Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page


Costumes, Hair and Makeup
Equally key to Panem's vivid reality is the work of costume designer Judianna Makovsky, who has been a regular collaborator with Gary Ross. Yet this film would take them places they've never before explored. "This isn't the type of design we usually do," admits Makovsky. "It gets into realms of fantasy fashion in the Capitol, but we also wanted the look to be recognizable and relatable, taking today's haute couture a step further. For me it was a wonderful challenge. How often do you get the chance to do such outrageous clothing, hair and makeup?"

Makovsky started with the vast, yin-yang contrasts between the Districts and the Capitol: the former as rough-hewn and raw as it gets, the latter with no limits to its excess. "The Districts have very limited palettes," she explains. "They're gray and blue-gray. Then, when you get to the Capitol, we have two palettes: one is bright pastels, with lots fuchsias and turquoises, and the other is more acidic yellows and greens. There's a meanness to the Capitol, so we also decided to put a lot of black in there to mute the brightness and outrageous colors."

Katnissclothes also shift as she moves from District 12 to the Capitol. "The clothes in District 12 are all work wear and Katniss has mostly hand-me-downs," Makovsky says. "On Reaping Day, she wears the blue dress described in the book, and we found a great vintage fabric that has the has the right kind of simplicity to it. But when she gets to the Capitol, her chariot costume is a leotard and tights with tall boots and it all has a very shiny, dramatic aspect."

As for Katniss' famed "Girl on Fire" dress, Makovsky thought about the intentions of the man who, in the story, designs it: Katniss' stylist for the Games, Cinna. "Cinna's a very elegant man, so we thought he would design an elegant dress, and only when it twirls would the flame within the bottom of the dress suddenly become visible," Makovsky says. "We wanted the dress to feel more high fashion than 'Dancing With The Stars.' We added Swarovski crystals so it sparkles when she moves, but when she's standing still, it's just a beautiful dress with flame-like pleats."

Makovsky approached one of the story's most flamboyant dressers - Effie Trinket - with care, talking at length with Elizabeth Banks about her take on the character. "We agreed that Effie is both a little prim-and-proper and outrageous," Makovsky says. "There's a bit of 'schoolmarm' about her, but she's also a bit sexy. When she's in District Twelve, she contrasts starkly with the people there. But when she gets to the Capitol, her look gets wilder and crazier. Her sleeves get larger, the colors get brighter and she changes wigs with every costume, from pink to green to lavender."

Banks was thrilled with the process. "We all consulted over email back and forth," she recalls, "and I had many, many fittings. Suddenly one day it was like, 'There she is! There's Effie!!'"

Like Banks, Woody Harrelson had very specific ideas for the look of Haymitch Abernathy. "You might think he'd be disheveled, but my take on him was he's a little bit of a bon vivant in dress," Harrelson says. Adds Makovsky: "With Haymitch's look, there's a sense that he's created an outward persona that isn't who he really is - he's putting on a bit of an act. There's this sort of Edwardian dandy style to him. He's refined but also a little dangerously sexy."

Most of the costuming details came straight from the novels - from Caesar Flickerman's blue hair and suit and Cinna's gold eyeliner to President Snow's scruffy beard and the Peacekeepers' gleaming white uniforms which Makovsky wanted to be both of another time and recognizable as police. "The Peacekeepers needed to stand out enough to be scary, but I didn't want them to look like they came from another planet," she explains. "The uniforms follow the basic shape that exists today in motorcycle cops and SWAT teams, but we take it a step further. And since they don't really have hand-to-hand combat but use electronic wands, they can look very elegant."

For the outfits worn by the Tributes, however, Ross and Makovsky instituted a change. "In the book, everybody wears exactly the same thing, but in a film you have to be able to see the Tributes in the woods and know who each person is," explains the costume designer. "So Gary made the decision that each District would have their own color jacket but everything else would remain the same. For the jackets, we worked to create something that looks high-tech but that would be lightweight and versatile, allowing us to hide padding and harnesses for all the stunt work."

The bold design extended to hair and makeup, with as many as 80 hair and makeup artists working in a single day for the film's large crowd scenes. Lead makeup designer Ve Neill, a three-time OscarĀ® winner, says THE HUNGER GAMES "is a makeup designer's dream with everything from high-fashion and avant-garde beauty to prosthetics and injuries, a vast scope and challenge for any artist."

Following the trajectory of the costumes, Neill's makeup work begins in gritty shades of beige in District 12 only to erupt into a rainbow array in the Capitol where Neill attempted to straddle the fine line between the playfulness of luxe fashion and outright comedy. "The idea was for the Capitol to be visually stunning in a way very close to the book, but without looking silly. The men of the Capitol are extremely groomed with colored hair and the women all have bleached eyebrows, giving them a very austere look," she explains.

Once the Tributes are in the arena, the makeup changes again to become more stripped-back and real as the contest for survival starts among the Tributes in the forest. "That part of the film became about dirt and cuts and Tracker Jacker wasp bites," she notes.

Lead hair designer Linda Flowers felt liberated by not having to comply with current trends. "There were no boundaries and nothing holding me back from being creative," she says. "I loved that there were so many interesting colors and textures in the hair for Panem. You don't get that many opportunities to do things like lime-green hair! But the big challenge was finding the balance of creating interesting, original looks that you can also take seriously, because the Capitol isn't supposed to be whimsical. It's a society with a mean core to it and that has to come across."

For Katniss, Flowers remained faithful to her signature braid, creating a side-swept style that is practical yet distinctive and took 20 minutes each day to prepare. "We stayed very true to Katniss' look from the novel, adding just a few touches to make it more visually interesting," she explains.

Other Tributes went a bit farther afield. "For Clove, I was inspired by those Kung Fu movies with women in ponytails, so we made her a kind of tier of pony-tail balls that really suit the character. Glimmer is very glamorous so she has this pretty fishbone braiding. And Rue's hair is very innocent because she's the youngest," explains Flowers.

There were days shooting on the Capitol sets when the hair and makeup teams had to oversee more than 400 wigs, 500 pairs of bleached eyebrows and hundreds of extras flowing through the process of transformation into the Capitol's idea of style.

As with Messina's work the bottom line was a sense of reality - albeit an imaginative one. "Judianna Makovsky and Ve Neill created a look that doesn't feel outlandish, but one rooted in the history of American customs," summarizes Jacobson. "One of Gary's strengths on this film was maintaining a consis

Next Production Note Section


Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.

© 2018 29®,  All Rights Reserved.


Find:  HELP!