Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cinna For A Day

In one of my classes last year, I had the extreme pleasure of reading the Hunger Games yet again. (I think that was the fifth time, if we're going to count. I like it better each time I read it, too!) And after we completed the novel, we were given the task to create a project integrating writing, creativity, and reading comprehension. We even had a nifty sheet of options. I jumped to #12 --- Other ideas? See teacher.

I wanted so badly to create a "bible," of sorts, to the clothing Katniss wears throughout the first book of Suzanne Collins' series. I pulled a few strings, got the approval, and went on my way! :)

But I wanted to do more than just report what she wore and show what I thought it looked like. I wanted it to be real, to make sense in the real-world context. So that's exactly what I did. Layering the intent of each costume in the story context, the almost-magic properties of the fabrics, and the imagery in each outfit, I compiled a binder of Katniss's wardrobe, selecting fabrics that could withstand... synthetic flame, for instance. Or a soft candle glow. Or anything so that they could come to life.

Here's a few pictures of the designs:

This costume, one of the most iconic of Katniss', is lined with yellow silk and features an outer layer of a golden yellow satin, to create a background for the multi-faced, iridescent oblong beads of red, yellow, white, and blue.

This one took second place in design research effort. Collins says that it " the illusion of [Katniss] wearing candlelight" (Collins 354). To make this design come to life, the lining of the dress is made of a fabric that is dyed with powder manifested from the deep sea, which is from an Australian company called Energlo (which is extremely cool!). In such, the dress would gently glow as the stage lights are turned off for the review of the games.

This one was my favorite to design, especially because they wear it for a good time in the book. It had to be PERFECT! I really liked how it turned out.

Okay, now this one (the arena entrance costume) was the hardest, especially with the synthetic flames that won't burn the wearer. One lighter fluid that makes the flames cool enough to not burn the skin is any type of naphtha lighter fluid. However, there's a delicate balance with fabrics in this. The fabric dipped in the fluid has to be non-synthetic or they'll melt upon ignition. Therefore, the strips that make up this flaming cape (and wrapped tightly around a metal ring for the headpiece) is silk. A regular match, paired with the dipped strips of silk, will create this "synthetic" flame. The suits are made of natural spandex fibers.
*Just a note: I haven't tried to see if this works for real. These facts are assumed from research and have not been tested. Just so we're clear.

So that was my HG project. It was very extensive, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Since, I have been thinking about completing the whole series in a similar style. For now, I'm glad I have book 1 costumes down on paper! :)

'Til next time!


  1. These look great! Have you seen this blog? They feature costume sketches a bit...although there haven't been any new posts for a while, there's a wealth of content in their back logs.

  2. You drew all of those? OH MY GOSH THEY'RE AMAZING!!!! I'm so jealous of your skills. *sends link to* :)


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