Frock Flicks Free-for-All January


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!

Here we go, it’s a new year, a new slate of frock flicks, plus all the stuff that came out over our winter break! We’ve got a bunch of reviews planned, plus the most wonderful time of year, Snark Week, is on the horizon.

Downton Abbey - My imagination is running riot

What are you looking forward to in 2021?


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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.

20 Responses

  1. mmcquown

    Scots bonnets and the later military headgear derived from them are so often worn with no sense of how it should be done. They just stick the things on their heads square-on rather than sloping them to one side or the other. (Currently, Brits go left and French go right) Usually any unit insignia is worn above one eye or the other, but even the Russians, who place theirs in the centre, still put some slope in them.

    • susan l eiffert

      Good god Lapi, are those supposed to be panniers? Short shorts and panniers. And those ruffles? Those sleeves? That PINK? Little Miss Muffet meets Vivienne Westwood…

      • Susan Pola Staples

        No Vivienne Westwood is more tasteful. This is an insult to women’s equality.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      As my daughter would say, “EWWWWWWWWW!!!” Not the way to rep fabled French chic and taste.

      • Lapi

        Yeah, Miss France was never really about taste but this is getting much worse…

  2. Trystan L. Bass

    Maybe I should put this in body of the post or something, but we have a technical problem that’s been going on for MONTHS that means none of us can reply directly on posts! We have to do this really janky work-around to reply to anyone. I need some time to troubleshoot it more bec. what I’ve tried hasn’t worked & I don’t want to have to reinstall WordPress or something drastic. But it’s super irritating & I’m sorry we’re not interacting as much :(

  3. florenceandtheai

    I didn’t mind the costumes of Bridgerton. I liked the colors. I wish they’d done a better bust fit on Penelope. She had a couple of mid-boob waistlines. I did feel like the show could’ve been an episode shorter. I just didn’t care after a while. And historical fantasy realm aside, what on earth did they do with Eloise’s hair?

    I’d normally be like “C’mon 2021!” but I’m fearful that the eldritch gods might actually take me up on it. Nope. Nuh uh.

  4. Shashwat

    Binge watched a Korean series Dae Jang Geum and fell in love with the characters.Does anybody here have an idea about the accuracy of the apparels used in the series?I think they avoided modern hair and makeup but the clothes were gorgeous in their simplicity.

    • Addie

      I don’t know, they looked like standard Joseon to me and the jeogori (jacket) looks correct to my untrained eye. As far as I know, jeogori started very long at the beginning of the era and migrated up until by the end of the dynasty they were halfway down the breasts for some women, though they remained longer for formal stuff like court fashion. Chima (skirt) shape also looks correct because it’s not supposed to have that balloon shape yet (it takes place in the 1500’s.) Again, not an expert by any stretch but they don’t look super anachronistic (modern hanbok varies a lot for formal occasions vs. fashion vs. tourist dress). The colors, materials and hair of the show seem right to me- they don’t truck with having hair down or men with swoopy modern bangs, which is somewhat common for historical shows (sageuk), especially fantasy-historical fusions. It’s always warrior characters for some reason. (Don’t you want your hair out of your eyes for all that fighting?)
      The one thing is that I think too many female characters are wearing their braids up in that folded shape called saeang-meori. I’m pretty sure that was a formal style reserved for palace women and only ones of a certain rank, so the kitchen maids couldn’t wear it (if that’s true than uinyeo definitely couldn’t since they were very low rank, despite their expertise). But because it’s cute and Dae Jang Geum was very popular, it’s become quite common for historical shows to have girl characters wearing their hair this way.
      More importantly… DAE JANG GEUM is so good! I loved the kitchen parts best because the cleverness with the challenges and the philosophy behind food. Plus the relationship between Sir Min and Jang Geum is subdued and sweet and I love it.
      I have a lot of sageuk recommendations if you’re interested! Mr. Sunshine especially has some great costumes that showcase that weird fusion of Korean, Japanese and European clothing (and Chinese too, in places) that happened at the end of the 19th century when Korea was up for imperialist grabs.
      I got a lot of my knowledge from Glimja, who is a Korean artist and author who writes book on fashion history and has a lot of stuff on Deviantart. The books are still Korean-only, I think, but the Deviantart page is mostly in English. It might be a good start, especially for vocabulary about Korean clothes. Most of my knowledge comes from sageuk and artists like Glimja, so if anyone’s an actual expert please correct me!

  5. Charity

    I’m finally getting around to watching the second season of The Spanish Princess, and good lord is it BORING. I find myself checking my watch / looking at the clock, and looking forward to the end of an episode just so I can stream something else. I don’t know how the writers managed to take such interesting events in history and make them pure drivel, but they did. The costumes, however, are much prettier this season. I can’t help comparing it to The Tudors, which was pure crap, but damn was it addictive crap. I couldn’t wait to watch a new episode of that (and have seen them many times since) even if I knew my favorite characters were going to die, it was just… so sexy, and the actors put such energy into it. Maybe that’s partly what’s wrong with TSP. Everyone acting in it feels forced to be there.

    Everything in Bridgerton was beautiful except Eloise’s god-awful hair. I get it that she doesn’t care how she looks, but I do. :P

    • M.E. Lawrence

      That is a major problem with Philippa Fucking Gregory’s later novels: she devolved from purple but interesting to bland and dull. (Perhaps she is having an assistant spit them out based on her chapter notes, as James Patterson and other hacks do.)

      • Charity

        Yeah, I noticed this. I hate The Other Boleyn Girl, but that was amazing writing — so powerful, dramatic, and compelling. And then she wrote crap like the book about Margaret Beaufort, which is 600 pages of Margaret wandering around the house attending to dullsville duties while all the battles happen two hundred miles away. But in fairness, I remember “The Constant Princess” sucking less than this screenplay does. I finally forced myself to finish season two this afternoon and heaved a sigh of relief. Now I can go find something more compelling to watch.

        • rowsella315

          I wonder if they are going to do a film version of the “The Lady of the Rivers” book by PFG? That could be interesting.

          • Charity

            I think they’re done with PFG. Now they are moving on to writing their “own” series about Elizabeth I. Which… yey, more inaccuracies and “not!feminism” depicted as feminism. (The Spanish Princess is feminist, apparently. Even though Anne Boleyn has no lines but shows her boobs. Well, okay then.)

  6. Meg

    Will there ever be any posts about the most recent adaptation of “Little Women”? Please oh please do one!!

    • Brenda

      There is a post here on it: Any my complaint is about the Frankie Drake Mysteries, Canada’s answer to Miss Fisher. The first season or two had some really good 1920s outfits, with hats and hair to match. But the modern-thinking lead has been clad in loose pants and button-up blouses and hair that looks like she has just stepped out of a current day office. Sometimes the extras look better than the leads! The shoes are terribly inauthentic. I spotted the block-heeled ankle-strap shoes that have been the fashion the past few years. I’m puzzled–wouldn’t it be cheaper to rent costumes than buy pieces if the budget is tight?!

      • Meg

        I saw that one, and I enjoyed it, but I’m hoping for a more detailed and in-depth post on the movie’s costumes.