Support Frock Flicks with a small donation! During Snark Week and beyond, we’re grateful for your monthly pledges for exclusive content via Patreon or your one-time contributions via Ko-fi or PayPal to offset the costs of running this site. You can even buy our T-shirts and merch. Think of this like supporting public broadcasting, but with swearing and no tax deductions!
If you’ve been following Frock Flicks on social media — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — then hopefully you’ve been enjoying all the memes we post as part of Snark Week! We’ve been trying to highlight some upcoming movies and TV series that look particularly dire in the costume department. I thought I’d do a round-up, just so you can join me in hyperventilating (and not in a good way) about all this snark-worthy content coming soon to our screens!
Side note, I have to mention that The King’s Daughter has finally been released (January 21, 2022). That’s the new title for the previously titled The Moon and the Sun, in which Pierce Brosnan plays Louis XIV in the least 17th-century clothing you’ve EVER seen. We snarked the shit out of these costumes several years ago, so go check out that post for more info.
Diane de Poitiers (2022)
Okay, so I couldn’t figure out a good snark tag for this image, but Isabelle Adjani will be playing Diane de Poitiers (1500-66), mistress to King Henry II, in a French TV movie due out sometime this year. This is the only still that’s so far been released, although you can see lots more WTFrockery if you check out Adjani’s Instagram. Special fork-in-the-eye bonus: Gérard Depardieu will play Nostradamus! The costumes are designed by Cyril Fontaine, who also designed Depardieu’s Rasputin (2011).
Sanditon season 2 (2022)
Try not to get too excited, but we’re due for another season of Sanditon, the completely lacklusterly-designed faux-Jane Austen adaptation. Sad trombone. It premieres March 22, 2022, on PBS. This time the costumes will be designed by Lauren Miller, but it doesn’t look like she’s managed to improve on anything.
Sisi (2021) / The Empress (2022)
There are not one but TWO dueling films about Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-98), aka Sissi, coming soon to your screens! Hopefully. The first is a German TV (RTL) miniseries called Sisi that’s already been released there. (Sadly, IMDB doesn’t list a costume designer). So far I’m not finding a way to watch it in the U.S., but we can hope, because the costumes look RIDONKULOUS:
THEN, Netflix is making a series about Empress Elisabeth as well, called The Empress. (Again, no costume designer listed — yet?). So far I’ve only seen this one image, but it’s already making me question which fast-fashion chain designed the costumes:
OH DEAR. Dakota Johnson, star of the 50 Shades of Grey franchise and daughter of Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame, will be playing ANNE FUCKING ELLIOT in JANE FUCKING AUSTEN’S Persuasion — coming to Netflix sometime this year. All the yelling is because WHAT THE HELL DO THESE COSTUME CHOICES HAVE TO DO WITH REGENCY FASHION:
And I can’t include the image here for copyright purposes, but check out these images of Dakota Johnson looking allegedly “elegant” in an allegedly “regency-style coat,” according to the Daily Fail, while filming. What the FUCK does that unbleached linen artist’s smock have to do with Regency elegance or outerwear, I ask you?
Glow and Darkness (someday, unfortunately)
Dear fucking god. DEAR FUCKING GOD. A Spanish team is filming an English-language series called Glow and Darkness that is allegedly about Saint Francis of Assisi and allegedly features Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Pope Urban II. It hasn’t yet found a distributor. JOAN FUCKING COLLINS will play “Adelaide of Savoy.” DENISE FUCKING RICHARDS will play the “countess of Champagne.” JANE FUCKING SEYMOUR will play Eleanor of Aquitaine. No costume designer is listed on IMDB, and I hope there never is, because whoever the fuck came up with this shit should REALLY RECONSIDER THEIR CAREER CHOICES.
Our behind-the-scenes convo:
Which of these travesties makes you hyperventilate the most, and why is it Glow and Darkness?
Holy shit, Glow and Darkness is my new favorite movie without even seeing it. It looks atrociously bonkers and insulting and tacky and I love it.
Unless Glow & Darkness turns out to be a spoof of some kind I’m going to extremely disappointed in Jane Seymour. And Denise Richards’s face-eating wig is just insane. If she survived the filming without losing her eyebrows to that thing I’d be shocked.
I was wondering if they had to keep it in a kennel when they weren’t filming. Did it have a trainer or wrangler?
Diane de Poitiers according to the portraits had blondish red hair or golden…so Adjani’s hair color is wrong and her disheveled hair is not even period. And the makeup is soo 1980s smokey eyes with heavy shadow.
St. Francis’ lifetime did overlap that of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard I but to the best of my knowledge he had nothing to do with either. It’s hard to see how he could, or would.
Absolutely, given that Assisi is about as inland as you can be in Italy, and Richard’s journey to Sicily was entirely by ship – as far as I know he only touched land at Rome and Naples. That said, given his colourfully appalling behaviour when he did set foot on Italian/Sicilian soil (e.g. stealing a hawk because he thought its peasant owners weren’t high-ranking enough to have it and getting chased by the indignant villagers, and insisting on an impromptu joust with canes against the finest knight in France then throwing a tantrum like a toddler when the guy unhorsed him) I’d totally be up for somebody writing an AH encounter with St Francis. Could be a lot of fun.
(You may have gathered that I am absolutely not a Lionheart fangirl. He was a truly horrible man: it’s noticeable in contemporary accounts that even his most signed-up partisans couldn’t find anything actually good to say about him.)
Francis’ was still a small boy when Richard was crusading. Maybe the lionheart was a bad role model?
Maybe in this movie he’s a young veterinarian, called upon to transplant a literal Lion’s Heart into the ailing King of England.
Not only are the costumes bad in G&D, but the sets are all modern, too! Or at least faux-Victorian.
Yes, it is Glow and Darkness, although I have an interest in the train wreck that is The King’s Daughter… the plot sounds bad both in the central conflict and in that it seems to go in for historical nonsense like churchmen hating science or something.
What bums me out about Glow & Darkness is that I quite like Jane Seymour and think she would make a great Eleanor of Aquitaine, but based on what I’m seeing it seems likely to be a poor film. Then again poor Jane’s been stuck in Hallmark et al for a while now. Also, based on what I found googling, it seems like the movie may suffer from what we’ve colloquially referred to in my family as something like Johnny Tremaine syndrome – every famous person anywhere in the vicinity shows up in that book. Francis certainly met the Pope, but all those other figures? To the point that they need to portray Eleanor as an older woman and in flashbacks at age 25? head tilt
The Persuasion article says it’s a “modern-day adaption,” which explains the lack of period clothes, but leaves me with the bigger question of “why, just why.. “
When I saw that photo I really thought “wow, looks kinda like the 1930s?. What were they thinking….
But they have the men in clearly period costumes based on the early photos released. The article I found said “modern approach”. I don’t really know what it means, but it seems wiser than trying to just do it today… I think it would take more (akin to Bridget Jones’ diary), given how connected Austen’s plots are to the social mores and structures of the time.
OMG—of course Glow and Darkness makes me hyperventilate the most. I think y’all had a trailer of it a while back in one of your “upcoming projects” posts and was TOO HORRIFIED to look away. I have to see it. BUT…can we just give a shout out for Joan Collins for hanging in the game?!?! I mean, she’s really embraced the whole trashy-projects vibe since her Dynasty Days. Not a FrockFlick, but I loved her turn in the TV show The Royals, and this looks like the “historical” version of that shitshow. I actually can’t wait for Glow and Darkness now. But what I’m DREADING is a Dakota Johnson-headlined version of Persuasion, my favorite Jane Austen novel. No. Just NO. And I say that as someone who doesn’t like to pooh-pooh actors et al, but really…the IDEA of Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliott is just a LITTLE BIT worse as the pictures you just showed–and I don’t even mean the costumes (which are “wrong”), but I mean the whole spirit of Anne Elliott. Why, Lord, why???
Meme words: “wonders f thunder always happens when it’s raining” because INSPIRED BY STEVIE NICKS, but also, “Seinfeld rang, he wants his pirate shirt back”
Mutton got up as lamb wrapped in last year’s curtains.
Please tell me “Glow and Darkness” will have a heartwarming Christian message. That’s the one thing that would make this… apparent masterpiece even awesomer.
I was so hopeful that the new Persuasion would be good- I was so happily surprised by how good the new Emma was- but the minute I saw a few costuming photos online I just knew…it’s one for the snark.
Ease up on the Botox, Isabelle.
Yikes, they all look terrible!
I could watch Sisi here, since I am in Switzerland, but I refuse. There have been too many movies and TV series and whatever about her or in which she turns up. It’s like the Henry VIII or Elizabeth I, it’s been done too much and there would be so many other interesting characters out there in the Hapsburg history to make movies about. But yes, it’s RTL – what do you expect – mainstream private TV channel with many questionable programs!
Anyway, I had a quick look, the actress in the other photo is Désirée Nosbusch and she plays Archduchess Sophie, Francis Joseph’s mother.
The photos from Glow and Darkness leave me speechless… from what I read, this already started filming in 2020, just before Covid hit, and it seems they had to stop for a while. Maybe it will go nowhere…?
Q. Why do I have this sudden compulsion to bleach my eyes
A. That remake of PERSUASION
How the hell is Jane Seymour still gorgeous?!
I’m prepared to call it like it is. Witchcraft.
Glow and Darkness might be the most intriguing bad period drama I’ve seen in years. So, Jane Seymour as Eleanor of Aquitaine feels like a solid choice in a bad costume, sure. Denise Richards in that wig puts the project squarely in the bad category, but then they go ahead and give us JOAN COLLINS? That has to mean they know what they’re doing and it will in fact be a spoof, right???
Oh, thank you, thank you, FrockFlicks. I needed to laugh that hard. Also, Isabelle Adjani is over 65 these days; has she made any vampire movies lately?
I have some news on Glow and Darkness:
– The terrible (but that gives a good explanation): This series was being made by the same man who created “Queens” (Yeah that awful, awful series about Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart that had them wearing modern tiaras and all that).
– The “will make you breathe a sigh of relief”: That same man was arrested among allegations of fraud a few months ago, the trial is still going on, and production of the show has been pretty much halted.
– The “oh boy is this snark worthy”: One scene of the show was leaked and it is very much snark worthy. Google: “Resplandor y Tinieblas Escenas inéditas” to have a good chuckle.
You were not kidding.
And just a few days after we discussed at length how riding astride was totally a thing in the 12th century for ladies who wanted to get anywhere, “Shock, horror! She rides astride like a man!”
And as for those pastiche 18th-century dresses the Dowager Queen’s ladies were wearing, with humungous engageantes and ribbon bows a l’échelle on the stomacher . . . Why?
Apparently the same creator of the series decided to use costumes he had from his variety shows instead of getting actual proper costumes (not sure, this might be a rumour, but given the fame he has in Spain, it kind of tracks)
I can’t wait until I can stream “The King’s Daughter” and hopefully laugh myself silly.
The costume designer of the miniseries “Sisi”, broadcast by RTL, was Metin Misdik. The producers stated that they didn’t want to create historically correct costumes. What a (literary) cheap excuse! Apart from that, “Sisi” is the worst period film I have ever seen. Nothing is right here, the producers even didn’t make the effort to research the mentality of the Austrian court and people in the 19th century in general. This series should be tagged “fantasy” and not “historical”. I bet all the historical personages in this film are spinning in their graves. And believe it or not, the producers will be making a second season of this shit this year. On the other hand, this shit is excellent snark fodder and I wanted to suggest it to you, but I see that you have found it on your own :-).
AAAAAAUUUUGGGH WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT A MEDIEVAL FRENCH MAID COSTUME?!?
But that Sisi costume swap photo: HAWT.
I didn’t know they were making another Persuasion show and these pictures have actually ruined the rest of my month
“Adelaide of Savoy” is likely meant to be Eleanor’s first mother-in-law (though she died around 30 years before Francis of Assisi’s birth, so who knows why she’s still around) and “the countess of Champagne” is probably supposed to be Eleanor’s oldest child, Marie of France, who married Henri the Liberal, count of Champagne.
I only now clicked on the link to Dakota Johnson’s linen coat for Persuasion. Just to say that a costume-collector aunt of mine owned a gentleman’s natural-coloured-linen ‘gardening coat’, maybe 1820s-30s (it’s hard to be specific with non-fashion garments) which looked very much like what the unnamed male actor is wearing, and was just the kind of thing Mr Collins would have worn to work in his garden in P&P. It’s not unreasonable to imagine that a Regency lady who enjoyed active gardening might have worn a feminine equivalent, and if the actors were given those costumes for the several muddy country walks that occur in Persuasion I could just about live with that. (The man’s coat at least: the princess seams of Johnson’s coat makes her look as though she were about to go for a spin in a Model T Ford.) But for promenading along the front at a fashionable seaside resort? Just no.
Sisi is available on SBS On Demand in Australia now. I think/hope you can access it in the USA. The historical accuracy is up there with the costumes but it’s great for a snark.