Photograph: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
The final series of Mad Men is upon us and today we are taking a look back at the inspiration that this cult show has had on design. Banana Republic went as far as to create a line inspired by the show and continue to cite the program as a major influence on their styling. This season sees the show moving into the 1970s which will be bang up to date with the current trends that harp back to this era. The depth of the characters and the historical authenticity of the show has created a worldwide fan base. Smoking, bar carts, endless cocktails and exquisite detail to the 1960 interior and fashion design has provoked much interest in the look, even if the viewing numbers are not as high as the hype.
Photo by Thanassi Karageorgiou
March 14 – June 14.
‘Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men’ exhibition opened in March in The Museum of Moving Image, New York. The exhibition gives the public an insight into the making of the show with sneak peaks at the full sets, costumes, props as well as Matthew Weiner’s own research material. This exhibition reflects the potential cultural impact of television and has been widely reviewed in the press internationally. The 60s fashion evolves throughout each series and each of the different characters in Mad Men represented a different style.
Joan accentuates her curves with amazing form fitting office wear; she is the queen of the sassy 60s. Dresses or high-waisted skirts that cinched in the waist are a go-to for Joan. Rich jewel tones are perfect for the this powerful character.
Joan plays with beautiful printed sixties accessories with her classic block colours.
Season 7 – Joan was ready for full prints, still sticking to her red roots.
Megan came into the show at Season 4 and quickly established herself as the most fashion forward character, especially with her mix of prints, sometimes even channeling the 70s.
Peggy and plaids are a match made in heaven; she is the mistress of the geek chic. In season 6 a red pant suit was especially fashion-forward for that time and reflected how much she had grown. Peter pan collars, pussy bows and polka dots were the old Peggy while after season 3 outfits became fitting for a hard working girl.
Looking like the perfect housewife in a blue paisley dress.
Betty’s style has always been immaculate. Costume designer, Janie Bryant, was inspired by Grace Kelly for this character. She presents herself as the perfect housewife in full skirts and little waist-cinching belts. Janie Bryant dressed her in cool colours: “I always saw her character in whites, beiges, grays, and light blues. I love the idea of her being in cool, cool colors because her character is very cool.” – Elle magazine
Betty also had impeccable maternity style. My favourite was this lace white dress, with the innocent pink belt. The look is pure and polished.
Don Draper, the hard living advertising executive, started a similar nostalgic influence with both Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers in the US. “His scurrilous behaviour was hidden by his perfectly groomed exterior, and he oozed timeless style” notes Lauren Cochrane in The Guardian.
The Museum of Modern History is preserving one of his sharp suits long with his bar cart and packets of 1960s cigarettes.
“Make it simple, but significant,” as said by the man himself.
There are many more styles we could have discussed and we will look shortly at the influence this has had on the 1960s revival in interior design. What we can conclude is that Mad Men is one of the most iconic TV series to hit our screens in the last few years.
(All photograph credit to AMC TV)