Capitol Couture wraps up a revolutionary year of events.
As our year comes to a close, those of us still in the offices here at Capitol Couture find ourselves feeling the nostalgia of the season- looking back on the incredible happenings we’ve brought to you only makes us want to relive them. We’ve compiled our favorite events of the year all here in one place, to show exactly what this year has meant to the Capitol and all of Panem.
Our first glimpse of District 12’s star-crossed lovers since the 74th Games signaled an eager nation that a captivating Victory Tour was in store for us all. Twelve days later, we saw our young victors arrive at their final fete in style beyond compare, beaming as adopted children of the Capitol. Emotions across Panem ran wild as Effie Trinket reached into her empty glass bowls at the Quarter Quell reaping, and this time, Peeta Mellark uttered the fateful words, “I volunteer.” He and Katniss Everdeen struck imposing silhouettes together in the tribute parade, smoldering in yet another of Cinna’s revolutionary creations. We entered a new training center with our victor tributes, marveling at its gleaming walls and modern design, and soon after again witnessed Cinna’s incomparable fashion talent in Katniss’ transforming mockingjay gown on Caesar Flickerman’s interview stage. Our hearts skipped a beat at the stunning arena courtesy of Plutarch Heavensbee and the Gamemakers, and again at the divine viewing parties held all through the Capitol.
We are delighted to have had you with us through this life-altering series of events, dear readers, and wish you a most fashion-forward and Oh So Capitol New Year.
If you’ve missed any of this years events — relive them all here!
The notes have been tallied; see this years top Capitol Looks.
It’s been an incredible year for fashion in the Capitol. We’ve seen everything from plastic headdresses to tribal-infused futuristic footwear come across our desks, and we’ve picked only the finest examples of ingenuity, glamour, and Capitol spirit to bring to our illustrious pages. Here, we have collected the most popular looks of the year as judged by you, our dedicated readers, through likes and reblogs. From top left clockwise, here are your top picks.
Maiko Takeda’s fantastical plastic porcupine headdresses title our recap, giving the illusion of an aura of defense. Anouk Wipprecht’s spider dress follows the theme, a technological wonder of sensed proximity and reaction. Yiquin Yin’s ruched collection of pastel ruffles immediately caught our eye, and Miss Effie Trinket’s as well. Peter Popps’ fierce pair of metal lace-up Cube foot accessories had us at Lady Gaga- and kept us with the rest of his stellar collection.
Lucy McRae’s architectural work in a wide myriad of mediums gave our design palette a variety of delicacies to feast our eyes on, while Mao Geping’s ornate creations transported us to a fantasy world of the maquillage. Argyle Witt’s body-transforming nanobots introduced a new frontier to technological fashion. The jointed leather work of Una Burke gave us fashionable body armor in the most sleek package, while Maiko Takeda’s plastic porcupine headdresses gave the illusion of an aura of defense. Becca McCharen’s Chromat line brought fashion freedom in the form of cage-like constructs. And lastly, Stella Jean’s cultural amalgamations shone through with colorful prints and indomitable spirit.
The train that takes our tributes across Panem. The quarters that all but one spend their last days in. The stylists may be responsible for their clothes, but it’s the Games interior designers that make sure our tributes spend their last moments before the arena in the epitome of luxury. Capitol Couture sat down with Phil Messina, the production designer, to talk inspiration, functionality, and sending our tributes off in style.
CC- How do you personally go about translating the future into design?
PM- Industrial power felt like the right way to go to represent the Capitol; the power of industry over political power. It had to be over the top and overstated.
CC- As it should be! The interiors of the train cars are particularly elegant.
PM- Yes, we wanted the train to be a bridge between the Capitol and the districts- it’s the yellow brick road that takes Katniss to Oz. Deco seemed appropriate; I wanted an elegant design that didn’t overpower what was going on inside, but still embodied the opulence of the Capitol.
CC- We hear that this year, you were consulted on the design of the new Cornucopia in the arena- can you tell us about that?
PM- We weren’t actually sure if the Cornucopia would change at all from last year, at first. The redesign still has elements of the last one, although the more abstract concept looks more threatening for the Quarter Quell. I had thought about making it out of sea glass, but it just wasn’t feasible on a large scale.
Earlier this year, Capitol Couture brought you an exclusive look at the Gamemakers- brilliant minds working behind the scenes to bring Panem continually exciting and engaging Hunger Games. Prior to this year’s Quarter Quell, Plutarch Heavensbee (new Head Gamemaker) had stated that he was reluctant to give even the slightest hint of what the shiny new arena would hold, for fear of spoiling any surprises for Panem’s eager public; in retrospect, we couldn’t agree with him more.
An undertaking of what we can only assume to have been vast proportions, both the layout and features of this year’s Games grounds wildly exceeded any conjectured expectations. As the tributes travel through the terrain, we see a level of demanded ingenuity tailored to the victors’ unique abilities, talents, and personalities, requiring adaptation at whiplash speed. We wonder what must have been going through Katniss Everdeen’s mind as the girl on fire surfaced on a platform in the middle of the saltwater center.
A landscape of physical trials as formidable as their psychological counterparts, this Quarter Quell has shown us everything from terrifying savage beasts to the imitated cries of those closest to and most loved by our tributes, the latter generated by sound mixing software just revealed from District 3. A reliable source tells us the unforgiving fog has been years in the making, as it proved a near-impossible undertaking- yet the extensive Games team pulled through, and the fog was added last-minute.
Careful calculations played a crucial role in the precarious location of the redesigned Cornucopia and its surrounding extending spokes of land, which extended just out of range of any weapons provided. The never-seen-before sectioning with individual challenges presented additional tests, allowing the rest of Panem to solve the puzzle of the arena alongside the tributes, and in some cases, even before (we heard bets were placed hours in advance of Wiress’ cryptic clock-related messages).
Leaning heavily toward aesthetic value and away from everyday functionality, Peter Popps’ first line of self-branded, thematically-heavy futuristic footwear catches the eye and doesn’t let go. A shoe designer of extensive high-end and commercial experience, Popps has been creating for top brands in the Capitol for over two decades, consistently exhibiting out-of-the-box elements and bold composition. Now, branching out into his own label, Popps brings forth designs that evoke the varied contradictions of human nature.
His present collection consists of four designs (from top-left, clockwise): Bow, Cube (a favorite of Lady Gaga), Circle and Lace-up Circle. (Our own Velvet Veritas has developed an impressive dexterity for movement in the Circle!) Popps’ architectural background shines brazenly in his strikingly innovative creations; from Cube’s inspiration of “punk and bondage in contemporary contradictions of revolution and obedience” to Circle’s District 6 influences of “transportation by magnets”, Popps delivers glimpses of the future mixed with design elements of the past.
Finnick Odair can’t recall how he learned to swim. Or the very first time he crawled on the sandy beaches of his native Career District 4, known for its bountiful fishing industry. In fact, Odair—the only man in the Capitol who can wield a trident both lethally and casually—looks like he may have emerged from the sea as an infant, glistening and gorgeous. But the golden boy certainly grew up fast when he was reaped for the 65th Hunger Games at the age of 14. (Of course, he won.) And nearly a decade later, lucky Odair seems like he hasn’t aged a day.
For the Adonis, who’s known for tying intricate knots and tossing a spear with laser-like accuracy, there can be no distractions. The Games require new skills and the Capitol is watching him closely. (We caught up with Odair just before the start of the Quarter Quell and he was deep in training.) Victors, unlike tributes, already understand the mental and physical duress that awaits them. Odair couldn’t discuss his strategy, of course. “I can’t talk about my private life either,” he said with a blinding smile. Is there a tell-all book in the works?
Here’s what we do know about the evasive Odair: First of all, his impossibly green eyes—like emeralds winking in the sunlight—are real. His tousled beach waves, too, are all natural too. He may be the only Victor barely groomed by a prep team. But his looks are second to his storied physical acuity and loyalty. And this year’s Games, set seaside, seem tailored to his strengths.
On the topic of seducing Katniss or Johanna as a ploy for triumph, Odair merely laughed. The serial flirt has been known to leave a trail of crushes in his golden wake. We also know that he has an appreciation for older women, as his former mentor and fellow Quarter Quell Victor Mags is by his side right now in the Cornucopia. With the Games ongoing, we wish District 4’s best hope control and conquest.
Mao Geping has been called “the best known makeup artist in China” and “one of the world’s premiere makeup artists”—and at this year’s China Fashion Week we saw astounding examples of his work that support these claims. Geping’s influences for the show ranged from Victorian steampunk to despotic military to softer, floral inspirations.
"The main carrier and perspective of the conference is women in the war," Geping has noted of his themes. While Panem may be celebrating seventy-five years of blissful peace, this meticulous and ridiculous display of metals and petals has us ready to charge into battle.
Although the purpose of the runway show was to showcase Geping’s brand MGPIN, his artistry for blending fantastical apparel into meticulously crafted 3D makeup creations left us speechless. Gears came together to form an architectural brow, complementing a steampunk outfit with metal engineer’s hat. Embedded zippers created boundaries around seamlessly blended color, exaggerating the eyes’ shape into a structured warrior’s paint. He also designs brows out of items as disparate as delicate floral appliques and coins.
Throughout the show, impeccable styling combined with the dramatic artistry of Geping’s craft left the audience wondering where the model ended and the makeup began. The models, however, seemed to own the message Geping was sending: “They are naturally gentle and beautiful, but present a cold appearance under the uniform bound. Their inner heart is calling for peace, eager to go back themselves, and enjoy the exquisite and quality life.” His eloquent summation of these models echoes the sentiments shared, only days ago, by our brave tributes.
Net-a-Porter’s Capitol Couture line by Trish Summerville arrives.
By Monica Corcoran Harel
Films and cinema icons have always inspired designers. Marc Jacobs has namechecked the films of Wes Anderson, especially The Royal Tenenbaums. The sisters of Rodarte look to Japanese films to nuance their creations. Now, Trish Summerville debuts her own collection, inspired by the chic spirit and grit of the Capitol and beyond.
With 24 sleek looks—including a smattering of accessories and casual tees—the award-winning designer’s Capitol Couture line for Net-a-Porter features day dresses, outerwear and a sexy, fitted black twill jumpsuit that redefines the modern staple as a “Kat suit.” (This editor has already ordered one for disco dancing, rooftop picnics and morning strolls though the city center. It’s that versatile!)
Other fashion stand outs include a gray wool coat with dovetailed hem and a detachable faux fur collar that amps up a professional look; the paneled leather skinny jeans boast a slight flare at the heel that makes them exceedingly flattering. Trust me when I tell you that a kick of fabric completely alters the silhouette. The silver accessories—from a bow and arrow bracelet to an ear cuff—work perfectly with the cool palette of the exclusive collection.
Summerville’s favorite look is the “chariot dress”—a laser-cut patent leather cocktail dress with a rose-gold silk panel insert. The cinched waist, harness collar and full, mini skirt make it feel architectural. It’s a frock for a witty woman who never resorts to clichés and knows to Uber when the conversation goes bland. Our staff of editors is crazy for this dress too. “I think it will be a fan favorite,” says Summerville.
The place to view the 75th Hunger Games was right where we were.
by Kaysa Minox
As our collective eyes are riveted to our hologram screens, we join together as a nation to watch our much-loved Victors enter the arena once more. But the yearly intensity of the Hunger Games doesn’t end there—nor do the festivities of a Quarter Quell. Naturally, the most elaborate viewing parties are going on right here in the Capitol.
Our annual Panem-sponsored fete is reserved for the city’s elite, hosting everyone from escorts to architects, engineers to artists. Here, the most cultured citizens swap gossip, exchange odds and even commiserate a bit over the passings to come. It’s cathartic for us all to come together.
Outside, drummers of the tribute parade flank the red-carpeted entry way. Their thudding beats—like the reverberations of our hearts—echo throughout the night. Inside, power cells in their beehive pattern dangle from the ceiling in a ring of dancing spotlights for those brave enough to occupy them, while thousands of President Snow’s signature white roses languor in graceful bouquets on every surface. Iridescent fish swim in upright centerpieces while guests gossip and feverishly discuss the Games, which are broadcasted at the front of the magnificent room.
Avox offer French macaroons and other delicacies from silver trays—sampled from a gluttonous spread over several long silk clothed tables. (I spotted one District escort eating dozens of light, meringue cookies, as she nervously watched her Victors onscreen.) The sartorial trends are spot-on for fall, with feathers, leather, voluminous silhouettes and lots of hardware in full force. Every avant-garde designer, from Tex Sevario to Bea Akerlund to Jeremy Scott is represented in the over-the-top ensembles of the crowd.
Notable guests include celebrated Capitol Couture designer Trish Summerville, Effie Trinket, and our own editor-in-chief Monica Corcoran Harel. Where are you watching the Games? Who are you wearing? Which District owns your loyalty?