5 Things We Learned From Trish Summerville’s Refinery 29 Interview

Cute collar, Katniss.
Photo: Lionsgate

Trish Summerville gets it. As the edgy, ambitious costume designer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Summerville’s been tasked with combining high fashion (see: The Capitol), high function (see: the games) and stuff that straight up looks pretty on screen (see: well, all of it). And even though the film has yet to hit theaters (15 DAYS AND COUNTING), the few glimpses we’ve gotten of Panem’s ornate new garments have already earned her a Style Award for Film Costumer of the Year. *brushes shoulders off*

With the second Hunger Games installment only weeks away, Summerville sat down with Refinery 29 to spill some deets on the method to her madness for dressing all 12 districts. Her artistic visions (and how they materialized) were insightful, creative and totally on point. Oh, and also, it sounds like her job is SO MUCH FUN. Here’s what we learned:

Katniss and Peeta looking sharp/scared.
Photo: Lionsgate

1. Trends don’t last in Panem: Well, I think that the liberty we have with ’Catching Fire’ is that, inside The Capitol, fashion is constantly changing. There wasn’t anything we had to float over from the first film because fashion, makeup, and style change so rapidly within the world of Panem.

2. Each district’s wardrobe directly reflects their purpose: In ’Catching Fire,’ we do see a lot more of the districts, for the Reaping, and it’s particularly exciting because we see them in both the summer and winter … For each district, we are trying to keep the costuming relevant, either by what they represent or what they manufacture. In the the fishing districts, say, there were some things we made that were constructed out of fish pelts and seashells. We used lots of yellows, greens, and blues.

3. Katniss’ wedding dress is aeronautical: With the dress, we had to get something that looked incredible design-wise, but we needed it to have a specific function: It had to catch air and lift … For me, I always had to relate to her being the “girl on fire” and the Mockingjay. On the wedding dress, we laser-cut feather shapes on the bodice. I very literally wanted her to become a Mockingjay.

4. For Cinna, the delight is in his details: [Cinna] is a bit dark and layered. Because he is going throughout his day, he is fashionable, but he has to be very functional. For instance, he has very comfortable shoes. Cinna exists in the darkness, so it lets him work and lets the client shine. Of course, he is still in The Capitol, so he accessorizes with his own kind of flare.

5. Each tribute’s game-day garment has detachable pieces: We had the challenge to make everything look good on-screen — but also be true to themselves and authentic. No one is wearing Spanx underneath all these costumes. We are literally designing for the elements that everyone will be in. I expected them literally to be in the water, in the jungle, and running. The suits need to be functional, moving, and stretchy, but they couldn’t be too hot for the body. I conceived of them as quite modular. There is the base body suit, but the top, kneepads, and sleeves can come off.

{via Refinery 29}

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