The Katniss Project

mockingjay pinI’ve recently come to the decision that I’m going to be backing off doing traditional cosplay (i.e. exact character reproductions) for a few reasons. One, there are a bazillion other cosplayers out there, including tall, thin brunettes, who have many more resources to pop out multiple costumes a year. In addition to drama, I don’t like the unspoken competition that’s arisen due to online comparisons and follower favourites. When you’re doing exact costume reproductions, it’s very easy to fall prey to that unfortunate trap. I’d rather steer clear of it as best as I reasonably can.

Two, I want to add a unique voice to the community. There are any costumers out there, including ones who do amazing original designs. But none of them have my voice. Only I do.¬†And with that I want to challenge myself to new heights and bring along my followers in the process (even better yet if I can help inspire or practically others along the way). Oh I’ll still do regular cosplays when the mood strikes (like I’m going to pass up doing Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. HAH!), but from now on I’m going to focus more on geek fashion, geek couture, and original takes on existing characters. Which brings me to my first concentrated foray into said direction.

Welcome to The Katniss Project.

It’s not secret that I have a special fondness for The Hunger Games series from having worked on 3 out of the 4 films (more on that in upcoming posts). While re-reading the books on set one day, the thought struck me….why not try designing Katniss’ costumes for myself? Read through and act as if I was creating all of her mentioned outfits for a film. The more I rolled the idea around in my head, the more it grew on me. Soon, I couldn’t contain my excitement and had to tell others about it. My fellow District 12 extras snickered that, “well…you ARE Reverse Katniss. You have that nickname for a reason. Go for it!”

The Hunger GamesI’m extremely excited about this project. Some costumes will be easy, some will be hard, and well…some might need some crowd-funding to actually come to fruition (the infamous fire dress, anyone?). But it will be a fun challenge to design each costume from scratch, paying close attention to the exact words Suzanne Collins wrote in the books. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned with working with authour, Shawn Lamb on art for her Allon book series, is to pay attention to how the authour describes the costumes in his or her book. It’s a respect issue.)

The next challenge will be one of my favourite parts of the design process – the research. The thinking through of why would the character be wearing this particular outfit and how? What sort of fabrics would he or she have access to? What colours? What sizes? How long would the material last based on their state of wealth or poverty? How does their personality factor into their clothes? With Katniss, there’s a huge range in her outfits due to going from the poorest of the Districts to the highest riches of the Capitol. That will be quite fun to experiment with.

Since this is a project, there will be ongoing progress posts. So it won’t just be my normal finished photoshoot with behind the scenes notes in the same post. I want to bring the community in on this one (kind of like a design team). Someone out there may have better knowledge of Appalachian fabrics of the Depression era while another may have a tip or tick to sew a stubborn part of one of the costumes. I came from a professional¬†costuming background (as pre-car accident, I was professional film costumer), so the cosplay community’s penchant for working solo on an entire project is a bit foreign to me. Obviously, some people are just that insanely talented. But most of us aren’t (and that’s okay!). Teamwork makes us richer. The combined experiences makes the project better. So I’ll be opening up the floor with this project both in blog posts, but especially on my Facebook page. (So follow there for a lot more updates and interactive statuses!)

The List 
For now, I will only be doing Book One (which is going to be challenging enough!)
1) District 12 Hunting Outfit
2) Blue Reaping Dress
3) Tribute Apartment Casual Outfit (dark green shirt and pants)
4) Capitol Grooming Robe
5) Tribute Parade Suit
6) Arena Training Uniform
7) Practice Gown
8) Girl on Fire Interview Gown
9) Nightgown
10) Pre-Arena shift
11) Arena Uniform
12) Hospital
13) Award Ceremony dress
14) Post-arena Interview Dress
15) Post-interview Outfit