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 'michael'

Behind the Candelabra: Interview with Designer Ellen Mirojnick

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Ellen Mirojnick is a legend in costume design.  Her work spans everything from Basic Instinct to Chaplin to Speed to the new HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra.  I spent a really nice breakfast recently with Ellen talking about a lot of things.  I’m going to break it into two interviews, but I wanted to share with you Ellen’s thoughts about making Liberace come to life – helping to transform Michael Douglas into a flesh and blood version of someone so flamboyant he could be easily disregarded as a cartoon.  Ellen’s work on this film is jaw-dropping, and I can’t wait to see the film – it airs at 9PM Sunday night, May 26th, on HBO.  Read on for more here and join us for breakfast, won’t you?

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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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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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Jane Eyre

Frocktalkers, honestly, this is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Beyond the stunning, beautifully realized costumes, the performances are top notch, and this classic story will melt your heart!!!

Charlotte Brontë’s work comes alive in this film – titular character Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) comes to work as a governess for the enigmatic and gruff Rochester (the heart-stopping Michael Fassbender). It’s a love story, it’s a mystery, and it is drop dead gorgeous.

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R.I.P., The Wiz 1947 – 2011

Mike Norman, aka "The Wiz", with his lovely wife Debbie.
Mike Norman, aka “The Wiz”, with his lovely wife Debbie at the 2011 CDG Awards.

Dear Frocktalkers, it is with heavy heart that I tell you of the passing of one of our industry’s best friends. Mike Norman, AKA “the Wiz” has lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2011, and we will miss him forever.

I was lucky enough to have known him for many years. He was a very intelligent person, philosophical in nature, and a self-admitted “dirty old man”. He was never gross about it – he was the playful, light-hearted, irreverent whippersnapper to the end – charming, witty, and always thought provoking. My heart is breaking for his family.

Beyond his charismatic personality, he was a gifted artist on our behalf. The Wiz, with his Wizard Screen Printing, helped so many of us meet our deadlines with beautiful results. The Wiz would turn things around on a dime, fix other peoples’ bad work, generally saving the day with a growl and a grin.

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From the LA Times: Burlesque

The LA Times has a great interview with Michael Kaplan about the costumes from the upcoming film Burlesque.  It is positioned for 2010 Awardsapalooza consideration – read the article HERE!

— KMB

Michael Dennison: Gentle Into That Goodnight

It is with very heavy heart that I tell you the news of costume designer Michael Dennison’s passing.  I was having a hard time bringing myself to share this news because doing so would make it real, and none of us want this kind of news to be real.  Our costume community has lost a true gem – a man who, at the age of only 58, had garnered the respect of his peers and the admiration of audiences the world over for his extraordinary work.  He will be greatly missed.  Here are some articles from around the web about his life, and his passing.  RIP, Michael Dennison.

Here’s a lovely obit from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

CLOTHES ON FILM

More pictures of his work after the jump:

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Camp

Review Date: 2-5-10

Release Date: 7-25-03

Runtime: 114 min.

Period: Contemporary

Costume Designer: Dawn Weisberg

America seems to have renewed its love affair with the musical comedy genre. The success of TV’s Glee seems to make the point all by itself. It is with this love in mind that I bring you CAMP, a 2003 film that debuted at Sundance, and then fell largely under the radar. Honestly, I think it was ahead of its time. If you like Glee, you will love Camp.

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Michael Jackson: Costume Icon, part 1

1983's THRILLER, designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis

1983's THRILLER video, designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis

We here at Frocktalk mourn the untimely passing of Michael Jackson: musician, recording artist, superstar and costume icon.  I asked costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis for her thoughts on this amazing performer, with whom she had the privilege of working.  Here’s what she had to say:

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