Johanna Mason: Branching Out
The young District 7 victor takes glamour to new heights.
Johanna Mason may hail from the lumber district, but this slip of a victor is anything but green. Don’t be swayed by her cinnamon sprinkle of freckles and delicate, doll-like features. She was one of the youngest tributes ever reaped in Hunger Games history and her agility with an axe resonates throughout Panem. Sly. Savage. Sangfroid. These are just a few of the adjectives tossed around to describe Mason, who’s known for disarming her victims by feigning weakness.
Mason arrives at her photo shoot for Capitol Couture looking anything but meek. She has a reputation for being snide with her prep team. District 7’s stylist has been dressing tributes like oak trees and firs for the opening ceremonies ever since the first Hunger Games. Clearly, Mason prefers a more conceptual take on lumber and paper. “My stylist’s the biggest idiot in the Capitol. Wish I’d gotten Cinna,” she has been known to mumble.
During make up, Mason doesn’t fidget as her artist adheres three-inch eyelashes to her lower lashline that only intensify her disarming gaze. (It’s telling that she doesn’t flinch once, even when dots of hot glue are applied.) A palette of golden metallic eyeshadow brings out the greenish brown of her up-slanted eyes and extended wings of copper cream shadow add depth. For her lips, a trace of nude liner is filed with a matte soft sienna lipstick and then overlaid with bronze gloss. Her lustrous chestnut locks, upswept into a coronet of curls, lend an organic majesty to the look. The effect is futuristic forest queen. It’s almost as if this petite tribute has been gilded by a nymph from her very own district.
But it’s her custom gown—a graceful collaboration by Capitol costume designer Trish Summerville and couture designer Jan Taminiau—that transforms her from gladiator to goddess. Constructed of artfully shredded and ruched chiffon and rags, the confection feels like flutters of paper in a gentle breeze. The use of bark tissue or sculpted cork for the bodice, one sleeve and plumed collar is a nod to the natural resources of District 7. “I love creating a fantasy around a woman’s body,” says the Dutch designer Taminiau of his creative process. The asymmetry suits Mason and allows us a glimpse of her bold bracelet of bronze nails. The gold ear cuffs by jewelry designer Eddie Borgo supply just the right amount of glint.
Mason poses for a few shots and then slips off her four-inch platform Camilla Skovgaard jagged-wedged sandals. She suddenly looks smaller, even younger—but hardly weak. Clearly, the odds are ever in her favor and this victor doesn’t need to knock on wood.