What we are seeing on the fashion front is how the actresses of
Mad Men fame have been inspiring women to regain that feminine look
of the early 1960s. Role-models like Joan Holloway (Christina
Hendricks), are women who illustrate how curves, and good fit
combine with grace of movement to offer a more subtle sophistication
than any strident warrior woman look might achieve
By the early sixties, dress styles from the 1950s (based on the
Dior 1947 New Look) had exhausted all the possible bodice and
skirt combinations. Features of this era included covered
wide belts, halter necks, swathed draped slim sheaths or full
skirts and both silhouettes used bold floribunda - tea and
cabbage roses. Each of these fashion elements have been
reworked into new styles by designers of the 21st century.
For 2010, 'Mad Men Ladies' have inspired pretty trends which
put girls into slinky Joan
Holloway hour glass silhouettes. To adapt to the 2010s these
1960 designs need to be
given a little edginess. Footwear, bags,
jewellery and scarves can all be jiggled to add diversification from the original concept. Mad
Men is translating well to modern times, and will have fashion
influence for some time yet.
Autumn/Winter 2010/11 the catwalk has already declared that
better cut classic pieces will be the fashion look that
an economy aware society needs, rather than throwaway cheap
garments. Right - Get the Joan Holloway look for less at Tesco Clothing
Collection - From Somewhere to F&F - Stockist Tel: 0800 505555 /
Imagine how these
dresses might mould to the figure of curvy Joan Holloway the
office administrator, the ultimate ideal secretary of Mad
Men TV cult fame.
The precise red dress in quality fabric, makes a woman look stunning and
commented upon long
after she stops wearing it. A red dress is not for the shy, yet
wearing one can give a woman confidence. If the dress is a
perfect fit sculpted and moulded to her body, it can give her a
screen siren aura. Consider the red dress an investment in the
same way you might a black dress. The bold bright LRD is
in strong competition with the LBD in 2010.
To do justice to a dress like this most women need the
assistance of some power foundation garments. Sculptz by
Planet fashion, Gok Wan and Trinny & Susannah have all joined
the Spanx bandwagon with their own version of shape wear
products. Shapewear is nothing new, but it does seem new to a
generation that have mothers who abandoned it.
With these shapewear products, every lump and bump can be
controlled and pushed into the shape you desire.
Power net can even improve how you look after the diet as well
as before it.
Above Left - The ultimate red dress (want one, must-have) - Harvey Nichols - Donna Karan Three Quarter
Sleeve V Neck Cross Draped Red Dress £1,055.
Donna Karan Dress No. 311162 at Harvey Nichols - Online (UK
Customers): 0845 604 1888 and Online (Overseas Customers): +44
(0)160 466 2788.
Above Right - Phase Eight Red Jersey Dress.
Sleek dresses in solid hues can be dressed up, or dressed down.
They can also be
accessorized according to occasion, time of day or weather.
A little black dress is always a great buy. This one
far left is by
long established brand Alexon who make quality classic clothes that last
and wear well.
Centre - Vintage Inspired Metallic Silver Pencil Dress - Littlewoods.com Trinny &
Far Right - Phase Eight Green V Neck Draped Dress at John Lewis.
This is a green
goddess dress for the redheads like Joan Holloway. Wouldn't she
look perfect in this gown or this Bombshell Dress below from UK Costume
Designer Katya Wildman.
See more 'Mad Men'
Behind The Scenes With Joanie
Janie Bryant is the costume designer behind the women's' clothes on
Mad Men. She has been hailed as the new Patricia Fields of Sex
And The City costuming fame. Janie Bryant pays attention to
small details, as a fashion history critic, I find it hard to
fault Mad Men's Hendricks. She always begins with
great foundation garments
just like the
underwear styles women really wore in the early 1960s. Long-line bras, power girdles,
under slip petticoats and tulle net tu-tu slips all help
to create the key looks of the 50/60s era. Just wearing a boned-to-the-waist bra makes a woman hold herself differently,
and this changes her posture.
Whilst there are many modern bustier bras and corsets on the
market today, one of the few long-line bras that has the audacity
to resemble the sort worn
in Mad Men is the long running Triumph Doreen bra. The
'Doreen' comes as a long-line,
midi long line or short bra. I have discovered that over
their authentic foundations the actresses
wear garments that are either made in house, bought from vintage
shops, or rented from costumiers.
The simplest way to get
an early 60s look is with a perky fuller skirt
hovering around the knee, like this spotted skirt at £40 from
Oasis. Add a cropped
button cardigan, with short or pushed up sleeves, and the look is
easy and everyday. In fact the style is similar to
outfits worn by Fonzie's girlfriends in the Happy Days
T.V. shows. Hobbs do a great cardi called the Hobbs Eve
Cardigan, £59 and this is shown in citrus sulphur lime right. This cardigan is just the right
style to team with Mad Men inspired pants, dresses or skirts.
Otherwise my Mad Men Ladies fashion Tips below will guide you.
This Bombshell Dress shown right in fine cotton and
covered with 50s/60s style ditzy print of wild strawberries is
typical of 'it' dresses that are knocking women into curvy hour
glass shapes. The cut of the drapery is impressive enabling the
picture neckline to be adjusted to reveal even more shoulder.
You can also
arrange this Bombshell dress to show no cleavage or plenty of it. This must-have dress
does of course focus on the cinched waist and doing it up is an
exercise in breathing in (that's my excuse anyway!), but because of
the shirred side bodice panels it sculpts and moulds to your body.
I liked the Bombshell Dress so much when I saw it and tried it on
in my local boutique, that I had a sleepless night and had to go
back and buy one the next day. A good shape-wear body like the one
from Marks and Spencer shown further up this page or a strapless bra
would help attain the perfect support for that film star shoulder
Nigella Lawson reportedly spent £2,000 buying some 12 variations
of these Bombshell dresses in different colour ways for her holidays
in the Hamptons. Clearly she has over the years been inspired by
other screen sirens like our Joan Holloway bombshell here. I bought my
Craig in Worcester UK. To ring the changes I sometimes wear one
with it. To my way of thinking the UK sizing (8-16) is
flattering and possibly on a par with American sizes.
You may also find the Bombshell dresses at established boutiques
such as The Cross in Notting Hill, London. The Dispensary at 200
Kensington Park Road is another fashion shop in Notting Hill London
that stocks the Bombshell too.
Anyone who wears form fitting dresses all day like Joan
chooses, has to relax at some point. At home Joan drops her guard
and either dons a simple top or sweater with Capri pants,
fitting trousers like these below. In more seductive mood she
might pick out a flowing negligee. In 2010 I
suspect your choice may be more inclined toward the Capri style
or narrow leg pants shown here than a flimsy negligee.
Above Left - Top £80, Trouser £70, Necklace £35, Hat £120 -
Viyella Stockist Tel: Women's: 01845 573 120 or
Centre - Vivid Electric Blue Gypsy Neckline Top and White Capri
Pants - Gerry Weber.
Right - Wallis - Black Sleeveless Blouse £30/€47, Zebra Print
Narrow Harem Trousers £35/€55. Gold Multi Drop Earrings £12/€20 -
Wallis SS10 Stockist Tel: 08451214520. All of these outfits
would have looked quite acceptable in the early 60s.
For following the early 60s fashion looks pay attention to:-
Silhouette in dress and form - curvy bodies, curvy fit. Wear structured underwear to achieve early 60s shaping.
Corselets and long-line bras by Miss Mary of Sweden, Rago,
and the famous Triumph 'Doreen' may seem severe, but they all knock the body into
early 60s curves and can be bought from Woods of Morecambe,
Damart, Daxon, Grattan or Littlewoods. You can also
get modern softer control bodes from Marks & Spencer, Figleaves and BHS. Right -
& Spencer Control Body. These control shapewear
bodies are ideal for
Bombshell Dress looks.
Pay attention to waistline curves - buy
with a wide band as above. Alternatively, belt
the waist or wear a contrast colour cummerbund, or use a sash as
shown right. Right - Jane Norman Spring 2010
Pacific Fern Knee Skirt £32. No waist - then use an over-blouse feature (about 6cm
covering below the waist area) or choose to empire line with higher empire lines that are finely belted,
emphasised with a neat bow trim, change of print or contrast colour way.
The empire styles may have slim sheath skirts or gently flare in
A-line silhouettes in the style of Jackie Kennedy.
Pay attention to skirt length. Not too long - not too
short. Choose knee length clothes that are hovering on the
knee, but not especially above it. You want to show a shapely lower
leg with the promise of more mystery above. Knee length
clothes give a balanced silhouette, yet create a ladylike
effect with a sense of decorum and subtle allure of more to
see. The whole point of Mad Men looks is that it
elegance. If you are under 25 shorter skater looks
can also work well.
You will need 3 definite types of clothes - day,
office and night pieces. Plus you might consider adding coordinated
beach/pool wear which can fall under daywear, but is
Fabric - Look for checks, spots, stripes, floral and
border prints. But also consider modern takes on flora
such as digital prints which bring the material up to date
whilst paying homage to all the funky Matisse inspired
abstract designs of the fifties and sixties. Right
- Floral Border Print Summer Prom Dress by Apricot SS10.
Physically the fastest way to get this Mad Men Hendricks look is to pay
attention to grooming. Be perfectly groomed and stick to
your natural skin colour without overdoing fake tan. Facially, opt
for true red or coral red lips with made up skin looking
clear and fresh and add perfectly applied winged flick upward eyeliner. The
flicks are not as
Egyptian influenced late sixties Elizabeth Taylor, but
artfully enhance and lift the eye in a sophisticated
screen star manner. Upwardly winged spectacles also help
re-create the early 1960s era. Next to lips go for
matching red and coral nails, never the French manicure or squared off
nails. 60s nails were almond shaped ovals, and mostly painted
scarlet red, pearlized pinks or peachy corals. Forget
fancy stick on designs if you want the 'Mad Men Lady' look.
There must also be an obvious trademark 'suit the face
shape' hairstyle. This is not a look of recent years,
where the concept of one hairstyle suits all, with cloned
hair straightened looks as the winner. This is the opposite
of lookalikes. Here every woman wanting to do the Mad Men look should
think about how hair best suits her face shape and how
can she make it look different to her best friends by colouring
her hair, curling it,
waving it, smoothing it or flicking it.
Another physical aspect is not to overwork the muscle
A little exercise like regular walking or basic workout will give a toned shapely figure, but too
many muscle and definition workouts will kill the soft womanly look.
Think Dita Von Teese softness rather than Madonna muscle
In the main this look is a pretty, preppy, pink Palm Beach style
as far away from
utilitarian khaki as possible.
garments have all the elements of this way of dressing. Among all those cute dresses look out for vintage belts,
covered belts and cute buttons.
Cult TV series, such as 'Mad Men' emphasise how a woman can
easily use her appearance to her advantage through good grooming
Characters of the 1980s
Dynasty and Dallas and 1990s Sex and the City
are TV programmes which have all become leaders of key fashion
looks. Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife, Cougar Town
and Ugly Betty all typically influence what we may come to wear. Some pieces once viewed take on an instant viral effect,
as a result items soon
become this years must-have trends. Clearly the 'Mad Men Women'
look is here to stay this year at least.
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