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 'WWII'

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

Shameless Self-Promotion: The Saboteur

Happy Friday evening, Frocktalkers. I am here to tell you about a video game I worked on called The Saboteur. Yes, as a film industry costume designer, I was hired by Pandemic Studios to create the look for their lead character in this game! Set in WWII France, the game follows Irish race car driver (and French Resistance fighter) Sean Devlin on his mission of revenge. It is beautifully shot, and the art direction is something you’ve never seen in a game before – it’s breathtaking. Really, it’s stunning. The game is available for PS3, Xbox360 and PC, and it’s rated “M” for mature. Check out the trailer HERE and a nice review HERE. And another interesting piece HERE!  It was a great experience to work with everyone at Pandemic, and I am sad to see them shut their doors. I look forward to another game-design opportunity, and I hope you enjoy The Saboteur!!

— KMB

La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast)

Review Date: 8-26-09

Release Date: 10-29-1946 (France)

Runtime: 96 min.

Period: Fantasy; 1600s France

Costume Designers: Antonio Castillo and Marcel Escoffier

This is a “wow” of a movie. The film was made immediately after WWII in France (it was shot in 1945-1946), and it was lovingly directed by maverick/poet/genius Jean Cocteau. The film was a hit with the French particularly, as it provided its audience a chance to escape from the bleak reality of life in their war-ravaged country. La Belle et La Bête is a soothing balm of a fairytale, engendering hope in the promise of new beginnings and restoring faith in the compassionate spirit of humankind. It is a story about breaking free from imprisonment and breaking forth into freedom. It was a message that people needed to hear then, a message that continues to resonate today.

Continue reading ‘La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast)’



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