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! **
Most of us who work in the entertainment industry have seen at least one stage production of Les Misérables in our lives.To miss this musical theater opus would be like not seeing ET or Star Wars; it’s that big of a deal.Les Miz (as it is colloquially called) was first introduced to the stage in the form of a musical in the 1980s.It was a sensation.The music is haunting, the story is relatable, and it packs an emotional wallop. It is no surprise, then, that the current movie version of the musical does the same.
I don’t even know where to begin with this movie.It is breathtaking in its scope, and is such an impressive piece of work.The film explores six different time periods, six different (but linked) storylines, and it manages to utilize the same troupe of actors in all of the different scenarios.Shooting all storylines simultaneously, with two costume designers and a crew of over fifty in the costume department, it is an astounding accomplishment.You won’t believe your eyes.
Very seldom am I truly amazed by anything anymore.I’m getting older; I live in the big city; I’ve seen a lot of cool things in my life.Let’s face it; I’m getting cynical.But then one day, something comes along that just blows a hole in my reality, shooting me sky-high.Last night, that thing was the costume design of O Palhaço – The Clown – Brazil’s entry for the Foreign Film category at the Oscars. Frocktalkers, you NEED to see this film!!!
Hyde Park on Hudson chronicles a time in American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s life when he becomes intimately involved with his distant cousin Daisy. War looms in Europe, and the British Crown seeks his help.With King George VI and Queen Elizabeth coming for a visit, what to do about the mistress?FDR and Daisy’s relationship seems unlikely at best, however the costumes help to tell the story about class, privilege, status, and wealth.
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~
Western Costume Company is celebrating 100 years of service to the entertainment community, and the LA Times is all over it!! There are several articles covering various aspects of Western Costume’s history – HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. They’ve also resurrected an article from 1989 about the sale and move of Western from Melrose Ave. (the old location, close to the Paramount lot) to its current location in North Hollywood! It’s a pretty spectacular set of articles, and big thanks to LA Times for recognizing the contribution that Western has made to our industry, and for sharing it with the world! Check it out, Frocktalkers, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Western!!
It’s been over eighty years since a silent film has won best picture, but 2012’s The Artistlooks poised and ready for the honor. This beautiful homage to filmmaking is stunning on many levels, especially the storytelling element of its costume design. In this interview – which is PART 1 of 2 – costume designer Mark Bridges talks about his approach to the film, some of his sourcing, and his take on using fur on screen. Read on, and stay tuned for PART 2 coming soon!!
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!
Hi Frocktalkers! I am not exactly sure who created this lovely video about the costumes from True Grit – there are no credits – but it is informative and fun to watch. I loved the movie, and the costumes, and I thought you might enjoy watching this!
Costume designer Anthea Sylbert was prolific following her work on Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Roman Polanski’s atmospheric horror was essentially her big break and, by her own admission, one of her toughest challenges too.
Rosemary’s Baby tells the story of young newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) who move into an apartment building that turns out to be a haven of witches lead by old timers Minnie and Roman Castevet (Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer). On the promise of a big career, Guy allows the witches to impregnate Rosemary with the seed of the devil. Rosemary is left trapped and alone, surrounded by an evil conspiracy and forced to drop the spawn of Satan on her due date.