Fashion in The Hunger Games

Fashion in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 just came out last week so I, your resident Hunger Games fanatic, am here to obsess over the fashion from the previous films (mainly Catching Fire) as well as the most recent installment and what is to come.

You might be asking “why should I care?” Well, you don’t really have to care, but in my opinion Trish Summerville, the costume designer for Catching Fire, took a fascinating approach in curating the wardrobes for this film. She pulled from a variety of up-and-coming and well-known brands as well as her own designs to create looks for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), and others. This makes the style quite accessible since many of the items worn in the movie were available for purchase from the designers, and Trish even teamed up with Net-A-Porter to create a “Capitol Couture” exclusive line on their website last fall. A promotional “Capitol Couture” tumblr was also created in the months leading up to the film. The tumblr had a mix of editorial images “inspired” by the districts, promotional stills, and spotlights on several of the designers whose work was featured. This year they’ve collaborated with Supra to release three pairs of limited-edition sneakers.

Let’s dive into some of the actual couture. For example, Effie wears a Spring 2011 Alexander McQueen butterfly dress in this scene with Peeta and Katniss, who is seen wearing Sorel’s “Conquest Carly” boots. Supposedly, they had to request this piece from the McQueen archive and, luckily, they agreed to let them use it in the film (and it happened to fit.)

Reaping How many butterflies is too many butterflies?

In this scene, Katniss wears a VPL Fall/Winter 2012 runway outfit with an arm piece by Una Burke (the placement seems to refer to the arm guard she would wear for archery.) If only armor were normal for everyday wear…


And in this one she wears a very interesting tricolor Le Moine Tricote knit with an extended back hem. Someone please knit this for me.

Le Moine Tricote

Here’s a Barbara Bui runway piece that was adapted for the film. The changes are pretty drastic, but you can see the similarities in the leather trim. Peeta wears an Unconditional jacket.

Barbara Bui

Trish pulled from Unconditional for a lot of the men’s looks, and Katniss even dons a cardigan from them in this scene on the train. I also own this, I have a fairly uninteresting story about how I contacted Unconditional and they found one for me.


One of my personal favorites is the following Nicholas K jacket. I had the incredible fortune to find this jacket at Century 21 (a discount clothing store in NYC) right after the movie came out, in my size, and 50% off. I had actually gone in to look for a similar jacket – I didn’t even know who designed it at the time – and could not believe my eyes when I saw the exact jacket I was looking for. I googled Nicholas K to confirm and I am not ashamed to admit I cried tears of happiness.

Nicholas K

Probably the most infamous, and most coveted, item Katniss wears is a woven “cape” by Los Angeles-based designer Maria Dora. The cape was custom-made for the film and is based off her Murmaider design from F/W 2012. Unfortunately, they’re not available for purchase at this time – though there’s a thriving etsy market for them.

MurmaiderYes, this seems very practical

One of pieces Trish designed herself was the highly anticipated (by me, at least, although what do I *not* highly anticipate from these movies) Mockingjay dress. Understandably, it would have been difficult to find a design in existence already given the specifications laid out in the book. It was recreated in cocktail length for the Net-a-Porter collection.

Mockingjay Dress

Getting excited yet? Ready to throw out everything in your wardrobe and buy a new closet full of Katniss-inspired clothing? Well, please don’t do that, so let’s move on from specific designers to a more general look at the stylistic themes and differences. Some of the most fascinating fashion in the film is seen in the capitol. Capitol fashion is known for loud colors, harsh cuts, and geometric oddities – it is decidedly over-the-top and imposing (just like the Capitol itself). District 12, where Katniss and Peeta are from, practicality comes first, the colors are muted, and the silhouettes are relaxed. In the first film, before venturing to the capitol, Katniss is seen in a relatively dull palette, wearing her dad’s hunting jacket with a pair of brown lace-up boots. In the second film we see her back in District 12 in a similar palette, but (not to get too into the plot of the film, I will ramble if you let me) she is now a public figure and her overall look has been updated to reflect that. Her silhouettes are more waist-defining and the cape, while it has a homemade look, has those touches of the Capitol – it’s not made thinking of function first.

Movie Still

Katniss isn’t the only one whose wardrobe has been updated from the first film. The white peacekeeper uniforms are noticeably more terrifying. Whereas before there was an aspect of humanity to the peacekeepers, their faces only covered by clear plastic, the new peacekeepers are now faceless drones. The slick helmets (man, it is difficult to type “helmet” and not default to “helmut”) and ridged chest plates make them seem much more modern and antagonistic. I think this subtle change is one of many that really makes the styling of Catching Fire that much better than the first film’s.

PeacekeepersPeacekeeper, or Storm Trooper?

I could go on and on spamming photos of outfits and tagging designers.

Tex SaverioThis totally basic wedding dress by Tex Saverio

What I’m excited about now, though, is what comes next. Many reviews of Catching Fire dismissed it as an hour-long fashion show followed by an action movie, which lends itself well to discussion of the runway styles that were featured, but the next films are far bleaker. I don’t want to spoil this too much, but in Katniss’ new home the emphasis is back on function over form. Costume designer duo Kurt and Bart have taken over for Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 and while we see some flair in Katniss’ Mockingjay uniform (the sketches for which are featured in the film as well), for the most part she is meant to blend in. There is a grey color scheme in District 13 featuring jumpsuits made from button-downs and high-waisted pants, a chunky knit sweater, and sneakers. Each character is given the same set of clothes, but still manages to show off their personality by tweaking the uniform to their liking.

In Mockingjay Part 2 we’ll see the combat outfits featured more prominently, and a tiny bit of the outlandish Capitol as well. Maybe Mockingjay is not exciting in the way that Catching Fire was, but I’m looking forward to the next one nonetheless.


Goodbye for now, you can find me in a puddle of tears as I fail to contain my excitement in the months leading up to Mockingjay – Part 2.


For further reading on the designers featured in catching fire, check out the contributor and fashion tags on Capitol Couture.

What would Katniss Wear?

1. Sorel “Conquest Carly” Boots
2.Rick Owens Draped Open-Front Cardigan
3. Rick Owens Stretch-Leather Cargo Leggings
4. Frye Melissa Tall Lace Boots
5. Helmut Lang Color-block linen-blend sweater
6. Helmut Lang Color-block knitted sweater
7. Helmut Lang Leather-paneled jersey top
8. Hudson Jeans Nico Midrise Super Skinny
9. Nicholas K Serius Sweater
10. Le Moine Tricote asymmetric knit sweater
11. Unconditional Short Origami Coat
12. Unconditional shoulder cap jacket


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