Tag Archives: Megan Draper

Femininity, Menswear and Pattern on Mad Men

13 Apr

It’s May 1970 on Mad Men and the message is that some things change, some stay the same. Don’s penchant for brunettes in pain is one staple you can rely on and “New Business” opens with the exception to this rule. Yes Betty has been in pain, but she is never going to admit it and now she’s going to be studying psychology. Betty is smart remember (“I speak Italian“) and there’s part of me that would love her to be my therapist. No, really.

The tableau Don looks upon is the family he once had and he can’t go home as this family has moved on. So has Betty’s style as there is a softness here with frills and pattern.

Mad Men 7.09 Betty kitchen“New Business” showcases the women of Don Draper including Megan as she is in town to finalize their divorce and get the rest of her things from the apartment. Megan is as stylish as she has ever been doing Cali cool in a hoodie peasant blouse and flared jeans looking nothing like her more traditionally dressed mother and sister.

Mad Men 7.09 MeganFor her meeting with Harry, Megan dresses up in her “Welcome to LA” blue baby doll number prompting Harry to call her every man’s fantasy and that she looks like Ali MacGraw and Bridget Bardot had a baby. Harry does what Harry does and is the worst by hitting on her and then running to Don to call Megan crazy. Megan is incredibly fashion forward so it is strange to see her wearing something from a year ago, but it is obviously a look she feels confident in despite her lack of good acting fortune recently.

Mad Men 7.09 Megan and HarryPast and present collide for Don with elevator awkwardness and I don’t think Arnold would be cracking so many jokes if he knew what his wife Sylvia, had done with Don. Here we see sadness through the prism of the wealthy and the not so financially secure as Di has nowhere near the amount of money, but just as much pain. Di remarks to Don that he can’t know the amount of heartbreak and boy he should dish out the Dick Whitman routine. Don later gives Megan $1 million dollars and the feeling of ennui can’t be cure by money alone and there’s a whole lot of dissatisfaction running throughout this show.

Mad Men 7.09 awkward elevatorAnnie Hall before Annie Hall and celebrity photograph Pima Ryan sashays in with all her sexuality and confidence in a range of amazing tailored menswear. Pima seduces Stan after he is rude and abrupt when he first meets her and she tries her hand at Peggy delivering the super cheesy ‘I want to photograph you’ line. Mimi Rogers is incredible in this role as she plays Stan and Peggy sees through the hustle. On both occasions Peggy wears bold colors with strong patterns and while her style isn’t ever going to match the sartorial highs of her colleagues it is definitely improving. Peggy is still in control and showing her femininity at the same time.

Mad Men 7.09 Peggy and Pima

Mad Men 7.09 Pima and PeggyAnd because I can’t resist Pete Campbell in sportswear I will leave you with this beauty to round things off.

Mad Men 7.09 Pete and DonFrom these first two episodes alone I am so happy to see what Janie Bryant has already managed to do with the end of 60s fashion with a push into my favorite clothing decade.

New York Fashion Week: 10 Spring 2015 Looks for Mad Men’s Megan Draper

8 Sep

Welcome to the first Fantasy Costuming from this New York Fashion Week showcasing the ready-to-wear looks for Spring 2015. Rather than starting with one designer we are instead going to focus on a variety of collections that would look right at home on Mad Men’s Megan Draper. Of course none of these designs are vintage, instead we wanted to find items that represent Megan’s fashion forward style and how she is always dressed straight out of the pages of Vogue while never coming across as try hard or a fashion victim. The pieces we have chosen have some elements of how we saw her last season as she attempts to live out her acting dream in LA so Cali boho sneaks in as well as both micro hemlines and longer, floaty hippy inspired ones.

This is not meant to reflect where the story is heading as we have no idea how much Megan is going to feature in the final episodes, particularly when you factor in how we left things in a seemingly final state with Don.

DVFStarting short and even though Mad Men is set before the introduction of Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress in 1974, Megan would have looked very at home with this style and in this leafy patterned micro version.

DVF MeganThis is also from Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring 2015 RTW collection and the long sleeves/short skirt element is on trend with how Megan dressed in 1969 last season. Megan would definitely be a DVF woman.

Victoria BeckhamSticking with patterns but moving into the floor length gown area with Victoria Beckham and this reminds me of the optical art print which were very popular in the 60s. It’s like a less hypnotic/vomit inducing version and Jessica Paré certainly is statuesque enough to pull this off.

Honor 70sSticking with the length and going a bit more boho with this Honor frock.

Honour plungeAnother gown from Honor and this goes a little deeper with the plunging neckline and adds some color flare with the rainbow dotty belt.

Tadashi Shoji NYFW FallMore relaxed elegance and this time from Tadashi Shoji. Perfect for those times when Megan isn’t awkwardly approaching producers to find out why she didn’t get the part.

BCBGThis is the longer, less in your face movie star sexy version of the baby doll mini dress Megan wore in the season 6 premiere. This is from BCBG Max Azria and she could totally make it work in just as funky fashion.

BCBG FallAnother billowy dress from BCBG Max Azria in a beautiful pattern clashing design that exudes sexiness thanks to a well placed high leg slit.

Escada jumpsuit

Megan is totally going to work the jumpsuit phase as it gets more popular in the 70s and this one from Escada is a simple yet effective version of this enduring trend.

Rebecca MinkoffOne aspect that ties most of these looks together is they are all pretty effortless and even when Megan is wearing something high fashion she pulls it off with ease. Her off duty style also reflects this and I’ve always been a fan of seeing Megan in pants; this Rebecca Minkoff ensemble is set off with the wide brimmed floppy hat and is ideal for the warmer LA climate.

Look out for more NYFW Fantasy Costuming posts this week!

Mad Men 7.01 “Time Zones”: How to Peggy and Megan your Wardrobe

14 Apr

Kicking off the season 7 Mad Men chat neither with an essay discussing the gut wrenching Peggy collapsing to the floor scene – if I could reach into the screen and give her a hug I would – nor with a look at Don’s working status and his Freddie Rumsen proxy. Instead I’m going to share something I tried last summer (thanks to a Megan headscarf in “The Better Half”) and how a Peggy outfit in the season 7 premiere includes the office version of this accessory. A sort of Mad Men Ate My Wardrobe if you will and one that means it’s time to play serious face poses with Emma Fraser.
photo3Peggy works the red, white and blue classic palette like a pro and even though she’s never going to be fashion forward like Megan (and her attempts at this will end in big bowed disaster), her work wear has consistently improved throughout the seasons. She’s found a way to dress for work that’s neither dowdy (as it was in season 1) nor is she trying too hard. This doesn’t hold the same striking power play look as this AMAZING pantsuit and why would it when she is not standing in Don’s shoes. It’s still relatively conservative style wise for 1969 and yet the knitted beret is something that wouldn’t look out of place today. The scarf is not so 2014, which is why it works much better as a head scarf.

 

photo1 (2)First of all the front facing camera quality isn’t the best, but rather than posing awkwardly again for a new photo I wanted to use the one from last summer and oh boy am I regretting the pout and lack of lipstick. The scarf is very much like Peggy’s and it is vintage (from my favorite vintage shop which just closed down *sob*). As I mentioned the inspiration came from Megan in “The Better Half” and I have to say that short hair with a headscarf like this made me long for a ponytail; it can work with either long, short or mid-length hair. It’s also something that Megan isn’t going to ditch anytime soon as we saw her wearing Don’s gift in her hair in “Time Zones” as their marriage continues to look like something out of movie from the outside. Gifts can only go so far and when there’s not enough time to argue, it also cuts down any examination of how hollow this relationship is. Unless you count chatting to Neve Campbell of course. OK so there is some episode analysis among the headscarf vs. neck scarf suggestions.

Megan 7.01Pairing this scarf with a ruffled blouse in “Time Zones” is giving off some old timey pirate vibes.

The TV Ate My Wardrobe weekly Mad Men coverage isn’t going to be the same format with each episode and I think there’s already a tome of incredible reviews out there so I will be trying to avoid this structure. Even if this means awkward/serious selfies. 

Best of TV Costuming 2013: Mad Men and the Megan T-Shirt Conspiracy

5 Dec

It’s the first entry in TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2013” costuming series and rather than doing a straightforward countdown we’re going to do a variety of posts that look at which costumes and shows have made a huge impact this year. From items that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

We’re going to start with the T-shirt that prompted a stream of speculation and conspiracy theories; Megan Draper’s red star tee from the Mad Men  season 6 episode “The Better Half.”

Megan balconyMad Men costume designer Janie Bryant has sparked pages of discussion with her meticulous creations and nothing more so than putting Megan in the same tee that featured in Esquire magazine in 1967 (a year prior to when this episode is set) by none other than Sharon Tate. Tate would be brutally murdered by the Manson Family in 1969 and because Megan shares certain similarities with Sharon Tate this started speculation that Megan would meet a tragic end. I have to admit that I got caught up in this theorizing as season 6 was particularly dark and violent, reflecting the tumultuous period in US history that this season is set in and it looked like Megan was going to become the victim of the season.

Season 5 had many hints at a suicide theme and while all fingers pointed to Pete Campbell, it was actually Lane who took his own life. It’s a fool me twice kind of situation and the only person to meet a potentially grizzly end is Pete’s mother – there is no body and it all happened off screen so it’s not even a definitive murder. Rabid symbolic theorizing isn’t something you might initially think of with Mad Men and yet last season with Megan’s red star shirt it hit Lost levels of debate.

Megan tshirtMegan has always been a character who is ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion trends and this outfit comes across as particularly modern, the nightdress that Peggy wears when she stabs Abe in the same episode – yep this season really did go to some dark places – is what you would expect from this era. Megan’s tee and underwear for the hot summer night is more reminiscent of what someone would wear now. This is what initially stood out about this costuming choice; this all changed when Reddit users started to speculate and Bryant confirmed on Twitter that it was an intentional reference to the Tate Esquire shoot. Cue many blog posts discussing foreshadowing and Megan’s fate.

Everything on Mad Men from the props to the references to the costumes are there for a reason, we all know how specific creator Matthew Weiner can be and because he doesn’t give anything up it encourages these types of discussions. At times it really does feel like he is fucking with us and looking back it seems kind of crazy that one piece of clothing could lead to a conclusion of murder; this is the power of the costuming choices on a show like Mad Men.

I also want to single out Tom and Lorenzo’s incredible textual analysis on their weekly “Mad Style” column; this has been a big influence here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and it shows that costuming goes beyond authenticity of a time period and it can reveal so much without a word being uttered.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

7 Jun

There has been a couple of award shows this week with both the CFDA and Glamour magazine hosting glitzy affairs and the pre-Emmy nomination roundtables are in full swing. Some of these have already been covered here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and have featured some really fantastic looks. As always there are no real rules to this weekly feature and as always it is a snapshot of what I have been watching (and looking at online) and each pick is for a variety of reasons including; what it adds to the storyline, what it tells us about the characters involved or simply because it looks good.

Winner: Megan Draper on Mad Men “A Tale of Two Cities”

Megan hippie lookWhile the Megan Draper theories have gone from slightly crazy to Don Draper hallucinating crazy the costuming for Megan this season has shown why Janie Bryant is so revered. Megan’s closet is huge and it needs to be as she has alternates between glamorous fashion forward pieces to her more relaxed look at home that wouldn’t look out of place in 2013. In Don’s drug induced hallucination he sees Megan in hippie attire, which matches the general look of the Hollywood party they are attending. This is the most relaxed Megan has looked all season though it’s not really Megan, but Don’s projection of the perfect version of Megan; she has quit her job and she is pregnant. The thing that drew Don to Megan in the first place was how she was with his children and California is the place where he cemented their relationship from a casual fling to fiancé. They have recently discussed the state of their relationship and even though they seem better than they have been for the entire year there is still distance (and not just the physical kind) between them. Is Megan actually pregnant or is this just wishful thinking on Don’s part?

Runner Up: Adam Scott and Amy Poehler in The Greatest Event in Television History

adam scott hart to hartLast night Adult Swim aired Adam Scott’s second “Greatest Event in Television History” and this time he teamed up with Parks and Recreation co-star Amy Poehler to recreate the opening title sequence of Hart to Hart. Both look like they are having a ball with the late ’70s/early ’80s look and if I didn’t know any better I would think that this was a Ben and Leslie fantasy sequence – though that would probably involve either Game of Thrones or political faces throughout history.

Runner Up: Ellie Kemper at The Hollywood Reporter Supporting Actor Photo Shoot

Kemper

Ellie Kemper looked stunning at the CFDA Fashion Awards earlier this week and even though The Office has finished this doesn’t mean that this is the last we have seen of Kemper talking about her role on this show as she takes part in both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy discussions. Kemper talks about her experience coming onto The Office in season 5 when it was already a big hit and dealing with it finishing saying “the most emotional moment was when we filmed The Office finale. I was crying and crying, which is actually unusual for me.” I hadn’t watched The Office for two seasons but that final episode had me balling (one of these moments was when Joan Cusack revealed that she was Erin’s mother). As I said earlier in the week I really hope that Kemper gets to play roles beyond the standard girlfriend and funny best friend parts as she is a really terrific comedic actress.

What was your look of the week?

How Betty Got Her Groove Back and other Mad Men Musings

2 Jun

A few week’s ago I was joined by Kerensa Cadenas to talk about season 6 of Mad Men and specifically Don Draper losing his charismatic sheen. I thought it was time to catch up with Kerensa and see if these feelings towards Don have changed. So come join us to find out what we think of Don, those Megan/Bob Benson conspiracy theories and how Betty became the smartest person on the show.

MM_609_MY_0221_0189Emma: We have so much to talk about from the most recent episode (which was terrific) including; the state of Don, Peggy’s love/work life, all things Bob Benson (are his intentions honourable? Plus those short shorts), how Betty got her groove back and what the merger has added to this season.

First I want to mention the last discussion we had which came after episode 4 (“To Have and to Hold“) and this is when both of us were having some very strong, negative Don feelings and I was wondering how you feel about Don now that we are episode 9? It was funny that after we raged about Don so much after the start of the season, episode 5 showed Don in a pretty good light; he got to have a good father/son moment with Bobby (this Bobby is a lot of fun) and the lack of Sylvia made him seem less reprehensible. They also showed a great Don pitch moment, not to a client but Ted as he proposed the merger.

So Don’s great again, right? Not so much as he tried to assert his dominance with Sylvia in the bedroom and then thanks to her rejection he was reduced to a creepy hallway lurker. He’s probably never looked as pathetic as he did in his drugged up state desperately reaching for the woman he can’t have. This was coupled with some rather on the nose flashbacks (the prostitute who nursed him back to health was also the first woman he slept with – yep possibly the most overt Madonna/whore complex on TV in flashback form) and my sympathy with Don is pretty low all over again.

The merger has led to some interesting conflicts and comparisons as Ted and Don have been dick swinging with each other and it looks like Peggy is caught between the two men. In the last episode Peggy told Don that Ted “never makes me feel this way” as Don has a tendency to unload on Peggy and take all of his frustration out on her. Don’s response is that Ted “doesn’t know you” and it feels like he is using his knowledge of her past over her. In a way Ted doesn’t know her and this is clear when he rejects Peggy at the end of the episode when she tells him what happened with Abe (leaving out the part where she was the one who stabbed him). Ted is all fake smiles and doesn’t act like he knows her at all so maybe Don had a point. Peggy is caught between two bosses; one that she has romantic feelings for and one that treats her like shit. In a moment like this I want her to head to one of three places; for a cigarette with Joan, for a joint with Stan (so we can get another moment like this) or for cocktails with Megan.

MM_609_MY_0225_0800Speaking of the latter, I just really want something good to happen with Megan; we both spoke before about how much we like this character and it sucks that she is caught up in this Don Draper cycle. The marriage has felt doomed since the premiere (or really from the S5 finale) when they showed that Don isn’t listening to what she is saying. This has been repeated throughout the season and Megan has confessed these feelings of loneliness to her mother (who told her to make Don think of sex) and her co-star Arlene, who tried to kiss her. As you mentioned in an earlier email THAT Betty line summed up Don amazingly well:

“That poor girl. She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.”

I want to talk Betty, because somehow they have made this character likeable again (and she was definitely this episode’s MVP) but first I would like to hear your Don thoughts.

Kerensa: Since the last time we discussed Mad Men, my feelings for Don haven’t really changed. I’m continually frustrated by his actions, his lack of respect for basically everyone, all the “dick swinging” as you said and those flashbacks so over the top. Basically, every time Don’t onscreen, I’m doing this. And like we’ve talked about I like having irredeemable characters but for whatever reason as of late, I just don’t enjoy Don.

And that hall scene with Sylvia was one of the lowest, I think that we’ve seen Don, but that SONG. I feel like at the end of this week’s episode, we are yet again led to believe that maybe Don will try to commit to Megan again. But I doubt it.

And we must talk Betty because that line about Don–maybe was the most accurate description of him in the whole series.

MM_609_MY_0221_0540Emma: Yeah Betty got her groove back and she totally owned every scene with Don (and every scene she was in really). When we last talked about Betty I mentioned that this season was the first time in a long time that I liked this character and she’s continued to be this way this season. I find it interesting that we haven’t seen how Betty lost the weight (and I’m sure it isn’t through the Weight Watchers group she was attending) but I’m glad she’s not the punching bag that she’s been reduced to in past seasons. She was the one who seduced Don, she was the one who held all the power during their post-coital chat (Don likes to hug apparently and sex isn’t intimate, hmm). She delivered THE line that perfectly sums him up and the next day she’s gone, back to the life she loves while Don watches on alone.

I’m also glad that we got to see Betty being a good mother as this is another area where she’s been cold in the past. Though she does neglect to mention Gene (and like Don even considers Gene if what he said to Megan about Bobby is any indication), poor Gene. One day you will mean something. And thankfully they’ve given Bobby a personality this year.

What are your Betty thoughts?

Also the Mad Men conspiracy theories are going through the roof this week – first Bob continues to throw up major question marks (while looking totally cute in his short shorts) and now the links between Megan and Sharon Tate are in the mix after Megan wore this T-shirt. Is Megan doomed?

MM_609_MY_0221_1015Kerensa: It was really great to see Betty in that power position with Don because I feel like he made her feel less than that all the time while they were married.  And it does seem that she is happy with Henry because I feel like Henry treats her with respect that Don never did. And also, Betty will be an AMAZING politicians wife, like she’s gonna be running the show. Guaranteed.

That line is the most perfect thing this show has ever done. And I think was probably so telling to Don–who likes to think he’s this enigma–that there are people there who DO see through all his shit. I also wonder if hearing all that #realtalk from Betty will change things for him? I’m guessing not, but we can hope I guess.

Also, Don Draper likes spooning? Really? Like that’s a scenario I can’t imagine. I feel like he’d be one of those guys that you’d assume would just leave right after sex and then there he is being big spoon and you’d be supremely confused. And you KNOW he always has to be big spoon.

On to the conspiracies!

Yeah, what is going on with Bob? I’ve heard so many weird things–he’s Don’s son, the smoke monster (jk) or my favorite was that he’s actually Joan’s new gay BFF. Whatever is going on with Bob, as long as they keep putting James Wolk in short shorts, I won’t complain about Don. I swear.

Now, the Megan/Sharon Tate theory was super compelling to me. I just watched Robert Hendrickson’s documentary Manson (1973) at a local theater, so Sharon Tate and the Manson killings have been at the forefront of my mind. I feel like everything that’s been going on with Megan this season, despite her acting success, has at least for me been accompanied by this sense of dread and doom. I can’t pinpoint it, but every time I see her onscreen I just have this terrible feeling. And I really like Megan–as I know you do–so I really, really don’t want that to be the case.

What do you think about all the conspiracies?

MM_609_MY_0225_0493Emma: I just did a spit take at the image of Don wanting to be the big spoon. He really doesn’t seem to be the snuggling type.

The thing about Don is that he says he wants to change but I don’t know if he really does and it’s something they’ve repeated throughout. I think he likes the idea of being saved, but not the results. What happens if he can’t save the one he is with? And this brings me to the recent Mad Men conspiracy theories and I love all of this chatter, even if they are somewhat outlandish. Like you there’s something about Megan’s scenes this year that have this doom and gloom feeling. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s so alone and we know that Don will never love her the way he did before the orange sherbet incident and when she was still at SCDP or perhaps it’s something more sinister.

I was going to ask you about that documentary as the Manson Family murders are often mentioned when people discuss the end of the 60s and how this was the really dark side of the flower power era. Is this something that was discussed in this documentary?

On one hand I really don’t want Megan to die (because I like her) but in terms of the story I think a loss like this would have a huge impact on Don and how he behaves. Or it could send him into a destruction spiral. My other thought was with last year’s suicide clues everyone figured it might be Pete, but instead it was Lane – could the same happen this year? Instead of Megan it could be her co-star Arlene who is pretty relaxed about how safe it is to walk through Central Park at night? The impact from Arlene’s death would be small so it’s unlikely to be her. Other potentials could be Betty, who we’ve also seen head into the city without thinking of her surroundings and they’ve also done the classic trick of making the audience like her again. I know Matt Weiner loves Betty and so I also think this won’t happen as the political storyline is too juicy. So we swing back to Megan. I love most of these theories come from a t-shirt and sirens.

Now to our favourite short shorts wearing enigma and Bob Benson. The brilliance of this character is how much my opinion changes as to whether he is doing these things for good or bad (to put it simply) throughout an episode. I was so happy to see that he was with Joan (though things didn’t seem romantic adding credence to the gay theory) but then I was sure he was going to tell Pete about Roger’s stop. Instead he told a story about his father (he told Ken his father is dead, Ken is crazy suspicious of Bob) and showed concern for Pete’s predicament. He’s been hitching his wagon to Pete all season and his concern seems genuine but why? Pete’s mother mentioned that Pete’s father had affairs so maybe he’s Pete’s illegitimate half brother?!?! And it’s not as crazy as the Don relation and this show does love illegitimate children.

One non conspiracy relating question – what do you think of Pete and Joan’s conversations of late? Is he trying to hit on her? It’s also interesting that Joan holds Pete in such high regard (she claims that he’s the only one who hasn’t broken a promise to her) even though he set up the Jaguar business.

MM_609_MY_0225_1137Kerensa: Yeah, that was something that was mentioned in the Manson documentary. I also recently saw The Source Family–about another cult but one on the more “happy” end of the spectrum if you will. And both discussed the ways in which that time era–with all its upheaval–was a time that these things could be formed.

I agree with that. Megan could totally be a red herring. And I don’t think it’s Arlene because like you said there would be little to no impact on the world of our characters. I don’t want it to be Betty either, but could you imagine the fallout from that? I mean I think that would destroy Don.

I really don’t want Bob to be a bad guy. I think basically everyone on this show is a bad person–so it would be refreshing to have a character that doesn’t have any sort of agenda. And I really hope him and Joan are together together! I dunno about this theory of him as Pete’s half brother. I see where you are coming from with it, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. And if it does (or Bob as Don’s son) that’s really pushing Mad Men into major soap opera territory.

With Pete and Joan, I feel like he’s just lonely. His life’s a mess and he doesn’t have anyone to talk to. He really has no one he can confide in at the office and Joan, if I was Pete, would be the person I would go to because she’s the most levelheaded one there.

Emma: Yes the brother theory is totally soapy and so I expect they won’t go this far. I hope you’re right about Bob being a good person, this show sure needs one of those.

Will we find out more about Bob tonight?

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is a staff writer for Women and Hollywood. She also writes for This Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. She was the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and read her ridiculous thoughts about teen television at her website.

What’s in a T-Shirt? The Mad Men Megan Conspiracy Theory

30 May

Coming this Sunday I will be joined by Kerensa Cadenas to follow up our last Mad Men chat (“Falling Out of Love with Don Draper“) and one thing that we will definitely be talking about is the Megan Draper as Sharon Tate conspiracy theory that set Twitter alight yesterday. I just want to address it prior to this longer discussion as it seems to be part of the big Mad Men chatter that follows on from last season’s ‘Pete Campbell is going to kill himself’ clues. This ended with Lane hanging himself instead; is this another misdirect?

Megan balconyLet’s start with the t-shirt, which on a first watch I thought nothing more than “it’s a cute shirt” and it must be a warm night for Megan to be standing out on the balcony in so little. While I’m assuming that it is what Megan will be wearing to bed it’s very different to the formal nightwear that the female characters tend to wear on this show and Megan’s clothes in this episode were the most modern that we have seen so far. This isn’t in an ‘out there’ fashion forward way as with some of the other pieces we have seen this season, but as casual clothes that wouldn’t look out of place on the high street today.

While none of these things point towards the idea that Megan is in danger some eagle eyed viewers over at Reddit noticed that this t-shirt is one that was modelled by murdered actress Sharon Tate (who was killed a year later in 1969 by the Manson Family). Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant then confirmed on Twitter that it was “no coincidence” and this set in motion a chain of theorizing. Aspects that might point to a violent end for Megan include; the loud sirens in two of Megan’s scenes, both of Abe’s stabbing incidents, the mention of shootings in Central Park, the intruder in the previous episode, Megan is an actress as was Sharon Tate and Megan’s Sharon Tate like appearance in the promo photos for this season (Tom and Lorenzo are as usual producing some exceptional costume analysis on their weekly “Mad Style” feature and were the ones to originally mention this).

Other signs that point to a potentially grizzly end for Megan include the key art for this season, featuring a heavy police presence in the background. This could just be a reflection of the unrest that is being felt across the country and as I mentioned in my review I thought the sirens could be a sign that all of New York is experiencing a rise in crime; with the foreshadowing pointing to her co-star Arlene’s future and not Megan. I also thought it was interesting that neither Megan and Don mentioned the sirens, mostly likely because they have become used to them. Megan has become increasingly isolated as the season has progressed and if a suicide hadn’t happened last season then this might be part of the discussion instead of murder.

Megan tshirtAt The Daily Beast Jace Lacob has spoken to Janie Bryant about this choice of shirt for Megan and instead of pointing to Tate’s fate she explains that “It’s the Vietnam star. We saw a little bit of how Megan was so upset after Bobby Kennedy was shot, it really is so much a part of the turmoil happening during that period.” This might be Bryant attempting to deflect attention away from what could potentially be a huge spoiler (and we all know how creator Matthew Weiner feels about those) but it does also tie in with the amount of crime that is happening in the city and the political unrest nationwide.

So is this one conspiracy theory too many? Sunday’s discussion will also feature the enigma that is Bob Benson and plenty of theories have been popping up about this character as well. This is part of the fun surrounding Mad Men discourse; the subtext could be pointing to something completely different and thanks to the lack of spoilers (I know Weiner is a bit over the top with this but I also think it works for this show) it means that conversation like this can develop. It’s reminds me of watching Lost when we were all trying to understand the smoke monster and the numbers; it’s these aspects that can bring an audience together as we try to collectively figure out what these clues mean.

Is this t-shirt a sign of Megan’s doom or just a sign of a turbulent time? Should Megan’s co-star Arlene be worried about her future? What are the most outlandish Mad Men conspiracy theories that you have heard?

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

3 May

It’s “Look of the Week” time! Once again there has been a rich amount of different costumes across various shows this week. This is a snapshot of what I have been watching and each pick is for a variety of reasons including; what it adds to the storyline, what it tells us about the characters involved or simply because it looks good. This week we take a look at a couple of season finales and it is an all female edition. Near misses include the many flashback looks of New Girl and the return of Bert Macklin on Parks and Recreation.

Winner: Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife “What’s in the Box?”

The Good Wife finaleThe costume design on The Good Wife is flawless; from Diane’s epic statement jewellery to the tailored perfection of Alicia’s courtroom suits. Daniel Lawson who is the man behind these pieces writes an episode-by-episode column for InStyle and explains how he alters certain outfits and discusses the reasons behind his costume choices. Color is really important on The Good Wife and we have seen red used on multiple occasions to express how Alicia is feeling and this can impact the mood of the scene. Lawson explains that this Antonio Berardi dress was chosen because “Julianna and I didn’t want her to look like the typical candidate’s wife.” It’s a simple black dress with a twist and this is indicative of this final moment where it looks like Alicia is meeting Will, but instead she is making a huge move in regards to her career.  Bonus points go to the bold lip color (which I now really want – no surprise there). This was an excellent way to end the season and I cannot wait to see what the costume department brings us with all the change that is coming in season 5.

Runner Up: Megan Draper and Peggy Olson on Mad Men “The Flood”

MM_605_MY_1219_0624Every week I could simply write Janie Bryant is a genius as she continues to work her costume magic on Mad Men. In this scene Megan and Peggy are at an awards ceremony and both are in bold patterns that the late 60s is famous for. This isn’t a period for a wallflower when it comes to fashion and even Peggy is embracing the trend. Peggy’s dress is not as fashion forward as Megan’s and she is still playing it safe with bows and flowers. Megan is an actress after all (even though she is up for an advertising award) and so she is wearing the most flamboyant dress of all the female characters we see. It has an I Dream of Jeannie feel and even though these two women clash in both pattern and color there is warmth to this scene and between these two characters. I would love to see more interaction between Peggy and Megan as they could both benefit from a close friendship. The costuming in this moment contrasts with the rest of the episode after the news of Martin Luther King, Jr’s death is announced and the far away place the Megan’s dress evokes is just a fantasy.

Runner Up: Elizabeth Jennings on The Americans “The Colonel”

The Americans ElizabethThis is the third week in a row that Elizabeth Jennings from The Americans has featured on the list, but as it is the season 1 finale it felt appropriate for the show with the best wigs and disguises on TV to appear once again. This look is pretty similar to how Elizabeth usually appears, her hair is blonder and those aviators are not something Elizabeth would wear but other than that it’s not an elaborate disguise. It’s on this occasion that Elizabeth is closest to being caught by the FBI and if she had been apprehended it wouldn’t have taken Stan very long to ID her. It’s also fun to see how quick Elizabeth and Philip can shed their disguises and hopefully in season 2 they will show the process of how they become someone else. The Americans is so much more than wigs and costumes, but these aspects add a layer of fun to this spy drama.

Who would you choose as your look of the week?

The Dress

24 Apr

Here is something I wrote a while back and it was for a writing competition that was called “The ____ That Changed My Life” with the focus on something important in your wardrobe. I didn’t win, but I still like the piece I wrote and it’s got a pop culture theme so here is is:

A photograph from my first trip to New York City perfectly showcases the dress that means the most to me; the item of clothing in question is a simple French Connection floral jersey dress and the photo is a typically touristy one (hey, it was my first time). I’m standing on a shut-down Madison Avenue with the buildings looming above and the dress has a subtle pop of color that separates it from the mostly neutral tones of the people in the background and I somehow standout in this grand city, just for a moment.*

photo

There are dresses for a multitude of big moments in our lives; prom, weddings, a first date, an interview, so why would I pick this one that you wouldn’t necessarily notice amongst all the other ones that hang in my closet? For one thing it holds the power that only a favorite item of clothing can possess; to make you feel confident.

Growing up you would be more likely to find me in jeans, with a dress possibly making an appearance but only as worn over the jeans (it was the late 90s after all). As I got older and high school parties turned into university ones and the odd fancypants soiree was thrown, my collection of formal wear grew, but I still didn’t really have any dresses for everyday affairs. A few were added to my collection after I graduated that could be dressed up or down and my favorite was one I referred to as the Brokeback dress; not because it looked cowboy-esque but as it was a less frumpy version of Michelle Williams’ costuming in this movie . It wasn’t until later when I purchased ‘the dress’ that my collection really began to grow and I finally mastered the non-formal dress.

This is around the time that Mad Men first aired and it soon became apparent that it would influence what we would see on the catwalk and in stores. As someone who writes about TV now, and was in the process of getting a Masters in Film and TV at that time, this show had (and still has) a huge impact on my wardrobe. Prior to Mad Men there was Sex and the City which spawned just as much attention from the fashion world but there is something about the updated 60s style that appealed to my sensibilities. I could never pull off Carrie’s wonderfully daring approach but the influx of dresses taking their cues from Betty Draper was an instant win.

So pop culture is one place where I take my style cues from and New York City is one of the most filmed/sung about/photographed cities, so of course I wanted to look my best when I first visited and this dress makes me feel both super comfortable and stylish. It hugs all the right places and flatters the rest, it allows me to reveal my legs without being too self conscious and it works perfectly in both the summer and winter (just add tights and boots). Clothes can serve a multitude of functions and the most uncomfortable item can look stunning and you just have to hide the pain. I prefer the least amount of discomfort route; which is why at any event that requires me to wear a heel you will find me with my shoes in hand after a few hours (classy I know).

I now have other dresses in the same style from French Connection in an array of patterns and colors and now on days off from being stuck behind my computer you will likely find me in one of my growing collection. Instead of looking to Betty Draper, now it is Don’s new wife Megan that clothing stores seem to be emulating, there will probably be a hint of this evolution with my own dress choices.

Back to the dress in question and another reason why it continues to inspired me. The photo of me on Madison Avenue (home to Don Draper) holds a special place for me. There is something about me standing in that dress on such an iconic road, in such an iconic city that epitomizes how confident this dress makes me. It seems like there are endless possibilities and this dress makes me feel like Superman.

* The quality of the photo isn’t the best as it was taken with a disposable camera (yes I still use disposable cameras, I like the surprise element) and I can’t locate the disc that has these photos on them, so it is a photograph of a photograph. The colors are duller than they are in the original copy and for some reason it makes it look like I’ve used a filter to give a 70s vibe. I still like the picture even if I look a little dorky. 

Julie Hammerle

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