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 'studio'

Nashville – a Letter from a Production Wife


This is a VERY interesting letter, written by the wife of one of the producers on TV’s NASHVILLE. Check it out – it’s an interesting perspective on the work and hours we perform, how we are treated, and what it all means.  I applaud its author, Micaela Bensko, and I kind of want to have her and family over for dinner.  Read on Frocktalkers.  Thanks for bearing with me – I have been flying by the seat of my pants these days.  Will have a juicy interview up for you very soon – ELLEN MIROJNICK, talking about her work on the upcoming Liberace movie for HBO, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA!  Have a great week, everyone!


Hubris and the Credit Debacle

Hello Frocktalkers. It has been nutty here – I have been sewing my face off for a craft show, which, sadly was just postponed. I will post the date/time/location for the rain check – likely May 14 in Silverlake. It has been very time-consuming, however, so I apologize about my lack of presence here.

I want to talk today about the issue of costume design, and designer credit on movies. It has become a troubling phenomenon. Our costume budgets are shrinking (smaller amounts of money put toward below-the-line costs, including our salaries and our costume budgets) and as a consequence, many of us are turning to product placement to bolster the look of our films.

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New Kids on the Block!

Haleh Risdana, Kim Ngo and Anthony Tran

Haleh Risdana, Kim Ngo and Anthony Tran

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with some talented newcomers in the LA costume world. If you are looking for some help with your next project, I cannot recommend these people highly enough – they are wonderful, hard-working and have great can-do attitudes! Check out interviews and their websites after the jump. Put them to work, Frocktalkers!

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Awardsapalooza 2010-2011: It Begins!!

Well, you know it’s awards season when you start receiving “For Your Consideration” ads in the mail. The winner of First Advertising Mailer of the Season goes to: How To Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks). Yes, it’s animated. But that doesn’t stop Dreamworks from asking us costume designers for our consideration. The winner of First DVD of the Season goes to: Alice in Wonderland (Disney). Big corporations spend millions of dollars each year asking us to consider projects for awards. Are they worthy? What about the smaller films that can’t afford awards advertising? Are they somehow less worthy? Awards season always makes me uncomfortable and slightly agitated for this reason.

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What’s in a Budget?

Hello Frocktalkers – it’s been crazy here. I am designing a very small movie for a friend of mine, and my days have been jammed – like 4:30 AM to 10:30 PM, every day. I have signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for my work on this film, so I can’t talk about the project. However, working on this film reminds me of the stark contrast between low-budget, independent films and bigger-budget, studio films. I’d like to discuss the differences for those of you just getting started or heretofore unaware of the differences.

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Manohla Dargis On A Tear!

OK, for those of you not familiar with Manohla Dargis, here’s the short version:  she’s a film critic for the New York Times.  In fact, she is positioned as the next Pauline Kael – the heir to the throne of film critics.  Notice I didn’t say “female film critics“.  Does the gender of a critic matter?  It does if you make her mad.  Here, Ms. Dargis lets the F-bombs fly, venting her spleen about the position (or lack thereof) of women in the studio system.  I must admit, I love Ms. Dargis’ writing, and I salute her for taking a stand.  That said, I have never been on the receiving end of her diatribes, and evidently man, sometimes it stings.  Ms. Dargis’ article (CLICK HERE) is thought-provoking.  Check it out, and stay tuned for more!


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