The costume designer Trish Summervillenominated for an Oscar in 2021, is a regular collaborator of the director Francis Lawrence and the creator of the iconic looks of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, work for which she won Costume Designer of the Year at the 2013 Style Awards and the Costume Design Guild Awards. Inspired by the movie, Summerville designed a capsule collection that had enormous commercial success and sold out in record time.
Ten years later, to The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Trish Summerville accepted the challenge of creating a Panem that the public had not seen before. «Aesthetically it is completely different from the world we already saw in the other films in the saga»says Summerville.
The context in which the prequel takes place is what gave Summerville the freedom to create a retro-futuristic world through a totally different costume than that seen in the previous films.
To differentiate The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes from the original movies The Hunger Games, the prequel that takes place 64 years earlier, leans towards a post-war atmosphere very much from the 40s and 50s. “I did a lot of research on American fashion, especially that of workers,” notes the designer. Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
LUCY GRAY BAIRD
One of the biggest challenges was creating Lucy Gray’s rainbow costume, one of the most iconic pieces of the novel and the character’s main costume.
“I wanted muted, dusty tones, because it’s also Lucy Gray’s mother’s dress, so it couldn’t be too fresh and vibrant.”“he points out The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snake.
In the end she was inspired by the world of vaudeville, with a country-style top with a corset and a skirt with four layers of tulle. To make the dress, Summerville She used tulle, mesh and other very elastic fabrics of all colors, so that Rachel could move freely in her action scenes.
In addition to being faithful to the work of Suzanne Collinsthe costume designer wanted to make a dress that she could be proud of and that would somehow connect Lucy Gray Baird with Katniss Everdeen.
After speaking with the director Francis Lawrence and make several illustrations, she found a way to do it, inspired by the blue dress she was wearing. Jennifer Lawrenceimitating a mockingjay, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
She applied her shape to the leather corset she would wear. Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. To give it an aged look, the art department hand painted these corsets. They had snakes, related to Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and flowers inspired by the flowers of Katniss Everdeen and Primrose Everdeen. Costume design for Lucy Gray Baird’s character in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The floral tribute created a sense of camaraderie between Lucy and Katniss and a cohesion between this film and the trilogy of The Hunger Games. «I wanted to create something for Rachel and also for the fans, so that they felt that kind of kinship between the two.“, ends Summerville.
The boots Lucy wears were also a key part of her look: «What could I put in it that would allow it to crawl through tunnels, climb walls and move freely? She wanted to give him something really attractive but with little glamor«. Tom Blyth in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
For Academy students, Trish Summerville she leaned more toward genderless fashion, designing pleated red skirts over pants with a matching blazer.
Faced with the task of designing a school uniform, he wanted to avoid clichés: “I didn’t want girls in skirts and boys in pants,” he says, “I wanted everyone to look in uniform, almost the same way.”
The biggest challenge was to create looks that had a deep meaning for the unconditional fans of the series: “I had red on my head, but it is a totally different red than what others have on their heads,” he admits. Summerville.
At the beginning of the film, we see Coryo wearing his school uniform. This one is a deep red. As the film progresses, her suit becomes more refined, and the red darkens, turning into burgundy.
In the previous films, in which Snow was played by Donald Sutherland, burgundy is even much darker. This is not the result of chance. It is the way of representing that, as more victims are in Snow’s hands, her clothes become darker and darker. Gala uniform. Agent of Peace. Viola Davis in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
DRA. VOLUMNIA GAUL
Dr. Gaul’s red and white suit further enhanced the character’s intimidating presence, he acknowledges Summerville: “For Gaul’s lab coat, we used duchess silk, washed it so it had streaks, and then dyed it red. I like using red in such a cold environment: it reinforces Dr. Gaul’s presence«.
When talking about the inspiration they followed when building the character of Davis, Francis Lawrenceremembered the instruction he gave to the actress: to rely on the version of Gene Wilder of the legendary Willy Wonka. “The character has that wild and extravagant creativity and that joy for experimentation, but with a sinister undertone…”, he commented. Lawrence. Viola Davis’s costumes in The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The costume department also gave him a touch of Frankenstein style, to reinforce the “dark” element of the character. “She has to have that playful side that attracts you, but at the same time she’s really scary,” he admits. Summerville.
Trish Summerville worked with the head of the makeup department, Sherri Berman Laurenceand the head of the hairdressing department, Nikki Gooleyto design Tigris’ signature look. «I am a big fan of the silhouettes of the 40s, so I was inspired by them“, Explain. “We had a very restrained color palette with the movie, and I wanted Tigris’ colors and shapes to be really exaggerated, since she’s the most fashionable person in the movie.”«.
Snow’s cousin becomes a representative inside the Capitol: «She makes her clothes, but she keeps them very attractive because they are running out of money«says the costume designer.
This is how we see her with a pink skirt suit, inspired by a look from Balenciaga, with a very structural and pointed shoulder. «I left the seams on the outside and frayed all the edges to make them look like they were falling apart.«.
Francis Lawrence explains the balance created by contemplating the character’s present and future. «One of the things we have to do with Hunter is keep his sweet youth and at the same time do something a little different and edgy. He is not exaggerated. We didn’t want to lean into what Tigris becomes, but just wink at it«.
LUCRETIUS «LUCKY» FLICKERMAN
The film’s creators enjoyed reflecting Lucky Flickerman’s growing stardom through his appearance. «As Lucky’s work covering the Games on television progresses, so does his ego and enthusiasm, so he wanted his hair to start growing a little and his mustache to become more stylish.«, dice Trish Summerville. “With his wardrobe, it’s a slow progression where he dresses more and more elegant, and by the end, Lucky is wearing a tuxedo with a train.”«.
CITIZENS OF THE CAPITOL
This film also reverses the general look of the Capitol and District 12 from the previous films.
«For the inhabitants of the Capitol, I used a solid color palette«, details Summerville. She and director Francis Lawrence decided to draw inspiration from the post-war period of the 1940s and 1950s. «They still have the most beautiful clothes and jewelry, everyone has hair and makeup, but it is a much more classic American look«says the designer.
CITIZENS OF DISTRICT 12
«Through District 12 and the members of La Bandada, I wanted to represent a happy and colorful community, despite all the soot, dirt and coal. District 12 has a vibrant lifestyle, while the Capitol is staid and people are not happy there..
«To design the costumes of the inhabitants of District 12, I looked at how the coal miners dressed back then. But we also look at how people dressed in different parts of the United States, because this time we see more of the districts. We really see how they lived and how they enjoyed life. So we incorporated more flora and fauna with drawings, prints and colors«says the designer.