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 'fabric'

Sandy Powell Dishes on Designing YOUNG VICTORIA at the Getty!

Photo: Charlie Fonville

Deborah Nadoolman Landis (L) and Sandy Powell.  Photo: Charlie Fonville

“Dress is a trifling matter…but it gives also the one outward sign from which people in general can and often do judge upon the inward state of mind and feeling of a person.”  — Queen Victoria, 1858

By Lauren Fonville

The indomitable Queen Victoria, England’s longest-reigning monarch was on everybody’s mind on Sunday as visitors flooded the Getty Center’s new exhibit, A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography in Los Angeles.

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Angels, the Costumiers

Angels costume house, London

Angels costume house, London.

As part of my trip to London, I visited Angels costume house. Frocktalkers, it was amazing to see this place. I remember way back in 1992, I was interning on the Francis Ford Coppola film Dracula. Our associate costume designer Richard Shissler had made a trip to London to pull costumes for some of our massive crowd scenes. My job was to unpack the boxes that arrived from London. I remember gasping with delight and awe at the assortment of beautiful Victorian garments – many of them antiques, originals – that arrived. Where did these garments come from? Angels costume house.

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Last Chance – Lincoln Fabrics

Frocktalkers, a longtime landmark in Los Angeles textiles is closing. Lincoln Fabrics, having served the Venice community for 54 years, is closing up shop on Halloween. This is your last chance to get your hands on their delicious vintage fabrics and trims. And they have more than a million yards waiting for you!  If you spend $30, you get 15% off. Spend $100, get 20% off. Store hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10A – 5:30P, and everything must go. If you are designing a period show, they are stocked to the gills with vintage fabric, from 1950s-1990s, and it is gorgeous and cool. Owner Marlene Marcus can show you to the warehouse if you need bulk yardage or something really unusual. She is such a cool lady, and I am truly sad to see them shutting down after such a long time. Please stop by the store and pick up something extra special – the price is right, and the fabrics are excellent.  And thanks, Lincoln Fabrics, for all of your help over the years.  I will really miss you.

Lincoln Fabrics

1600 – 1608 Lincoln Blvd. (btn Rose and Venice on the East side of the Street), Venice, CA 90291310-396-5724; Open Tuesday – Saturday 10A – 5:30P

– KMB

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~

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Behind the Scenes: COPPER

Eagle-eyed Frocktalker Laura sent me this link.  It’s really cool!  New series COPPER (airs Sunday, August 19th at 10PM on BBC America) has some amazing costumes – 1860s New York City – and you can learn more about them HERE!  I can’t wait to watch the show, and congrats to costume designer Delphine White for the great work!

– KMB

LA Times Interview with Colleen Atwood, Designer of Dark Shadows

Nice glossy piece about Colleen Atwood’s work on Dark Shadows in the LA Times – she talks 1970s costumes.  This was very interesting to me, since I just wrapped a film set in 1971!  Read on about where she sourced her fabrics!

– KMB

Adventures in Costuming: Dyeing on Location!

Hello, everyone – hope you are having a beautiful Memorial Day weekend if you are in the US, and happy Monday to the rest of you! I wanted to show you a little bit about some of the challenges we face on location from time to time. Today’s vignette: Dyeing on location!

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Desert Flower: Interview with costume designer Gabriele Binder!

I was lucky enough to be able to talk with Desert Flower‘s costume designer Gabriele Binder about her work on the film.  Shooting in Djibouti, London, and Germany on a small budget has its challenges, and it is fascinating to hear her stories!  Check it out –

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Review Date: 1-5-10

Release Date: 12-23-09

Runtime: 88 min.

Period: Contemporary

Costume Designer: Alexandra Welker

Hollywood’s cheerful answer to the depressing “awards-season” fare is furry, cute and musically talented. The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) have been entertaining families for over half a century. Their irreverence, wit and sense of mischief have beguiled children and grown-ups of all ages. These Grammy-winning rodents have had platinum records and chart-topping hits. They are slam-dunk audience pleasers, and their latest oeuvre delivers even more charm in the form of the “Chipettes”, the female answers to Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

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Black Friday Special: Ten Holiday Gift Ideas for Costume Types

It’s Black Friday; let the shopping madness begin!! So, let’s say you need to get a holiday gift for your favorite costume-type. And by costume-type, I mean: costume designer, costumer, tailor, aspiring designer, or mini-designer (meaning: adolescent). The gift possibilities are practically endless, but I have cut through some of the crap in an attempt to make it easy for you. Click on the bolded links for purchasing info!

In no particular order, here are ten good ideas:

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