The AMC series “Mad Men” has not only taken TV audiences by storm, but the world of fashion as well. Designers are pointing to the show, set in the early 1960s and known for its meticulous attention to period detail, as a major influence on their latest creations.
Not only that, but there have been some general style and attitude shifts as a result of the show that may possibly signal the start of a new era in glamour and sophistication.
For a look at styles featured in the premiere of Season 4, which aired July 25, 2010, click here.
Trendsetters have taken a cue from the show’s fashion sense, and as a result, we are seeing a return to retro trends such as men wearing fedoras, fitted suits, and skinny ties; women in updo hairstyles, kitten heels, brooches and red lipstick; and metallic watches for both sexes. There also seems to be a renewed willingness for women to embrace their curves, possibly inspired by the show’s sexy secretary, Joan Holloway.
In addition, “Mad Men” is being credited for customers’ ramped-up desire for stockings, slips and lingerie, as well as a whole host of mid-century accessories: tie bars and pocket squares for the guys, and cocktail rings and scarves for the gals. Even aprons are making a comeback as a fashion statement.
The impact upon women’s clothing especially has been marked. Pencil skirts and scoop necklines have returned in a big way, as have form-fitting sheath dresses and full skirts. Also on view this summer, inspired by retro fashion, have been skinny cropped pants and ballerina flats.
Among the clothing lines influenced by “Mad Men” are Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Prada, as well as retailers like Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers and Coach. In fact, Banana Republic has worked in concert with AMC, the “Mad Men” cable network, to create “Mad Men”-themed displays in its stores and style guides for customers.
Other brands that have bumped up their offerings of classic styles in response to the quest for the “Mad Men” look are Kate Spade, Anthropologie, Brooks Brothers, and Liz Claiborne.
In fall 2010, we can expect even more 1960s embellishment to current styles. Look for softly draped necklines and bows in women’s blouses and dresses, as well as ruffles and extra detail in waistbands. Hairstyles promise to show more poufs for long and short hair – think the Jackie O look.
To this end, “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant has announced her new retro clothing line will come to QVC, debuting on Sept. 29. Bryant’s line includes everything from pencil skirts to skinny pants, as well as outerwear and costume jewelry.
What else could be in store for designers’ “Mad Men” dreams? On the recent premiere of Season 4, viewers saw somewhat more colorful men’s clothing, mainly sweaters and ties, and more bouffant hairstyles for the women. More plaids and patterns could be seen on both male and female characters. Who knows – as the season progresses, we may even see a miniskirt or two.