March 26, 2014 12:00 PM

DRESSING THE CAST OF DIVERGENT

Award-winning costume designer Carlo Poggioli talks to PEOPLE’s Jackie Fields about creating the film’s signature looks

How did the Abnegation costumes come together?

We were constructing Shailene’s character’s costumes fitting by fitting. She was the first of the Abnegation we made. The fabric we were using is natural – a little bit of wool, linen and cotton – but very simple. The first fitting was fantastic because when she was wearing the dress I designed, she said, “This is what an Abnegation has to be.”

How about when Tris makes the transition into Dauntless?

She starts the transformation when she goes into the Dauntless shop and Christina tells her, “You need something that shows your shape.” From that point, she wears clothes that make her more sexy – like these sweaters that we made with a kind of neoprene.

What was your biggest challenge creating the Dauntless costumes?

The color that comes from the book is black, but we were shooting so many scenes at night, I was afraid they would disappear. So we decided to use red accents. We also distinguished the different ranks of society. The new Dauntless wore gray with orange accents; the born Dauntless wore black with red accents; and Dauntless leaders, like Four and Eric, they wore purple and black.

Did you have to factor in all of the action sequences?

Yes, the big challenge was to make the costumes functional. I asked them to show us what they were rehearsing, to jump the trains, to run. For all of the actors we had to use some kind of spandex, otherwise they couldn’t walk.

FACTION FASHIONS

1. “We chose cold colors for the Erudite,” says Poggioli. “Different shades of blue and green. The director also asked that their clothes remind you of a lab coat.”

2. For the Dauntless, “the fabric we used was a composition of future fabric,” says Poggioli. “That means a lot of polyester and rubber and metal.”

3. “Abnegation was the simplest faction; they don’t care to show skin, so we covered a lot of the body,” says Poggioli.

4. “Jeanine’s clothes are very tailored, very sharp,” says Poggioli. “They were made with a kind of latex.”

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