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 'style'

Burt Wonderstone: Interview with Designer Dayna Pink!

Olivia Wilde as Jane in "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"

Olivia Wilde as Jane in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”

Frocktalkers, I am very excited to share this interview with you.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Dayna Pink, and we ended up talking about everything from Tenacious D to the tenuous work-life balance in our industry.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us for breakfast!

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Mama

Just some brief thoughts about Mama, since we start shooting on Monday and sadly I don’t have time to do a full review. It’s a scary movie, mostly contemporary with a few flashbacks to the 1880s. Bottom line – BRAVO for the great use of the three-wolf t-shirt. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, Frocktalkers, but watch the movie and spot the three-wolf t-shirt. Also nicely done: the Misfits t-shirts on Jessica Chastain. The overall look of the movie was augmented by great moody lighting and desaturation of the colors in the film (probably in post). The little girls are precious and also creepy, particularly the youngest daughter Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse). It’s a scary movie, but I thought it was pretty mild, actually. It’s a clean PG-13, and the costumes are interesting for sure! Look for the three-wolf t-shirt – it actually made me say “oooh!” out loud in the theater! Nice work, (costume designer) Luis Sequeira, and congrats to the entire costume team!

– KMB

Halloween 2012

It’s that time of year, people! Halloween – the most sacred and holy day of the year for us costume-types. What to be this year? Well, I have some ideas… and there are plenty of ideas from years past HERE, HERE and HERE. I have three thematic groupings this year: popular culture, icons of horror, and zombies!!! I will try to make it short and sweet, and give you enough links to get you going.

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Color Me Beautiful

I was at a Fourth of July party yesterday, when a makeup writer friend of mine and I got into a conversation about the book Color Me Beautiful. Most of you Frocktalkers are probably too young to remember this phenomenon, but using this book, you could determine whether you were a “winter”, “spring”, “summer” or “autumn”, and choose flattering clothing and makeup colors accordingly. My friend was wondering if the premise still held up today, thirty-plus years after the book was first published. It got me thinking…

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Bernie

Review Date: 5-11-12

Release Date: 5-4-12 (expanded)

Runtime: 104 min.

Period: contemporary

Costume Designer: Kari Perkins

Bernie is a fantastic movie based on a true story. I first heard about this film via Joe Rhodes’ excellent NY Times article How My Aunt Marge Ended Up in the Deep Freeze There were two pictures accompanying the article – one, of the real Bernie and Marjorie Nugent, and the other of Jack Black as Bernie and Shirley MacLaine as Nugent. The costumes on Black and MacLaine sent me rocketing skyward with glee. I knew I had to see this film as soon as I could, based on the costumes alone. However, after reading the article, I knew I needed to see it because the truth of this story is stranger than fiction!

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Vintage Madness

A very interesting article in the LA Times got me thinking today about what “vintage clothing” actually means. No one can agree on how old a garment needs to be before it is declared “vintage”. In my (professional) opinion, a garment is “vintage” when it is 25 years old or older. It’s old enough to be off the shelves, and it’s probably cycled through the phases of “cool”, “uncool”, “unwearable”, “funny” and back to “cool”. In that sense, you can determine what is “vintage” by following what comes back into fashion – in magazines and in stores.

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Adventures in Costuming: Street Style Blogs!

Hello, Frocktalkers. Whether you’re a student or a professional costume designer, you need to know about a few sites that will really help your design presentations. These sites are visual references of STREET STYLE, and you can use these pictures to describe looks that you’d like to emulate in your next film. Bookmark them now, and check in regulary! Here are a few great sites:

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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

Adventures in Costuming: Bettie Page Clothing!

I have lived in Los Angeles for a long, long time. It is only when I have a visitor in town that I see Los Angeles through new eyes. Such was the case yesterday, when I took my cousin (visiting from Sweden) down to Hollywood Boulevard to see the Chinese theater, the stars on the sidewalk, and all the craziness. Walking back to the car, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks: Bettie Page Clothing.

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Beetle Juice: KB’s Review

Release Date: 3-30-1988

Runtime: 92 min.

Period: Contemporary (1988)

Costume Designer: Aggie Guerard Rodgers

Beetle Juice is one of the landmark films in my life. There is “Before Beetle Juice” and there is “After Beetle Juice”. The film is important to me because it was the first film to reflect a subculture that I recognized firsthand: goth.

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