Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

ComicCon 2014 is Fast Approaching!

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It’s getting to be that time again, Frocktalkers -  ComicCon 2014 is almost upon us.  This year, I am honored to be on a couple of panels sponsored by the Costume Designers Guild, and if you care to join us (and you SHOULD, because these panels are AWESOME), here is some more information!  Long & short of it:  Thursday at 5P, Friday at 1P, and Saturday at 11A, in room 23ABC – but read on!!

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Awardsapalooza: Primetime Emmy Nominations 2014!

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This morning brought us great news of Emmy nominations for outstanding costume design in the realm of television!  Without further ado, here are this year’s Primetime Emmy costume nominees:

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A SERIES

Boardwalk Empire: HBO

John Dunn, Costume Designer; Lisa Padovani, Costume Designer; Joseph La Corte, Costume Supervisor

Downton Abbey: PBS

Caroline McCall, Costume Designer; Heather Leat, Costume Supervisor; Poli Kyriacou, Assistant Costume Designer

Game of Thrones: HBO

Michele Clapton, Costume Designer; Sheena Wichary, Costume Supervisor; Alexander Fordham, Assistant Costume Designer; Nina Ayres, Assistant Costume Designer

Mad Men: AMC

Janie Bryant, Costume Designer; Tiffany White Stanton, Costume Designer; Stacy Horn, Costume Supervisor

Once Upon a Time: ABC

Eduardo Castro, Costume Designer; Monique McRae, Assistant Costume Designer

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL

American Horror Story – Coven: FX

Lou Eyrich, Costume Designer; Elizabeth Macey, Costume Supervisor; Ken Van Duyne, Assistant Costume Designer

House of Versace: Lifetime

Clair Nadon, Costume Designer; Nicole Magny, Assistant Costume Designer

Sherlock – His Last Vow (Masterpiece): PBS

Sarah Arthur, Costume Designer; Ceri Walford, Costume Supervisor

The Normal Heart: HBO

Daniel Orlandi, Costume Designer; Gail A. Fitzgibbons, Costume Supervisor; Hartsell Taylor, Costume Supervisor; Maria Tortu, Assistant Costume Designer

The White Queen: Starz

Nic Ede, Costume Designer; Raissa Hans, Costume Supervisor; Elizabeth Healy, Assistant Costume Designer

Congratulations to all of these costume teams for their outstanding work!  It’s party time!!!!  The Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony will be on Saturday, August 16th at 4P Pacific.  Not sure when it will be broadcast at the moment, but stay tuned for the Emmy Awards, broadcast live from the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014 at 8P Eastern/5P Pacific on NBC!

- KMB

HOLLYWOOD COSTUME is Coming to LA!!

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EXPANDED FINAL TOUR OF COSTUME DESIGN EXHIBITION ARRIVES OCTOBER 2

Featuring costumes from The Hunger GamesDjango UnchainedThe Wizard of Oz and more

On view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – This fall the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the final showing of the groundbreaking multimedia exhibition Hollywood Costume in the historic Wilshire May Company building, the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this ticketed exhibition explores the central role of costume design – from the glamorous to the very subtle – as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling.

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A Million Ways to Die in the West & Maleficent: Interpreting History & Lore

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I saw two movies today – OMG, stop the presses.  I finally got some “KB Time” and took advantage of it.  Bolstering the box office numbers for this weekend’s biggest contenders, I saw them both.  There are some interesting parallels, in terms of the costumes, and here’s how I see it:

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EGOT, ECOT, and Awardsapalooza!

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With the big Tony Awards announcements yesterday, it got me thinking.  There is an unofficial “grand slam” category of awards winning known as the EGOT.  This means Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.  Only twelve people in history have ever won this quadruple crown, and they have been actors, directors, music department people (composers) and producers.  To win a Grammy, you must have some kind of musical (or voiceover/spoken word) talent.  That narrows the field considerably, and for most costume designers, puts us out of the running for EGOT.

I propose something a bit more attainable.  The ECOT.  Emmy, CDG Award, Oscar, Tony.  That seems reasonable, right?  Who might be contenders for this award?  Certainly Edith Head is out – she pre-dated the CDG Awards… but who might stand a chance to achieve this in our world today?  Looking forward to your thoughts – here and on Twitter @Frocktalk!

 

- KMB

Sandy Powell Dishes on Designing YOUNG VICTORIA at the Getty!

Photo: Charlie Fonville

Deborah Nadoolman Landis (L) and Sandy Powell.  Photo: Charlie Fonville

“Dress is a trifling matter…but it gives also the one outward sign from which people in general can and often do judge upon the inward state of mind and feeling of a person.”  — Queen Victoria, 1858

By Lauren Fonville

The indomitable Queen Victoria, England’s longest-reigning monarch was on everybody’s mind on Sunday as visitors flooded the Getty Center’s new exhibit, A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography in Los Angeles.

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Costume, Character, and Games.

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the upcoming season of Sleepy Hollow, and I have to say – it’s giving me a lot of pause.  I have spoken before at length about the difference between costume, wardrobe, fashion and all of that.  Cliff’s Notes:  We are not the fashion police, and please don’t refer to us as “Wardrobe”.  At the end of the day, our work is about designing characters, and specifically the clothing that becomes the costume that tells the story about the character. Continue reading ‘Costume, Character, and Games.’

Update from KB Land, 4-1-14

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It’s been crazy over here in KB land. I just started back on season two of Sleepy Hollow. It feels like I just got home, and now I’m turning around again for more. Life in this business is tricky that way. The work bleeds us dry.

I wish I could give you some insight or some great movie reviews about things I’ve seen, but the truth is: I haven’t seen a movie in months. I’ve been trying to catch up with friends and family and stuff myself with all of this fellowship because I won’t be seeing most of these people for eight long months.

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Awardsapalooza 2014 – Live Tweeting the Oscars!

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Hi there, Frocktalkers! Just wanted to point out all the activity that’s going on over at Twitter in the name of Frocktalk! I live-tweeted the UCLA Copley Center ‘Sketch2Screen’ Costume panel this past week, and I’m about to live-tweet the Oscars. From red carpet to best picture, I’ll be coming to you live from the 25th annual Andrew Blau Oscar party in beautiful Beverly Hills Adjacent. It’s going to be a scream. Definitely, I will be surrounded by the best peanut gallery in all of Los Angeles. I can’t wait. I’m not making any predictions, but I’m definitely sending up good vibes for a few friends! It’s going to be an exciting night! Catch all the action on Twitter @Frocktalk!

- KMB

Sarah Jones and the Film Industry Safety Problem

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Very sad news out of Savannah, Georgia, as you have probably heard by now – an accident on the set of ‘Midnight Rider’, the Gregg Allman story, killed a camera assistant and wounded seven additional crew this past week.  This accident should have never happened, and it’s the latest in a long string of film industry workplace mishaps and deaths, almost all of them completely preventable. We should all be operating with a heightened sense of awareness for our safety and for the safety of those around us. Too often we are asked to work in dangerous situations by people in charge who are reckless and largely unconcerned for the safety and welfare of the crew.

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