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 'sketch'

Costume, Character, and Games.

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the upcoming season of Sleepy Hollow, and I have to say – it’s giving me a lot of pause.  I have spoken before at length about the difference between costume, wardrobe, fashion and all of that.  Cliff’s Notes:  We are not the fashion police, and please don’t refer to us as “Wardrobe”.  At the end of the day, our work is about designing characters, and specifically the clothing that becomes the costume that tells the story about the character. Continue reading ‘Costume, Character, and Games.’

Spotlight On: Costume Illustrator Phillip Boutte!

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Phillip Boutte is one of the hottest costume illustrators in town.  With a resume that includes box-office behemoths like Inception, Man of Steel, Twilight/Breaking Dawn, and Star Trek, his rise has been meteoric. We sat down to breakfast and ended up talking about everything from new rendering programs to racism in the media.  I really adore Phillip and am so excited to share this interview with you.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?

Continue reading ‘Spotlight On: Costume Illustrator Phillip Boutte!’

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?

Continue reading ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

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

Continue reading ‘Dear Kristin: Where Can I see Sketches?’

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!

Continue reading ‘The Help: Interview With Designer Sharen Davis!’

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!!

Continue reading ‘Jane Eyre: Interview with Designer Michael O’Connor!’

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 2010: Chandler Explains Jack Kirby

This is artist Chandler Wood explaining a costume sketch by comic book legend Jack Kirby.

Also – this just in – photos from the LA Times photo booth at Comic Con!  Enjoy!  More posts later tonight!

— 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!

Continue reading ‘Comic Con – Don’t Miss This!!!’

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.

Continue reading ‘Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – Interview with Alexandra Welker’



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