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Peeta Mellark: Spirit of Strength

Capitol Couture has been waiting eagerly for the next wave of incredible images of our cherished elite, and here they are! Fresh from the excitement of the most eventful Quarter Quell to date, we are thrilled and honored to present the new Capitol Citizen Living Portraits.

As our Quarter Quell victors, Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason hold the distinct honor of being the first Capitol citizens featured within a Living Portrait.  Peeta stands tall and true in his Capitol Citizen Living Portrait, his matte leather Unconditional ensemble showcasing a stone-like texture and channeling the victor’s quiet strength, completed by shirt and shoes courtesy of Maison Martin Margiela. The paper collar piece, designed by David Mason, mirrors the sculptural elements in Johanna’s dress and gives a stern ambiance to the baker’s son. With an unprecedented two victories under his belt, Peeta is no longer the boy who bravely faced the 74th Hunger Games, but a true Capitol hero.   

Citizens can witness the artist’s hand-selected series of Living Portraits in person at SOCA this summer.


Johanna Mason: Statuesque Allure

The Capitol has outdone itself once again.  Still basking in the stoic radiance that was last year’s stunning Capitol Portraits, we here at Capitol Couture have nevertheless been waiting eagerly for the next wave of incredible images of our cherished elite. Fresh from the excitement of the most eventful Quarter Quell to date, we are thrilled and honored to present the new Capitol Citizen Living Portraits.  

As our Quarter Quell victors, Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason hold the distinct honor of being the first Capitol citizens featured within a Living Portrait.  Here we see Johanna in an exquisite Alon Livne creation that “juxtaposes the flowing drapery of classic statuary while the super modern and sculptural iridescent white bodice references the branch motif of the Panem Seal.”  With plunging lines and slits as daring and divine as the warrior woman herself, every element of Johanna’s ensemble (including her Alexander Wang shoes and hand-carved marble bangles by Chen Chen and Kai Williams) exudes her fierce strength and enduring pride- a true darling of the Capitol.

Already all the rage with the Capitol elite, Capitol families are lining up to view these astoundingly realistic hologram displays in person. Citizens can witness the artist’s hand-selected series of Capitol Citizen Living Portraits in person at SOCA this summer.    


Mary Katrantzou / Swarovski

Mary Katrantzou has a significant history of collaboration under her belt.  Known as the “queen of prints”, Katrantzou has leant her design and striking patterns to capsule collections with luxury leather company Longchamp, the hip British Topshop, the iconic outerwear pillar Moncler, and the ballet-chic Repetto, among others. Her longest and most prolific collaboration (meticulously crafted in the artisan workshops of District 1) is with The Swarovski Collective, spanning over 7 seasons of rainbow runways.

To create these collections of kaleidoscopic color, Katrantzou “uses Swarovski crystals to give the garments heightened texture, working together to push the boundaries of surface and textile design.” Between Katrantzou’s exquisite eye for patterns and Swarovski’s dazzling gems, this pair creates elaborate clothing confections tailor-made for the streets of the Capitol.  

Capitol Couture salutes both Mary Katrantzou and Swarovski for their time-honored dedication to the united vision of One Panem.


Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason: a Capitol Couture Exclusive

"Let’s get on with it then," the battle-ax valkyrie huffs, shifting her weight and crossing her legs impatiently. Johanna Mason is as much a stately figure as ever, her long, bespoke skirt an iridescent pool around her feet. Risen from the waters of the magnificently treacherous Quarter Quell arena, her alabaster skin and flowing blonde locks belie the deadliest of instincts.

President Snow, in his perpetually magnanimous manner, saw fit to offer his personal sitting room for our exclusive interview and we simply could not refuse.The gilded room around us reflects glints of Johanna’s ivory ensemble, snaking around her arms in a woven pattern and blooming into a flared collar. Seated next to her is a silent Peeta Mellark, his fitted snowy suit and structured lapels speaking volumes in the ethereal light of the room.

Throughout our conversation, it is heavily apparent that Johanna is the leader in this duo- she leans forward with every question in an ingrained display of bravado.

“We went through a lot in the arena, but what’s important now is that Peeta and I are representatives of Panem- Districts 7 and 12 combining our efforts for a better future.”

It’s a patriotism that is blatantly on display in the new Capitol Living Portraits series, and Johanna positively gushes about the experience.  

“I don’t even know how long I was on my feet, but those Alexander Wang shoes made me feel like a cloud on a pedestal. It was a really special day.”

The attention to detail in both Johanna’s and Peeta’s respective ensembles for the Living Portrait series is truly astounding upon closer assessment. The sculptural bodice of Ms. Mason’s dress mirrors the shape and movement of the Panem Seal, while Mellark’s paper collar piece adds to the chiseled-yet-natural theme in both outfits. It is an apt metaphor for a nation built up from the ground, raised by its people into beautifully functional, systemically beneficial government.     

“It’s really amazing to be featured in these portraits,” Johanna states. “Peeta and I come from such humble backgrounds- to be representing Panem like never before is such an honor. We are very proud to be featured as the faces of our country.”  


Farewell for the Season

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!


Top Fashion of the Year

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.  

We thank all the designers spotlighted this year for their tireless efforts toward fashion in our city and look forward to a whole new set of burgeoning talent in the new year.  Watch this year’s fashion come alive; get your seats today! 


Precision and Purpose with Phil Messina

Everything is Immaculate in the Capitol.

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. 

Thanks to Phil for taking the time to speak with us.  Get your seats to see all things Capitol and a recap of the Games! 


Exclusive: Inside the Quarter Quell Arena

The Gamemakers have out done themselves.

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).  

The games never cease to amaze, especially in this 75th year—  a true Quarter Quell Celebration! Catch all the Hunger Games action now!


Exclusive: Finnick Odair Surfaces

A chat with the Victor who makes us swoon.

by Monica Corcoran Harel

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.


Capitol Look: Mao Geping

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.


Fashion Inspired by Panem

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.


Capitol Elite Celebrate the Quarter Quell 

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?


The 75th Hunger Games Starts Now

The Capitol Critics are raving and now, a nation united watches and waits.

By the Capitol Couture staff

Citizens: It has been a breathless, dizzying countdown to today! We introduced you to our courageous Victors, one by one, and saluted their respective Districts. Uber-stylist Cinna unveiled his new scent here and we reported on Panem’s widespread influence on the fashion runways. In our profiles, you glimpsed a softer, more carefree side of our heroine Katniss Everdeen and met the sly minx of District 7, Johanna Mason.

For months, we all anticipated this Quarter Quell—an anniversary year of the Games to commemorate the steadfast hold of the Capitol. Parties and parades delighted us, distracted us. What will you wear to the Games, we asked each other?  Where will you sit at the viewing events? Most importantly, who will you champion?

But before we knew it, the day of the Quarter Quell arrived. And like with any once looming monumental event, neither the reality nor the gravity had really resonated.  Katniss. Peeta. Effie. Finnick. Haymitch. Cinna. These amazing citizens feel more like intimate family than famous personalities. Katniss, our sister with a heart of steel. Peeta, a pillar of loyalty and devotion. Effie, the hysterical Auntie in eight-inch heels. Cinna, our cousin as cool as an ice floe with tapestry vision.

Clearly, our forefathers giveth and taketh. We’re thankful for the glorious times we shared with Panem’s finest.  May our Victors strategize confidently and battle with cunning. If they must fall, may it be fast.  We, the team of Capitol Couture, are watching the Hunger Games together—holding hands on the edge of our seats  Join us, as we catch fire.


Exclusive: The Evolution of Effie Trinket

The District 12 escort on her outrageous looks.

by Monica Corcoran Harel

For years, Effie Trinket has stood out in the Capitol for her signature style. Like a couture cupcake, this fashion pioneer cuts a wide swath in her trademark pastel wigs and architectural frocks. Never once has Trinket been spotted in ballerina flats or any comfortable footwear, for that matter.  One year, during fashion week, Trinket made headlines when she stormed the runway during a Thom Browne show and literally begged a model to let her try on the sky-high platforms.

But in the past season—with the Quarter Quell right around the corner—Trinket has shown that she can outdo herself.  “She’s a celebrity now. She was always a fashion maven too, but I think she feels the pressure to really up her game and show off,” says Elizabeth Banks. “Effie is someone who wears fur, feathers. She says, ‘Oh a butterfly. I’m going to kill it and make a dress!’ She plunders nature for her own gratification.”

Case in point: Her monarch butterfly dress, worn for the Reaping, boasted 10,000 feathers and had to be slipped on to the escort from above because of its structured form and high collar.  (What no one knows is that Haymitch Abernathy and Katniss Everdeen fanned Trinket to keep her cool on that warm, sunny day.)

Some of Trinket’s other recent flamboyant ensembles? “We had names for every dress,” Banks adds. “One—the blue with the feather shrug—was ‘The Gorilla.’ The belt is incredible too, but there was no eating and barely any sitting in that dress!” For her visit to the Victor’s Village, the escort wore a white leather laser cut Alexander McQueen with snowy curls and boots trimmed in white fur. Banks calls it “The Snow Queen” and says: “Other than the belt, it’s actually comfortable. I’m wearing custom fur boots and gloves too. I love this look so much!”

Of course, the most celebrated escort understands the rigors of beauty. All of her wigs are hand-created for her in District 1, where real gold/platinum threads and diamond dust are made. “The gold wig I wore with the red fans dress was the hardest because it was like fitting architecture to my head,” says Banks. With Capitol luminaries Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark as her charges and tours galore, this den mother admits that she sometimes has to make some concessions on her routine. “I wear amazing gloves now instead of crazy nails because the nails took 45 minutes to do,” she says.

No doubt, the upcoming Games are a cause of great inner conflict for Trinket. Imagine how she must feel, seeing her Victors off to battle. Still, it’s inarguable that Effie Trinket will continue to be an utter tornado of chic.  From her pink feather faux lashes to her crystal encrusted fishnet hosiery, this Capitol icon will never lose sight of her effect. Says Banks: “Effie is a great fashion influence.  She lets me be a little wild.”


Exclusive: Katniss & Peeta Speak

Their love is palpable and their spirits remain determined.  

by Velvet Veritas

The star-crossed lovers from District 12.  Panem’s sweethearts.  Regardless of the titles placed upon them, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have shown unimaginable bravery in the face of almost certain death, with an unwavering devotion to each other that has inspired and brought a country together.  

From Peeta’s startling revelation of love on Caesar Flickerman’s stage to the moment in the arena they uttered that fateful word, “together,” our nation has had the collective honor of watching these two young people grow in their love for each other, and together, they have risen far past their humble District 12 beginnings.  

"I can’t imagine my life without her," Peeta says, squeezing Katniss’s hand as they sit in their quarters on the last day before their second Hunger Games.  "Katniss is the only reason I’m alive today, and this time, I’m going to protect her.”  Katniss is radiant in a a cowl-neck deep green sweater, sitting as close to Peeta as humanly possible.  She gives him a sad smile before shooting me a worried look.  

"Sorry, I’m not great with words," she says, shifting the leg that’s folded underneath her.  "It’s always been the two of us in this, and… well, he’s my rock.  We’ll go into this arena like we’ve done everything else since this whole thing started—by each other’s side."  

Join Capitol Couture, and the rest of Panem, by reserving your seats today! And to our beloved couple and all the returning tributes, May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor!

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