frock coat | Clothes on Film

  • The first full-length trailer for Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Cinderella was this week and featured tantalising glimpses of what promises to be a visually gorgeous film. The costumes, designed by three time Academy Award winner Sandy Powell, appear to be absolutely stunning. With a clever mix of the eighteenth century, the 1830s, and a little 1950s couture thrown in for good measure (Powell has been quoted as saying she was aiming for the look of “a nineteenth-century period film made in the 1940s or ’50s”), Powell has created another jewel to add to her already over-bling crown. Here is a quick rundown of some of the looks we’ve been…


  • Doctor Who, the quirky British sci-fi television series about a time travelling alien and his friends, premiered in 1963. Since then there have been twelve Doctors (and a War Doctor), each with their own unique looks to match their unique and often eccentric personalities. With the debut of the Twelfth Doctor fast approaching, this post takes a look back at the three Doctors we’ve seen so far (not including the War Doctor) on Doctor Who since it was rebooted in 2005 (or New Who, as some like to call it) and guesses at what we can expect from Doctor number twelve. The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) arrived on our screens…


  • NO SPOILERS Real and mythological, figurative and literal; monsters of all kinds abound in Sky Atlantic’s new period horror series Penny Dreadful. We might expect a skulking figure in a top hat and frock coat to be scary, though who would have thought a bustle and redingote could be so terrifying? Well, step forward Eva Green as enigmatic Vanessa Ives. Not hero nor villain, but a dead eyed clairvoyant who definitely shouldn’t be invited to dinner parties. Penny Dreadful is set in 1891, although is more a literary parallel universe than true reflection of the era. Some of the characters featured are written for the show (Vanessa), some existed in…


  • If you watch supernatural cop show Sleepy Hollow on Fox (Universal in the UK), you will definitely know who Kristin Burke is. Her sartorial contribution to the first season has ingrained the series with a handsome, consistent, yet oddly plausible look. We say ‘oddly’ because the show is, for want of a better term, completely batshit crazy; a mix of 18th century drama and modern day X-Files, involving headless horsemen, a tree monster, deadly black vein disease, and all manner of creepy mythology based beasties. It’s terrific fun. Kristin M. Burke is what we would politely call a veteran costume designer, over 50 films to her name, although not someone…

  • Joanna Johnston chats about her work on Lincoln and what we can we can expect from her latest project Jack the Giant Slayer.


  • The biggest compliment that can be paid to Joanna Johnston’s costumes in Lincoln is that you will hardly notice them.


  • Les Misérables is drenched in costume symbolism, specifically revolutionary red, white and blue. Subtle was never its intention.


  • Second and final part of Clothes on Film’s sartorial run-through of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, with exclusive input from costume designer Jenny Beavan.

  • First of Clothes on Film’s two part sartorial run-through of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, with exclusive input from costume designer Jenny Beavan.


  • Proving that frock coats and heavy lace dresses really are terrifying.

  • Watching Jane Eyre on location makes for an enriching experience.


  • A trailer for The Woman in Black arrives bringing that spooky sense of dread that only Victorian costume can provide.