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 'vest'

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.

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The Big Lebowski – KB’s Thoughts

Review Date: 5-23-10

Release Date: 3-6-98

Runtime: 117 min.

Period: early 1990s

Costume designer: Mary Zophres

This movie is brilliantly designed in that the characters are concisely and efficiently illustrated. These characters are clearly defined from the beginning, and their costumes tell us exactly who they are from the moment we meet them. In this sense, they are archetypes, strongly drawn and easily recognized. For a movie as wacky and all over the place as The Big Lebowski, the visual simplicity of these characters helps the audience to stay engaged.

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Saturday Night Fever – KB’s Review

 

Review Date: 8-6-09

Release Date:  12-16-77

Runtime: 118 min.

Period: Contemporary, 1977

Costume Designer: Patrizia von Brandenstein

 

I love this movie.  It is so dark, and at the time it was released, tapped into the zeitgeist of a large, young part of our population.  In a post-cultural-revolution reality, with a culture embracing its own diversity at last, along comes a movie that talks about all of it.  In Saturday Night Fever, we find forums for discussion about everything from women’s lib to racism – hot topics at the time – and yes, these issues are carried out, expressed and explored in the costumes.

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Steampunks Elucidate Their Universe!

Professor Jager, detail

Professor Jager, detail

It is with great pleasure that I present to you this evening, an interview with some of Southern California’s most prominent Steampunks.  Here, we get to the heart of Steampunkiness – the hows, whats, and whys of it all.  Never before has there been such clarity!  I am deeply appreciative that they took the time to answer these questions, so we can all learn a little bit more about this beautiful costume aesthetic.  Answers below are from Gail Folsom, Andrew Fogel (a.k.a. Baron von Fogel) , and Nick Baumann (a.k.a. Crackitus Potts).  Read on…
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