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! **

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Awardsapalooza 2013 Begins in Earnest!

Happy New Year, Frocktalkers! I hope that your holidays were fun and relaxing. Have you caught up on your movie watching? Looking at the films that are out right now, it’s interesting to see who’s getting the big press push for awards consideration. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: big promotional budgets = big awards. So who is putting their money on the line, and what costume design work is being underserved by the lack of promotional money this year?

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Awardsapalooza 2012 – 2013 – CDG Ballots Due!

Hello there, Frocktalkers!  Just a friendly reminder that if you are a CDG member, get your nominating ballot in the mail today – ballots must be in the Guild office by 5PM tomorrow, 12-11-12.  You can nominate your own films/TV shows/commercials, and you can nominate the films/TV shows/commercials of others, including non-IA, or even non-US work.  The Costume Designers Guild Awards are, in the opinions of many, the most esteemed.  These are our peers – people who do what we do – showing their appreciation for outstanding achievement in costume design.  In our largely thankless profession, it means a lot to have the appreciation of one’s peers!  So get those ballots in, folks, and show your support for all the great work of 2012!  Have a great week!

– KMB

O Palhaço – The Clown

Review Date: 12-1-12

Release Date: undetermined

Runtime: 90 minutes

Period: Contemporary-ish

Costume Designer: Kika Lopes

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!!!

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Tales from London: the Best Costume Exhibit of ALL TIME!

I’m finally back at home and settled in after a fabulous and unforgettable visit to Europe. I am so grateful to have been able to make this trip. I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of the Hollywood Costume celebration at the Victoria and Albert museum; I don’t even know where to begin. London, V & A, Deborah Landis, David C. Copley – a million thank yous would never be enough. This exhibit at the V & A marks a new chapter in costume design. We are officially on the map, if you ever missed us before.

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Cecil Beaton Photos from WWII on Display in London!

WWII photo - Cecil Beaton

WWII photo - Cecil Beaton

Oh, Frocktalkers – what a find this is.  Cecil Beaton was an Academy Award-winning costume designer (Gigi – 1958, and My Fair Lady – 1964), but before he was a costume designer, he was a photographer.  And WHAT a photographer.  WOW.  His impressive photographs from WWII Britain are now on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.  The exhibition runs from 9/6/12 to 1/1/13.  So look – if you travel to London to see the amazing Hollywood Costumes exhibit at the V & A between October – January, you can stop by and see Beaton’s work at the IWM in the same trip.  It’s a win-win!!  I hope that they publish a book of his photos, because they are great research pieces.  Absolutely stunning.  More information HERE and nice article with photos HERE!

– KMB

KPCC Interviews with Mark Bridges and Arianne Phillips

Hello Frocktalkers!  I hope you’re scraping the glitter off your skin from last night’s big parties and sobering up a little.  Frocktalker Laura sent me the link to this fabulous radio interview – KPCC’s Patt Morrison interviews nominee Arianne Phillips (W.E.) and Oscar-winner Mark Bridges (The Artist).  It’s really wonderful, and big thanks to KPCC for airing it.  It’s a great way to spread the word about the artistry of costumes in film!  LISTEN HERE!

– KMB

Awardsapalooza: The Oscars!

Congratulations to Mark Bridges, who just won the Academy Award for his outstanding work on The Artist!!!!  “I was just a kid from Niagara Falls, who dreamed, ate and slept movies, and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor, and for making a lifelong dream come true.  Thank you!”  Congratulations to Mark and his crew on this tremendous honor!!  Yeeehawwww!!!

– KMB

From Deadline.com: Conversations with Costume Oscar Nominees

Saw this today and thought it is worth passing along to you – Monica Corcoran for Deadline talked with the Oscar nominees about their work and how they might redesign the Oscar statuette!  Read the article HERE!

– KMB

RIP, Eiko Ishioka

Oh Frocktalkers, this is sad news.  Academy Award-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 73.  Beyond being a costume designer, she was a world-famous graphic designer and artist, and a woman of unimaginable talent.  I had the extraordinary good luck to work with her, albeit briefly, on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the film for which she won her Oscar.  She was a lovely woman, very friendly to me when I was just starting in this business. I was impressed by her quiet manner but absolutely bombastic-fantastic designs.  The contrast made quite an impression on a young designer like myself.  This is a huge loss to me on a personal level, as she was one of my design heroes.  Our entire community will miss her total, complete and utter brilliance.  Check out the books about her design work HERE, HERE and HERE… and rent some of her films: Dracula, The Cell, The Fall and Immortals. I am so bummed out this morning.  Rest in peace, Eiko – my heartfelt sympathy goes out to her husband and family.  She was such a brilliant and lovely lady.

– KMB

Awardsapalooza 2012: Oscar Nominations!!

Good morning, Frocktalkers!!  With a drum roll please, here are 2012’s nominees for outstanding achievement in costume design:

Anonymous – Lisy Christl

The Artist – Mark Bridges

Hugo – Andy Powell

Jane Eyre – Michael O’Connor

W.E. – Arianne Phillips

Congratulations, everyone!!!  The awards air live on ABC on February 26 – stand by for more coverage of the event!!  Congrats to all of the costume designers and their crews, and have a great week!

– KMB



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