The Hunger Games Costumes on the Auction Block

The first film in The Hunger Games series was a runaway hit, grossing more than $400 million to date. Based on a series of books by the same title, the story set in a dystopian future centers on an annual Gladiator-esque game that pits the children of twelve poor districts against each other in a life or death match for the entertainment of the Capitol populous. 

The costumes, designed by award-winning designer Judianna Makovsky, were acquired by auction company Blacksparrow Auctions shortly after production wrapped. The costumes have been featured in a tour that made stops in several cities across the country, as well as at the Costume Designer’s Guild Awards where Makovsky was honored with a Career Achievement Award. These wonderfully iconic costumes will be on the auction block next week, November 16th 2013.

An auction of this nature not only offers collectors an opportunity to own a piece of film history, but affords us all the opportunity to take a closer look at the design of individual pieces up close without the distortions of the camera, lighting, or special effects. While this is obviously not how the designer ever intended them to be seen, it gives us a little peek behind the curtain at the tricks of the trade used to create such striking images on screen.

Makovsky does a masterful job in visually portraying the dichotomy between the haves and have-nots. What better era to draw inspiration from for the impoverished districts, particularly coal-mining District 12, than depression-era clothing of the 1930s. The inhabitants of this region are seen in simple garments made of sturdy work wear materials of cottons and wools. The color palette is neutral, dusty, and utilizes little to no pattern. The worn leather shoes and accessories support the idea of this region’s hardship and history.

The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky


One of the key costume pieces telling the story of this history is the oversized leather jacket that Katniss wears that belonged to her father. Custom-made and expertly distressed, it quickly becomes a symbol of Katniss’ strength and allegiance to her family. This costume, though owned by Blacksparrow Auctions was leant to the production of Hunger Games Catching Fire, and appears in that film as well. Contrasting directly with her image of a hunter, Katniss’ Reaping dress, made of vintage fabric with ruching details at the shoulders, represents both her beauty and vulnerability.


The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky

This somber, tonal landscape is shattered by the arrival of the Peacekeepers in their contrasting white and black uniforms, and the dazzling Effie Trinket in her vivid magenta suit.

The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky


This is our first look at the world of the Capitol that Katniss and Petra are whisked away in which to compete. In the Capitol fashion we see excess displayed through a bold use of color, volume, and layering.

The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky


Mixing style elements from the 19th Century to the 1980s, Makovsky draws on such iconic elements as the bustle, peplum and mutton sleeve to create shapes that are avant garde and eye-catching. High contrasting colors against sleek blacks, a wide array of ruffles, and luxurious textures of satin, metallic, and fur all work in harmony to depict a society that is defined by its wealth and facade.


The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky

 

As part of the press events leading up to the games, we see Katniss in one of the most iconic looks of the film. The Swarovski-crystal embellished red gown (with flames added in post-production) solidifies her image as the “Girl on Fire.”


The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky

 

In the training sequence we see the tributes dressed in minimalist, unisex uniforms of black, grey, and maroon. Short stand colors and chunky black boots help lend to a rugged image that feels equal parts prison, sport, and military uniform.


The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky

 

The costumes of the arena competition are practical, subdued survival clothing, layering t-shirts and hooded jackets with cargo pants and boots. In the auction catalog we are able to see the wonderful array of colors and contrasting details that were created to delineate each district. Up for auction are clean versions as well as battle-worn distressed versions of these costumes.

The Hunger Games, Costume Auction by Blacksparrow Auctions, Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky 


For the sequel, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, a new director and costume designer were hired. With this upcoming film we see an all too popular trend in the collaboration between costume designer Trish Summerville and high-end fashion design brands such as Alexander McQueen, House of Worth, and Tex Saverio. This makes the costumes by Judianna Makovsky all the more unique to collect, as they represent a more traditional approach to costume design with the vast majority of pieces having been custom built for this production.

Check out more images of The Hunger Games costumes up for auction in the Auction Catalog at Blacksparrow Auctions. And if you’re interested in owning a piece of history, register to place a phone or in-person bid November 16th, 2013!


Great book with wonderful images, The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion.