Credit: Murray Close

Costume designer Trish Summerville really kicked up the Capitol’s fashion quotient for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

“The first and second movies are so vastly different. The fashion of the Capitol changes,” explains Summerville who was brought in by director Francis Lawrence to amp up the style for the second film in the franchise. “These are people who have money. They’re mass consumers of luxury and fashion.” Fashion may be an ugly business in Panem, but the Catching Fire characters’ ensembles — a mix of ready-to-wear pieces borrowed from designers like Alexander McQueen and original creations by Summerville — are nothing short of sartorial splendor. Fans of Summerville’s work will even be able to buy a piece of Catching Fire inspired fashion when launches the Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville collection on November 21.

For Summerville, taking the reins from Judianna Makovsky, who designed the costumes for the first Hunger Games movie, also meant taking on the responsibility to stay true to both the vision outlined by author Suzanne Collins and meeting the expectations of fans. “I wanted to be respectful to all these people who had spent all their time creating this world and environment. There were certain liberties we had to take that kept the same idea but [were more] functional for an actor compared to what you would have in just [your] imagination,” the designer says. “One thing we changed was the Games costumes. In the book, they’re sheer blue jumpsuits and it doesn’t really describe what they have underneath. When I was reading through fan sites to see what fans want to see those costumes had never come up [so I knew we had more freedom]. Suzanne created this world so I wanted to see what she was fine with…. She was great about it.”

Click through the gallery for a sneak peek at the updated looks of Katniss, Effie, and more Catching Fire characters.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Katniss Everdeen

When it came time to decide on a wedding dress for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Summerville turned to Tex Saverio — a Jakarta-based designer known as the “Alexander McQueen of Indonesia” — to help her create something special. “There was all this pressure with the wedding dress, [but] Tex’s stuff very much fit the world of the Capitol,” Summerville says of collaborating with the relatively unknown designer on Katniss’ avant-garde metal-and-chiffon gown. “I want to introduce new designers to the world when I can.”

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Effie Trinket

When it comes to Effie, Summerville’s mantra was “pain-is-beauty.” Luckily, actress Elizabeth Banks was willing to suffer. “My thing with Effie is [that] she has to be uncomfortable….. She has to be squeezed in, she has to teeter around, and she can’t really sit around,” the designer explains. “Elizabeth is such a good sport about it.”

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Peeta Mellark

“[He] is so into his character,” Summerville says of working with Josh Hutcherson, who wears pieces by up-and-coming designers like Nicholas K and Juun.J throughout the movie. “He had a lot of input and [was] really in tune with [my vision].” Both Hutcherson and Lawrence had around 45 costume changes, but Summerville says it was the extras that had her working overtime. “For each person, you want to give them all your attention and each extra mattered to me so much.”

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

President Snow

Even President Snow (Donald Sutherland) got some new threads for Catching Fire, though the real people who influenced his new look aren’t your traditional style icons. “[Donald] is really meticulous and thoughtful about who Snow is and what he wears and why he wears them. Since I was changing his look so much, I had to walk him through that,” Summerville says of using controversial figures like Joseph Stalin and Pope Benedict XVI as inspirations. “They had an inherent evil to them, but they didn’t think that. They thought they were dignitaries.”

Get an inside look at the ’70s costumes and hairstyles in American Hustle and more stylish movies and TV shows in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday.

Catching Fire
  • Book