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 'image'

HOLLYWOOD COSTUME Coming to Melbourne!

hollywood-costume

Frocktalkers, remember that awesome HOLLYWOOD COSTUME exhibit that Deborah Nadoolman Landis put together at the V & A in London last October? Well, it’s on the move! The show will open at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on April 24. This is a DO NOT MISS event, people. If you are in Australia or New Zealand (or anywhere else close-by), this exhibit merits a trip, for sure. It’s so exciting. More info HERE!  Enjoy, everyone!

– KMB

De Rouille et D’Os – Rust and Bone

Review Date: 12-8-12

Release Date: 11-23-12

Runtime: 120 minutes

Period: Contemporary

Costume Designer: Virginie Montel

Rust and Bone is the epic, harrowing and stunning story of Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a killer whale trainer who loses her legs in an accident, and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a negligent father who enters the competitive world of street fighting. Stephanie is drawn to danger in all its forms, and Ali provides her with plenty of it, helping her to heal along the way.

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The Master

Review Date: 9-16-12

Release Date: 9-21-12

Runtime: 137 minutes

Period: Post-WWII – 1950

Costume Designer: Mark Bridges

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for boundary-pushing films: Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood… and he doesn’t just push, but rather he shoves The Master into uncharted territory. This is a film so raw, it bleeds. The performances will make your heart skip a beat. The plot reveals itself in bursts, like a puzzle of sorts. In the press, cast and crew have denied that this film is about Scientology. However, after viewing the film, it appears to be a poem composed in elegiac vignettes related to L. Ron Hubbard, the religion he founded, and the people who were central to his purpose.

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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.

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2012 Art of Television Costume Design Opening!

Costumes of Downton Abbey, designed by Susannah Buxton

Costumes of Downton Abbey, designed by Susannah Buxton

It was a great night last night, Frocktalkers!  The 6th Annual Art of Television Costume Design exhibit opened at FIDM, and it was beautiful.  The exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday, July 31st, and runs until October 20th.  Represented in the exhibit are Emmy nominees Boardwalk Empire, American Horror Story, Once Upon a Time, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and many more!  I took photos of all the costumes on exhibit and posted them on my photostream HERE for those of you who are out of town.  However, if you are in LA, you really ought to swing by.  It’s free, and it’s an awesome display of talent.  Congrats to everyone involved in making this happen!!!

Art of Television Costume Design Exhibit at FIDM:  919 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA  90015.  Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10A – 5P.  Exhibit runs 7/31/12 – 10/20/12.

– KMB

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?

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Interview with Designer Trish Summerville!

Happy 2012, Frocktalkers! I am delighted to be able to share some insight with you from the costume designer of David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trish Summerville! Fresh from the launch of the movie as well as the launch of The Dragon Tattoo Collection (exclusively at retailer H & M), Ms. Summerville tells us all about her experience making the film in Sweden, and why she didn’t sample the reindeer meatballs… read on!!

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Adventures in Costuming: Memorylane.com!

The Winner Takes it All!

The Winner Takes it All!

If you have ever had a costume presentation to make detailing a specific year, including the trends, music, events and other things that took place back then, you know how difficult it can sometimes be to find good, reliable information and (more importantly for us) pictures.  There are a few places to check.  Wikipedia is usually pretty reliable for background information.  The People History has additional (though vague) information about prices of things, and a small blurb about fashion in the particular era.  There is some info on Fashion Era, but not many pictures of actual garments. It is difficult to get accurate photos (and lots of them) in one place.

Enter Memorylane.com.  Formerly known as classmates.com, Memorylane is a wonderful database of specific images on a year-by-year basis.  It is a searchable database, full of images and videos specific to that particular year.  No guesswork as to whether or not the poster of the photo had the year right.  It’s lovely.  Check it out!  And good luck with your presentations!

– KMB

Frankie and Alice

Review Date: 12-18-10

Release Date: 12-10-10 (LA), expands 2-4-11

Running Time: 102 min.

Period: 1957, 1973

Costume Designer: Ruth E. Carter

Frankie and Alice is a film based on a true story of Frankie Murdock, a woman with dissociative personality disorder (what many people call “multiple personalities”). It is an interesting film in that the actress playing Frankie (Halle Berry) plays three roles at once, and the costumes support her transition between them. Ms. Berry has been deservedly nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, and the film is worth seeing for her elegant and heart wrenching work.

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