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 'hats'

Hyde Park on Hudson

Review Date: 11-8-12

Release Date: 12-7-12

Runtime: 94 minutes

Period: 1939

Costume Designer: Dinah Collin

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.

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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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Western Costume Co – 100 years, and in the News!

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!!

– KMB

The Artist: Interview With Designer Mark Bridges!!!

It’s been over eighty years since a silent film has won best picture, but 2012’s The Artist looks 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!!

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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

Adventures in Costuming: WESTERN COSTUME SALE!

Hey Frocktalkers!  If you are in Los Angeles tomorrow (5-21-2011), don’t miss the big Spring Cleaning Sale at Western Costume!!!  It starts at 8AM and goes until 2PM, so get there early if you want the good stuff.  Here are the details:

Western Costume: 11041 VanOwen St., North Hollywood, CA  91605  818/760-0900 REAR PARKING LOT.  Credit cards and cash accepted. Rain or shine!

Thousands of items, prices starting at 50 cents! Vintage, Medieval, Renaissance, shoes and hats, and much more, in a wide variety of sizes!  This sounds like a good sale, folks.  Don’t miss it!  Have a great weekend, everyone.

– KMB

Rosemary’s Baby: the CHAT!

Is it Sharon Tate in the coat or not?  Rumors have persisted for years.

Is it Sharon Tate in the coat or not? Rumors have persisted for years. I don't think so.

I sat down with Chris from Clothes on Film to discuss the costumes from Rosemary’s Baby. We got into Mary Quant, w*nkers, quilted robes and rude knitting. Read on!

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Steampunks Elucidate Their Universe!

Professor Jager, detail

Professor Jager, detail

It is with great pleasure that I present to you this evening, an interview with some of Southern California’s most prominent Steampunks.  Here, we get to the heart of Steampunkiness – the hows, whats, and whys of it all.  Never before has there been such clarity!  I am deeply appreciative that they took the time to answer these questions, so we can all learn a little bit more about this beautiful costume aesthetic.  Answers below are from Gail Folsom, Andrew Fogel (a.k.a. Baron von Fogel) , and Nick Baumann (a.k.a. Crackitus Potts).  Read on…
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