside of the collar of one coat is completely different from the other one. Also a subtle change of the color, smart and sharp tailoring."

Amity: With a faction filled with people who live the "joie de vivre," the costumes selected for Amity have an organic feel. Earth tones and natural fabrics with a sun kissed pallet show off these sexy hippy farmers.

"The book suggests red and yellow, but we preferred to go earth colors with an organic feel," comments Poggioli. "Amity was a big process. With only a few weeks before shooting, we were changing the colors. In fact, when the Amity costumes arrived in Chicago from Europe, we decided to re-dye everything. The Amity work in the fields, so let's try to find some earth colors that are more natural. They also have a different fabric from all the others, they're wearing all natural fabric."

Candor: These truth tellers see the world in black and white and are not afraid to be honest and open when speaking their mind. Candor's clothing in black and white directly reflects their outlook.

"The Candor were the most difficult faction to design, because I started in the beginning in a completely wrong direction," admits Poggioli. "I was thinking about transparency and the different shades of the glass. But it didn't work. In the movie, the interesting thing about the Candor costumes is their cut. If the base of the jacket is in black, the cut underneath would be in the opposite color white. Everything is in contrast. If they have the white jacket, they have the black pants. If they have the white vest, they have a black jacket. Only three or four weeks before shooting that we found the right way."

Factionless: Rejected from the rest of society, these deserters are surviving the best they can and wherever they can. Wearing garb from their former factions, the tattered faded rags of colorless fabrics display their new identities.

"The idea for the factionless is the colors come from their old faction, where they were born or where they were refused," explains Poggioli. "Our factionless have completely different colors, and those colors are completely faded."

All of the costumes reflect the larger ideas of the Divergent world. "Chicago is this walled city and they don't have any resources from outside the city. They've recycled everything whether it be raw materials or old clothing. Whatever it is, they've made it anew. The movie's set in the future, but it's not about futurism. It isn't about the latest technology. It's very much about human nature and I didn't want the costumes to take us away from that, by being so exotic or sci-fi. The clothing has a different feel, but you can still understand what it is, why they'd be wearing it, and it still looked good on them," comments Burger.

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