Exclusive Interviews with Our Victors
Backstage, at Caeser Flickerman’s show.
by Kaysa Minox
Caesar Flickerman’s personal stage is a lot like a fashion runway. You enter, sashay and perhaps even twirl if you’re Katniss Everdeen. Flickerman, ever the impresario, will always do the lingering once-over from head to toe. The audience watches for his reaction—a slight smirk at a chewed fingernail or a delighted nod with a reflective pocket square—and applauds accordingly. In the Capitol, Flickerman is our fashion thermometer, a benevolent Karl Lagerfeld meets a warm and gregarious Anna Wintour.
Just a moment ago, I stood backstage as the only reporter allowed a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the proceedings. Earlier, Flickerman complimented my leather obi by Cerre and Acne frock. But my mission was to catch the tributes between Flickerman and their seats. A few brushed by me, which is understandable. Emotions couldn’t be any deeper right now, as we gear up for the Quarter Quell.
Gloss, the Adonis from District 1, stopped next to me as his sister Cashmere—wearing a dress by Capitol darling Jan Taminiau—strode past without a glance.
Built like a stallion, Gloss is even more intimidating in person in a sleek silver leather coat by Logan Riese and boots by Trippen. “How does it feel out there?” I ask. “What’s running through your mind after being first on the stage?”
"Never thought I’d have to be first again,” he chuckles, before he furrows his brow. “But rules are rules. Cashmere and I are grateful for the opportunity to prove ourselves a second time.”
Beetee, looking professorially dapper in a plaid, lame vest by Trish Summerville, proves to be as eloquent and soft-spoken offstage. ”It’s difficult to express how I feel in this moment,” he says with a subtle grin. “As for the Games, brawn does not conquer intellect. I like my odds.”
On stage, I watch as Finnick Odair gives a rousing but cryptic declaration of love without naming the object of his affection. The audience swoons. I, too, find my pulse jump. Afterward, he saunters up to me and before I can ask him a question, Odair leans in close, sighs, and whispers in my ear: “That dress is a knockout.” He walks away without a backward glance. I can’t feel my feet.
Johanna Mason bolts by me in a huff, cursing like a thug in her Jan Taminiau couture gown and platform heels. Peeta—wearing a winter white wool suit by Juun.J and Rick Owens boots—dashes by me, as well. He looks too stricken to speak.
When Everdeen passes me, the hall is resonant with the earthy smoke of her transformed wedding dress. (Leave it to Cinna, a perfumer, to add the scent of amber, black violet and vanilla to the dress’ spectacular pyre.) Everdeen stands before me as a dark angel and symbol of the unity between the Capitol and the Districts. I am almost too overcome to speak until she nods to me. “That was an incredible transformation,” I stammer. Everdeen tilts her head, as if she’s not clear on the focus of my comment.
"I didn’t really know who I was before my first Games,” she starts to say and then looks down at her dress. “Oh, right—the wedding gown. Cinna just wanted me to be myself and I did that today."