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 'films'

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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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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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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Bad Grandpa: Interview with Designer Lindsey Kear

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It’s the number one movie this week, and it had no script.  I’m shaking my head, trying to make sense of how a cohesive narrative came together from this, and how they pulled it off.  Actor Johnny Knoxville goes undercover as an old man for some Candid Camera-style hijinks on an unsuspecting public… and ends up weaving a sweet (albeit raunchy) narrative about family in the process. I don’t want to spoil the spontaneity of the moments for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll just cut right to the chase with designer Lindsey Kear.

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TEDx Pacific Palisades Talk is Up and Running!

Hi there, Frocktalkers!  It’s finally here – for those of you who did not get to make it to Pacific Palisades to see the big TEDx talk, here it is in its entirety.  Hope you enjoy it!  Big thanks to everyone who helped me with this:  Susanica, Carrie, Ruth, Anthony, Sam, Eladio, Mel, Ken, Michael, Michele, Michelle, Lauren, Stacy, Rebecca, Joseph, Beth, Carlos, Lois, Aasha, Darren, and all of my Chico Junior High girlfriends! Thanks to Andrew McGregor for inviting me to speak – it was nerve-wracking, but it was fun!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Update From KB Land!

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For the past few months, life here has been absolutely crazy lately.  I’ve moved house (twice!), and started a new job.  And then there was the TED talk (video will be posted in the next couple of weeks).  I’m about to move again (!) to North Carolina to begin shooting of the new job – a TV show – and I apologize for not being more present here because of it.  The reality of being a costume designer is that sometimes, we lose our lives to our work for long periods of time.

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Hey Los Angeles! LA Film Festival Starts Tomorrow, 6/13!!!

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Hey Frocktalkers – if you are in LA, don’t miss this opportunity to see some really cool stuff!!! The LA Film Festival runs from June 13 – 23, and it’s kind of a big deal around town.  On June 20, the LA Film Festival and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have teamed up to bring you an amazing panel discussion about costume design called THE ICONIC MOMENT moderated by Laura Dern.  Included in the panel are costume designers Colleen Atwood (Snow White & The Huntsman, Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha), Mark Bridges (The Artist, Silver Linings Playbook, Boogie Nights), Jeffrey Kurland (Inception, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven), and Ellen Mirojnick (Behind the Candelabra, Wall Street, Basic Instinct). This is one of those events you just don’t want to miss.  Tickets available at the LAFF Website.  Also, side note in a shamelessly self-promoting kind of way – two films that I designed are going to be showing at the LAFF:  Winter in the Blood and The Conjuring.  Check it out and see you there!!

 

– KMB



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