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 'suits'

Nashville – a Letter from a Production Wife

Danger-Sign

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!

-KMB

The Great Gatsby

poster1

Hi everyone – I’ve just returned from a screening of The Great Gatsby, and wanted to briefly record my impressions here for you.  First of all, there are a TON of costumes. Like thousands and thousands of costumes, all very different from each other.  There are dance costumes and party costumes and poor people costumes and banker/Wall Street costumes and rich people costumes, etc., etc., etc., it’s exhausting! Bottom line: it’s beautiful.  But keep in mind, this is not a Merchant-Ivory movie; this is not the place to be looking for exacting period accuracy.  This is a Baz Luhrmann movie, and his specific vision is what comes to life here, courtesy of costumes and sets by designer Catherine Martin. Continue reading ‘The Great Gatsby’

Hyde Park on Hudson

Review Date: 11-8-12

Release Date: 12-7-12

Runtime: 94 minutes

Period: 1939

Costume Designer: Dinah Collin

Hyde Park on Hudson chronicles a time in American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s life when he becomes intimately involved with his distant cousin Daisy. War looms in Europe, and the British Crown seeks his help. With King George VI and Queen Elizabeth coming for a visit, what to do about the mistress? FDR and Daisy’s relationship seems unlikely at best, however the costumes help to tell the story about class, privilege, status, and wealth.

Continue reading ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’

Lincoln

Review Date: 10-26-12

Release Date: 11-9-12 (limited); wide on 11-16-12

Runtime: 150 min (approx, unofficial)

Period: 1865

Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

This film details the last four months of American President Abraham Lincoln’s life. Essentially, it covers Lincoln’s struggle to achieve passage of the thirteenth amendment to the US constitution, outlawing slavery. Along the way, it paints a loving picture of Lincoln as a doting, hands-on father, an involved, engaged husband, and a charismatic, determined leader.

Continue reading ‘Lincoln’

Susannah Buxton Talks “Downton Abbey”, and In Other News, My Head Explodes!

I don’t need to remind you how much I love this show, and how eagerly we are ALL anticipating the next round of Downton Abbey here in the US.  Here is a brilliant article to get you salivating.  Susannah Buxton spoke at the V & A about her work – and MAN, it’s excellent! Thanks to DTSFT for the writeup!!

– KMB

Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master

I am a very lucky girl to be able to bring you interviews like this one.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Mark Bridges yesterday, and have transcribed our conversation for you.  Please grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?  Mark tells me all about The Master, his methodology, and merkins.  Yes, merkins.  I enjoyed this so much, I hope to bring you other breakfast-style interviews in the future.  Big thanks to Mark for joining me for some toad-in-the-hole and coffee – it was lovely, and very entertaining!  Please note that there are spoilers in this interview, so if you want to be surprised by the film, read this after you see it!  But if you can’t wait… read on~

Continue reading ‘Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master’

Adventures in Costuming: Albright Fashion Library!

These Prada shoes.  These shoes.  Come on.

These Prada shoes. These shoes. Come on.

Frocktalkers, I have just returned from New York City, and WOW, do I have a find for you!!! It’s the Albright Fashion Library, and before you start thinking of a musty space filled with old books and magazines, let me tell you: it’s pure fashion. Not a book to be found. This is a place that lends clothing, and not just any clothing – top-of-the-line, first-run designer fashion – and tons of it.

Continue reading ‘Adventures in Costuming: Albright Fashion Library!’

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!

Continue reading ‘Bernie’

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

There’s No Place Like the V & A this October!

Frocktalkers, mark your calendars and cash in your frequent flyer miles!!  On October 20 of this year, the world-renowned Victoria and Albert museum in London is opening an exhibit of Hollywood costumes, and it is sure to be jaw-dropping!!  Yes, Dorothy’s gingham dress will be there.  Yes, Scarlett O’Hara’s velvet curtain dress will be there.  And yes, YOU should be there to see it all.  Think about calling it a “business trip” and writing it off on your taxes!  I mean, it IS about work, after all!  Read more HERE and HERE!  Get excited, people – this is going to be EPIC!  The exhibit is being curated by costume designer/legend Deborah Nadoolman Landis (Raiders of the Lost Ark) so as you can probably imagine it’s going to be off the hook!!  I can’t wait.  I am booking my ticket tonight!!!

– KMB



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