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! **

Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

BOYHOOD – Interview with Costume Designer Kari Perkins

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I hope that by now, you have had the chance to see the incredible film Boyhood.  Shot over the course of twelve years, we follow the same actors on their journey through life, as seen by Mason (aged 7 – 19).  It’s a fascinating look at the ups and downs of life in all its gruesome messiness.  The costumes follow the characters’ arcs seamlessly, and designer Kari Perkins (Bernie, Mud) has done a wonderful job on the longest narrative project ever! I had some questions for her that I thought you might enjoy…

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Inside Llewyn Davis: Interview with Costume Designer Mary Zophres!

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I thought the costumes in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ were so lovely, I just had to ask designer Mary Zophres a few quick questions about her work on the film. Here, she even gifts us with a few of her sources for vintage knits!!  BONUS!  Read on:

What were your discussions like with directors Joel and Ethan Coen about the look of this film? 

Our first discussion involved the intention and that it should feel like a documentary. And that it should have an almost black and white quality to it without shooting in black and white. I also knew it was roughly inspired by Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who never really achieved a lot of fame.

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Bad Grandpa: Interview with Designer Lindsey Kear

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It’s the number one movie this week, and it had no script.  I’m shaking my head, trying to make sense of how a cohesive narrative came together from this, and how they pulled it off.  Actor Johnny Knoxville goes undercover as an old man for some Candid Camera-style hijinks on an unsuspecting public… and ends up weaving a sweet (albeit raunchy) narrative about family in the process. I don’t want to spoil the spontaneity of the moments for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll just cut right to the chase with designer Lindsey Kear.

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FIDM Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Opening!

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By Lauren Fonville

The gala opening of the 7th annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design wowed this reporter at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown L.A. on Saturday evening. Attendees strolled among 120 costumes from 15 television shows representing the crème de la crème in TV costume design.

Guests were greeted by Sansa Stark’s sweeping, intricately embroidered wedding dress flanked by “Game of Thrones”’ Lannisters, Tyrells and Tullys. “Game”’s fellow costume-design primetime Emmy nominees “Downton Abbey” was represented in all of its Edwardian elegance and “Behind the Candelabra’”s costumes flat-out bedazzled in head-to-toe sequins and furs.

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Drunk History: Interview with Designer Christina Mongini

Drunk History

By Lauren Fonville

We’ve been fans of Drunk History’s slurred, comedic take on American history and it’s slightly-off period costumes since its early days at a web series on FunnyorDie.com. Now the show created by host Derek Waters and director Jeremy Konner is finally getting a run as a full series airing Tuesdays at 10 pm on Comedy Central.

Who better than costume designer Christina Mongini to bring the show’s inebriated versions of events like Watergate and the Battle of the Alamo to life? The comedy vet has earned her chops as the costume designer for HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and is about to go into production on season five of The League on FX.

We sat down with Christina to discuss Drunk History’s quirky aesthetic; its panoply of guest stars including Jack Black, Dave Grohl, Lisa Bonet, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, and Kristen Wiig; and the particular challenges of costuming comedy.

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Behind the Candelabra: Interview with Designer Ellen Mirojnick

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Ellen Mirojnick is a legend in costume design.  Her work spans everything from Basic Instinct to Chaplin to Speed to the new HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra.  I spent a really nice breakfast recently with Ellen talking about a lot of things.  I’m going to break it into two interviews, but I wanted to share with you Ellen’s thoughts about making Liberace come to life – helping to transform Michael Douglas into a flesh and blood version of someone so flamboyant he could be easily disregarded as a cartoon.  Ellen’s work on this film is jaw-dropping, and I can’t wait to see the film – it airs at 9PM Sunday night, May 26th, on HBO.  Read on for more here and join us for breakfast, won’t you?

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Filmjackets.com Interview with Yours Truly

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Hey there, Frocktalkers – Happy FRIDAY!  Here’s a little interview you can read on your phone while you are stuck in traffic on the 101 on your way home from work.  Our friend Rick over at Filmjackets.com interviewed me for his site, and I thought you might find it interesting, or maybe hilarious, or maybe it will make you want to punch me in the face.  I don’t know.  I hope you don’t want to punch me in the face, but I can’t control that.  OMG, is it the weekend yet?!  I am fried!!  INTERVIEW HERE  Enjoy, and have a great weekend, everyone!!

– KMB

Spotlight On: Costume Illustrator Phillip Boutte!

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Phillip Boutte is one of the hottest costume illustrators in town.  With a resume that includes box-office behemoths like Inception, Man of Steel, Twilight/Breaking Dawn, and Star Trek, his rise has been meteoric. We sat down to breakfast and ended up talking about everything from new rendering programs to racism in the media.  I really adore Phillip and am so excited to share this interview with you.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?

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Burt Wonderstone: Interview with Designer Dayna Pink!

Olivia Wilde as Jane in "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"

Olivia Wilde as Jane in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”

Frocktalkers, I am very excited to share this interview with you.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Dayna Pink, and we ended up talking about everything from Tenacious D to the tenuous work-life balance in our industry.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us for breakfast!

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Spotlight On: Background Artist Kimberly Ables Jindra!

Kimberly Ables Jindra

Kimberly Ables Jindra

As costume designers, supervisors and costumers, we often interact daily with background artists. How many of us have ever stopped to think about who these people are, what their lives are like, and how they view US? I talk here with background artist Kimberly Ables Jindra – we’ve worked together on a few films, and I am very fond of her. I thought it might be illuminating for you Frocktalkers to consider the other side of the coin when it comes to background players. We get so busy, so crazed, and we operate under such pressure that I think it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves that background artists are not just bodies; they are people, too.

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