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! **

Awardsapalooza 2013: Recap!

awardapaloozasm

Hello, Frocktalkers, and happy new year!  We are finally done shooting season one of ‘Sleepy Hollow’, and I’ve been crazed with moving house and catching up.  I have seen a few movies (not all of them, sadly) and I have some recapping to do.  Here we go…

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Inside Llewyn Davis

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If you work in the arts, you probably know someone like Llewyn Davis… someone who has a boatload of talent, but can’t seem to stop self-sabotaging. The Coen Brothers make use of this archetype – the slacker who just can not, for the love of God, get on with it – in their tale of the early 1960s folk music scene in New York City. The movie is really interesting, though at times frustrating to watch, mostly because you just want to punch Llewyn in the face and tell him to get it together. The costumes (by designer Mary Zophres) are wonderful, and there is a very cute ginger kitty who steals just about every scene he’s in.

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Pennsylvania: Warts and All

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I’m trying to catch up on my movie-watching, as awards season is upon us and those of us who vote need to be informed! Aaaghh! So I’ve recently seen two very interesting Pennsylvania-themed films, Prisoners and Out of the Furnace. Both of these films describe a visual world that (to some people) might seem mundane… but the costumes are brilliant. Check out some images of this very fine work by costume designers Renee April (Prisoners) and Kurt and Bart (Out of the Furnace).

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Holiday Gift Guide for Costume-Types 2013

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The gift giving season is upon us, everyone. Whether it’s Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or wrap, it’s probably very likely that you will be buying a gift for someone, and if that someone happens to work in the costume department, you might want to listen up.  What follows is this year’s gift list… if you find you need still more inspiration, please consult prior lists HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  Get your credit cards ready!

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Rest in Peace, Paul Walker, my Hero.

Paul

I am so sick to my stomach right now and I have so much grief welling up inside me that I don’t know what to do about it.  I want to tell you about the real Paul Walker.  People may refer to him forever as the hot blond guy from the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, but he was so much more that that.  He was a loving father and a wonderful man.  I had the pleasure of working with him on ‘Running Scared’, and he left me with some things that will stick with me forever.

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Happy 5th Birthday, Frocktalk!

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Hey there, Frocktalkers – can you believe it’s been five years already?  I certainly can’t.  I started Frocktalk during the aftermath of the 2008 writers’ strike, in the shadow of the looming SAG strike that never happened.  There was no work, nothing to do… and I decided that I would take the opportunity to educate the world about our art form.  Five years later, our business has recovered and I am exhausted from too much work! All of the educating of the public has paid off (witness the birth of many other websites devoted to movie costumes) and for that, I am truly glad.  Thank you all for being loyal readers.  Your support lifts me up when I am tired.  Your curiosity about our art form compels me to keep going.  And keep going I will… just as soon as I make Thanksgiving dinner for 14 crew orphans and their friends!  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you American readers.  I am so thankful for your enthusiasm and your support.

– KMB

Sleepy Hollow: Ask the Costume Department, Round 2

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Hey there, Sleepyheads, Frocktalkers and friends!  I guess the timing of this column just proves that I am unable to keep a deadline when I am working.  What was supposed to be an “every Monday” feature is now destined to become a “once in a while when I have a moment” feature, so thank you for your patience while I find some quiet time to answer your questions.  Remember, you can post them any time on Twitter, using hashtag #shcostumes.  Here is the latest installment:

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“Hunger Games” Costumes Head to the Auction Block

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By Lauren Fonville

The odds are ever in the favor of “Hunger Games” fans craving amazing
memorabilia this month.

Blacksparrow Auctions will auction over 200 original costumes from the
2012 film on November 16, just one week before the release of its
sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Bidders can get in on the
action in person at Blacksparrow’s Los Angeles headquarters, by phone
and online. The original costumes designed by three-time Academy Award
nominee Judianna Makovsky will be unveiled at a reception on November
14.
Continue reading ‘“Hunger Games” Costumes Head to the Auction Block’

Unbelievable Couture Auction on Dec. 8

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Hey Frocktalkers – Wanted to alert you to the most beautiful auction of costume items I have ever seen.  It’s in Chicago on December 8, and you can bid from the comfort of your own home on these items.  It has left me breathless – over 600 unique lots of Victorian & Edwardian clothing, jewelry, accessories, tons of 1920s – 1940s stuff, furs, hats, shoes, handbags, lace, contemporary things… it’s stunning.  Please take a look at it here: http://www.susanins.com/

It’s Auction number 129, just click on the “catalog” section and then click on “complete catalog”.  OMG, you guys.  Spread the word.  This collection is so beautiful, it deserves a new home with people who appreciate it… people like us! I’ll be bidding, FOR SURE… will you?

– KMB

Bad Grandpa: Interview with Designer Lindsey Kear

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It’s the number one movie this week, and it had no script.  I’m shaking my head, trying to make sense of how a cohesive narrative came together from this, and how they pulled it off.  Actor Johnny Knoxville goes undercover as an old man for some Candid Camera-style hijinks on an unsuspecting public… and ends up weaving a sweet (albeit raunchy) narrative about family in the process. I don’t want to spoil the spontaneity of the moments for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll just cut right to the chase with designer Lindsey Kear.

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