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 'costume design'

Awardsapalooza 2009/2010: 18th Annual FIDM Event!

Good news!  Good news!  Here at Frocktalk, we just received the all-clear from FIDM to report on the 18th annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design opening.  We will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of the festivities with several roving reporters and photographers, so if you see us coming, smile and say CHEESE!  We are all really getting excited about this event.  However, the big question remains:  WHAT TO WEAR?!?!  Stand by!

— KMB

Awardsapalooza 2009/10: The Academy Award Nominations!

Good morning, Frocktalkers!  The Academy Award nominations have been announced, and the following films have been nominated for excellence in costume design:

Bright Star – Janet Patterson
Coco Before Chanel – Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Monique Prudhomme
Nine – Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria – Sandy Powell

Congratulations to the nominees!  The Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010.  Stay tuned!

— KMB

The Princess Bride: Maggie’s Review!

The Princess Bride has long been a favorite movie of mine. I even remember seeing it in the theater when it first came out! (And I was about Fred Savage’s character’s age back then!) Of course, that was long before I was into costuming, but this movie has a very charming look. In some ways it’s very fairytale, but I actually don’t think it’s as dated and 80s as some other things from the period. Buttercup’s hair isn’t teased up and hair sprayed, she doesn’t have bizarre makeup or shoulder pads, etc. 🙂
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The Princess Bride: KB’s Review

Review Date: 6-23-09
Release Date: 9-25-87
Runtime: 98 min.
Period: period-non-period, vaguely 14th – 16th century
Costume Designer: Phyllis Dalton

So, when Maggie and I were talking about the next review we might do together, we went back and forth about which film we should choose.  My taste in film is different (darker, bloodier and more violent) than Maggie’s, but certainly there are some common denominators.  When Maggie suggested The Princess Bride, I quickly accepted.  Because, like Inigo Montoya says to Westley during their swordfight, “I know something you don’t know – I am not left-handed!”

What Maggie doesn’t know is that I wrote my college thesis on The Princess Bride.
Continue reading ‘The Princess Bride: KB’s Review’

The Princess Bride: CHAT!!

After watching and reviewing The Princess Bride, Maggie and I sat down to chat about its many virtues.  And along the way, we detoured into DragonCon, auctions, Monty Python, Lord of the Rings, and Mandy Patinkin’s drunken Spaniard hotness.  Read on!

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USITT Design Showcase West 2009

Saturday was the big day for a handful of freshly-minted design MFAs.  UCLA hosted the USITT Design Showcase West showcase, featuring work from students from a wide array of universities, including UCLA, USC, Yale, University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina School of the Arts, and many others.  What’s cool about this event is that it puts the students in contact with people working in the industry.  You can shake hands, exchange information, and (hopefully) these new grads can get a job out of it, somehow!

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The Brothers Bloom

Review Date: 5-31-09
Release Date: 5-15-09 (limited)
Runtime: 113 min.
Period: Contemporary
Costume Designer:  Beatrix Aruna Pasztor

I heard some early buzz about this film after the Toronto Film Festival last fall, but didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I entered the theater.  It’s kind of a standard con/caper movie, but the story is told in a manner that is visually and stylistically quite refreshing.  The costumes are ridiculously beautiful, and I hope the film gets a wider release so that everyone can appreciate it.  This might be the longest, most detailed review ever, but man it is totally worth it.  At least, I think so.

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Adventures in Costuming: Craft Day – Felting

Hi everyone – I have to apologize for not posting this yesterday – I have been out of town and it has been kind of crazy.  What I’d like to talk about, though, is a sort of continuing-education vibe for all of us who work in the costume department.  I realize that the following post may be a bit controversial, but you can let me know how you feel about it by posting a comment!
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The Sweet Hereafter: Sidebar


Speaking of all great things Canadian, this week’s Frocktalk review is The Sweet Hereafter.  This film was nominated for a Genie award for costume design back in 1997.  Just wanted to let you know that an interview with costume designer Beth Pasternak is in the works; I will run it as soon as it comes back to me, so stay tuned!  For photo clearance, I called three different companies associated with this movie: New Line Home Video, Fine Line Features, and Time Warner Home Video.  All of them passed the buck in giving photo release.  In fact, the woman at Time Warner told me that nobody knew WHO was responsible for photo clearance on this film.  Therefore, I am going to take a chance, and run these screen caps.  If anyone barks, I will be sure to let you know!

– KMB



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