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 'uniforms'

Cloud Atlas

Review Date: 12-3-12

Release Date: 10-26-12, USA

Runtime: 172 minutes

Period: 1849, 1936, 1973, 2012, 2144, and 106 A. F. (2321)

Costume Designers: Kym Barrett, Pierre-Yves Gayraud

I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. It is breathtaking in its scope, and is such an impressive piece of work. The film explores six different time periods, six different (but linked) storylines, and it manages to utilize the same troupe of actors in all of the different scenarios. Shooting all storylines simultaneously, with two costume designers and a crew of over fifty in the costume department, it is an astounding accomplishment. You won’t believe your eyes.

Continue reading ‘Cloud Atlas’

Angels, the Costumiers

Angels costume house, London

Angels costume house, London.

As part of my trip to London, I visited Angels costume house. Frocktalkers, it was amazing to see this place. I remember way back in 1992, I was interning on the Francis Ford Coppola film Dracula. Our associate costume designer Richard Shissler had made a trip to London to pull costumes for some of our massive crowd scenes. My job was to unpack the boxes that arrived from London. I remember gasping with delight and awe at the assortment of beautiful Victorian garments – many of them antiques, originals – that arrived. Where did these garments come from? Angels costume house.

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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.

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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~

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Behind the Scenes: COPPER

Eagle-eyed Frocktalker Laura sent me this link.  It’s really cool!  New series COPPER (airs Sunday, August 19th at 10PM on BBC America) has some amazing costumes – 1860s New York City – and you can learn more about them HERE!  I can’t wait to watch the show, and congrats to costume designer Delphine White for the great work!

– KMB

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!!

– KMB

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!

LA TIMES ARTICLE

– KMB

Restrepo

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.

– KMB

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!

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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’



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