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 'gowns'

Awardsapalooza: Primetime Emmy Nominations 2014!

awardapaloozasm
This morning brought us great news of Emmy nominations for outstanding costume design in the realm of television!  Without further ado, here are this year’s Primetime Emmy costume nominees:

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A SERIES

Boardwalk Empire: HBO

John Dunn, Costume Designer; Lisa Padovani, Costume Designer; Joseph La Corte, Costume Supervisor

Downton Abbey: PBS

Caroline McCall, Costume Designer; Heather Leat, Costume Supervisor; Poli Kyriacou, Assistant Costume Designer

Game of Thrones: HBO

Michele Clapton, Costume Designer; Sheena Wichary, Costume Supervisor; Alexander Fordham, Assistant Costume Designer; Nina Ayres, Assistant Costume Designer

Mad Men: AMC

Janie Bryant, Costume Designer; Tiffany White Stanton, Costume Designer; Stacy Horn, Costume Supervisor

Once Upon a Time: ABC

Eduardo Castro, Costume Designer; Monique McRae, Assistant Costume Designer

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL

American Horror Story – Coven: FX

Lou Eyrich, Costume Designer; Elizabeth Macey, Costume Supervisor; Ken Van Duyne, Assistant Costume Designer

House of Versace: Lifetime

Clair Nadon, Costume Designer; Nicole Magny, Assistant Costume Designer

Sherlock – His Last Vow (Masterpiece): PBS

Sarah Arthur, Costume Designer; Ceri Walford, Costume Supervisor

The Normal Heart: HBO

Daniel Orlandi, Costume Designer; Gail A. Fitzgibbons, Costume Supervisor; Hartsell Taylor, Costume Supervisor; Maria Tortu, Assistant Costume Designer

The White Queen: Starz

Nic Ede, Costume Designer; Raissa Hans, Costume Supervisor; Elizabeth Healy, Assistant Costume Designer

Congratulations to all of these costume teams for their outstanding work!  It’s party time!!!!  The Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony will be on Saturday, August 16th at 4P Pacific.  Not sure when it will be broadcast at the moment, but stay tuned for the Emmy Awards, broadcast live from the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014 at 8P Eastern/5P Pacific on NBC!

– KMB

A Million Ways to Die in the West & Maleficent: Interpreting History & Lore

Maleficent-Million-Ways-to-Die-in-the-West

I saw two movies today – OMG, stop the presses.  I finally got some “KB Time” and took advantage of it.  Bolstering the box office numbers for this weekend’s biggest contenders, I saw them both.  There are some interesting parallels, in terms of the costumes, and here’s how I see it:

Continue reading ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West & Maleficent: Interpreting History & Lore’

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.

Continue reading ‘Sandy Powell Dishes on Designing YOUNG VICTORIA at the Getty!’

Lincoln

Review Date: 10-26-12

Release Date: 11-9-12 (limited); wide on 11-16-12

Runtime: 150 min (approx, unofficial)

Period: 1865

Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

This film details the last four months of American President Abraham Lincoln’s life. Essentially, it covers Lincoln’s struggle to achieve passage of the thirteenth amendment to the US constitution, outlawing slavery. Along the way, it paints a loving picture of Lincoln as a doting, hands-on father, an involved, engaged husband, and a charismatic, determined leader.

Continue reading ‘Lincoln’

Adventures in Costuming: Albright Fashion Library!

These Prada shoes.  These shoes.  Come on.

These Prada shoes. These shoes. Come on.

Frocktalkers, I have just returned from New York City, and WOW, do I have a find for you!!! It’s the Albright Fashion Library, and before you start thinking of a musty space filled with old books and magazines, let me tell you: it’s pure fashion. Not a book to be found. This is a place that lends clothing, and not just any clothing – top-of-the-line, first-run designer fashion – and tons of it.

Continue reading ‘Adventures in Costuming: Albright Fashion Library!’

Snow White and the Huntsman

Review Date: 5-29-12

Release Date: 6-1-12

Runtime: 127 minutes

Period: Vaguely Medieval

Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Some stories are so good that they just need to be reinterpreted every once in a while. It is therefore no surprise that Snow White has had countless incarnations over the years. The flavor of the latest go-round, Snow White and the Huntsman, is distinctly dark and scary – miles away from the sweet, frothy cartoons and singing birds that have come before. This film is fertile ground for social commentary, and if you are a university-level Women’s Studies major needing material for a thesis, look no further. This is a post-feminist, apocalyptic Snow White, complete with a villain oozing misandry. Sound intriguing?

Continue reading ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

HSN to Showcase Costume Designer Colleen Atwood’s Work on Snow White and the Huntsman!

Happy Tuesday, Frocktalkers – I am finally home after a long and sometimes grueling 3+ month job out of town, and it is good to be back.  I saw this in the LA Times, and thought it was very interesting.  Colleen Atwood is launching a line of clothing for sale on HSN inspired by her designs in Snow White and the Huntsman.  It’s quite interesting, and I can’t wait to see it.  This kind of retail crossover has happened before, (recently with Trish Summerville/Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for H & M and Janie Bryant/Mad Men for Banana Republic) but this source material – a medieval fairy tale – is new to the game.  I am very eager to see the collection!  I hope it does well for everyone involved – the costumes look dazzling, and it’s a great opportunity to own a piece of it.  Read more about it HERE and HERE!  Mark your calendars – it launches May 30 on HSN!

– KMB

Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Memorabilia Auction!

We all know that Debbie Reynolds is a Hollywood legend, but did you know that she is also a lover of costumes?  She is auctioning off her massive collection of costumes on June 18, and there is a preview of some of the items right now at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.  Admission to see this exhibit is free, and there is free underground parking (in Beverly Hills!) so get on down and see it before it ends on June 17.  I went today, and was there for almost two hours – I took pictures of nearly everything.  In fact, I shot two CF cards full of pictures… and now one of the cards is reading ERROR.  I have posted some pics HERE and HERE so you can see these costumes – really, the collection is magnificent, and I am told that, of the hundred-plus pieces I saw today, it’s only representative of 40% of her total collection.  Simply amazing.  Enjoy the pictures, and get down there to see them in person if you can!  If you’d like to bid on any of the items, Profiles in History is handling the auction.  Click HERE for more info!  I will upload the pictures from the defective card as soon as I can!

– KMB

Gone With The Wind Gowns Need your Help!

Very interesting article in the LA Times.  Some of the famous Walter Plunkett-designed gowns from Gone With the Wind are in need of restoration and repair.  You can make a donation to help save them HERE.  Keep in mind, most film costumes are not made to last forever, just through the shooting period, really.  If these costumes are to be preserved, it is going to take some work!  Once the costumes are restored, they can be exhibited, and we can share this important chapter of our art form’s history with the public.  If you’d like more information about Walter Plunkett and the design process for this epic film, click HERE!

— KMB



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