Monday, September 7, 2009

Mad Men Media Blitz

It is rather fitting that I posted about Sex and the City this week as I believe Mad Men has replaced SATC as the TV show for fashion obsessives. Gossip Girl might be a runner-up, but I must confess I haven't watched it.

Now that Season 3 has kicked off in the US Mad Men is everywhere, including the September issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Not only are the costumes and set direction in Mad Men magnificent, the writing and performances are truly amazing too. While I love True Blood for its non-stop action plot developments, hysterically lovable characters and it's hotness quotient (see Eric the brooding and bad vampire), Mad Men has captured my imagination with it's subtle, mood evoking vignettes on the fractured lives of status anxiety gripped 1960's New Yorkers.

Bruce Handy writes in Vanity Fair that "if you like high modernism, narrow lapels, bullet bras, smoking, heavy drinking at lunch, good hotel sex, and bad office sex, this is the series for you ... at its core Mad Men is a moving and sometimes profound meditation on the deceptive allure of surface, and on the deeper mysteries of identity."

The photo-shoot with Jon Hamm and January Jones has the two of them posing, cigarette invariably in hand, in a variety of languid poses. January is dressed as Betty Draper, but for Vanity Fair her clothes are 50's inspired designer rather than beloved items sent to Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant by super enthusiastic fans (and yes, apparently this does happen).

Jones blue and white number is Carolina Herrara. Love the gloves.

And the gold brocade cocktail frock is Dior.

The September issue of Nylon has an interview with Janie Bryant, the first costume designer to become a star in her own right, I think, since Patricia Field. There has been talk for at least a year now of Janie releasing her own original collection, but considering the attention the shows executive producer requires of her, I don't know how she'd find the time.

In Nylon Janie says she that while she designs some of the clothes - including many of the sexy secretary clothes worn by voluptuous office manager Joan Holloway - she also sources outfits for the men and women of ad land from vintage shops, rental houses and even her mother and grandmothers things.

Now that the latest series has moved into 1963 the crinolines are gradually being subsumed by a more streamlined look and mod elements are beginning to appear. Betty Draper is also rocking some seriously gorgeous maternity-wear.

What I wouldn't give for a day playing dress-ups in the Mad Men wardrobe department.

The September "Style" issue of Vanity Fair also has a story on the history of haute couture with lots of pretty pictures. I'm off to bed to read it right now.

Thanks to AMC for the pic of the Mad Men ladies.


Andi B. Goode said...

I still haven't got around to watching Mad Men! Haha. When things start to get a lot of hype I don't want to watch them, anymore, because I'm usually disappointed. I did start watching the first season, though, I just lost track of it.
I watched one episode of Gossip Girl and was thoroughly bored. But I do love True Blood - some of Sookie's outfits in the second season are actually kind of cute, albeit far too short for my liking (though Anna Paquin looks gorgeous in them).
-Andi x

Louise said...

I agree about the outfits in True Blood. Anna Paquin does Southern Belle so well.

avintagespirit (Lizzy) said...

A lot of the vintage loving bloggers have been posting about Man Men and before then I had never heard of it I must admit! But I really need to see an episode or two soon, I do love the clothing though. Such gorgeous dresses. I think it would just be the opportunity of a lifetime to get to be an actress in a period show or movie (I'd for sure try to steal my wardrobe ;) hehe)
Oh, and that you so much for your comments on my blog!

Ms. B said...

Can you believe I haven't seen Mad Men either?! I think I have some of the DVD sets coming for Christmas though so I'm excited about that. I can't wait to gawk at all the clothes!!!