The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 65 years before the original trilogy, offering a retro aesthetic through its fashion and beauty. The film’s beauty and costuming teams are as passionate about the franchise as fans and it shows. Beauty plays a significant role in storytelling, embodying a character’s upbringing and status while showcasing creativity and natural elements in poverty-stricken scenes. The film’s villainous presence and playful performance scenes add to the movie’s impact.
Setting the Stage: The Dystopian Future of North America
This time jump has allowed director Francis Lawrence to play with the aesthetic of the film, bringing a retro feel to the costumes and makeup. The 1940s-inspired fashion and beauty creates a unique visual experience that sets the movie apart from its predecessors. The dystopian future of North America serves as the perfect backdrop for Lawrence to push the boundaries, introducing eccentricity and edginess to the Academy students and Capitol crowd. Overall, the setting and aesthetic of the movie provide an immersive experience for anyone looking to dive back into the Hunger Games universe.
Embodying Upbringing: The Character of Lucy Gray Baird – The Hunger Games
Lucy Gray Baird, the metaphorical “songbird” and a member of the traveling troupe Covey, visually embodies her upbringing through her unique beauty and fashion choices. She has a bohemian and natural aesthetic, which is elevated at times. Her standout feature includes ombré lips and pointed bleached brows while her hair is designed to resemble old Hollywood glamour with a gypsy-style wig collection.
The poverty-stricken surroundings of District 12 enforced a lack of makeup and inspired natural elements such as wild berries, crushed beetles, and coal being used to create looks. The decision to take inspiration from natural elements adds a realistic touch that draws viewers into the film’s narrative. It also adds a quirky edge that modern viewers can sympathize and find relatable.
Lucy Gray Baird’s character is a true representation of the stylistic choices the filmmakers made throughout the film’s production. The use of makeup and styling techniques creates a transformative experience that brings the film’s dystopian reality to life.
The Capitol Crowd: Wealth and Status Visualized – The Hunger Games
The beauty and costumes of The Hunger Games also showcase the perceived wealth and status of the Capitol crowd. Characters like Tigris, who eventually has her own atelier and makes clothing, are presented as extremely fashionable with extreme shapes and beautiful wear on her garments, showcasing her attempt to maintain the image of her family’s prestige. The Capitol characters visually exude the wealth and status that they so rely on to maintain their power. The makeup used on these characters is often bold and dramatic, with bright colors and intricate patterns that represent their opulence. The costumes are similarly lavish, with designer gowns and suits that highlight their status as the elite of Panem. The attention to detail in the beauty and costuming of these characters adds depth to the film and further immerses the audience in the world of the Capitol’s excess.
Villainous Presence: Creating the Character of Dr. Gaul
Villains always play a crucial role in the success of a film, and Dr. Gaul (played by Viola Davis) in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is no exception. According to the film’s beauty and costuming teams, Dr. Gaul is a madcap mad scientist/Dr. Frankenstein character, and they made sure that her character had a lot of texture while keeping a playful and frightening presence. Her fabrics, probably manufactured within the Capitol, were used to bring in a lot of color.
Sommerville worked with Laurence and Gooley to create Dr. Gaul’s scarification, which helped to showcase her villainous character. With the use of texture and scarification, Dr. Gaul’s presence was created to be both playful and frightening. Her fabrics and use of color highlight her character and the fact that she lives and works within the Capitol, relying on her perceived wealth and status.
Playful Looks: The Performance Scene – The Hunger Games
As the film’s metaphorical “songbird,” Lucy Gray Baird’s performance scenes showcased opportunities for the beauty and costuming teams’ creativity. The team went back to basics in creating makeup looks for poverty-stricken characters, using natural elements like wild berries, crushed beetles, and coal. These character’s scenes were more cleaned up and had a more ethereal feeling to them. The team also got to be playful with Lucy’s Bohemian-inspired looks, where one look included holographic green and blue-winged liner, and beautiful highlights on her skin. Lucy’s menu of gypsy-style wigs certainly kept the team creatively busy.
The beauty and costuming teams behind The Hunger Games were as passionate about the franchise as the fans, and their dedication shows in the film’s stunning visuals. The creative use of hair, makeup, and costumes played a crucial role in storytelling, immersing viewers in the dystopian world of the film. The edgy and eccentric styles of the Academy students and Capitol crowd were a standout, and the character of Lucy Gray Baird was brought to life in a breathtaking way. The success of the film can be attributed in part to the impact of beauty and storytelling, and the passion poured into it by the talented teams behind the scenes.