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! **

James Acheson at the Getty this Sunday, June 5!

Oooh, Frocktalkers, this is exciting.  Academy-Award-Winning costume designer James Acheson will be part of a panel about historical costumes in film moderated by Academy-Award-Nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis at the Getty Center!  Here are the details:

Dressing the Part: Historical Costume in Film


At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
Sunday, June 5, 2011, 3:00 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – This Sunday, June 5, three-time Academy Award® winning costume designer James Acheson (Dangerous Liaisons) along with costume designer and UCLA professor Deborah Landis, and fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell discuss fashion history and its representation in movies in Dressing the Part: Historical Costume in Film, a panel discussion at the Getty Center. The program is related to the exhibitions Paris: Life and Luxury, which evokes the rich material ambiance of Paris during the mid-18th century, and Fashion in the Middle Ages, which reveals how manuscript illuminators depicted the dress of figures ranging from kings and popes to tradesmen and peasants.

Dressing the Part begins with an introduction to medieval and 18th-century fashion history by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell. Against this historical backdrop, designers James Acheson and Deborah Landis discuss how they create costumes for various historical periods in films. The designers describe the research and constraints involved in creating historical costume for the screen, and explain how the demands of film are frequently driven more by a sense of visual authenticity than historical accuracy.

James Acheson is one of the most creative and respected costume designers working in film today. He has won three Academy Awards® for Restoration (1995), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and The Last Emperor (1987). Acheson also designed costumes for Spider-Man (2002, and its sequels), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), Brazil (1985), and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983).

Deborah Nadoolman Landis is the David C. Copley Chair and the Founding Director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA. Her costume-design credits include Animal House (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Coming to America (1988), and the music video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983). Landis received her Master of Fine Arts in costume design from UCLA and her doctorate in the history of design from the Royal College of Art in London. Landis is the author of several books on the history of costume design.

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is an art historian specializing in fashion and textiles. She is co-author of the Los Angeles County Museum’s exhibition catalogue Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700–1915 and contributing author to Getty Publications’ book Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century. Chrisman-Campbell has published widely and frequently consulted for museums on European dress and textiles of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Dressing the Part: Historical Costume in Film takes place on Sunday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. at the Harold Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. The event is free, but reservations are required. For reservations, visit www.getty.edu or call (310) 440-7300.

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