RMIT fashion students shine at Hunger Games premiere

RMIT fashion students shine at Hunger Games premiere

A partnered project between RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Roadshow Films has seen Fashion Design students create garments inspired by the recently released film The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Several of the garments were on display at the Melbourne premiere of the film, which was attended by media figures, content creators, fans and prominent members of the Australian film community. 

“The project encompassed not only the design aspect but also sourcing materials, creating prototypes, and ensuring the garments were not only visually appealing but also functional,” said Erica Lau, a final-year Fashion Design student. 

“I decided to design a garment for the main character, Lucy Gray. I imagined a scenario where there is an interview with her character in the 10th Hunger Games, which is one of the most iconic and fashion-relevant moments in the film series.”

“Some of the most famous scenes, such as the 'Girl on Fire', originate from the interview scenes in the film, which inspired me to design my garment.” 

“In fact, my introduction to the Hunger Games series was through highlight clips from the interviews.”

“Garments play a significant role in the language of this movie, helping to establish the characters and their connections, including the mentor-tribute relationship.”

Olivia McQuie, a fellow Fashion Design student, went a step further, producing two garments to create a single look.

“My first garment is a small red coat that has custom snake pintucking detail, traditional tailoring techniques and a large train at the back,” she explained. 

“The train has the words ‘the odds were never in our favour’ spray painted on the back. This coat is inspired by Coriolanus's uniform jacket in the new film and represents themes relating to the snake.“

“My second garment is a pair of very wide leg pants that I made, which I hand-dyed in a purple-orange gradient to match Lucy Gray's skirt. My pants are designed to act as a canvas to present the narrative of the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book that I read over the semester.”

“I covered them in mixed media embellishments, digital embroidery, paint, book paper and various bits and pieces to represent my own reading experience.”

Fashion Design students on the red carpet at the premiere Fashion Design students at The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes premiere.

McQuie said she drew heavily on visual metaphors to create the theme of her garments.

“It's almost like the book has crashed onto the pants and sprawled its elements all over. The train of the coat sits over the pants at the back, and I like how this represents the overshadowing of the tyrannical government of Panem and how the stories of the characters are always somehow manipulated by the society in which they live,” she said.

“The two pieces I designed contrast each other but also complement through colour themes and silhouette.”

Lau said it was a “precious” experience to be able to collaborate with such a large entertainment company through a well-known and iconic series, to deliver a tangible design. 

“This collaboration adds an extra layer of significance to the entire process,” she said. 

“Knowing that the project won't just be displayed within RMIT University, but will also face a broader public audience, has motivated me to put in additional time and effort.”

“It challenges me to ensure that my design transcends the student context and appeals more naturally to the public.”

As part of the design process, the students were introduced to several Adobe suite programs, participating in a workshop offered through RMIT’s Adobe Creative Campus partnership. 

McQuie said being introduced to digital applications such as Adobe Substance and Capture not only taught her valuable skills in how to utilise digital design tools, but also gave her a new layer of creativity.

“I ended up using Adobe Lens Studio for Snapchat to make my own garment wearing filter, which was really cool to do!” she said.

Johnathon Mercuri, Roadshow Film’s PR & Partnerships Executive and an RMIT alumnus, said RMIT’s reputation as a leading university for fashion, convinced the organisation to partner with the school.

“Roadshow Films was thrilled to partner with the Fashion Design students at RMIT University’s School of Fashion and Textiles,” said Johnathon Mercuri Roadshow Film’s PR & Partnerships Executive and RMIT alumnus. 

“When we first explored this opportunity, it was no question to approach RMIT as the leaders in creative thinking and advancements in Fashion Design.”

“We were beyond impressed by the elevated outcomes delivered by the students. Their work played an integral part in launching The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, one of the biggest films of the 2024.”

As is often the case with budding fashion designers, when asked what she wants to do post-graduation, Lau has a clear vision.

“I want to work with international brands in Australia or abroad to gain more experience,” she said. 

“However, what I find particularly exciting is the prospect of getting involved in costume design and having the opportunity to create garments for movie sets. It's a field that greatly interests me, and I look forward to pursuing such opportunities.”

“In the longer term, I’d like to be able to start up my own brand and continue to bring out interesting designs.”


Story by: Finn Devlin

20 November 2023


  • Design
  • DSC
  • fashion

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