Iconic Frock Flicks of the 1990s, Part 3


This is an occasional series highlighting historical movie and TV costumes that best represent the decade they were produced in. They may or may not be the most historically accurate, but we think these costumes stand out as icons of when they were made. Comment with your faves, and watch the blog for the next decade we review!

We’ve made it into the mid-nineties, and it’s only going to get hotter from here! The second half of the decade saw a huge bump in historical films, with a number reaching legitimate blockbuster status — something mostly unheard of in previous decades. It also bears witness to not only two remakes of Emma (in the same year, no less), but also of Jane Eyre, a year apart. Clearly everybody had the same idea.


Richard III (1995)

"And all the clouds that loured upon our house..."



Rob Roy (1995)


Sense and Sensibility (1995)


The Crucible (1996)


Emma (1996)

Emma (1996)


Emma (1996)


The English Patient (1996)


Evita (1996)

Antonio Bandaras


Jane Eyre (1996)

Jane Eyre, 1996


Hamlet (1996)


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

1996 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall


Anna Karenina (1997)


Jane Eyre (1997)


L.A. Confidential (1997)


Titanic (1997)

Titanic (1997)


Wilde (1997)

Wilde (1997)


Wings of the Dove (1997)


What’s your favorite iconic historical movie costume of the 1990s? What do you expect to see in part four of this series?

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About the author

Sarah Lorraine


Sarah discovered her dual passion for history and costume right around the age of twelve. Dragged kicking and screaming to her first Renaissance Faire at Black Point, she was convinced she was going to hate it, but to her surprise, she fell head over heels in love with the world of reenactment and dress up immediately. Her undergraduate degree is in Clothing & Textile Design, and she has a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture. When she’s not hauling crap to SCA events and ren faires, Sarah enjoys reading true crime books, writing fiction, and sewing historical clothing from the Middle Ages through the 20th-century. One of these days, she might even start updating her old costuming blog again.

14 Responses

  1. Konstantin

    Those fluffy, transparent sleeves on Fitzgerald look extraordinary – I’m a sucker for those.

    I’ve yet to watch the last one, but James’ book is one of my absolute favorites. (And do I see Bonham-Carter in it? Amazing!)

    My favorite Titanic dress is the red one with sprinkles, although this one perhaps works better in terms of accuracy (but not extravagancy…).

  2. Christina H Punkt

    In the first post you commented each movie shortly. But in this and the second one nothing.
    Why is that?
    I read Frock Flicks because I love your snarky opinions and your expertise.
    Don’t mean as a critique really, but this is just a slide show of period movies from the 90s.

    • Saraquill

      I imagine all those write ups get tiring to do, especially if it means watching the movie to refresh the memory.

        • Trystan L. Bass

          Saraquill is spot on. This blog is a hobby — we don’t earn a living off it, & we write these posts in our spare time, after our real jobs & obligations. Some posts have more extensive content than others! Search the site, we have 4 years’ worth of archives & you’ll find a wide variety of content, from silly quizzes to in-depth historical analysis. Just depends on how much time we have & what we feel like. And recently, some of more in-depth articles are on our Patreon site for subscribers.

          As we’ve said before — we can’t get to everything: http://www.frockflicks.com/we-cant-get-to-everything/

          • Christina H Punkt

            Like I said, I meant no offense and I know you guys just do it as a hobby. I just figured, since it’s a 3-part-series, they would be the same content-wise.

  3. M.E. Lawrence

    Ah, “Wings of the Dove” for HBC’s wardrobe. I adored every one of her frocks. And “Rob Roy” for being a well-made, well-produced example of Valiant Men in Kilts vs. Slimy English-Loving Bastards. Best swordplay since Basil Rathbone in his prime.

  4. Susan Pola Staples

    So many good frock flicks during this time, but if I had to say which is a favourite, I’d choose Wings of the Dove and Titanic as both had redheads. Well one redhead and a strawberry blonde and HBC. Then there’s Sense and Sensibility and Tenant of Wildfell Hall which I watched a few days ago.

  5. angharad

    I’ve always liked Kate Beckinsale’s “Emma.” And “Sense and Sensibility,” of course. I need to watch more of these – some of these are ones I’ve heard of and haven’t gotten to yet, and others I just didn’t hear about.

  6. Heidi L.

    It’s funny,the shot from Jane Eyre ’96 looks so 70’s. I don’t know why,maybe it’s the lighting or something.

  7. A Reader

    Wings of the Dove was the first film in which I noticed the costumes. Not that they overwhelmed everything else, but before that I’d never paid any attention to what people were wearing.

  8. Cheryl Washer

    Rob Roy is one of my favorites, not for the costumes, but for the fight choreography by the great William Hobbs. Apparently he had to teach Tim Roth from scratch – even with that handicap, the climatic duel is not only interesting but character driven. Alas, Mr. Hobbs has now retired.


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