Catching Fire Costume Designer Trish Summerville Talks Set Secrets

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Lionsgate

Lionsgate

It’s the month of Catching Fire! With the Jennifer Lawrence-led film tapped to hit theaters on November 22, you should expect to see tons of exclusives across the Internet from the sequel to The Hunger Games — including on Teen.com!

During Fashion Week, we caught up with Trish Summerville, who received the honor of Costume Designer of the Year at the 2013 Style Awards for her work on the Lionsgate flick. And while we were chatting, we got the stylist to spill on working with our favorite Oscar-winner, the infamous wedding dress and, of course, Finnick Odair’s scantily-clad (or not so much) attire:


On Working with Jennifer Lawrence

She’s fantastic. I just feel really fortunate to have had the actors that I've had on this film because she’s so down to earth and so lovely and so hard-working and just effortless. She’s just really brilliant at what she does and she’s a joy to have on set. With her and Josh and this kind of chemistry that they have together and this friendship that they've developed, they interact so well with the crew and all of the other actors. They’re just really easygoing; really easygoing.

Photo: Lionsgate

On Finnick's Attire (or Lack Thereof)

In the books, it says that there’s a strategically placed knot that’s made out of net. :laughs: We have a PG-13 rating, so we have to cut it. And it’s also making what’s appropriate and what’s also going to look great and not comical. Some things from a book don’t translate literally onto film because it’s not your imagination and it has to be literal. So with that we were able to change that a bit, and Frances Lawrence [the director] and I had a lot of conversations, as well with Sam, who was quite relieved not to be in just a knot. But what we did was a gold netting; we knitted up this kind of a kilt for him that I thought made sense because he is a warrior, as all of these victors kind of are; they’re gladiators. So we knitted up a gold kilt that kind of also looked like a fishing net, so it has that inspiration of being from the fishing village. And kind of gave him more substantial boots, so they kind of toughened it up quite a bit. Then he has leather, pearl and shell necklaces on that also still tie to what his heritage is as a fisherman.

I have to say, Sam was such a good sport. I was really lucky. Like, all the actors in this were so great and really open. But because of what he had to wear -- he was really easygoing and really open. And, you know, they all trained and worked so hard, so they're all in great shape, so that made it much easier for me.

Photo: Lionsgate

Breaking Down the Wetsuits

The arena suits are made out of spandex and a kind of a microfiber; they have a three-dimensional printing on them. They’re basically modular, so they can be removed in different pieces. One of the things I was trying to keep in mind was the function and the fashion of it all because they’re in those costumes for a really, really long period of time. We had to have various stages of the costumes. I incorporated really interesting looking elbow pads and knee pads because we would have to give those to the actors anyway for a lot of the stunts that they do. So instead of having these really body-conscious suits and trying to shove pads underneath and disguise that, I decided to do them externally, so that they were really functional and worked for the kids and the actors and what they had to do, but that also looked really appealing. And we also take into consideration that they’re running, so we needed shoes that were really flexible in the sole because they’re going up the jungle mountains; they’re running on lava rocks; they had to have enough padding on the bottom so they didn't hurt their feet. And then it was also the weather conditions. It was very cold at that times; it was very hot at times. So we had to cover all those bases. And a lot of mobility.

Everybody seemed to respond really well to them. They would joke about how big of a lunch they could have, but they were working so hard all the time and they were so active. I think pretty much everyone really loved the costumes.

Photo: Lionsgate

On Jennifer Lawrence's Real-Life Style

I think her real-life style is really great. It goes all over the place from one event to what I think she’s doing in her own daily life. I think it’s quite effortless. She has this little bit of Bohemian chic I guess to her where she’s quite tall, so she can wear really long pieces. And she has a great shape and a little tiny waist, I feel like everything looks great on her. She can do period stuff and high-waisted things, and then she could do really flowy kind of dresses. She never looks like someone dressed her; she’s just kind of effortless and she’s doing her own thing, in her own style. On the weekends, when we were off, she looked great.

Photo: Lionsgate

On Cast Members' Love of the Wardrobe

They wanted to keep mostly everything. :laughs: Which is also really flattering. We joke about, like, ‘After you've worn this for, like, 100 days, are you still gonna want it in the end?’ That’s a big joy for me [when] we’re doing fittings and the actors really like their pieces and can really relate to them as their character and know why they’re wearing something.

Photo: Lionsgate

On the Pieces She's Most Proud Of

Probably the two pieces are Johanna’s chariot costume and also Katniss’ [at] President Snow’s gala; the Victory Tour party costume. It’s embroidered in the shape of feathers and flames. And then Johanna’s chariot costume is a bodysuit that has three-dimensional printing on it, and a leather corset inspired by — because she’s from the lumber district — so the corset looks like a tree. We literally took pieces of bark off of a tree and headed to a printer to have them scan it and make all of the pieces look like bark.

Photo: Lionsgate

On Katniss' Wedding Dress

That particular design I had found I think about two years ago [from another designer] and was really blown away. When I got this project, and knew about the wedding dress, I contacted the designer because I saw some of the things he did were just really amazing and I felt really fitting for the Capitol and what the world was. And he and I worked via Skype figuring out different designs because I wanted to have that cage that implies fire for her being the girl on fire. And then I asked him if he could incorporate feathers in it, but not literally be feathers from a bird, but just do something as laser cut. So he did all these laser cut feather shapes that are kind of all around the bottom of the bodice at her waist and then letting him know what the function of it had to be because some of his dresses are really big but quite weighty. So for us, we needed her to do a twirl, we needed the skirt to catch air. So that was a conversation back and forth, figuring out how to do that function of the garment.

Photo: Lionsgate

Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22. Stay tuned for more treats from the sequel to The Hunger Games on Teen.com, and make sure to join the conversation on our Catching Fire message board.

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Comments

5 Responses to "Catching Fire Costume Designer Trish Summerville Talks Set Secrets"

  1. […] Teen also spoke with Trish about working with the cast on their costumes and her wetsuit design for the Victors’ arena outfits. […]

  2. Teen.com
    Sammy says:

    I’m so excited for the movie!

  3. […] certainly given a lot of interviews in the past week. Well, here’s another one with Teen.com. Summerville has given 7 secrets from the Catching Fire set, some excerpts are […]

  4. Teen.com
    mo says:

    this wasnt a sneek peek lol

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