Dispatches from District 12 - A Hunger Games blog

Hunger Games: Catching Fire – the Capitol of fashion

The importance of Capitol Couture in The Hunger Games stories

While the costume and make-up may just be background material in most films, it forms an essential part of 'The Hunger Games' world and serves to demonstrate the dramatic differences in wealth, culture and status across the districts of Panem, all the way from District 12 to the Capitol.

After all, when the contestants make their grand entrance into the arena, what they wear is of huge importance. It represents not only their character but their district and whether or not they are there to win. Capitol Couture is so important to the stories, in fact, that it has played an important role in the film's publicity, even garnering its own website.

When we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen, she is poor and lives in a rundown and small home with her mother and sister. The people of her district are coalminers and are very dirty and unkempt. Taking care of her hair and make-up, or remembering to shave her legs, really doesn't come into the equation. So when Katniss and Peeta find themselves in the Capitol the difference is extraordinary.

The Capitol style is one of grandeur and opulence. The people there have the money to not only buy food and other everyday items in excess, but to indulge in lavish outfits, make-up and hairdos. The style incorporates the use of bright colours, feathers, massive high heels and - though this has been cut from the film - even extends to the dying of skin.

Nobody personifies this "look" more than Effie Trinket, who - played by Elizabeth Banks - has had some of the most outrageous outfits so far in the films, with wigs, copious amounts of make-up and high heels clearly not designed for walking. In stark comparison to the likes of Effie, there is the beautifully simplistic Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), who opts for simple gold eyeliner. Of course, nobody manages as simplistic a look as Johanna Mason.

So is this a style fans of the film can emulate? Apparently so. All you need to do is go for bright colours and add a touch of sparkle (or throw a few feathers at it!). However, having spent the afternoon looking through examples of Capitol style and having make-up done to look like I'm ready to sit in the audience during the interview stage of the games, I can safely say that Londoners, at least, are not yet ready for the Capitol look. Well I certainly got a few funny looks on the tube home.

Amanda is an adaptations geek who wants to be friends with Katniss Everdeen and Ron Weasley and adores the two authors who brought them and their worlds to life. Sadly, she would probably not last long in a Hunger Games/Battle Royale scenario. Follow Amanda Keats on Twitter and Facebook.

More movie articles from Amanda Keats:

Three plot developments I can't wait to see in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Why Katniss Everdeen is a great female role model

Why The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks set to surpass the original