With the second season due to launch this coming weekend, much has been said recently about AMC’s sleeper-hit Mad Men. The newly hatched commotion around the show is great, but some of us with an interest in menswear have been hanging by a thread (bad pun, I know) since day one. The characters are great and the drama is enjoyable, but the real reason to watch is for the show’s style. To say that the Mad Men is Sex and the City for guys is wrong. Mad Men is more hardcore than that â€” it’s Patton meets Gordon Gekko â€” set in one of the most optimistic times in American history. The gentlemen at the new and very cool service focused site Valet spoke with the show’s costume designer Janie Bryant at length about the show’s sartorial inspirations.
Valet did a great job of breaking Mad Men into delicious little bits of sixties-era style info, while keeping you firmly planted in today. The feature reminds me of something a Japanese magazine would do, which is probably the biggest compliment I could give.
Some of my favorite character style tidbits from Ms. Bryant:
“I feel that the clothes do reflect the man wearing them. With Don, he’s a very strong, masculine guy who doesn’t give up a lot of information about himself. So we keep him in somber, serious tones. He wears some brown, but it’s usually gray, which was the traditional business suit color. It’s a delicate balance. He’s slightly conservativeâ€”he’ll always have his hat on when he’s leavingâ€”but the cuts of his suits give him a modern look. And he also wears a French cuff shirt with a spread collar which I love. It’s classic, but with the cufflinks and tie, there’s a little pizzazz which makes sense for someone in a creative field.”
“For all the slim, sharkskin suits the guys wear, there were still those at the time that were more traditional. That’s where Cooper or Roger Sterling come in, who are the old guards, more traditional and buttoned up in pleated pants and three-piece suits. But they’re impeccably tailored and finished.”