The “Girl on Fire” interview gown is described extensively in the book thusly:
“Because my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design. The slightest movement gives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire.
I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”
I read “The Hunger Games” immediately before I saw the film. As soon as I read that passage, I was excited to not only see how it would translate to film, but to think about how I would design the gown myself. I didn’t know for sure that I was even going to have this costume on hand until the Operation Glass Slipper warehouse sale. I’ll need to go more in-depth about this wonderful organization later, but the long and short of it is that I was allowed to comb through racks and racks and racks of gowns and I found one that SCREAMED to be remade into the Girl on Fire gown. I combed through a bin of formal shawls and grabbed complementary shades of reds and golds. The technique I used on the skirt is an old one – you might recognize it a little from my Platinum Benedikta red carpet gown from two years ago. I loved the technique when I learned it, and this seemed like a great time to make more ruffles.
Since I was toeing the line between the book representation and the film, I wanted ruffles along the bottom cascading up in fire shades. The ruffles themselves are edged with bright metallic copper thread on the outside, and a variegated red-to-yellow thread on the inside, giving the edges of the ruffles a shimmering effect. Once I finished the ruffles, I hung the dress on Eloise (my new dress form) and thought that something was lacking; that there was a disconnect between the flaming colors of the ruffled skirt and the more floral bodice. That’s when I busted out my white chalk, drew a flame design wrapping all the way around the dress, and sewed it in with the lovely metallic copper thread.
While working on this process, I was suddenly reminded of why I learned to draw flames: the St. Paul Winter Carnival. My dad was a Vulcan – the keepers of heat during the dark cold of winter, and the bringers of heat and spring. It’s been a long time dream of mine to be a South Wind Princess in the Winter Carnival and, while that dream may have to go by the wayside as I get nearer and nearer to not being an eligible age, if I were to ever do it, I’d have this dress to wear, this gorgeous flaming dress.