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 'television'

Awardsapalooza: Primetime Emmy Nominations 2014!

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This morning brought us great news of Emmy nominations for outstanding costume design in the realm of television!  Without further ado, here are this year’s Primetime Emmy costume nominees:

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR A SERIES

Boardwalk Empire: HBO

John Dunn, Costume Designer; Lisa Padovani, Costume Designer; Joseph La Corte, Costume Supervisor

Downton Abbey: PBS

Caroline McCall, Costume Designer; Heather Leat, Costume Supervisor; Poli Kyriacou, Assistant Costume Designer

Game of Thrones: HBO

Michele Clapton, Costume Designer; Sheena Wichary, Costume Supervisor; Alexander Fordham, Assistant Costume Designer; Nina Ayres, Assistant Costume Designer

Mad Men: AMC

Janie Bryant, Costume Designer; Tiffany White Stanton, Costume Designer; Stacy Horn, Costume Supervisor

Once Upon a Time: ABC

Eduardo Castro, Costume Designer; Monique McRae, Assistant Costume Designer

OUTSTANDING COSTUMES FOR MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL

American Horror Story – Coven: FX

Lou Eyrich, Costume Designer; Elizabeth Macey, Costume Supervisor; Ken Van Duyne, Assistant Costume Designer

House of Versace: Lifetime

Clair Nadon, Costume Designer; Nicole Magny, Assistant Costume Designer

Sherlock – His Last Vow (Masterpiece): PBS

Sarah Arthur, Costume Designer; Ceri Walford, Costume Supervisor

The Normal Heart: HBO

Daniel Orlandi, Costume Designer; Gail A. Fitzgibbons, Costume Supervisor; Hartsell Taylor, Costume Supervisor; Maria Tortu, Assistant Costume Designer

The White Queen: Starz

Nic Ede, Costume Designer; Raissa Hans, Costume Supervisor; Elizabeth Healy, Assistant Costume Designer

Congratulations to all of these costume teams for their outstanding work!  It’s party time!!!!  The Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony will be on Saturday, August 16th at 4P Pacific.  Not sure when it will be broadcast at the moment, but stay tuned for the Emmy Awards, broadcast live from the Nokia Theater on August 25, 2014 at 8P Eastern/5P Pacific on NBC!

- KMB

Sleepy Hollow: Ask the Costume Department, Round 2

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Hey there, Sleepyheads, Frocktalkers and friends!  I guess the timing of this column just proves that I am unable to keep a deadline when I am working.  What was supposed to be an “every Monday” feature is now destined to become a “once in a while when I have a moment” feature, so thank you for your patience while I find some quiet time to answer your questions.  Remember, you can post them any time on Twitter, using hashtag #shcostumes.  Here is the latest installment:

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Sleepy Hollow: Ask the Costume Department

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Welcome to the first installment of “Ask the Costume Department”.  We here at Sleepy Hollow get a lot of questions about a lot of things, and I thought it might be nice to take your questions and answer them in a public forum, once a week.  If you have questions that you’d like to have answered, please tweet them to me @frocktalk with the hashtag #shcostumes.  I will do my best to answer between five and ten questions every Monday here on Frocktalk.com, so let ‘er rip, Sleepyheads!  Here are the first questions:

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Update From KB Land: Love them Witches

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Hey Frocktalkers – thank you so much for your support of Sleepy Hollow!  We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the positive response and the love for this show – who knew?!  We have been working hard on this show (just about 100 hours per week, no joke), so by consequence, I haven’t had a lot of time to write recreationally here on Frocktalk.  Thank you for your patience.  I also haven’t had a lot of time to see any movies to write about them.

HOWEVER, I have been watching American Horror Story: Coven.  This is “appointment TV” for me.  There is no DVR at my rental apartment.  So I make it a point to be home in time to watch it.  Jessica Lange is just a genius, and Lou Eyrich and her crew are KILLING IT with the costumes.  Take a look at this:

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Technology: Good/Technology: Bad

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The internet has forever changed the way we work in this business. Everyone from the craft service person to the producer utilizes the internet to enhance his or her work.  The costume department is no exception – we shop like crazy online, at all hours of the day, using overnight shipping to bridge the gap.  We can research ideas with laser-like precision.  It’s pretty awesome.  But with all the ease that technology brings, it also brings other, harsher consequences.

Everyone has opinions about what they see in movies or television.  However, back in the days before Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media sites, a person had no platform for spewing those opinions.  Now, any schmuck with a computer or smart phone can say whatever comes to mind, anonymously, about anyone or anything without personal consequence to himself.  The crazy thing is, now, people in positions of authority actually listen.  Get enough Twitter users on a Schadenfreude-tinged bender about something they dislike about a movie or a TV show, and it can get someone fired.

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Shameless Self-Promotion: New and Upcoming!!!

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It’s a big week in the life of KB, y’all! Two projects I’ve worked my butt off on are debuting, and I want to tell you about all of it. First, Insidious Chapter 2 comes out in theaters on Friday the 13th. If you saw Insidious, you know there were some hanging chads at the end there… I am looking forward to seeing the film – I haven’t seen any of it edited or anything. It will be a nerve-wracking surprise to be in the theater, seeing the film for the first time along with audience members. What’s done is done, and I won’t be able to change it. I’m sorry to be missing the premiere; I understand that Universal Studios is doing a whole Insidious-themed haunted house this year – sounds like FUN! It would be so cool to see that. I’m sad to be out of town, missing this! I wonder what they will do with the costumes…?! If any of you go to this haunted house, will you please take pictures for me? Thanks! ☺

Second, on Monday night at 9PM/8PM Central on FOX… it’s SLEEPY HOLLOW!!! That’s what I’ve been doing here in North Carolina. The pilot was designed by the amazing and talented Sanja Hays, and I am designing the rest of the season. As much as I’ve said I would never design television, I have to tell you – this crew is a dream, and everyone working on the show has been so supportive, helpful and awesome. I’m grateful to be on this show, because it has changed my mind about television, and brought me a new appreciation for the art form. We are working our butts off, and I really hope you like the show. Tune in on Monday nights! Hope you all have a good week – stay tuned for more info to come!

- KMB

The Cost of Long Hours

Very nice steer at our location yesterday.

Very nice steer at our location yesterday.

Hey there, Frocktalkers – here’s another installment in the life of episodic TV costume design… I’ve been doing kind of insane hours here – seventeen-hour days, on average.  We’re shooting two full units and I have to keep an eye on both of them, which means that if A unit has a 6AM call, I am there for that.  And if B unit has a 4PM call, I am there for that, too, sometimes until the bitter end.  And then up and at it again for the next day.  It’s not enough sleep, and I am struggling for a way to mitigate this kind of thing.  It’s very hard when we shoot two episodes at once, establishing on both units, and I am responsible for both, having to be present for all of it.

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Drowning, Swimming, Treading Water for Life in Work

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Hello, friends.  Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve chimed in here on Frocktalk.  I’ve been working on a TV series – my first real foray into episodic, and it’s been intense.  I’ve done a sitcom, and some instructional TV shows, but never episodic.  The idea of episodic TV is to make a movie every week.  We get eight days to shoot that movie… instead of the normal 45 – 50 days.  And then, without even a day to catch up, we start shooting another episode.  For example, today we start shooting episode number two.  Today we also have our concept meeting for episode number three.  We are double-teaming everything on this show.  People aren’t cast until the last minute, and sometimes we are shooting two units at a time.  All the while looking three or four episodes into the future to see if anything is coming down the pike that is going to throw us for a loop.  It seems like total chaos.  But somehow we are managing.  I have never had the appropriate appreciation for what television costume designers do.  But now I know.  We should all bow down at their feet, because baby, this sh*t is hard.

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Update From KB Land!

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For the past few months, life here has been absolutely crazy lately.  I’ve moved house (twice!), and started a new job.  And then there was the TED talk (video will be posted in the next couple of weeks).  I’m about to move again (!) to North Carolina to begin shooting of the new job – a TV show – and I apologize for not being more present here because of it.  The reality of being a costume designer is that sometimes, we lose our lives to our work for long periods of time.

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Behind the Candelabra: Interview with Designer Ellen Mirojnick

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Ellen Mirojnick is a legend in costume design.  Her work spans everything from Basic Instinct to Chaplin to Speed to the new HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra.  I spent a really nice breakfast recently with Ellen talking about a lot of things.  I’m going to break it into two interviews, but I wanted to share with you Ellen’s thoughts about making Liberace come to life – helping to transform Michael Douglas into a flesh and blood version of someone so flamboyant he could be easily disregarded as a cartoon.  Ellen’s work on this film is jaw-dropping, and I can’t wait to see the film – it airs at 9PM Sunday night, May 26th, on HBO.  Read on for more here and join us for breakfast, won’t you?

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