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! **

Tag Archive for 'artist'

HOLLYWOOD COSTUME is Coming to LA!!

hollywood-costume-exhibition

EXPANDED FINAL TOUR OF COSTUME DESIGN EXHIBITION ARRIVES OCTOBER 2

Featuring costumes from The Hunger GamesDjango UnchainedThe Wizard of Oz and more

On view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – This fall the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the final showing of the groundbreaking multimedia exhibition Hollywood Costume in the historic Wilshire May Company building, the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this ticketed exhibition explores the central role of costume design – from the glamorous to the very subtle – as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling.

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Costume, Character, and Games.

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the upcoming season of Sleepy Hollow, and I have to say – it’s giving me a lot of pause.  I have spoken before at length about the difference between costume, wardrobe, fashion and all of that.  Cliff’s Notes:  We are not the fashion police, and please don’t refer to us as “Wardrobe”.  At the end of the day, our work is about designing characters, and specifically the clothing that becomes the costume that tells the story about the character. Continue reading ‘Costume, Character, and Games.’

Spotlight On: Costume Illustrator Phillip Boutte!

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 6.25.50 PM

Phillip Boutte is one of the hottest costume illustrators in town.  With a resume that includes box-office behemoths like Inception, Man of Steel, Twilight/Breaking Dawn, and Star Trek, his rise has been meteoric. We sat down to breakfast and ended up talking about everything from new rendering programs to racism in the media.  I really adore Phillip and am so excited to share this interview with you.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?

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FIDM Art of Motion Picture Costume Design 2013

Ravenna's "Beetle" costume from Snow White and the Huntsman - designed by Colleen Atwood

Ravenna's "Beetle" costume from Snow White and the Huntsman - designed by Colleen Atwood

Well, Frocktalkers, the big annual FIDM Art of Motion Picture Costume Design event was tonight! I’ve taken a bunch of pictures for those of you out-of-towners who can’t see it in person. However, if you ARE in town, you should really see it for yourself. It’s pretty awesome. It runs until the 27th April! Here’s the gallery:

Set #1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40787728@N05/

Set #2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40904510@N04/

Set #3

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40966110@N08/

– KMB

Spotlight On: Background Artist Kimberly Ables Jindra!

Kimberly Ables Jindra

Kimberly Ables Jindra

As costume designers, supervisors and costumers, we often interact daily with background artists. How many of us have ever stopped to think about who these people are, what their lives are like, and how they view US? I talk here with background artist Kimberly Ables Jindra – we’ve worked together on a few films, and I am very fond of her. I thought it might be illuminating for you Frocktalkers to consider the other side of the coin when it comes to background players. We get so busy, so crazed, and we operate under such pressure that I think it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves that background artists are not just bodies; they are people, too.

Continue reading ‘Spotlight On: Background Artist Kimberly Ables Jindra!’

Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master

I am a very lucky girl to be able to bring you interviews like this one.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Mark Bridges yesterday, and have transcribed our conversation for you.  Please grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?  Mark tells me all about The Master, his methodology, and merkins.  Yes, merkins.  I enjoyed this so much, I hope to bring you other breakfast-style interviews in the future.  Big thanks to Mark for joining me for some toad-in-the-hole and coffee – it was lovely, and very entertaining!  Please note that there are spoilers in this interview, so if you want to be surprised by the film, read this after you see it!  But if you can’t wait… read on~

Continue reading ‘Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master’

Awardsapalooza: The Oscars!

Congratulations to Mark Bridges, who just won the Academy Award for his outstanding work on The Artist!!!!  “I was just a kid from Niagara Falls, who dreamed, ate and slept movies, and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor, and for making a lifelong dream come true.  Thank you!”  Congratulations to Mark and his crew on this tremendous honor!!  Yeeehawwww!!!

– KMB

Awardsapalooza: The BAFTAs!!

Congratulations to Mark Bridges (and his costume team) on winning the BAFTA for outstanding costume design on THE ARTIST!  Party time, y’all!!!  Here we go – lots of awards ceremonies coming up.  Stay tuned for more updates and congrats again to Mark on this prestigious award!!

– KMB

RIP, Eiko Ishioka

Oh Frocktalkers, this is sad news.  Academy Award-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 73.  Beyond being a costume designer, she was a world-famous graphic designer and artist, and a woman of unimaginable talent.  I had the extraordinary good luck to work with her, albeit briefly, on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the film for which she won her Oscar.  She was a lovely woman, very friendly to me when I was just starting in this business. I was impressed by her quiet manner but absolutely bombastic-fantastic designs.  The contrast made quite an impression on a young designer like myself.  This is a huge loss to me on a personal level, as she was one of my design heroes.  Our entire community will miss her total, complete and utter brilliance.  Check out the books about her design work HERE, HERE and HERE… and rent some of her films: Dracula, The Cell, The Fall and Immortals. I am so bummed out this morning.  Rest in peace, Eiko – my heartfelt sympathy goes out to her husband and family.  She was such a brilliant and lovely lady.

– KMB

Awardsapalooza 2012: BAFTA Nominations announced!

Congratulations to the 2012 BAFTA nominees for Outstanding Costume Design!  They are:


THE ARTIST Mark Bridges
HUGO Sandy Powell
JANE EYRE Michael O’Connor
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN Jill Taylor
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY Jacqueline Durran

The awards ceremony is scheduled for February 12, 2012 – stay tuned for more information, and congratulations to all of the designers and crew honored by these nominations!!

– KMB



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