For costume design team Kurt and Bart (“Dallas Buyers Club”), getting hired on both parts of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” turned out to be a reunion with director Francis Lawrence. The duo had worked on a musicvideo with him a dozen years ago. “When we heard about ‘Mockingjay,’ we weren’t sure he was even aware we had been designing film, so we had a mutual friend get word to him,” Kurt says. “It was exciting to reconnect.”
To add a sense of realism to the film’s imaginary world, he adds, they researched the impact of wartime austerity on clothes. “Dresses and coats were cut without pleating to save fabric; buttons were regulated. It was important to Francis not to head off into some stylized future.”
Adds Bart: “We got to do so many cool things on this film, but the standout was designing the actual Mockingjay costume.” The duo styled it as a functional combat suit, with vented sleeves to free the arms for use of bow and arrow, and a breastplate inspired by the outfits worn in Japanese kyudo, or martial arts archery. They added stylized elements to reinforce the film’s visual symbolism.