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! **

Vintage Madness

A very interesting article in the LA Times got me thinking today about what “vintage clothing” actually means. No one can agree on how old a garment needs to be before it is declared “vintage”. In my (professional) opinion, a garment is “vintage” when it is 25 years old or older. It’s old enough to be off the shelves, and it’s probably cycled through the phases of “cool”, “uncool”, “unwearable”, “funny” and back to “cool”. In that sense, you can determine what is “vintage” by following what comes back into fashion – in magazines and in stores.

So, as an example: 1986, jumpsuits. Here’s a picture of a pattern – you can make that jumpsuit in three lengths, for Pete’s sake. But let’s be honest, by 1988, you wouldn’t be caught dead in that jumpsuit. We had moved on.

Cut to 2011 – jumpsuits everywhere. In all kinds of shapes, sizes, fabrics, etc. It’s cool again.

So, to determine what’s vintage or not, you can look to the IDEAS themselves – does that make sense? Things that were cool in 1986 are back on the shelves. Just take a look at Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Forever 21, H & M – it looks like the wrap party for Sixteen Candles in there.

What we have NOT seen yet (but I am sure it’s coming) is the resuscitation of grunge – like, hardcore, flannel-wearing, bandana-on head, ripped jeans grunge. Until we do, that babydoll dress and those Doc Martens are not what most would consider “vintage”. Not quite yet. But keep it long enough, and everything eventually becomes vintage.

If you need to get your vintage fix, here are some good places to shop in and around LA:


The Way We Wore

Decades Vintage

Meow Vintage

ReVamp (and hey, they do vintage Re-Creation!!!)

ReMix Vintage Shoes

And on the cheaper side of things (and not everything in the store is strictly vintage), there is:

Jet Rag

American Vintage



Happy shopping everyone! We’ll revisit this topic when we see floral rayon babydoll dresses with sneaker pumps on the runways in Milan!


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