DIVERGENT MOVIE COSTUME DESIGNER ON BRINGING TRIS AND THE FACTIONS TO LIFE

Let’s cut to the chase: None of — mark my words — none of the clothes from the Divergent movie that you have been desperately Googling and drooling over are available for sale anywhere. [I know: Insert Debbie Downer sound effect here.]

Last weekend, during a phone interview with the film’s costume designer Carlo Poggioli (whose adorable Italian accent is even more pronounced when he’s back home in Rome) confirmed that nearly everything (including those amazing ankle boots) you saw on screen was custom-made for the production.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s true. What’s even more crazy, is the short amount of time he had to produce such incredible detail.  Below, Carlo explains his process in his own words.

*** Plus, keep scrolling to find out how you can get the the Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) look! ***

Divergent movie abnegation tris caleb clothes outfit

BACK TO THE FUTURE
I went to Chicago at the end of January 2013, and then we started shooting in April. So, I had like six weeks of prep. It was unbelievable! The beginning the film was about Dauntless and Abnegation. I started to concentrate on them. The first thing, of course, was to start to make drawings,  and send them every day to Neil [Burger, the director] and the producers to start to clarify the looks. Visually, it was not like a futuristic, sci-fi feature. It was not like that. The movie is quite realistic in the sense that from today, these things can happen in 70, 80 years from now.

divergent movie dauntless four tris costume outfit clothes

FABRICATING THE FABRIC
Each faction had a different shape and a different fabric. I  had to think: Who can make all of these costumes in such a short time? That was biggest problem. I had workshops in Romania, Italy, and Chicago. A big factory near Florence called OB.STOCK is an amazing place where we created the fabric for Dauntless. I also used many 3D fabrics, which were computer-made. For me, this will be the future of fabric. I was also thinking of what kind of fabric we would use in 10 or 20 years. It’s become so difficult to find natural fabric. I think our world is going to have a lot of polyester [laughs].

divergent movie dauntless black leather jacket costume

 A BETTER LEATHER
Many people thought I used leather, but there’s not one piece of leather in the Dauntless world! The kind of fabric that I made looks like leather — it’s got a kind of plastic shine. It was a practical problem because they had to move, and they had to jump. So I fused this kind of fabric that had elastic inside. I didn’t want to use Lycra, or stuff you usually see in the films. We had to produce miles and miles of this special fabric

 

divergent movie dauntless black clothes costume fashion

DRESSING DAUNTLESS
They are the brave, they are the protector of the city. Neil asked me to not do any society-like uniforms, like military. We put them in some stuff that looks like a uniform only at the end when they are brainwashed, and they become like an army. The color black — of course, the suggestion was from the book — I said, let’s try to use different shades of black. Green-black, blue-black…but at the same time, something special that the audience could recognize the different kind of ranks that they have in the film. In fact, all the people who are new arrivals — like Tris, like Christina — they are wearing gray and orange. The Dauntless-born, they are in a lot of red with black. And the high rank — like lieutenants, people doing the training like Four  (Theo James)— they have purple accents. The result was to use the black with the same colors inspired by the Dauntless symbol, the flame. You’ll see orange, red, and purple accents in the costumes.

divergent movie abnegation gray grey clothes costumes

DRESSING ABNEGATION
They were modest. I went with the gray that the books suggests, but also I tried to use different shades of gray. The cut for them is very simple, it’s completely opposite of the Erudite. You can see the rough cuts they had on the seams. It’s a kind of cut that the young people like today. It’s very informal, and at the same time, very practical.

divergent movie erudite blue costume fashion

DRESSING ERUDITE
They represent intelligence, the scientists. The shape for the Erudite coats was meant to remind us of the shape of the lab coat. That was the reason their clothes were quite long, and the cut is very sharp and very shaped. The blue symbolizes intelligence.  It wasn’t easy to find the right shades of blue and green, so we had to produce a lot of fabric at OB.STOCK for them.

divergent movie amity costume clothes fashion

photo credit: divergentfans.com

DRESSING AMITY
I used natural fabrics, like cotton and linen, and I tried to use earthy colors because it’s the kind of orange, the kind of green that you can find in vegetables. In fact, all of the fabric for Amity was hand-dyed by my people in order to build the kinds of colors that had to look natural. It was a big process!

divergent movie candor clothes costume outfit

DRESSING CANDOR
This was the last faction that I made after I did all of the other ones. From the book, again, it says black and white. Candor represents honesty, they see through their eyes just the true or the false — black for false, white for true. They were in very simple shapes, but we did use different shades of black, and different shades of white.

divergent movie beatrice tris prior costume fashion

BEATRICE BECOMES TRIS
At the beginning when she’s in Abnegation, I tried to cover her, and I tried to not give her an impression of sexiness at all. She never has anything attached to the body when she’s in Abnegation. I gradually would start to show her body, to build it up. In reality, that was  also the real process [off screen], because when Shailene started the movie, she started to do exercises and was building up her body every day. The training changed her body.

divergent Jeanine Matthews kate winslet costume fashion

KATE WINSLET’S FACTION FIGURE
She only appears four or five times, more or less, and she’s always wearing the same style.  I tried to avoid it being like a fashion show for Kate. When I did the fitting,  Kate was not pregnant and when she came to shoot, she was pregnant. Her costume was more tailored to the body, but I couldn’t use it. I kept the same shape, of course, but we had to do some adjustments. I think the result looked great. We did our best to make her comfortable, we didn’t need to see Jeanine like a model.

divergent movie veronica roth on set shailene

Author Veronica Roth on set

THE AUTHOR’S APPROVAL
Veronica [Roth] said to me, “I wrote the book, and I gave some suggestion about the color, but you have to feel free to change things.”  When she was on set — she came for Shailene’s fittings, or she was there because she was in the film — she would tell me that I did exactly what she’d imagined. When I saw her coming, I’d say, Oh my god, let’s see what she thinks! When you know something’s coming from another mind, it’s a big responsibility to translate that.

divergent movie dauntless black outfits clothes costumes

A RETAIL OPPORTUNITY 
I’m having so much fun because I am getting so much mail from fans from everyone who wants to buy this stuff! The background extras, they were crazy for the sweaters, the pants, the jackets. They asked me, Where can I buy it? I told them they can’t buy them anywhere. Lionsgate will probably make a fashion line – they are starting to do it. I know they are trying to make the clothing line, but I will not be part of it at all.

For more information about the costume designer, check out his  website, carlopoggioli.com. He’s currently working on a movie in Italy with director Paolo Sorrentino and confirmed to On Screen Style that he will not be returning to the Divergent franchise for the second film, Insurgent

 

*****

divergent tris grey gray abignation sweater top Shailene

TRIS’ ABNEGATION GRAY SHEER TUNIC SWEATER:
custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. Topshop Sheer Sleeve Tunic Sweater
2 .BB Dakota Covina Sweater
Divergent Tris brown gray moto ankle boots shailene abignation

TRIS’ ABNEGATION BROWN/GRAY MOTO ANKLE BOOTS:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department; Carlo said 60 percent of the shoes seen in the movie were made at factory in Oradea, Romania
GET THE LOOK:
1. Aerosoles Stint Motorcycle Boot in Fatigue
2. N.Y.L.A. Itzayana Motorcycle Boot
3. Madden Girl Missionn Ankle Boots
 

divergent tris black gray racer back tank top dauntless

TRIS’ DAUNTLESS BLACK AND GRAY PANELED TANK TOP:
custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. Phat Buddha Bleecker Tank in Fatigue
2. Alo Color Blocked Bamboo Tank in Dark Granite/Black
3. C9 by Champion Keyhole Tank
Divergent Tris sheer sleeve v neck sweater shailene

TRIS’ DAUNTLESS BLACK AND GRAY SHEER-SLEEVED SWEATER:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. NYDJ Chiffon Sleeve Sweater
2. XCVI Agda V-Neck Top
3. Vince Camuto Long Sleeve Pullover Sweater
Divergent Tris panel leather black gray pants shailene

TRIS’ DAUNTLESS BLACK PANELED PANTS/LEGGINGS:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. Club Monaco Madie Pant
2. Copper Key Ponte Pants
3. 7 For All Mankind Zipped Skinny 
divergent tris dauntless combat black ankle boots shailene

TRIS’ BLACK DAUNTLESS COMBAT BOOTS:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. Zara Biker Boot
2. Not Rated Combat Boot
3. ASOS Biker Boot
 

divergent movie tris black zip front jacket shailene

TRIS’ BLACK FITTED LEATHER ZIP-FRONT JACKET:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. GUESS Faux Leather Moto Jacket
2. LaMarque Perforated Leather Jacket
3. Express Leather Jacket
divergent dauntless tris black jacket army military

DAUNTLESS BLACK UNIFORM SOLDIER JACKET/PARKA FOR HER:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department
GET THE LOOK:
1. Calvin Klein Quilted Jacket
2. MICHAEL Michael Kors Snap Front Jacket
3. J Crew Factory Field Jacket
*****

 DAUNTLESS BLACK UNIFORM SOLDIER JACKET/PARKA FOR HIM:
Custom made by the Divergent costume department

GET THE LOOK:
4. Sean Jean Field Jacket
5. Marc New York Field Jacket
6. 7 For All Mankind Field Jacket
———
Check out more on movie fashion on OSS by clicking right here!

Got an item you want to track down? A set you want deconstructed? Email me (findit@onscreenstyle.com), send me note via the contact page, or send me a Tweet  

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