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 'coat'

Inside Llewyn Davis: Interview with Costume Designer Mary Zophres!

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I thought the costumes in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ were so lovely, I just had to ask designer Mary Zophres a few quick questions about her work on the film. Here, she even gifts us with a few of her sources for vintage knits!!  BONUS!  Read on:

What were your discussions like with directors Joel and Ethan Coen about the look of this film? 

Our first discussion involved the intention and that it should feel like a documentary. And that it should have an almost black and white quality to it without shooting in black and white. I also knew it was roughly inspired by Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who never really achieved a lot of fame.

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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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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.
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Sleepy Hollow: Ask the Costume Department

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Welcome to the first installment of “Ask the Costume Department”.  We here at Sleepy Hollow get a lot of questions about a lot of things, and I thought it might be nice to take your questions and answer them in a public forum, once a week.  If you have questions that you’d like to have answered, please tweet them to me @frocktalk with the hashtag #shcostumes.  I will do my best to answer between five and ten questions every Monday here on Frocktalk.com, so let ‘er rip, Sleepyheads!  Here are the first questions:

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Behind the Candelabra: Interview with Designer Ellen Mirojnick

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Ellen Mirojnick is a legend in costume design.  Her work spans everything from Basic Instinct to Chaplin to Speed to the new HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra.  I spent a really nice breakfast recently with Ellen talking about a lot of things.  I’m going to break it into two interviews, but I wanted to share with you Ellen’s thoughts about making Liberace come to life – helping to transform Michael Douglas into a flesh and blood version of someone so flamboyant he could be easily disregarded as a cartoon.  Ellen’s work on this film is jaw-dropping, and I can’t wait to see the film – it airs at 9PM Sunday night, May 26th, on HBO.  Read on for more here and join us for breakfast, won’t you?

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Mama

Just some brief thoughts about Mama, since we start shooting on Monday and sadly I don’t have time to do a full review. It’s a scary movie, mostly contemporary with a few flashbacks to the 1880s. Bottom line – BRAVO for the great use of the three-wolf t-shirt. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, Frocktalkers, but watch the movie and spot the three-wolf t-shirt. Also nicely done: the Misfits t-shirts on Jessica Chastain. The overall look of the movie was augmented by great moody lighting and desaturation of the colors in the film (probably in post). The little girls are precious and also creepy, particularly the youngest daughter Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse). It’s a scary movie, but I thought it was pretty mild, actually. It’s a clean PG-13, and the costumes are interesting for sure! Look for the three-wolf t-shirt – it actually made me say “oooh!” out loud in the theater! Nice work, (costume designer) Luis Sequeira, and congrats to the entire costume team!

– KMB

Cloud Atlas

Review Date: 12-3-12

Release Date: 10-26-12, USA

Runtime: 172 minutes

Period: 1849, 1936, 1973, 2012, 2144, and 106 A. F. (2321)

Costume Designers: Kym Barrett, Pierre-Yves Gayraud

I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. It is breathtaking in its scope, and is such an impressive piece of work. The film explores six different time periods, six different (but linked) storylines, and it manages to utilize the same troupe of actors in all of the different scenarios. Shooting all storylines simultaneously, with two costume designers and a crew of over fifty in the costume department, it is an astounding accomplishment. You won’t believe your eyes.

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Dark Knight Rises – Costumes as Fashion?

Frocktalker Laura sent me the link to this interesting article from GQ online about the costumes from the newest Batman installation, The Dark Knight Rises.  Kind of interesting… what do you think?  Read the article HERE!

– KMB

Jane Eyre: Interview with Designer Michael O’Connor!

Check it out, Frocktalkers – I have an interview for you with costume designer Michael O’Connor about his work on Jane Eyre.  He shares his own sketches, and gives details on how the ideas for these costumes took shape, and – most important to me – what it was like to work with Michael Fassbender!!!  OooOoOooh!  Read on!!

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