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! **

Halloween 2010: The Good, The Bad, and The Snooki

It’s the MOST! WONDERFUL! TIME! Of the YEAR!! Yes, my phone is ringing off the hook, and that can mean only one thing: either it’s an election year (thanks, robo-calls) or it’s HALLOWEEN!! This year, if you are looking for a good last-minute costume idea, I think I can help.

Last year, I had some costume suggestions for you, including Susan Boyle, Captain Kangaroo, Judge Judy, Madea, Lady Gaga, Mr. Clean, Donatella Versace, Zack Galifinakis from The Hangover, and the Fast Food Rockers. This year, I have some additional ideas for you…

Probably the most popular costume this year is going to be Jersey Shore cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. Last year it was Kate Gosselin; this year it’s Snooki.  For this costume, you’ll need a hardcore BUMPIT or a wig, a tight spandex mini-dress, some bust enhancers, cheesy sunglasses, self-tanner and some sky-high heels. You might also want to consider carrying a jar of pickles or a duck telephone. Another great accessory might be your guy-friend, dressed as Pauly D, but again you’ll need a “Heat Miserwig for sure, then an Ed Hardy t-shirt, cubic zirconium stud earrings, a gold chain and a spray tan.

A comparatively restrained choice would be Catrin and Catrina, the Day of the Dead skeletons. For this costume, you can basically paint your face as a skeleton, and then wear a cool dress, suit or other interesting outfit. There is no specific costume to wear to be a Catrin/Catrina; if you look at Dia De Los Muertos figurines, you’ll find everything from farmers to fancy ladies. Painting the face is the most important thing, and here are some good examples!

If you are strapped for cash, a good, easy costume is that of a Bed Bug. The two things that you need are antennae on a headband (available at most party stores for about $4) and a bed sheet (preferably a printed, rather than plain sheet). A printed sheet reads “bed sheet” better than a plain sheet, which just looks like cotton fabric. Put the antennae on, wrap the sheet around you like a cape, tying it at the neck or pinning it together, and spend the night biting and pinching people. Fun for everyone. If you have good pajamas, you could wear them as the base for the costume as well.

It’s so easy: Joe Jackson. Not many people on earth dress like this. Do not forget to grab the eyeliner and add the pencil moustache; that is important. Don’t forget the large gold necklace over the top of the necktie (like a pimp), and the matching necktie/pocket square, and most importantly, don’t forget the hat.

This is a good current events one – the world was spellbound as we watched the Chilean Miners pulled from their underground prison. A great way to celebrate this victory is to gather your friends and gear up. You will need green coveralls and t-shirts resembling those pictured (worn over the coveralls), REALLY dark sunglasses, work boots, and hard hats (optional). Make sure you age the costumes somewhat – put some dirt on them to look legitimate. You can party like you’ve been underground for 69 days, and people will probably buy you drinks all night.

Another costume plucked form the current events trunk would be Delaware’s Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. This is easy: red business suit worn with a black pointy witch hat. Optional accessory: a broom.  ‘Nuff said.

From the literature/film category, one of the best badasses in print: Lisbeth Salander (from Steig Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo/Played With Fire/Kicked the Hornet’s Nest series). If you’ve seen the films, you know – this is scary AND sexy. Get out your spiked collars, your black eyeliner, your nose rings, your black choppy wig. A good accessory might be a laptop or a tattooing gun. And get ready to kick some serious ass!

In the Television category, there are two good group costume opportunities: the cast of Glee, and the cast of Mad Men. Glee is a good choice, because there are equal numbers of men and women, and the characters are clearly defined in their costumes. You can also spontaneously break into song without making excuses.

Mad Men presents a challenge in that one must find vintage garments. Now, if you like to shop, this is a pleasant challenge. There are great vintage stores online, and undoubtedly there are some good brick and mortar stores in your area, too. Check out the links section here on Frocktalk! If you’re looking for vintage re-creation, check out ReVamp Vintage, located here in LA – one of my favorite places!

Lastly, Amy Winehouse never gets old as a costume. This year, she’s cleaned up her act, and is looking much better than in months and years past. You will definitely need a wig, and you will definitely need a short dress or a romper, and some satin ballet slippers.  Draw some tattoos on yourself with some eyeliner, and you are good to go.

For those of you in the LA area, here are some good costume resources in LA to help you:

· Wasteland: 7428 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046 Tel: 323.653.3028

· Robinson’s Beautilities: 12320 Venice Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90066 Tel: 310/398-5757

· American Vintage: 7377 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 Tel: (323) 852-0969

· Shelly’s Dance and Costume Wear: 2089 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel: (310) 475-1400

· Hollywood Toys and Costumes: 6600 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 Tel: (323) 464-4444

· Junk For Joy: 3314 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-2907 Tel: (323) 461-5077

 

Makeup and hair resources:

 

· Cinema Secrets: 4400 W Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505 Tel: (818) 846-0579

· Naimie’s Beauty Center: 12640 Riverside Dr., North Hollywood, CA 91607 Tel:(818) 655-9933

· Frend’s Beauty Supply: 5270 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91607 Tel:(818) 769-3834

· His and Her Hair Goods: 5525 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel:(323) 931-1058

Have a great Halloween, everyone! Be safe and enjoy your costume!!!

– KMB

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