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 'illustrations'

ComicCon 2014 is Fast Approaching!

small-jcomiccon

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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Dear Kristin: Where Can I see Sketches?

Sketch:  Leon Bakst, 1911 - one of the best costume designers/illustrators of ALL TIME.

Sketch: Leon Bakst, 1911 - one of the best costume designers/illustrators of ALL TIME.

Hello Frocktalkers – I am up to my armpits in prep on a new film, so forgive me if these updates are brief and far between.  I am doing my best for you, and looking forward to more interviews during, and about, awards season!!  Here is the latest in the “Ask Kristin” feature –

Dear Kristin:  Do you know of any on-line site where one can view sketches of costumes for particular movies?  I am particularly interested in the simple striped smock/apron worn by Madame Méliès in Hugo. Thanks. – Frocktalker Amy

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The Help: Interview With Designer Sharen Davis!

Happy weekend, everyone!  I hope that you have had a chance to see The Help – it is a very interesting and thought-provoking movie, and I have had the great good fortune to talk with (twice-Oscar-nominated) costume designer Sharen Davis about her work on this movie – AND she gave me some sketches to share with you!!!  I screened the film for my mom, and she went crazy about the hair!!  Sharen answers all of my (and my mom’s) questions, after the jump!  Read on!

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Jane Eyre: Interview with Designer Michael O’Connor!

Check it out, Frocktalkers – I have an interview for you with costume designer Michael O’Connor about his work on Jane Eyre.  He shares his own sketches, and gives details on how the ideas for these costumes took shape, and – most important to me – what it was like to work with Michael Fassbender!!!  OooOoOooh!  Read on!!

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From the NY Times: Designer Ann Roth on “Book of Mormon”!

Matt Stone and Trey Parker are at it again!  The creators of South Park have a new musical on Broadway called The Book of Mormon, and they have hired costume legend Ann Roth to design the costumes.  Oscar-winner Roth is best known for her film costumes (The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The Hours, Doubt, Mamma Mia), but here she shares some of her sketches and thoughts about her latest theatrical adventure, The Book of MormonCheck it out here!!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

– KMB

Comic Con – Don’t Miss This!!!

Hey Frocktalkers!  If you are at the Con in the next few days, you are not going to want to miss the following:

EVERY DAY from 9A – 7P at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel (just south of the Convention Center) is the COSTUME DESIGN ILLUSTRATION EXHIBIT.  The exhibit is in the AQUA level, rooms 311 and 312.  There are going to be a LOT of cool illustrations there, including some that I did for Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2!  Check it out!

Friday at 11AM in room 32 AB it’s the CDG TELEVISION PANEL, with designers Audrey Fisher (True Blood), Ane Crabtree (Justified), Shawna Trpcic (Firefly), Pamela Shaw (Assistant Designer, Vampire Diaries),  Jennifer Eve (Assistant Designer, Glee).

Friday from 12Noon – 1PM in the Sails Pavilion you can get AUTOGRAPHS from all the costume designers from the television panel.  And just between you and me, they will probably have some cool ephemera from their shows that they will sign for you!

Friday at 2:15PM in Hall H don’t miss Costume Designer Wendy Chuck and the panel for the upcoming film DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK!

Friday at 5:15PM, in Ballroom 20, it’s Costume Designer Audrey Fisher and the TRUE BLOOD panel!

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Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – Interview with Alexandra Welker

So, here’s something unusual – designing costumes for animation as well as actors! I sat down with costume designer Alexandra Welker to discuss her work on The Squeakquel. It’s an interesting journey, one involving over 100 concept sketches and loads of approvals. Please consider The Squeakquel on a “write in” basis for this year’s Costume Designers Guild nomination ballot! The following is all you’ll ever need to know about the cutest helium-voiced rodents on earth.

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Happy Halloween & Sketch Collecting…

Irene Sharaff's sketch for Brigadoon

Irene Sharaff's sketch for Brigadoon

Happy Halloween, everyone.  This is officially OUR holiday, so have a blast tonight!!  I wanted to show you something that is pretty beautiful and amazing.  I am sorry I didn’t know about it earlier, but wanted to share it with you just the same.  Icollector had a huge auction of vintage costume sketches on their site recently.  You can see them here.  They had a ton of sketches from the likes of Walter Plunkett, Travis Banton, Irene, Anthea Sylbert, Valles, Edith Head, Travilla, Irene Sharaff, Orry Kelly and many more.  It is truly something to behold.

CLICK TO SEE AUCTION

Have a happy and safe Halloween, Frocktalkers!!

— KMB

Adventures in Costuming: Whack’em Wacom Tablet Sketching

I have been taking some photoshop classes, people!!  This week, instead of a movie review, I thought I would present you with an easy tutorial on sketching costumes with photoshop, including some quick and clever tips.  The first thing: get yourself a Wacom tablet.  That’s pronounced Whack’em.  They are available at computer stores and online – I bought mine at Fry’s for about $80.  You do NOT need a big one.  The drawing surface on mine is about 4″ x 6″, and that is all you really need if you are working on a laptop.  The picture above is what the Wacom tablet looks like, once out of the box.  The Wacom tablet comes with an installation disc and a tutorial that runs when you set it up – it is a quick and easy way to learn how to physically use the stylus (pen) to draw freehand on your computer!!

I am going to show you how to do a quick sketch step-by step here.  I am using extremely low-resolution images because it is faster for me and probably clearer for you.  It’s going to look a little bit pixillated, but you will get the idea.  So here we go!!

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