Frock Flicks Free-for-All November


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!

We’re inching towards the end of the year, another one with lockdowns and masks but also vaccines and hope. Everybody, get your shots and boosters, if you can! Every little bit helps.

Slowly, more frock flicks are showing up on the calendar as studios can resume production and movie theaters reopen. But there’s still a lot of question marks on the old Upcoming Movies list still.

Addams Family Values - Thanksgiving


What’s lit a fire with you lately?



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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.

18 Responses

  1. Michael McQuown

    The ubiquitous leather one-pair-fits-all-period pants. Seems a lot of production companies can’t be bothered to even try to do period men’s lower garments.

  2. Coco

    Having rewatched ‘Succession’ recently to catch up for the new season, I tried to find out more info on the upcoming version of ‘Persuasion’ starring Sarah Snook. Apparently the production company pulled funding because they didn’t want to compete with Netflix’s upcoming version of the story starring Dakota Johnson.
    On a different topic, do you plan to review ‘Last Night in Soho?’

    • Saraquill

      I saw it last weekend! The drapy dress was lovely. I understand why Ellie wanted to make her own for design class.

  3. Gray

    The WiFi was out yesterday so I pulled out some dvds to watch. One was the Coen Bro’s “Miller’s Crossing”. A very good film IMHO. It’s a period film designed by one of my fave designers Richard Hornung. (Mary Zophres mentor) The clothes are all real, lived-in looking and it’s very men-heavy so there’s not much of a frock flick there. But Hornung was really good. He did a lot of modern dress and like Ann Roth he can somehow put people in the right thing. The tacky red dress for Angelica Huston in “The Grifters” is perfection. But he’s done period stuff for the Coens mainly “Barton Fink” for which he was nominated for an Oscar. Again it’s not got any fabulous frocks but the period is evoked perfectly.
    I worked on “The Hudsucker Proxy” which was also men-heavy, but Jennifer Jason Leigh’s stuff was all built. She wore elaborate heavily boned merry widows under her outfits. The color pallet had to be grey or brown and her suits were to be “mannish”.
    My fave dress is what we called the “bondage dress”. It was dark grey, very slim with a ribbon that cross crossed the whole figure. You see it for 1/10th of a second when she’s waiting for info on the ticker tape machine.
    She also had a Charles James inspired evening dress in midnight blue silk and velvet for the investor’s big party. Of course you never see the whole thing.
    Anyway… a toast to a great unsung designer Richard Hornung.

  4. Yanina

    Not sure if this is still considered frockflick-y, but suddenly watched Russian musical Anna Karenina and color me impressed. Some costumes are very nice if generic and leading pair of actors is positively dreamy.

  5. Brandy Loutherback

    Raise your hand if you’re bored by Princess Di! Other royals need some love! Feel free to add any other royal who need a biopic! P.S.: Absolutely watch Last Night in Soho for the 50s/60s Bombshell costumes by Odile Dicks-Mireaux!

    • Karin

      Just my thoughts… not another Diana flick – seriously? I am bored. Yes, I have a couple of books about her fashion/style, love that, and I read a couple of books about her – after all she was in every one of my grandma’s magazines when I was growing up, so that story followed me aroung. But now it’s enough. The first movie was already kind of blah in my view, we have her in The Crown – why now make another movie about her?
      I just heard of Last Night in Soho the first time today, and I totally want to see it!

    • Julia

      God, yes – but I’m sick to death of the whole dysfunctional crew. I might be interested in watching the story of Queen Victoria’s cousin Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, who married star actress Sarah Fairbrother (the mother of several of his children) without royal consent. As a result of this Sarah was denied a title and had to settle for being known as Mrs Fitzgeorge.

    • Katie O.

      I am absolutely bored by the Diana flicks. And I like her! But it’s covered an awful lot considering a large portion of the audience lived through it and already knows all about the whole thing. I would love to see movies made about something pre-Tudor. It seems like for the most part historical fiction doesn’t go back much further, but there was some juicy stuff happening.

  6. Nzie

    Despite lots of movies of interest I haven’t made it to the cinema since July, and I can’t say I have any frock flicks in mind for when I do get there.

    But I did pop in O Brother, Where Art Thou? last night–I’ve owned it for ages without having actually seen it (it was probably a $5 bin pickup on the basis of having loved the soundtrack). No regrets, a good choice, but I was a bit surprised by one scene–I hadn’t known that “O Death” was… sung by some high ranking klansman anticipating a lynching (!). Not tons of costume content for us ladies, but the suits looked good, I found the closures on the sirens’ dresses interesting, and there was some good hat game for the ladies we did see.

  7. Nico

    Have you considered reviewing the « Hollywood » series released in 2020 and set in 1950’s hollywood? The costumes were really good and the plot/story interesting during the first episodes. But the screenwriters seem to have been ran over by a bus halfway …

    • Trystan L. Bass

      Considered it, yes, but everything I heard about the story made me loathe to watch it! I don’t love that period’s costumes enough to slog thru one of Ryan Murphy less credible efforts (see also: why we didn’t bother reviewing Ratched).

  8. Damnitz

    I’m watching “Mysteries of Lisbon” on arte. Unfortunately the series is not on the English version of the arte-homepage. I don’t know why. It’s interesting to see the different quality of acting AND costumes in the different periods because the stories in the film have a long range from the 1770s (???) up to the 1840s.

    Is there a review on frock flicks about the mini-series?

  9. Emily

    Just got back from watching Spencer…no comment on Princess Di :)…but wanted to note a reused costume! Anne Boleyn pops up, she seems to wearing the purple gown Claire Foy sported in Wolf Hall, the odd bust wrinkles immediately caught my eye!


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