Of all the hype surrounding the Sunday, April 7, return of “Mad Men” — and the two-hour opener proves itself worthy of the hype — one aspect is not overstated: the fashion.
The AMC show remains TV’s fashion trendsetter.
“The biggest reason is that the ’60s are the most iconic,” “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant tells Zap2it. “I always call the period the American iconic classics — throughout the whole entire decade. It just remains relevant.”
The fashions, at least in the season premiere, are a natural progression from where the show left off in 1967. Hems are shorter but not yet to the point where sitting becomes daring.
It’s not just how Don and Megan Draper (Jon Hamm, Jessica Pare) look in (and out of) clothes; it’s that “Mad Men” reminds us of glorious clothes. Banana Republic collaborates with the AMC show for the third time, selling a line Bryant designed.
“We call it ‘Mad for Mod’ that Janie has brought to the season, that whole ’60s iconic moment,” says Simon Kneen, Banana Republic’s creative director.
“I wanted to do something new, as did Banana Republic, and our first two collections were really based on the early iconic years of ‘Mad Men,’ and we wanted to create a new collection that was exciting and something new for the consumers,” Bryant says. “As creative people and designers, we wanted something new. The mod period was where we wanted to get our inspiration. My muse was Megan Draper, and the collection is all about the graphic print, the bold colors.”
“I was really going for the high contrast in colors, the striped,” Bryant continues. “It really is all about the mod period, the dresses being shorter in length and being inspired from that period.”
The Banana Republic line is “late ’67, early ’68, as (mod) was becoming more mainstream by then,” Kneen says.
“We are taking 1967 and making it 2013,” Kneen says. “Janie’s work is always extremely authentic to the time period and reinterpreted with modern fittings.”
“For the menswear, Don Draper is always such the inspiration for the collection,” Bryant says. “And the piece I am most excited about is the plaid sports jacket. It is a great piece, totally classic, a bit bold.”
Of course clothes are going to get crazier. Remember the ’70s are coming – when a man “could yell a whole story with your tie alone,” Bryant says.
The clothes, even the most fashionable, usually reflect whatever was going on a year or two earlier.
“If you look back on Season 1 and Season 2 of ‘Mad Men,’ it really looks late 1950s,” Bryant says. “That is the lag time, and it is almost like when you are talking about any decade — you are talking more about 1955 to 1965 and 1965 to 1975.”