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! **
Sandy Powell won the Academy Award last night for her work on The Young Victoria. In her acceptance speech, she graciously offered her award to all of us costume designers who do contemporary films, or films of a lower budget, films that do not often get the recognition they deserve. It was a very thoughtful gesture! To honor Sandy’s achievement (last night was her THIRD Oscar win), here is an interview from the CDG Awards. Anthony and Sarah spent some time talking with Mizz Powell, and she gives some sound advice.
Bradley Laise as Amy Winehouse on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Costume designed by George Mitchell.
We (literally) ran into the charming and jovial George Mitchellin the food tent at the FIDM Art of Motion Picture Costume Design event!George is currently designing The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and we asked him what he thought of the FIDM costume exhibit!
FT: So what did you think, George?
GM:Overall, I liked the exhibit.I thought it was well presented.As usual the “true” period work, like Young Victoria, is probably going to walk away with all the awards because people don’t think 1930s, ’40s, ’50s is “period”.If you really think about what wins, it’s usually an older-period picture.Same thing with the Emmys; the shows that get the attention are the things set in the 1800s.Most people see something modern and they’re not going to think “Oh, wow! That’s really designed!”And that’s one of the problems.
Gail McMullen talks with Frocktalk reporters Laura Wong and Anthony Tran
Frocktalk reporters Anthony Tran and Laura Wong spoke with the fabulous Gail McMullen, costume designer of (among other things) HBO’s Six Feet Under.Here are her impressions of this year’s award contenders and some advice for aspiring designers:
FT:What are your top 3 movies of 2009 (not necessarily considering the costume design)?
GM: Young Victoria, Bright Star, and A Single Man.Of all of the films I saw this year, it (A Single Man) is the one that has stayed with me the longest. I can still see some of the images in my mind and I found the story so very affecting.
Frocktalk tipster Judith pointed out this lovely article from today’s LA Times. It features interviews with two Academy-Award-nominated costume designers, Sandy Powell (The Young Victoria) and Colleen Atwood (Nine). You can read it HERE!
Oh, what a night!! Really, it was so amazing to see everyone, all the costumes, talk shop with some of the world’s best costume designers… I am at a loss for words. So instead, I will just show you some photos. As I may have mentioned earlier, there were SIX Frocktalk reporters there last night, so we have wall-to-wall coverage, and I will be posting periodically throughout the week. Here, for your review, are the first photos. Enjoy!