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 'uniform'

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The Answer to Our Prayers?

I have been waiting for this day for a long time. An actor steps into a scanner, and the computer not only records their accurate measurements, but can also recommend clothing styles, brands and sizes that will fit the actor… and ALSO (and this is still just a dream) the computer will be able to draft patterns based on the actors shape and measurements.  What a dream!!!  Part of this is already coming true, thanks to scanning technology available at selected malls.  Right now, the application is mostly for finding the right jeans… but Frocktalkers, hear me now – in 25 years, we will be scanning actors and using these findings to do our work on a daily basis.  It is so exciting.  Read more HERE – and see if you can get in to one of these scanning machines for yourself (right now, you can – at Westfield Culver City, aka the Fox Hills Mall, and at Westfield Topanga, aka the Topanga Plaza Mall).  Enjoy!!!


Western Costume Co – 100 years, and in the News!

Western Costume Company is celebrating 100 years of service to the entertainment community, and the LA Times is all over it!!  There are several articles covering various aspects of Western Costume’s history – HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  They’ve also resurrected an article from 1989 about the sale and move of Western from Melrose Ave. (the old location, close to the Paramount lot) to its current location in North Hollywood!  It’s a pretty spectacular set of articles, and big thanks to LA Times for recognizing the contribution that Western has made to our industry, and for sharing it with the world!  Check it out, Frocktalkers, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Western!!


From the LA Times: Sharen Davis on “The Help”

Hello Frocktalkers – I have been absolutely under water these days with work, so I apologize for not posting more frequently.  I saw this fab article in today’s LA Times and want to share it with you – it’s an interview with Costume Designer Sharen Davis about her new movie The Help.  I can’t wait to see it!!!  Read on!




Restrepo is a documentary, so it doesn’t exactly have costumes, but Frocktalkers, you need to see it.  Restrepo speaks to the reality of war, and it is powerful.  Years from now, we will be making movies – narrative feature movies and TV series – about the war in Afghanistan, and Restrepo will be the go-to movie for costume and art department research.  The film was shot by two men, journalists Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (RIP), and it is a real-time thrill ride.  We see real soldiers in real life, and it doesn’t get any better, more gritty, or more heart-wrenching, than this. Please take a moment to see this compelling film.  You will never look at a member of the armed forces the same way.


The Other Guys: Talking With Ellen Falguiere, ACD

Earlier this year, I sat down with Assistant Costume Designer Ellen Falguiere to talk about her work on the hilarious film The Other Guys (out on DVD tomorrow, December 14). Ellen is a costume designer in her own right, having designed costumes for the Emmy-Award-winning TV movie The Flight That Fought Back, and she has a long history assisting designer Carol Ramsey. Here we can see how costumes make it to the screen from an assistant costume designer’s point of view (one clue: tons of hard work). Wear your comfy shoes, folks!

Continue reading ‘The Other Guys: Talking With Ellen Falguiere, ACD’

The Messenger

Review Date: 1-17-10

Release Date: 11-13-09

Runtime: 112 min.

Period: contemporary

Costume Designer: Catherine George

The military calls them the “Casualty Notification Team”, but in reality they are the messengers for the angel of death. The Messenger is a window into their grim world. They can provide good news for no one. They know that their very presence turns stomachs and causes anxiety. While wearing other clothes, they can disappear, anonymous. However, once the dress uniforms are on, there is no mistaking their purpose. This is a remarkable film about loss, grief and redemption, and is without question one of the year’s best films.

Continue reading ‘The Messenger’

Updates! The Hurt Locker and Thanking Our Troops.

A few weeks ago, I published a mini-review of The Hurt Locker. It’s a gripping, moving film about US Army bomb technicians in the early days of the Iraq war. In the review, I mused about what one might be able to do to support our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Irrespective of our individual politics and feelings about these wars, our soldiers are in harm’s way and we should do what we can to support them. Frocktalk tipster Janet provided the website http://anysoldier.com, and wow – what a great idea!

Anysoldier.com connects soldiers with civilians. Civilians can send care packages to our troops abroad. Soldiers volunteer to be distributors of the care packages, and Anysoldier.com gives the civilian the mailing address of this volunteer soldier. The volunteers indicate a “wish list” – usually including things like magazines, books, personal hygiene items, DVDs, games, American candy, powdered hot cocoa mix, hand-warmers, Tupperware, sheets for twin beds, dryer sheets, baby wipes… the lists vary from platoon to platoon. You, as the civilian, can send packages to the soldiers via their APO addresses (all branches of the armed services are represented). It’s a pretty great program; check it out! The troops will thank you!


Holiday Potpourri: Superman Returns, Elf, Avatar, Hurt Locker

So, I have seen a lot of movies lately, and would like to give some shout outs for work well done. First: Superman Returns. I know, it came out in 2006. I saw it in the theaters then, but that was pre-Frocktalk, and I just saw it again today. Louise Mingenbach – awesome job, dude. The costumes were lovely.

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Network: FOX

Airdates/times: Wednesday Nights, 9PM

Costume Designer: Lou Eyrich

When I started Frocktalk, I wanted to keep my focus on feature films. It’s easier to break them down, get pictures, and re-watch scenes if I need to analyze something further. Television is much more ephemeral – the show airs once, and you’d better watch carefully unless you have TiVo. Try getting pictures (stills) of a TV show off of your TV. It’s impossible. When I saw Glee, I thought I needed to write about it here, because the costumes are outstanding.

Continue reading ‘GLEE’

Cool Costume Alert! Seen at Western!!


One of my Frocktalk spies came upon these fabulous costumes in the return rack at Western Costume.  Aren’t they AWESOME?!  Evidently these were used in a play in London.  I can’t seem to get the back story as to who designed them, or what play it was, but they appear to be of a vague Napoleonesque vibe.  How cool that they colored this fabric with MARKERS to get the texture??  My spy tells me that the fabric is a heavy canvas, almost a cotton duck, and that all of the buttons, embellishments, etc., are drawn in with markers.  Inspired!!!

More pictures after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Cool Costume Alert! Seen at Western!!’

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