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Thursday, 21 March 2013

In Spring, the grown woman's thoughts turn to (Mad) Men

Brrrrr. Looking Our Best (LOB) is way too cold to rustle up much enthusiasm over new season collections. Gazing at rails of sleeveless blouses and bum-freezing dresses feels ridiculous while shuffling around the stores clad in full Inuit rigout topped with a domestic water tank lagging jacket. The calendar says Spring, but it’s still November on LOB’s radar.

But hello! Here are words to bring warmth to LOB’s chilly heart:  Mad Men Season 6 returns to our telly screens on 10th April. To paraphrase Shelley, if Mad Men comes,  can Spring be far behind? (This blog is so classy, you even get poetic references thrown in). 

Series creator Matthew Weiner promises this new season will be “very much a reflection of the period that we chose”.  1968 is the year in question,  so will we see Don sporting a kaftan, Pete with with an Afro? LOB has also been musing on which looks the award-winning show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, will adopt for the lead female characters. What Joan, Betty and Peggy (and laterally, the new Mrs Don Draper, Megan)
 wear plays a significant part in communicating each character’s role and personality. Bryant could well direct her sharp style gaze towards Ossie Clark. His signature look of the period was bias cut dresses in gossamer chiffon topped with huge floppy hats. When Clark married textile designer Celia Birtwell in 1968, they virtually became fashion royalty. The couple are immortalised in David Hockney’s painting, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 
and it remains one of the most visited works in Tate Britain. Clark was killed by his gay ex-lover in 1996, but now the Designers at Debenhams range includes a new collection this season bearing the iconic Ossie Clark London label, designed by Nic Georgiou. The perfect excuse, then,  to indulge in nostalgia for sixties style and pick looks from the current label for those Mad Men women.

Joanie may now be the all-woman partner in the all-male management world of SCDP, but something tells us she won’t be donning the pin striped suiting anytime soon. This black and orange print dress, being bias cut, easily accommodates womanly curves. As Celia Birtwell once said “Women felt pretty (in Ossie’s designs). His dresses were never vulgar or rude.” Perfect for our Joanie, then.

We really hope that desperate housewife Betty has stopped gorging on the leftovers, forsaken the nylon housecoat,  and headed to the nearest fashion boutique instead. This dreamy blue and grey printed chiffon maxi dress with bell sleeves could catch former hubby Don’s roving eye again.

Love her or loathe her, aspiring thespian Megan and chanteuse of the cringing Zou Bisou Bisou, has been the most fashion-forward of the Mad Men women so far. 
Channelling the military styles favoured by the King’s Road set in this royal blue Belsize jacket and print Oxford trousers could be right up the rebellious Mrs Draper’s street. 

Of course Peggy is the real creative force behind SCDP’s best campaigns, and that has finally been recognised by a rival agency. 
As trouser suits became a strong trend in the sixties, she could look the business in this black scalloped edge Kensington jacket and matching trousers -  and without a backward glance to Pete and his Sugarberry Hams and Secore Laxatives. 

All clothes from Ossie Clark London at Debenhams

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