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.
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.
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.
Gaspar Gloves are not for the faint of style. Just ask sartorial sylph Effie Trinket, who rarely makes an appearance without a pair on hand—literally. Designed by L.A.-based Dorothy Gaspar, these look-at-me accessories nod to old Hollywood glamour but always with a modern wink of detail like flocking, buckles or gold studs. “In my Spring 2014 collection, a notable part of the line is composed of sheer and leather gauntlet gloves,” says Gaspar, who is a third generation accessories artisan originally from Hungary. “It was extremely exciting to put these gloves together because many of the designs took on inspirations from the Hunger Games universe.”
Trinket, a Gaspar devotee along with Madonna, Katy Perry and Beyonce, opts for elaborate, couture cuffs on her gloves. (Designer Trish Summerville collaborated with the glove maker on the details.) The strong silhouettes pair perfectly with her couture frocks nipped at the waist and dramatic Elizabethan ruffs. “My goal was to inspire iconic visual details that would really bring out Effie’s outrageous and outspoken character, as well as create designs within the vein of her costumes,” Gaspar tells Capitol Couture.
Ready to take a bold cue from Trinket? A few directions to ponder: Marc Jacobs showed lace-paneled, leather gloves with ladylike blouses and hot pants for fall, while Wes Gordon accessorized mod looks with classic black satin opera gloves. Gaspar’s own ready-to-wear collection includes fingerless leather and crocheted driving gloves, opera-length gloves in suede or satin and feather-light sheer creations flocked with gold. The designer even credits our own stylish city as inspiration. Says Gaspar: “The citizens of the Capitol have such colorful and vibrant wardrobes.”
When Peeta Mallark’s stylist needed a cool, asymmetrical leather jacket for a stop on the Victory Tour, she turned to Cerre. This L.A.-based label—helmed by husband-and-wife-team Clayton and Flavie Webster—has a reputation for elevating simple staples such as sheaths and skirts into custom-like, tailored pieces. And while the duo created bespoke aubergine shawl collar coats for the Gamemakers and silk Avox uniforms, their women’s ready-to-wear collections merit more than a once over.
“I focus on the body and silhouette and Clayton approaches things more conceptually and focuses on the details and overall vision,” says Flavie, who recently gleaned inspiration from the beaches of her native South of France. (The former runway models who met while working in Paris.) “Clayton seems to get inspired a lot from the science fiction books he reads and strange music he listens to.”
The result is fluid silhouettes in a stark palette of leather and silk. An oversized lapis leather moto jacket, silk tops with detachable Joan of Arc snoods and a caramel blazer with exaggerated batwing sleeves are all highlights of their fall line. Clearly, their leather pieces transcend seasons and age like a fine Bordeaux. “Working with leather is amazing,” says Flavie Webster. “Every hide has its own unique characteristics that change over time and by taking care to use it in the highest quality construction possible, it can give you a lifetime of use.”
When it comes to loyalty, one might expect the Websters to favor District 10 for the hides that come from its livestock industry. Not so. “As far as our favorite Districts go, I guess we would have to say District 1 as they produce all of the luxury items,” says Flavie, who then adds: “But really I think we both favor District 13. “ Perhaps she means the memory of a bygone District?
While everyone dons costumes and scavenged for sweets, Capitol Couture brings you the most macabre chic in fashion today. This spectral creation comes to you from Anouk Wipprecht, a Vienna-based Dutch fashion designer with an impressive resume of interactively robotic couture pieces. Her most high profile creation—an outfit for the Black Eyed Peas lead singer Fergie at the 2011 Superbowl—amazed viewers across the globe with his tech edge. She collaborated with designer Bea Akerlund. “Fashion tech is hot on stage, but celebrities don’t wear tech-enhanced accessories or wearables off stage,” Wipprect has been quoted as saying to Vice. “When someone like Will.i.am or Gaga shows up with blinking jewelry or color-changing bags, the crowd will definitely follow.”
Other highlights in Wipprecht’s portfolio include a dress that emits smoke with movement, a frock that becomes transparent with proximity to others, and a dripping-pigment piece that generates a unique garment every time it’s worn. As for the future of tech couture, she sees a bright horizon: “I think in the near future people will start to experiment more with the combination of clothing and technology due to price and availability,” Wipprecht has said. “But still, it has a bit of a geeky feel to it.”
A collaboration with Austrian software developer Daniel Schatzmayr, this particular arachnid-inspired dress has its roots in the French video game LIMBO. It perches protectively on the shoulders, reacting via precise sensors when someone approaches. The effect is eerily repellent and magnetic in its grace and span. If only someone would wear such a magnificent design on the red carpet. That would put off the pesky paparazzi, no doubt. . As a proponent of “fashion tech” creations, Wipprecht sees the inherent design in each piece’s inner workings: “The technology creates the aesthetics,” she has said. Come Halloween night, arachnophobes beware: this black widow is ready to strike.
The devil may be in the details, but hell, accessories for men are a divine necessity. Every Capitol gentleman knows dark colors—moody charcoals, rich clarets, and ebony leathers—comprise the palette for this fall, but it’s the intricacies that make or break an outfit. We’re going through some of the hottest looks for cool weather and analyzing the must-have features for menswear this season.
1. Statement collars and rollnecks: As seen on runways at Lanvin and Raf Simons, bold turtlenecks and dramatic lapels add oomph to suiting and coats. A point of interest at the neckline frames the face and lures attention upwards, which is especially useful if you’re wearing the next item on our list.
2. Metallic Embellishments: Both Rick Owens and DSquared2 know that chunky jewelry—be it an oversized ID bracelet, skull stud or a gold dog tag pendant—makes a great contrast to a fitted ensemble and allows you to show off some edge in the office. It also pairs perfectly with select headpieces. If jewelry isn’t your thing, take a cue from our suave Victor Peeta Mellark and incorporate those metallic elements elsewhere, like a sculptural gold pocket square.
3. Tactile accents on leather: Whether purely functional or simply aesthetic, buttons and zippers add panache and texture to the slick façade of leather. Biker jackets from Balmain, Kin and Gin, and Christophe Terzian feature multiple zig-zags. Think of an abundance of zippers as sartorial scars. Super cool.
4. Light Layers: Fitted layering keeps the wearer warm while maintaining an enviable silhouette. Strategic structuring calls for insulation through thin layers rather than oversized outerwear. Our own Cinna executes this look flawlessly, with his trademark black-on-black ensembles.
A tornado of color and ethnic influences ground these designs.
When Giorgio Armani signs on as an ardent benefactor, you know you’ve got some muscle behind your label. Former model and relative newcomer Stella Jean capitalizes on her blended heritage—half Haitian, half Italian—to create ethnic looks with unique silhouettes. The result is a riot of color in ebullient forms. For her fall/winter collection, Jean paired wax fabrics from Africa with Navajo-like faux fur and Mongolian-inspired assymetrical cuts.
“I drew inspiration from the capacity to blend and juxtapose traditions that are distant, like pre-Columbian and Mongolian civilizations,” Jean has noted of her recent line. Jewel-embellished striped sweaters feel like rugby wear for royalty; patterned bustiers are perfect for layering with faux fur shrugs. Jean’s genius lies in her bravado—like a Michelin-rated chef, she takes bold, seemingly incongruent ingredients and makes them sing in harmony. Her signature kaleidoscope of color is a smart calling card for this up and comer.
Jean has summed up her design motto and personal mantra this way: “The only insurmountable frontiers are those of the mind.” Well spoken and elegantly executed. You can check out her fall line—from funky, studded African print cuffs ($128) to a ladylike dress with flared skirt, white collar and button cuffs ($1105)—at farfetch.
Capitol Couture partners with SOCA to find Panem’s next best artist.
Here at Capitol Couture, we value our citizens’ creative pursuits above all. Expression should never be stifled. To honor those who capture the spirit of our Victors and Panem through art, we invite you to send us your best work. A panel of four esteemed judges—including our Editor in Chief—will ultimately choose six finalists and one grand winner. Every finalist will be spotlighted on Capitol Couture, but the masterpiece will be showcased as a permanent exhibit in the prestigious Salon of Capitol Art (SOCA) in City Center.
Please read the guidelines:
Any and all mediums—from abstract acrylics to edible collage—are welcome, but please only send high-resolution photos for jury.
Anything you send must be your own creation; be prepared to prove it, if need be.
Submit, sit back and relax. We will post the first three finalists on October 30th, 2014 and the next three finalists on November 6th, 2014. Our winner will be announced and introduced in a feature that will run on November 20th 2014.
Be ingenious, but not indecent. Sexually explicit or violent material will not be considered.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Begins 10/16/13 at 12:01 pm PT and ends on 11/02/13 at 11:59 pm PT. Open to legal residents of 50 US (& DC) & Canada (excl. Quebec), 13+. See Official Rules for additional eligibility restrictions, prize description/restrictions/ARV, and complete details. Void where prohibited.
Everyone understands the appeal of the perfect sweater and its soft, maternal embrace—especially Los Angeles-based designer Maria Dora. “Knitwear is a very personal thing,” she says of her own vocation to construct unique silhouettes from wools, braided yarn and materials like leather, plastic and even metal. Dora, who apprenticed with masters of macramé Ohne Titel and with JC Obando, also creates delicate templates that overlay the anatomy like an artful web. “My aesthetic is pretty nomadic in origin,” she says. “But it’s grounded in minimal shape and volume.”
For the cowl worn by Katniss, Dora collaborated with Capitol costume designer Trish Summerville—and Cinna, of course. The piece, which was inspired by Dora’s first knitwear collection, needed to move with the stealthy Victor who’s know for her hunting skills. “As a designer, you always imagine a complex and magnetic heroine in your clothes, so seeing Katniss is a surreal experience,” she says. The cowl was woven entirely by hand and it took two people several weeks to knit it.
Right now, Dora is focused on directional ribbing for a linear effect and experimenting with chain mail and metal rings that need to be woven in by hand. Her next collection is an exclusive line for the chic “Japanese Fashion Museum” and retail revolution known as Isetan Park. For inspiration, the designer looks beyond the immediate horizon. “There’s something romantic and exciting about the notion of a new frontier,” says Dora, whose outside of the Capitol fans include Nicole Richie and Miley Cyrus. “From the Wild West to the Aran Isles, I always fall in love with the people at the edge of civilization.”
Check out Maria Dora’s blog to see what inspires her day to day, from diamond cuts to Helmut Newton photographs.
Spanish designer Alba Prat wasn’t always the technology-minded, geometric genius whose designs now frequent the City Circle streets. Since beginning her voyage into the fashion world holding an Environmental Science degree, Prat has produced several concept collections that have wowed internationally, beginning with “Synthetic Oceans”—- created around the idea of marine life adapting to plastic in its environment.
Her penchant for neon and vibrant hues shows up prominently in her most recent collections. In “Syn Chron,” a bright cerise red oversized blazer brings to mind David Byrne’s ridiculously huge suiting onstage that typified the excess of the ‘80 for the Talking Heads tour. For the collection, Alba also recorded her own heartbeat and used special software to translate it into the patterns of her prints. Very cool.
But one of Capitol Couture’s favorite lines is Fall 2011’s “Digitalized,” which endeavors to bring cinematic elements of the sci-fi classic Tron to everyday fashion materials such as wool, cotton, and leather. With her androgynous silhouettes and 3D diamond/hexagonal patterning, Prat channels the film’s concept of turning “real people into pixels” by taking the film’s “strong retro character” and delivering it to us in modern, minimalist form. (“Digitized” pictured left.)