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! **

Sleepy Hollow: Ask the Costume Department, Part 3


Hello Frocktalkers and Sleepyheads!  Seeing as the season finale of Sleepy Hollow is upon us – TOMORROW NIGHT (1/20/14) at 8PM on FOX – I thought I might do one last quick “Ask the Costume Department” segment from your questions on Twitter.  Thank you so much for watching the show.  We worked so hard on it, and it’s so nice to hear from all of you.  Here we go:


We have had the pleasure of costuming hundreds of BG artists on this show, and it is always a unique challenge for every episode to dress them.  We consider all kids of factors: weather, time of day, the action in the scene, color palette, and emotional tone, to name a few.  We can sometimes pull from the stock we already have accumulated (rented & purchased stock from the US and England), but sometimes we need special things. If we need special things, we rent or make them.  For example, in “Necromancer”, we rented fancy gowns and suits for the “Van Brunt engagement party” scene, but we made all of the headpieces for the women.  Brad (our assistant costume designer) should get a medal for all of the headpieces he’s come up with on this show! Then there are just some particular things that we just can’t find anywhere… so we make them.  We’ve made a lot of hooded cloaks on this show. Darek, our tailor, gets a medal for that!


Shooting on a location of any kind has many, many challenges.  We’re far from home and far from the resources on which we regularly depend.  This is the general, overall challenge.  There are no costume rental houses.  There is no fabric district.  There is no American Apparel, or Nordstrom, or H & M, or Apple store, if your electronics break down and you need a quick replacement. I love Wilmington, and North Carolina in general – this is my fourth tour of duty here, and it is a beautiful place with friendly, fun people.  What is necessary with location work of any kind is to be prepared.  Most anything can be shipped overnight to you on location, so that is always the saving grace.

Another unique challenge to shooting in NC is the weather.  During the shooting of Sleepy Hollow, we had high temps in the 90s down to low temps in the 20s, all within the span of a few months. Keeping up with the rain, humidity, heat and even snow (yes, we had one day of snow!) is challenging, but also kind of fun.  We don’t have real weather patterns in LA, so it’s novel and kind of cool for us.


I am not sure if Crane would combine modern clothes with his coat – that would mean that Crane is wearing modern clothes, and we’ve beat that dead horse to death and back again.  I think that the coat is as big a part of Crane as his backstory.  It is, in fact, his backstory, as a visual metaphor.  I suspect he won’t want to be without it in any circumstance. But beyond that, I can’t really say!

Thank you again and again for watching our show.  I hope you enjoy the season finale – it is sure to make your eyes pop!  It’s pretty awesome. I will be live-tweeting to the best of my ability @Frocktalk.  We will be watching the West Coast feed out here, but I will be checking in as we pre-party.  Have a great week, everyone, and thanks again for your support.  We at Sleepy Hollow are so grateful.




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