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 'war'

Costume, Character, and Games.

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

The Saboteur, video game by Pandemic. Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the upcoming season of Sleepy Hollow, and I have to say – it’s giving me a lot of pause.  I have spoken before at length about the difference between costume, wardrobe, fashion and all of that.  Cliff’s Notes:  We are not the fashion police, and please don’t refer to us as “Wardrobe”.  At the end of the day, our work is about designing characters, and specifically the clothing that becomes the costume that tells the story about the character. Continue reading ‘Costume, Character, and Games.’

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’

Cecil Beaton Photos from WWII on Display in London!

WWII photo - Cecil Beaton

WWII photo - Cecil Beaton

Oh, Frocktalkers – what a find this is.  Cecil Beaton was an Academy Award-winning costume designer (Gigi – 1958, and My Fair Lady – 1964), but before he was a costume designer, he was a photographer.  And WHAT a photographer.  WOW.  His impressive photographs from WWII Britain are now on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.  The exhibition runs from 9/6/12 to 1/1/13.  So look – if you travel to London to see the amazing Hollywood Costumes exhibit at the V & A between October – January, you can stop by and see Beaton’s work at the IWM in the same trip.  It’s a win-win!!  I hope that they publish a book of his photos, because they are great research pieces.  Absolutely stunning.  More information HERE and nice article with photos HERE!

– 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 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’

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.

Continue reading ‘Holiday Potpourri: Superman Returns, Elf, Avatar, Hurt Locker’



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