Feature: A Day in the Capitol | THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

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The Hunger Games - Catching Fire

With only 100 days to go until the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (on November 21st), and with London hosting the world premiere of the blockbuster sequel on November 11th, it’s time to start feeling the hype. And what better way to get you in the mood for the film than a day of luxury, Capitol-style.

Starburst were invited along for a day of pampering, dress-up and make-up lessons to turn us all into mini Effie Trinkets. And for all that the Capitol’s a corrupt institution that periodically throws impoverished kids into death camps, those folks certainly know how to indulge.

Hunger Games Cakes

After helping myself to tea and feeling far too guilty to tuck into some immaculately-iced mockingjay cakes, I started the day by sitting down for a chat with Anjhe Mules, creative director of high-end sports brand Lucas Hugh and designer of the Tribute’s new training gear. And, frankly, if I owned an exercise outfit like that, I may actually be tempted to go to the gym once in a while.

Anhje came on board “through Trish [Summerville, the film’s costume designer] searching for futuristic sportswear and she came across my brand, which is Lucas Hugh, and then called me and said would I be interested in working with her? That was probably about a year and a half ago. And then we had to do everything within three months.”

Is it something she’d do again? “Absolutely... To break out and do something completely different is really exciting. It’s a different mindset, you’re thinking about different things.” For the creative director of a women’s sportswear brand, the biggest challenge was designing men’s clothes for the first time. “The types of fabrics are still technical performance fabrics but it’s just more the shape and having to deal with different male figures. Especially doing the men’s leggings was quite a challenge.” The dreaded meggings? “Yes, meggings. There’s always going to be a problem with meggings, isn’t there? We had to do a few alterations there. It was fun though, I have to say. We had a lot of giggles in the office.”

Hunger Games Training Clothes

Bravely resisting the urge to ask which of the male cast required the most, um, ‘alterations’, I moved on to ogle the fashion. After establishing that, with the best will in the world, I was never going to fit into that stunning purple Vivienne Westwood number, and that the shoes on display sadly weren’t going to fit in my handbag, I played around with the accessories instead.

Hunger Games Blue Dress

It turns out it’s remarkably easy to recreate that OTT Capitol look – just squeeze into a brightly-coloured dress (feathers optional), add some sparkly baubles from Primark and heels that are more handy as a murder weapon than something to actually walk in, and ta-da! You’re Capitol-coutured up to the eyeballs.

But there’s one last crucial step. The make-up. Ignoring the Tube journey that I’d have to undertake in just a few hours, I settled into the make-up chair for a tutorial from celebrity make-up artist Emma White Turle. She started by outlining Effie’s distinctive look.

Hunger Games Make-up

“I think with every one of her looks she’s got the little geisha lips. But for her it’s mainly about eyes. So we pick colours – sparkles, gold, purples, pink, greens – and generally just blend it around the eye socket and down over the cheekbones, utilising it as part of your contour, and giving those razor sharp cheekbones as well. And it’s surprisingly easy, because it doesn’t matter what colours you use. You can use anything! Anything that clashes. And it’ll work! It’s quite nice to alter the texture so you’ve got the really smooth, soft, powdery skin, and then textured, crystallised eyes. So you’ve got free license. It (the Capitol)’s one of the best places to live if you like bright make-up.”

I let Emma go wild with my make-up and watched nervously as brush-loads of teal glitter made its way from her palette to my face. I knew that I’d be picking glitter off myself for the next week, but hey – this is how they do things down Capitol way. With a final slick of metallic lip gloss, I was ready to peek at my reflection. There’s nothing like being in a room full of OTT outfits and similarly made-up women to make you 100% convinced that you are totally rocking this look. Eye shadow on cheekbones is the way to go. And frankly, I don’t wear enough glitter in my day-to-day life. You know what would complete this look? A wig. I need a wig.

Hunger Games Wig

After a bit of a gossip with Emma about some of her celebrity clients (Morgan Freeman is her favourite and he makes a smashing cheese and pickle sandwich to boot), and another round of tea and cakes, it was time to go back to the real world of drably-attired blasé Londoners and bewildered tourists. The world just seemed to be lacking a bit of glamour. But I like to think that my awesomely glittered face brought some sunshine into the life of my Tesco cashier. Although mostly she just looked alarmed.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is released in the UK on November 21st.

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