The Hunger Games franchise is in an interesting position within the realm of Y.A.-to-film blockbuster adaptations. Yes, it does gangbusters at the box office, and it launched Jennifer Lawrence into a frenzy of American Sweetheart fame; but at its root, the Hunger Games series explores the complications of fame and, even more so, the excesses of capitalism. Which is why it's kind of ironic, now, that Lionsgate has decided to launch a Catching Fire clothing and jewelry lines to go with the release of the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Don't get me wrong: I own the crap out of a Hunger Games Mockingjay pin. I would totally throw my money at the chance to own that dress Katniss is rockin' in some of her Victory Tour stills. But I also just very recently reread the series itself, and I'm fully aware that those are not the types of things a girl from the district could even consider.
In fact, the line itself — which will feature jewelry and leather goods designed by Catching Fire costume designer Trish Summerville — will literally be called "Capitol Couture," in reference to how fashionable all those super-privileged Capitol citizens look when they're lounging around their homes watching children beat each other to death for their enjoyment.
Lionsgate's choice to launch the line makes sense in our world — we haven't re-launched gladiator arenas quite yet — so it might not be fair to hold the company to the example of the dystopian sci-fi story it's promoting. It's fiction. Fiction with some solid real-world allegories, but fiction nonetheless; Lionsgate isn't run by President Snow, they're not a dictatorship, and Holli Rogers, the fashion director at Net-a-Porter — the company pacting with Lionsgate for the line — made a solid point in her statement, saying that "Fashion plays an important role in The Hunger Games series and is especially prevalent in Catching Fire."
And it is, at that. Katniss has to wear a lot of very pretty dresses as she tries to stop the Capitol from killing her and everybody she cares about.
You've gotta at least hope the merch will be fair trade.