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! **

Adventures in Costume Design: BYU

The Draper Temple, Draper, Utah

Sorry for the delay in posting this week – I have been lecturing and trying not to use profanity this week in Provo, Utah at BYU.  It was such a wonderful time.  I learned so much, and my hosts were so gracious and accommodating.  I couldn’t have asked for a better trip, and am still so surprised and flattered that they asked me to come to their university.

A little background – I met BYU costume design professor Mary Farahnakian during her 2006 sabbatical, when she was in LA, looking for a designer to shadow.  I was designing The Grudge 2 at the time, and Mary was a really fun lady to have around.  We stayed in touch afterward, and she invited me out there to speak to her costume, film, and theater students.

It is all kind of a blur, but I spoke to a large forum audience, and several classrooms of students while I was there.  I met the Dean, and shook lots of hands.  The people at BYU could not have been nicer or more appreciative, and I was really impressed with their openness.  The students had great questions, and seemed genuinely interested in the film industry and how it worked.

I also dragged Mary and one of the BYU bigwig staff to a dirty, disgusting honky-tonk in Salt Lake City for some karaoke, and I went skiing with a theater professor and his son.  It was pretty great.  I learned a lot about BYU and the Mormon people, and I feel much more enlightened because of it.  What an awesome time.  All this, because of costume design.  Who’d-a-thunk-it?

Stay tuned for more adventures (and a new review) later in the week.  I am desperately trying to catch up!

— KMB

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