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 'film'

BOYHOOD – Interview with Costume Designer Kari Perkins

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I hope that by now, you have had the chance to see the incredible film Boyhood.  Shot over the course of twelve years, we follow the same actors on their journey through life, as seen by Mason (aged 7 – 19).  It’s a fascinating look at the ups and downs of life in all its gruesome messiness.  The costumes follow the characters’ arcs seamlessly, and designer Kari Perkins (Bernie, Mud) has done a wonderful job on the longest narrative project ever! I had some questions for her that I thought you might enjoy…

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ComicCon 2014 is Fast Approaching!

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It’s getting to be that time again, Frocktalkers –  ComicCon 2014 is almost upon us.  This year, I am honored to be on a couple of panels sponsored by the Costume Designers Guild, and if you care to join us (and you SHOULD, because these panels are AWESOME), here is some more information!  Long & short of it:  Thursday at 5P, Friday at 1P, and Saturday at 11A, in room 23ABC – but read on!!

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HOLLYWOOD COSTUME is Coming to LA!!

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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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Sarah Jones and the Film Industry Safety Problem

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Very sad news out of Savannah, Georgia, as you have probably heard by now – an accident on the set of ‘Midnight Rider’, the Gregg Allman story, killed a camera assistant and wounded seven additional crew this past week.  This accident should have never happened, and it’s the latest in a long string of film industry workplace mishaps and deaths, almost all of them completely preventable. We should all be operating with a heightened sense of awareness for our safety and for the safety of those around us. Too often we are asked to work in dangerous situations by people in charge who are reckless and largely unconcerned for the safety and welfare of the crew.

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22nd Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Gala at FIDM!

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Man of Steel Superman suit. Costume designers James Acheson and Michael Wilkinson.

Last night was the big opening gala for FIDM’s 22nd annual “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibition.  Frocktalk contributor Lauren Fonville and I tore it up – chatting with designers and ooh-ing and aah-ing over the many beautiful works of costume art on display. The exhibit showcased costumes from twenty-one films of 2013, as well as last year’s Oscar winner, ‘Anna Karenina’.

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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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Awardsapalooza 2103: BAFTA Nominations!

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It’s been a busy morning, folks!  Academy (Oscar) nomination ballots are DUE TODAY and the BAFTA noms were just announced.  Here they are:

COSTUME DESIGN
AMERICAN HUSTLE Michael Wilkinson
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen Mirojnick
THE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’Connor
SAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi

Congrats to all the designers and their teams!!  This is very, very exciting!!!  Huuuurrrrrrraaaahhhhh!!!

– KMB

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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“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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