Four rules for navigating President Snow’s soiree.
This girl knows her party manners.
by Kaysa Minox
Party Tip Number One: When the limo line is longer than the winding driveway, you know you’re in for a raucous night. Pace yourself. The outside of President Snow’s mansion dazzles with a kaleidoscope-pattern spotlight and the massive, columned building is bathed in a swirling riot of color. I step out of the car and wobble for a moment in my Givenchy six-inch platform sandals before I start my long ascent up to the entrance. Weathered stone steps are framed by genetically enhanced Technicolor roses; the Lucite platform at the top extends to several large fountains, which are burbling with Champagne.
Party Tip Number Two: Timing is everything. Never be the first to arrive, as you can’t make a dramatic entrance. I time my arrival around 45 minutes after a party begins. Once amongst the crowd, my attention veers between the fashion and the food—and that’s saying a lot about the food. Lavish spreads overtake banquet tables as far as the eye can see, with whole cows, pyramids of lobster tails and dozens of pumpkins filled with an exotic broth. I snatch a glass of pink Champagne from the nearest Avox server and begin my first energetic lap.
The Capitol elite are everywhere, showing off the talents of the city’s finest stylists. Rosalie Fawn, curator at SOCA and noted fashion aficionado, bewitches in a Thierry Mugler techno-cut draped dress. Our own Editor In Chief Monica Corcoran Harel stuns in an elaborate feather headdress, paired with a laser-cut leather jumpsuit and YSL purple suede booties. I’ve scarcely had a chance to take notes when a collective gasp announces the arrival of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Effie Trinket, always preternaturally radiant, shines in lavender Alexander McQueen.
Party Tip Number Three: Strategize accordingly. I bypass the throng that surrounds our Victors and head for Plutarch Heavensbee, who is speaking with an already-inebriated Haymitch Abernathy. As I approach, Abernathy holds up a hand, downs his drink, and says loudly, “I think I need another.” As he walks away, his iridescent, teal suit jacket glimmers like a rare skin. Heavensbee ushers me over, as soon as he sees my reporter’s notebook. Like everyone else here, he has an agenda. ”It’s quite a show, isn’t it?” he says with a smirk, as he gestures to the crowd. “Katniss and Peeta would be smart to leave by midnight though. They don’t want to become overexposed.” I ask him if he can share just one little detail about the upcoming Games. “Well, I would love to tell you everything…” he says, leaning in conspiratorially. “But I can’t spoil the suspense,” he adds with a wink and walks away.
Party Tip Number Four: Always be gracious and pretend to laugh along with the joke—even if Heavensbee made me feel like a fool. After a quick nibble on an endive boat with caviar, I spy Katniss Everdeen, unaccompanied, at a soup table and nearly trip over the hem of my Jan Taminiau gown to get to her. I introduce myself and she is just as warm and unassumingly likable as everyone claims.
When I gush over her embroidered black and crimson gown that looks to be made of glossy black feathers, she says “It’s Trish Summerville” with a smile. ”Effie and Cinna must have been so tired of showing me dresses when I finally picked this one. It seemed…strong.” She eyes my red bodice and black tulle skirt before exclaiming, “Oh look! We sort of match.” Everdeen then grabs me to smile with her for President Snow’s personal photographer. I’m so overwhelmed that I swoon for a moment. When Katniss trots off to dance with Peeta, I am left with a lone black feather. I hold it tight and know that I will keep it forever.