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Hunger Games: Catching Fire Burns White-Hot with Katniss and Her Wedding Gown

5 Sep

   costumesOriginally published for my “Fashion in Film Beat” at Yahoo! Movies

Staci Layne Wilson

The sequel to “The Hunger Games” – which grossed nearly $700 million worldwide – promises to be on every best-dressed list in Tinsel Town!

In the hotly anticipated fantasy action thriller, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” begins as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) returns home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games. Along with fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), she must prepare the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change their land of Panem forever.

Along with a whole new set of cinematic challenges and a new director (Francis Lawrence, best-known for Constantine and I Am Legend), “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” features a whole different look from costume designer Trish Summerville, who’s worked with the likes of Christina Aguilera and whose film credits include “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

When I caught up with both Lawrences – Francis and Jennifer – at a recent red carpet event, I just had to ask about Katniss’ wedding gown… which is breathtaking, to say the least.

Staci Wilson: Are there even more outrageous fantasy costumes in the new movie?

Francis Lawrence: Yeah, there’s a lot. We brought on a fantastic costume designer, Trish Summerville, who I’d worked with before in music videos. She came from a fashion and styling background so we brought her on and she did loads and loads of great stuff. I mean, there’s some really amazing dresses that Effie wears, and Trish even got some Alexander McQueen museum pieces for Katniss to wear in the chariots, and for the interviews, [not to mention] the wedding dress and the Mocking Jay dress. So, to answer your question: there’s loads of fun costumes in this!

Q: How much input do you have in something like that, with the costumes?

Francis Lawrence: A lot. But it all sort of starts with me wanting to bring Trish on, so you know, I know the kind of level of taste and sophistication that she brings, and so that’s making a big decision right there. And then in the early conversations with her, talking about certain kinds of things that we both like that we thought that we could use. Someone as talented as she is, I kind of let her run with it and then just make little changes, specifically if it has to do with story.

Q: Or practicality.

Francis Lawrence: Yeah. Well, sometimes practicality. That gets tricky. The wedding dress was pretty impractical. Jen was falling a lot in it.

Jennifer Lawrence: Yeah, the wedding dress was incredible, it’s stunning and unbelievable, I’m not good with big dresses, and stairs. I didn’t know that until afterwards, I wish I would have known! [laughs]

zoetic

I recently discovered that NET-A-PORTER, one of the biggest luxury fashion and beauty retailers on the Web, is featuring an exclusive capsule collection inspired by the movie. Created by costume designer Trish Summerville herself, “Capitol Couture” features laser-cut leather, streamlined silhouettes and dramatic eveningwear.

The luxury clothing line “Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville” consists of 16 ready-to-wear garments, as well as jewelry and leather goods inspired by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. The collection will be available exclusively on NET-A-PORTER this fall to coincide with the film’s francis_trishworldwide release on November 22, 2013.

Bouncy Blonde Brigitte & Her Bodacious Black Boots

22 Sep bargotkneesF

I haven’t seen many of Brigitte Bardot’s films, relatively speaking, nor would I consider myself a “fan” — yet, there is something about her that lures me in every once in awhile and I’ll go on a BB  kick (so to speak — she could rock thigh-high boots like nobody’s biz).

 

Interest has been reignited by seeing her portrayed by Laetitia Casta in the beautiful biopic, Gainsbourg: A Historic Life, but I am trying to remember when I first became truly aware of her. I suppose I always knew who she was on some level, my own mom being something of a sex symbol and pinup… so, I grew up with an almost inborn appreciation of feminine beauty — but my first strong recollection is from reading Roger Vadim’s autobiography, BARDOT-DENEUVE-FONDA in 1986. It is an extremely personal, revealing book, certainly one of the best filmmaker memoirs I’ve read. I’ve gone back to it a couple of times, since.

 

I saw some of her movies in the 80s. I recall checking out her breakout film, one directed by Vadim, called And God Created Woman (1956). A few years back, I watched all of the movies (Come Dance With Me!, Les Femmes, Love on a Pillow, Naughty Girl, À Coeur Joie) on a boxed set I got for review. I remember not being overly impressed with the dated films, but I liked her. She’s a woman with playful, girlish qualities, but it’s easy to see at a glance that she’s nobody’s fool.

 

Favorite Bardot performances of mine are definitely from the Edgar Allan Poe anthology, Spirits of the Dead (1968), in which she’s a brunet bad-girl named Giuseppina (in the segment William Wilson, with Alain Delon and directed by Louis Malle), and Contempt (1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard. I only just saw the latter for the first time in 2010, some 37 years after its golden star retired from the silver screen.

This image from it has ever captured my imagination, but the entire film is even better. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves movies about movies.

 
She’s only wearing a sheet in that image, and is only clad in little of the same in the Gainsbourg pic, however, she was known for a certain “look” and seeing it once again gave me the impetus to break out the black thigh-highs and my vintage style leopard-print coat from storage.

I’ve never been much for boots myself. Being petite as I am, heels, especially the kind that don’t create a break at the ankle, look best on me. But that doesn’t mean I can create an illusion through photography — hence, my boot-kick. Here are some cool kicks I really love…

 

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Gainsbourg’s Girls, Garb ‘n La Gueule

16 Sep

 

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Movie Poster 

PLOT SYNOPSIS FROM FILMMAKER MAGAZINE: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a live-action fantasy based on the life of über-French chansonnier and peerless provocateur Serge Gainsbourg (embodied by look-alike stage actor Eric Elmosnino), whose Russian-Jewish background and almost mythic love affairs with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin (whose orgasmic moans made famous their 1969 duet “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus”) he explores with eccentric charm, employing a kind of dream logic to connect different episodes from the singer’s life.

Sfar’s biggest conceit in Gainsbourg, which was released to great acclaim last year in France (it won a César for best debut feature), centers on an incident that occurs early in the film: walking through Occupied Paris, a school-age Lucien Ginsburg (who later adopted his stage name) is alarmed to see a horrifically anti-Semitic caricature and, in the shock of self-realization, sees it spring to life, a monster that morphs into eerie alter ego (played by Doug Jones of Pan’s Labyrinth), his shadow id and (occasionally misguided) conscience.

Sfar’s depiction of the iconic composer captures many facets of Gainsbourg’s persona, including the self-abuse that he seemed to parade as proudly as his smuttiest compositions, but it’s the elements of comic-book-inflected fantasy (the director enthuses equally about F.W. Murnau and Peter Jackson by way of explaining his visual technique) that differentiate the film from standard-issue music biopics.

 

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE FROM ME: I first learned of this most unusual biopic a couple of years back from Doug Jones, who acts in the film as “La Gueule” — a fanciful manifestation of Serge Gainsbourg’s impish Id — and I really wanted to see it. Not because I was especially interested in the life of the infamous French songwriter and soused celebrity but mainly due to the way Dougie described it as a fantasy moving picture adaptation of a graphic novel as directed by the artist. (check out my most recent interview with Doug, along with my cohort/co-host Matt Raub, for “This Week In Horror” right here)

I am generally very receptive to biopics (and am an avid reader of biographies and autobiographies), especially the ones that color outside the lines (prime examples are my favorite biopic of all time: Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan parable I’m Not There, as well as Kevin Spacey’s take on Bobby Darrin and George Clooney’s adaptation of the bizarre Chuck Barris tell-all, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind).

It seemed like forever and day before G:AHL finally made it from France and Europe to we Stateside cinefiles. I had to miss the preview press screening of G:AHL on August 24 (only because I was working on directing a short film… such a flimsy excuse, I know!). I was disappointed to miss it as a journalist, but vowed to see it as a fan regardless. So, last night at The Landmark in L.A., I finally fulfilled my wish. G:AHL is now playing in select theaters, in a limited engagement (yada, yada — basically, see it on the big screen now, before it’s gone!).

My dear Dougie is really great in the film as the tyrannical muse of the troubled troubadour. There is something about Doug himself in real life that’s very muse-like. As Guillermo del Toro can certainly attest to, since the autuer’s chosen to work with Doug as often as possible since first meeting him when he was directing his first big American debut, Mimic. (By the by, the director’s cut of Mimic is out on Blu-ray, and I reviewed it for Horror.com) Doug has a way of bringing nightmares, dreams and figments to life. This is him below, augmented as the Serge Id.

Doug was even my muse for a day. This was last year when I undertook a massive project in which, diligently over two months, I photographed a variety of people separately but in the same location (the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro, CA).

It was fascinating for me to discover how each one’s personality and vibe transformed the static stone and steel structure into something different every time. The morning Doug arrived was unexpectedly rainy and quite blustery, creating climate calamities I wasn’t too thrilled about in the moment, but which stimulated some of the most arresting images in the series (water-spots on the lens, and all).

Doug is his own amazing muse, on occasion — check out the incredibly compelling self-portrait he contributed for my now-defunct “Blog I’d Like to Fuck [BILF]” on said subject, a few years back (you’ll have to scroll down, after downloading the PDF - totally worth it, promise!)

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Skinny Guys in Skinny Ties!

27 Oct

Last night, I covered The Walking Dead red carpet. Now, as most of my friends, readers, and random stalkers know… my red carpet reports are usually about the ladies and their high heels.

But last night’s event was hosted by AMC channel, and the influence of its hit show Mad Men was so pervasive, I absolutely could not ignore the men. In spite of the icy temps, the fellas were looking hot-hot-hot!

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My favorite suit of the night belonged to Steven Yuen. The skinny tie, narrow lapels and crisp, clean look were just so perfect.

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AMC News Host Jacob Soboroff was also rocking the retro-cool vibe with his jacket and tie, plus those sexy black rimmed glasses (glad those are back in style).

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Linds Edwards was hands-down the best rocker/hipster of the night. I wasn’t able to get as many good photos of everyone as I would have liked, but I had lots of interviewees in front of me and also the carpet was tight — I could not zoom out very well. On the left, Linds had a bandana wrapped around his wrist, plus several assorted bangles with pendants shaped like guns, skulls, knives, etc. I really liked it the whole deal. He had skinny jeans with the cuffs folded over.

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Definitely stripped down compared to the stars, but I thought even AMC’s Roving Photographer looked smashing.

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Andrew Lincoln, the main attraction of The Walking Dead (aside from Frank Darabont — his photos are at horror.com), also looked great but I never did get a decent snap of him. In fact, I feel kind of guilty posting such an unflattering angle of him, but it’s all I’ve got. He totally blew me away with his memory — the first thing he said to me when he stepped up to my mic was, “Oh, hi. We talked at Comic-Con!” That was three months ago. How could he possibly have remembered that? I’m impressed.

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OK, the women were there too. This is Gale Ann Hurd, a producer on the show. I liked elements of her look (patterned tights, boots, leopard, leather, studs) — but not all together. She was really funny and smart (as usual) though, so it was a pleasure (as always!)

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Shoes, shoes. Publicists’ shoes!

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Here’s me with Mike from ELS (the lighting people). We remember to take a pic together every couple of years (that last one was at the Hellboy 2 premiere, even though we see each other all the time!).

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Myself and the zombies… at first, I tried to blend in. But who am I kidding? I can’t hold a snarl for more than a few seconds.

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I hardly ever wear fur, but I do have a couple of pieces. This one is a Chris Ann original. I figured for something called “Walking Dead” it was appropriate. The last time / item was my fur-lined suede leather jacket at The Wolfman premiere (it was freaking freezing that night, too. Yesterday, I was so cold I thought my mic had turned into an popsicle).

But Wait… There’s More! Continue reading

Legends of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga’Hool are Fashion Forward

29 Sep

Legends of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga’Hool are Fashion Forward

Writer/director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) isn’t exactly known for his hilarious, whacky sense of humor so I don’t know what else I was expecting, but his new animated 3D family-flick Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hool is awfully stuffy.

The epic spectacle is based upon a series of fantasy adventure novels about Soren, a young barn owl who’s birdnapped and forced into a life of military servitude. Not that the story lends itself to comedy, but a little feather-light levity (ala Charlotte’s Web, The Lion King, or Toy Story 3) would have been welcome. Grave and heavy from start to finish, Legends of the Guardians doesn’t really take flight until the glorious battle scene at the end.

Fortunately, the animation is absolutely breathtaking and the 3D immersion is organic to the narrative — the flights, fights, and even the quiet moments are stunning. Also, they’re ultra-realistic. At the red carpet premiere, Warner Bros. brought out Twilight, a European Barn Owl, and I have to say seeing him just before the screening really added to my enjoyment of the animators’ attention to detail. There’s not a pinfeather out of place.

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Hm, coincidence or calculation? The premiere was just across the street from HOOTERS.

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The voice cast of Legends of the Guardians is also excellent across the board. The main character Soren is played by Jim Sturgess, and the young actor hold his own with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, and the ever-eminent Sam Neill (who got a real kick out me mentioning his work in Possession, when I interviewed him on the red carpet! Check out the video, below). Overall, the movie is solid but it just didn’t work for me. (I’m holding out for Sucker Punch!)

Since my mind is always taking flights of fashion fancy, I wore my owl ring to the premiere.

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But someone on the red carpet was even more owl-obsessed than me: check out her cool purse!

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Here are some more owl-inspired fashions I found online.

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