Girl-on-fire frocks, exploding chiffon headdresses and metal-cage bodices covered in plumes – who hasn’t fantasised about wearing the costumes from The Hunger Games? Now, thanks to a new collaboration with the film’s costume designer Trish Summerville and Net-A-Porter, we can finally get our mitts on heroine Katniss’s red-carpet-ready looks. Grazia was granted a one-on-one chat with Trish at Net-A-Porter's swanky New York office where we got an up-close look at the collection, which you can swoon over in this week's issue (out today). For now, the lovely lady fills us in on everything from working with the likes of McQueen to dressing Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart...
Grazia: Congratulations on a great collection! Tell us more about it.
Trish Summerville: It’s made for the Katniss girl of today and ranges from dresses to leather pants and T-shirts so there’s something for everybody. It’s made up of key pieces that you can keep in your wardrobe and work with other outfits. There are a lot of black pieces, but we all love black!
Grazia: So how did you make the flamboyant Hunger Games costumes wearable?
Trish Summerville: We took certain pieces that we thought could translate into a ready to wear line. It was about keeping the detail of the beading or the sheerness of the fabric and making it into a silhouette and shape that can fit all body types.
Grazia: Which pieces are directly inspired by Katniss?
Trish Summerville: There’s a coat based on the one Katniss wears when she goes to Victors Village and it’s snowing. It has a faux fur collar which is detachable. There is also one piece based on her chariot dress, which is a laser cut leather but I chose to do it in patent [below right].
Grazia: And the green dress [above] is gorgeous.
Trish Summerville: I based it on the character of Johanna who is the Tribute from the Lumber District. In the film, she wears this beautiful dress made out of chiffon with a high neck. So for the collection, I made it in green in keeping with her district and included the chiffon high neck. I’d team it with big cuffs and boots to make it a little more edgy.
Grazia: Were you inspired by any other characters?
Trish Summerville: The leather pants are my tribute to Cinna. The character is really cool and smooth and because he’s also a stylist, I can relate to having one piece that you can work in without it being too flashy. Most stylists like to step back and let others shine.
Grazia: Speaking of which, did you bring your own personal style into the collection?
Trish Summerville: I mainly based it on the films, but it was fun for me to do the dresses because when I worked on ‘Girl With A Dragon Tattoo’, we kept it very close to Lisbeth Slander’s style. This time round, I got the chance to create these really feminine dresses.
Grazia: What made you want to work with Net-A-Porter?
Trish Summerville: It’s a great marriage because the collection introduces the Hunger Games’ fanbase to the site and vice versa. My goal is that the Net-A-Porter customer who doesn’t know the series will see the clothes and want to check out the film. I also hope that people who watch the film will then check out the collection on Net-a-Porter.
Grazia: You’ve also worked with many great designers for the films - how was that?
Trish Summerville: I’ve done editorials and celebrity shoots in the past so I have pretty good relationships with a lot of the designers so reaching out to them made sense, especially with Alexander McQueen and Nicholas K. I feel so lucky and grateful that they wanted to participate in the films. I was really overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity.
Grazia: Who else would you love to work with?
Trish Summerville: I’m really obsessed with Iris van Herpen and I was trying to figure out a way to work with her, but her pieces are such museum pieces. In the end, we did use her fang shoe for Effie when she’s in the Alexander McQueen butterfly monarch dress.
Grazia: How does designing ready-to-wear differ to creating film costumes?
Trish Summerville: It’s hard because I want to do it all! I have a degree in fashion design so this is how I got started. It was interesting to return to design and remember that I can drape and sew. It was challenging sourcing the fabrics and figuring out what would sell and what the fans would want to see. I’m very fortunate that I love all aspects of my job.
Grazia: Can you see yourself showing at fashion week?
Trish Summerville: I’d love to, that would be great. I hope to do my own line one day and design jewellery. Accessories are my thing - if everybody buys the same dress, accessorising is how you bring your own personal style to it.
Trish Summerville with Rooney Mara in February 2012 [WireImage]
Grazia: And what about styling?
Trish Summerville: I’m focusing on film so I haven’t had the time recently, but I would like to do more because it’s really fun.
Grazia: Do you give styling tips to the films’ stars Jennifer Lawrence and Rooney Mara?
Trish Summerville: They both have amazing style and have this chameleon-like ability to transform into different characters. I’m really impressed that they take their craft seriously but are able to have fun too. It’s really refreshing because in that age bracket, it’s really rare to have such depth and scale.
Grazia: Kristen Stewart is in a similar bracket - what do you make of her style?
Trish Summerville: It’s great that she’s stayed true to herself. The pressure of awards shows and press junkets is to dress really ladylike, which is not always age appropriate. For good or for bad, she’s keeping it her own by throwing on sneakers. It’s probably her way of rebelling.
Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville, exclusively at net-a-porter.com from 21 November. See J-Law's greatest style hits in the gallery below...