Catching Fire: a wardrobe guide

I tend to keep track of things that are worn in films. It’s not an obsession, but I’m consistently interested in seeing what costume designers and wardrobe teams want to dress people in.

Over the past several months, I’ve been slowly compiling a list of what Katniss wears in Catching Fire. Sometimes it’s something that I’ve seen somewhere and I go, hmm… this designer’s style seems familiar to me, and then I find out after some research why, or it’s from following the Capitol tumblr. (If you’re not on tumblr and you’re a fan of, well anything, you should be.)

This is by no means comprehensive, it’s just sort of what I’ve run across.

We’ll start with the training uniforms. Easy enough to find out about with a little research.

Lucas Hugh. I mean, if you can afford to be dropping about $1000 on one set of workout clothes, this is your brand. (£320 for the jacket, £110 for the tank, £85 for the sports bra, £165 for the capris. Or the whole look for £550, which google says exchanges to just under $900.) Although, some part of me thinks that if you can afford to spend that much on workout clothes, you’re probably not the kind of person who is going to be buying workout clothes for actually working out.

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And yeah, they’re gorgeous. Get them here, if you have the money. Or be like me and think, oh, I’ll just make my own.

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From my POV, having worked in production design and with wardrobe, what the tributes wear in their training says a lot about Panem, even more if you know who designed the clothes and how much they cost. It all plays in to the Capitol seeming so frivolous that they’re like sure we’ll dress them up in designer workout gear.

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I can’t name most of the things featured here, but I know about those boots. I ran across an ad in Vogue’s september issue and immediately recognized the designer’s styling. Sorel. Get your Katniss boots here for only $220. And note that in the film, these boots only show up with the costume that Katniss wears here for about 2 minutes. I mean, it’s a powerful scene especilly for Effie’s character and her arc, and also Effie’s costume is way more exciting here than what Katniss wears or the boots she’s in.

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The outfit Katniss wears here was designed by Barbara Bui, using a design from her Spring 2012 Ready To Wear collection. However, this fabric never shows up in the collection, and neither does the skirt. So basically this is a custom piece that was done for the film.

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Moving on to this lovely jacket shown when Gale gets whipped half to death by a Peacekeeper, it can be yours for only $550. If this were pure leather, I’d tell you it’s a steal for it also being a designer piece. But, if you know how designer pieces are priced when it comes to leather, you know that this isn’t just leather. It’s a little less than half leather, the rest being twill. Nicholas K designed it, and on the website, it even advertises that this was worn by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. The cowl/scarf shown here is a Maria Dora piece, I think.

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I haven’t been able to figure out where this sweater is from, and sadly, it doesn’t show up in the final cut of the film. It would have been just a blip from the Victory Tour anyway. I’d guess it’s a Maria Dora piece, since she seems to be the knitwear designer of choice for the film. Also because it looks like her work. I do love that it has a little bit of a Helmut Lang vibe to it though.

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And then comes the pièce de résistance, the cowl that everyone wants, designed by Maria Dora. I found an excellent pattern for it online. However, that pattern doesn’t follow the actual design completely. Mostly because we didn’t see the back of the cowl until later trailers and into the film. It’s still a great pattern and I have the supplies for it sitting next to my desk waiting for me to begin.

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Not the best photo, but it gives you a good idea of how the back works. So it’s really all one big piece that’s been wrapped around and attached neatly.

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And for the arena wetsuit? These were obviously custom made for each person. There are costume and replica versions out there, but all the ones that I’ve seen come off as cheap and mass produced. That’s not something that anything coming out of the Capitol could be described as. Something to note, if you’re going to make your own: the arms are separate pieces from the wetsuit itself. If you’re looking for a good place to start, here’s a good pattern. You’ll have to switch the zipper to the back and make some creative modifications, but you do what you must. For the patterned fabric parts, I’d actually recommend screen printing yourself. It’s a basic geometric pattern, one that wouldn’t be too hard to do.

And for a bonus….

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I can’t recall who he’s wearing, but if you’re a girl and looking for a more feminine version of this aran sweater, how about this lovely Elizabeth and James one? It’s only $450. What a steal, right? …..not really.

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At some point I’ll post a review of the film. I saw it opening night and was blown away by it. It’s rare that a film adaptation can be this close to the book and be this amazing.

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Hunger Games recipes: Lamb and dried plum stew

I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to make this, and a little over a week ago I was having a party, and thought it would be the perfect time. Now, although I have found a recipe for this from The Unofficial Hunger Games Recipe book, I was like, forget that, I’ll make up my own! Because that’s how I roll. I freestyle it, as my friend Luke says. I’m sure you could really say that I don’t like to follow recipes because I have problems with authority or some other psychobable bullocks. A few days ago, I made it again, trying to perfect my own recipe.

Anyway, here’s the amazingness!

For those of you who are cheap like me, you’ll just buy stew beef. It works just as well as lamb in this case. You’ll need a crockpot/slow cooker. The flavors will all mix and mingle this way, and the meat will tenderize to the point where it nearly melts in your mouth.

On a side note, this is the gluten-free, dairy-free version.

Start putting things into the crockpot:

1 can beef broth
1 can veggie broth (or a 2nd can beef broth if you want)
about as much water as broth (which is 2 canfulls basically)
1/2 cup cooking sherry
4 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut up into chunks
1/3 onion, caramelized. (sliced up into long thin strips, then cooked in a skillet in oil on low heat, then add some sugar once the onions are soft and let them just start to get a little brown on the edges)
1 stick celery, sliced (optional)
1 lb stew beef/lamb, cut up into bite size pieces
spices to taste: 2 bay leaves, garlic, salt, paprika, pepper, chives, red curry powder (my favorite) and any other spices you really want to add.
3 T worchestershire sauce (to give it some kick)

At this point, the stew will have a rich, hearty, salty sort of flavor. This is good. Let it cook for about 2 hours, then add in:
1 package of dried plums (which are really prunes)
a handful of golden raisins (optional, but they’re good in it)
4 T cornstarch

Let that cook for another 4ish hours. The dried plums will significantly sweeten the taste. Stir it occasionally so that you don’t have things stuck to the sides of the crockpot. If you want it to be less sweet, just add a little more salt later on in the cooking process, to taste.

Cook up some rice, then put that in the bottom of your bowl before ladling on the stew (which will have thickened thanks to that cornstarch). Et voila, mes amis! Bon appetite!