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! **

Five Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Costume Type!

Artwork by Evan B. Harris, available on Etsy.com

It’s that time of year, Frocktalkers. Whether you’re shopping for a wrap gift, a birthday gift, a thank you gift, or a holiday gift, you can’t go wrong with the items listed here. If these aren’t enough for you, you can always look back at last year’s list, or even the inaugural list for more ideas. So, without further ado –

Artwork by Evan B. Harris

Artwork by Evan B. Harris, available on Etsy

Anything from Etsy:

Etsy is a handmade and vintage paradise. It’s all they sell. From works of art to vintage clothing to handmade quilts, to supplies for your own crafts, you will find it here. Most everything is one of a kind, funky, and totally awesome. My favorite picks are artist Evan B. Harris’ shop, Cosmic Firefly, Family Fabrics, Ash and Arrow, Brooklyn Rehab, Alamo 2003, Ideachic, Tanith, Paperdoll Vintage, 4 the Love of Vintage, Cool Vintage, and it goes on, and on, and on!!! If you’d like a little Frocktalk-friendly gift, visit my Etsy store and you can buy items handmade personally by me!

Eiko Ishioka, Costume Designer

Eiko Ishioka, Costume Designer

Classic Costume Movie:

It is a great pleasure to watch a good movie with fantastic costumes. It is hard to whittle down my ultimate favorite list, but here are a few off of the top of my head: City of Lost Children, Elizabeth, Belle et La Bête, Body Heat, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Simple Plan, Bonnie and Clyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Beetlejuice, All That Jazz, Barry Lyndon, Annie Hall, Big Fish, Boogie Nights, Welcome To The Dollhouse, Moulin Rouge, Clueless, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Priscilla Queen of the Desert I mean, I could go on for DAYS about these films and their sublime costumes. If you haven’t seen these films, you really should!

Self-Care Gift Certificate:

We costume-types are notorious for putting ourselves absolutely LAST. So, when we get a gift certificate for a massage, facial, mani-pedi, or pilates/yoga classes, boot camp classes and the like, we need to take advantage of them! It’s a really nice way to show your costume-types that you care about their health and well-being. Here are some ideas. Pho Siam, Aroma Spa, Beverly Hot Springs, Hankook Spa, C’est Tout, SkinSense, Nature’s Nails, Oasis Nail Spa, Sweat Pilates, 220 Fitness, Yoga Blend – there are so many options. Check and see what’s close to their homes; it will make it a lot easier to go!!

The signature burger at The Golden State

The signature burger at The Golden State

Restaurant Gift Certificate:

This is always a good one. Most restaurants (even mom and pop owned) issue gift certificates, and they are a wonderful excuse to clean up and get out of the house. Here are a few choice spots in LA for you: Fraiche Santa Monica, Cooks County, Lazy Ox Canteen, Jitlada, Ta-Ke Sushi, Vegan Glory, The Golden State, Mozza, Akasha, Rustic Canyon, Providence, and if you want to be super naughty, In-N-Out Burger.


Every costume type I have ever known has a HUGE library of books. More than anything, we like books with pictures of people wearing cool clothes and costumes. 😉 Depending on the person, the range of books you can find is very wide. You can get a book of classical paintings for one person, and a book with photos of classic jazz musicians for another. Here are some great books that I’ve found this year: UNIFORMS, Jeans of the Old West, Avedon: Photographs, One of a Kind, Jazz, Giants and Journeys, Mary Ellen Mark: An American Odyssey, For Now, Many Are Called, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Girl Culture, A Life is More Than A Moment, Nudie the Rodeo Tailor, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bernard of Hollywood: The Ultimate Pinup Book, Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations, Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, and there are SO many more. If you go to a good bookseller (Rizzoli or Book Soup), you can look through the books yourself and pick a good one!

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday season, everyone! Stay tuned for more reviews and interviews. It’s a bit crazy here, but I am trying to catch up! Have a great week!


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