Frock Flicks Free-for-All June

26

You asked for it, so here’s an occasional open thread to bitch about anything tangentially related to history, costume, movies, or TV shows! Or whatever else is on your mind right now. Note that URLs are automatically held for moderation, but most anything else goes as long as you’re not bitchier than we are!

The world seems like a pretty awful place right now, and we hope our reviews and recaps provide some kind of respite. One thing we’ve done as Frock Flicks is make a donation to Black Lives Matter to support the ongoing fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate black people, and end white supremacy forever. We’ll be making a donation each month to a different charity that supports social justice causes, plus we’re supporting the Patreon of Not Your Momma’s History, the work of Cheyney Mcknight to recreate the 18th- and 19th-century history of African Americans. We also recommend making cash donations to your local food banks because the pandemic has been especially hard on marginalized communities.

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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

26 Responses

  1. Meg

    My favorite TV show, Agents of SHIELD, is doing some time-travel episodes set in the 30’s and 50’s. Could you review the costumes? There aren’t a lot, but the ones there are look very nice! Maybe it could be in conjunction with an Agent Carter costume review?

    Reply
      • Meg

        For Agent Carter, yes, you would need to watch the whole show. Agents of SHIELD – I don’t think so. I think it’s enough to know that they’re superhero secret agents traveling through time. The characters are all from our contemporary time, but when they time travel they make a really good effort to blend in, including hair. There are only two episodes set in the 30s and one set in the 50s so far.
        On another topic, can we expect to see any posts on the most recent adaptation of Little Women?

        Reply
    • Amanda J Shirk

      My sister got me to watch Masterpiece’s Beecham House and I’ve been enjoying laughing at the costumes. Also I’ve seen some boob placement that’s very suspect but I’m not 100% sure. It’s pretty trashy but for my part it’s more entertaining trash than, say Sanditon (which ive been enjoying hating on for a full 3 months after watching it.) There’s no second season forthcoming which is annoying because it’s a cliff hanger, but all I really wanna know is what the frock is going on with Dakota Blue Richards’ support garments.

      Reply
      • Amanda J Shirk

        My sister got me to watch Masterpiece’s Beecham House and I’ve been enjoying laughing at the costumes. Also I’ve seen some boob placement that’s very suspect but I’m not 100% sure. It’s pretty trashy but for my part it’s more entertaining trash than, say Sanditon (which ive been enjoying hating on for a full 3 months after watching it.) There’s no second season forthcoming which is annoying because it’s a cliff hanger, but all I really wanna know is what the frock is going on with Dakota Blue Richards’ support garments.

        Reply
        • Amanda

          not sure why this posted twice and is only posting as a reply to this thread. :/

          Reply
      • Shashwat

        Beecham house had stunning Indian fabrics but the overall costumes were underwhelming.The veils worn by Hindu ladies were draped in a hodgepodge of styles ranging from Rajasthan to pahadi(Himachal) to Awadh.The use of fine silk or muslin Peshwaj(almost sheer though sometimes opaque overrobes) was missing,which is a shame since rich women didn’t wear a “suit” or “kameej” back then.Just a choli blouse and then the overrobe over that.A short kurti could also be wron,but the show wouldn’t find those “spicy” enough.Flaring farshi gharara pants were more fashionable than the sharara-esque trousers in the show.
        The bust silhouette was atrocious.All seams in the wrong places,the décolletage cut extremely low.As if they looked at the allegorical paintings and murals and thought “this looks so sensual and fit for a bodice ripper when the bodice is bately there” BUT,the blouse cut in the murals is smooth and not cut in a sweetheart shape.And the few surviving exaples suggest that the cholis were sewn with a rectangle of fabric held in places by being tied in the back with a lot of space in between.It is hard to sew a choli that is both conservative and well fitting while lacking too much inaccurate seams,as they did in the movie Padmaavat(I don’t know how they managed it but the cholis had just one seam connected the front piece to back panel but they fit like a glove).And the jewellery was more modern bridal than accurate.Atleast make them wear all the proper markings of a married woman of a woman in those times.Nose rings,bichiya,mathapatti,choodamadi nothing was appropriately depicted like the miniatures of the period.
        The white guy’s though,what was stopping them from taking a bath.India is hot(37°C is fine weather for us on a relatively dry day)but there is no reason to make the guys so shabby save for grittiness.

        Reply
        • Amanda J Shirk

          Thank you for all of that. I know next to nothing about the Indian fashions of the time so I had no basis for judgment. All of that info is very enlightening.

          Reply
        • Roxana.

          I wondered if choli were really so minimal. Not to mention tight. They also seem to provide a lot of support.

          Reply
      • Constance

        I watched it too, which is more than I can say for Sanidton, which I ditched almost at once…

        Reply
  2. Saraquill

    I have a soft spot for Cheyney ever since I learned we have he same alma mater.

    In terms of managing, I’m a spoonie, and it’s been a tough few months. At least I can rest as much as I need, due to lockdown.

    Reply
  3. MrsC (Maryanne)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the BLM issues, and how much history tells the stories of stale, pale males. And how people get mad about “trying to rewrite history” when really, it was never anything like a complete account to begin with – missing as it does most of the stories of women, of people of colour, of any indigenous or queer or poor or any kind of people who weren’t the right victors with the pen in their hand so to speak.
    I want to read and watch and see stories that show how people lived who aren’t those guys – which is why I think we all love Austen so much – because she did a rare thing and told women’s stories. Albeit fairly privileged, white women.
    Other stories and histories exist. Let’s see and hear and engage with them. Thanks team FF for choosing to ring the few that make it to the screen to our attention. <3

    Reply
    • irina

      “…stale, pale, males…” Hadn’t heard that before–totally stealing it.

      Not visual, but on the “rewrite” topic I recommend “The Daughter of Time” by Josephine Tey.
      One of my favorites; I read it about once a year.

      Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      Yup, all film/TV is a rewrite of history. It’s just a matter of whose point of view, what’s their agenda, & how well they tell the story. We should question who is telling that story & why & how.

      Reply
  4. Jose

    Well I thought about two suggestions
    First an review about “Blood and Orchids” (1986) it’s a period movie about the incrimination of 4 innocent Hawaiian men set probably in the 1930’s it’s interesting to think about racism
    The Second a list on film portrayals of Maria Alexandrovna (1824-1880) one of my favorite ever Czarinas

    Reply
    • Roxana.

      She had quite a sad life, poor thing. Her childhood was difficult and though she had some good years with Alexander II her later years were darkened by sickness and his infidelity.

      Reply
      • Jose

        And her posterity is being second fiddle to movies about Alexander and Katia as his old ugly sick even if she was a ravishing beauty in her youth her only fair portrayal may be on Poor Nastya where she is portrayed as a young beautiful sweet girl by Marina Alexandrovna (Ekaterina) is probably little historical but is better than seeing her being a sick creature stabbed in the back by her husband

        Reply
  5. Pam

    I’m hating the lock-down (I just wanna hug all the dogs safely! Ugh!), but re-watching my favourites has introduced me to a new problem I can obsesses over: video quality. No copies of North&South (BBC) look better than VHS, and no reasonably priced The Fall (2006) for my region has been possible to find. Both of these have luscious, gorgeous cinematography-does anyone know where i can find blue rays of either? (preferably with extras?)

    Reply
  6. Jose

    I just discovered a couple of Russian series that look great “Love in Chains” and “Life of a Mistress” (the second one may sound cheesy but the title is a unfair mistranslation”) both are nicely 19th century set each about young women who were well educated but in fact are serfs (slaves) they’re both very good and look very nice so I would like to recommend them they can be watched on Amazon

    Reply
    • Jose

      Just a question lots of fringes on the dresses on Love in Chains that curtain dress Scarlett used was actually fashionable in the 1850’s???

      Reply
  7. H.D. von Schmittou II

    A while back you mentioned the option of someone providing plot summaries and screenshots so you could do a review of the costumes in “The Knick”. If you guys are still up for that I’d be happy to help make that happen. I’ve watched the show the whole way through and loved every minute of it from the characters to the costumes, and it might be a particularly good show for the current social climate since it portrays several black characters during the period and gives a glimpse into some over looked portions of history

    Reply

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