14 thoughts on “Top Five Italian Renaissance Frock Flicks

  1. You concentrated on Liz’s costumes in “Shrew” which were designed by Irene Sharaff, I think. They are not as good as everybody else’s, which are Danilo Donati designs and amazing. Liz’s are OK.

  2. I think Il mestiere delle armi (The Profession of Arms) (2001) merits a mention. It’s one of the most faithful recreations of real events of the time. It is just outside of your cutoff – 1526. It’s a beautifully shot mood piece that’s a coda to the age of chivalry.

    I’m not terribly well versed on Renaissance clothing so I couldn’t comment on the particulars. So maybe that wouldn’t hold up? I wouldn’t know. I can say the armour is bloody fantastic. And the director chose actors whose faces are straight out of a Renaissance painting:


    An overlooked film but gets a lot of love among some online historical communities, and rightfully so.

    1. It is available on Kanopy, an excellent free streaming service available through public libraries

  3. Gimme everything in Ever After! Especially the blue dress she wears to the Monastery!

  4. All of the costumes in these specific pics and from what I remember of these movies are BEAUTIFUL!! When I saw Liz Taylor in the red dress from Shrew, my first thought was, “Queen of Hearts.” I don’t know about accuracy or the exact year, but I thought the costumes in Dangerous Beauty were beautiful.

    1. Me too! I LOVE Dangerous Beauty, the stars, the music, and the courtesan costumes. I think that The Frock Flix Goddesses do not approve of Dangerous Beauty…too inauthentic? But I don’t care even. I still love it.

      Watching Romeo and Juliet is like taking a stroll through the Uffizi museum in Florence…pure timeless beauty all around you.

  5. Taylor’s corseting is so wrong it’s painful – they were clearly emphasizing her bustline, because that ain’t a 1520’s corset.

    1. That’s probably why Irene Sharaff was brought on board to do Liz’s costumes– Sharaff was old-school Hollywood, knew how to work with her figure, and would put her on best display.

      (Since Taylor was an uncredited producer on the film, she could make that demand.)

      Plus, Sharaff had done the costumes for three of Taylor’s four latest films– CLEOPATRA, THE SANDPIPER, and WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (Pierre Cardin did the costumes for THE V.I.P.S)– and had won Oscars for the first and last of them.

  6. I have to go with the two Danilo Donati films as my favorites in this, with an edge to ROMEO AND JULIET.

  7. The main problem with The Borgia’s costumes is that most of Lucrezia’s wardrobe draws very heavily on the 1530-40 trends more than it does on the 1490s trends. Beautiful costumes they are, but not accurate whatsoever and more fitting for a show set 50 years later than “the Borgias”

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