All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up

25 March 2012

Dressing Well is the Best Revenge! Mad Men Returns

Close the laptop, shut off the cell phone, cancel all plans...After seventeen months (who is counting!) Tonight the 5th season of arguably the best series on television, Mad Men, begins. We don't know too much about the new season that almost never happened as Matthew Weiner and Co. don't let secrets leak.  Will Don get married?  Will Betty stay married?  One thing we do know is that the series will conclude after seven seasons so Sterling,Cooper,Draper Pryce will be in business for two more years-or will they?  The other thing we have to know for sure is that every episode will be done with style and fabulous clothes.  With such intricate and painstaking attention to every detail in its design Mad Men is bound to continue to reflect the extraordinary changes of the mid 1960s and the transition into the 1970s.

The series is graced with pitch perfect writing that carefully and slowly reveals its characters, characters that individually and collectively portray and explore the  historic period of societal change that was the 1960s. These are characters you care about, love to hate and are fascinated by. Mad Men keeps you wanting more which is why this wait has been so long.

The show is exquisitely crafted with sets that stage the decade, an era which truly is the center of Mad Men, down to the smallest detail.  The story line captures the shift in lifestyle and culture this country would undergo in those years. The performances pull you into that world of smoke filled rooms and Mad Men is flawless in its representation of the most fascinating time in the twentieth century, a time of revolutionary societal change. Watching Mad Men,however, you stop and wonder how much has really changed!

Mad Men is a reason to sit and watch TV at a time when there is not much reason to do so, especially with Downton Abbey now through-this is appointment viewing! I love to re-watch Mad Men to look at , yes Jon Hamm, but also the clothes, the styling, the jewelry... The fashion and the "look" of Mad Men is meticulously selected to not only help define the characters but also reflect the changes that they go through and that the country was experiencing. The fashions within the series tell so much of the story, especially about women and their role---and it is a powerful one.

The wardrobes are to envy and sitting in my flip flops and jeans I wonder how my Mother did it everyday ...and I want everything in Betty Draper's closet!

Betty's closet is filled with the clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry that work forever-the timeless elegance  of Dior, Hermes, Bonnie Cashen, Givenchy...

Betty was married to (at the moment divorced from)  the mysterious, enigmatic, habitually unfaithful and totally delicious Ad Man Don Draper. Their life was a portrait of what the magazine's sold in the late 50s and early 60s, one of suburban bliss...which rarely was....

Betty Draper's style is perfectly coiffed and adorned.

Madmen costume designer Janie Bryant describes Betty's look as "... quite simple but so gorgeous. And you know, you still see women like this. That beautiful classic style from the period that they've carried on for their entire lives..."

Bryant defines Betty's wardrobe to reveal the character her role as wife and mother and her reality "...its about having that image and maintaining that sense of perfection, so it's sort of how everyone sees her from the outside and not so much what's on the inside."

Beautifully portrayed by January Jones, Betty Draper carries a cool serene exterior that hides to perfection the fragility that lies under the cashmere and pearls.

She is part Donna Reed

 Part Jackie Kennedy

and a little Marilyn...

Of course to go with all the wonderful clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry...Betty also usually has The Best accessory...Jon Hamm!

Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair

Welcome back Mad Men-cannot wait to see what you are wearing in 1966!