MTV conducted an interview with Judianna Makovsky, The Hunger Games costume designer, about creating the vivid looks on the big screen.
Here she describes the process to create the Interview Dress, which is a bit different in the movie adaptation.
MTV: Which outfit posed the biggest challenge to you?
Makovsky: I think the interview dress. I think it was the hardest because the description in the book was something every fan loves but, honestly, in my opinion, and in all of our opinions, it wasn’t going to translate. Having this dress covered in flame-like jewels, you know, it’s no longer about Katniss. It’s about the dress. Also, the dress has a chance, a very big chance, of coming off as cheesy.
MTV: I can see how it might verge into figure-skating-costume territory.
Makovsky: See, that’s what I was worried about. It was going to be a “Dancing With the Stars” dress. I said, “I think we shouldn’t go that way.” First of all, all those jewels, it’s going to be so heavy it won’t twirl. She won’t be able to move or walk. People don’t realize that. I decided that it should really be about Katniss, and I wanted a young, fresh, modern couture cut, that when you first see her beautiful dress and she does her twirl, it does what it does. I mean, the bottom does have Swarovski crystals on it. But I really wanted it to be about Katniss. How beautifully she has transformed. It’s not the dress that transformed her. It’s her. Her beauty comes through.
She also goes into the differences in the costumes for The Tribute Parade, and making the “Girl on Fire” outfit work for Katniss and Peeta.
MTV: Fans were also really excited to see Katniss’ sleek Girl on Fire outfit. You have a bit of experience with jumpsuits from working on “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Did you hearken back to those superheroes for inspiration?
Makovsky: I actually had the woman who made my “X-Men” jumpsuits make these costumes for me. She’s a genius at that kind of fit. Everyone thinks it’s leather — it’s not leather. It’s a novelty stretch fabric with this embossed plastic on it. It’s a very strange fabric. There’s also some stretch patent leather in there, but there’s no leather. I just wanted something that would have this incredible silhouette and have the shine of coal. In the books, it’s actually described a little bit more bland to me. It sounds like leotards and tights with high boots. It has a cape. There were all kinds of things that had to change because of physical and practical things on a chariot. The description in the book — Katniss and Peeta wear the same thing. Katniss had this fabulous headdress, but you put the headdress on Peeta and it looks pretty stupid. You can’t always do the same for a boy and a girl.
You can read the full interview with Judianna Makovsky at MTV.