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! **

New Kids on the Block!

Haleh Risdana, Kim Ngo and Anthony Tran

Haleh Risdana, Kim Ngo and Anthony Tran

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with some talented newcomers in the LA costume world. If you are looking for some help with your next project, I cannot recommend these people highly enough – they are wonderful, hard-working and have great can-do attitudes! Check out interviews and their websites after the jump. Put them to work, Frocktalkers!

Anthony Tran

Anthony Tran

Anthony Tran

Short-term goals: I want to work on anything and everything, and get a little bit of experience. I kind of want to see what I’m interested in and what I want to do. I’d like to work with some interesting people and learn things from them.

Long-term goals: My long-term goal would be to design on my own. I’d like to do both movies and theater.

Dream job: My dream job would be a nice fantasy or sci-fi, something really abstract and bizarre. Something not based in reality, at all. Something where you could just kind of make up and play.

Favorite designers: Well, I’d have to say Colleen Atwood, Sandy Powell, Julie Weiss, and Michael Wilkinson – he’s amazing!



Kim Ngo

Kim Ngo

Kim Ngo

Short-term goals: Right now, my short-term goal is to work on larger-budget studio productions. I’ve designed lots of independent features and smaller short films, and so I just want to see what that kind of world is. I’ve only been here four months, so I’d like to get into the union; I’d like to see about that.

Long-term goals: I would love to own a studio or a costume house, where I could provide a space for independent artists to come in and share work space, share resources, and to collaborate. I’d love to have a costume shop where we can create things, as well as style projects and build – and to have stock. I’d like to have a stock of costumes where people can come in for a party, get dressed up with their friends, go out and have these costume consultants or stylists be there to help them. I’d also like to help fashion designers promote their stuff within that context.

Dream job: My dream job is to do what I’m doing right now. To work for myself, to make enough money to do the things I want to do in life. I’d like to give some opportunity to younger artists and independent artists to do what they want to do.

Favorite designers: I loved the costumes for Elizabeth, so definitely Alexandra Byrne. I love the costume designs for Cirque Due Soleil, so François Barbeau, Dominique Lemieux, and that group. For theater, I really enjoy Deborah Dryden’s work – she’s phenomenal – her touch to each costume is real and she connects with the characters in a subtle but deep way.



Haleh Risdana

Haleh Risdana

Haleh Risdana

Tell us about what you’re doing right now: Right now I work for Custom Characters and I make characters for TV shows and for film. We take animated characters and we turn them into reality so they can show up for PR events, premieres, etc. These are walkabout costumes.

Short-term goals: I’d like to continue working where I’m working, in order to finesse my skills. I’d also like to assist with an experienced costume designer so I can get some experience with film or TV. I’d like to get more experience working on set, working toward union membership, even doing some print work.

Long-term goals: My long-term goal is to be a costume designer on my own, and to design for really creative film, and do some print work. Perhaps my longest-term goal would be to have my own studio, where I could mentor students, and teach, and bring in guest artists.

Dream job: I would like to create, make, and design costumes and costume pieces for screen, stage, and print. With my background in costumes, making wigs, character makeup and makeup effects, I find it most rewarding to deliver the look no matter what the medium. That’s why I believe having my own studio or costume house would be a good fit for me. Costume designing and creating characters has always been there for me, and through the years I am seeking ways to use those skills.

Favorite designers: I have many favorite costume designers, and what it comes down to for me is the work they have done for a particular film or theatre production. So I’d have to say Monique Prudhomme with Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Colleen Atwood for Sweeney Todd, and Ruth Myers for The Golden Compass and for the Addam’s Family.


If you need a reference on any of these great people, please email me at frocktalk@gmail.com!


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