I have a fondness for Betty's floral print dresses of the earlier seasons, especially the one where she meets Henry Francis in town to "ask" for his "advice" on "the water reservoir."
And Jane has crazy fashion sense, with a personality to match.
Megan's arrival seemed to presage a flood of amazing clothing—I have a dress with a strikingly similar pattern—
but ever since she quit SCDP she's worn a uniform of capri pants (shudder), sweaters and boring "audition dresses." (No picture, because what's the point?)
(Edited to add that Megan does have some awesomely dressed actress friends, especially Julia.
There is not a lot I wouldn't do for that party dress.)
Whenever a group of women walks onscreen, I turn to my husband and say, "That, that and that. But not that." Vicarious shopping.
Ever since discovering the amazing Tom and Lorenzo Mad Men blog, I've come to appreciate the genius of Janie Bryant, the costumer. The costumes say just as much about the characters, their relationships to each other and their personal growth as the scripts do, with meanings attached to certain outfits that only become fully apparent over time.
My theory about Mad Men, which has some flaws, I'll admit, is that Joan Holloway-Harris-Holloway is the real tragic hero of the show, trapped in a time and a body that conspire to thwart her at every turn. Además, the woman is surrounded by idiots.
Think about it: she is by far the most competent person on the show. Unlike Don or Peggy (not idiots), she doesn't let her own ego get in the way of her job. She doesn't get falling-down drunk on a semi-regular basis. She doesn't sabotage others or lose her temper (well, hardly ever). She knows exactly what to do in case of someone losing his foot to a tragic/hilarious lawnmower accident.
And yet: she is constantly being leered at, undermined and degraded. Her talents and smarts are not often recognized (remember when she's reading the scripts for Harry?), and when they are, it's just another way for those around her to preen their own egos (remember the accordion scene?).
Yes, she can be mean.
"Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eyeholes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest."
"When Paul and I were together, the last thing I would have taken him for is open-minded."
BUT, think about it this way. Even today, in these supposedly "post-feminist" times (and "post-racial," don't let's forget "post-racial"), women are encouraged to compete with each other and tear each other down. Even the most enlightened among us can fall into this trap, and if you don't believe me, raise your hand if you've never said, "You're so much prettier than his new girlfriend!" Can we really expect Joan "My mother raised me to be admired" Holloway to not run down other women, especially when she feels threatened?
Phony Joanie is my tribute to Joan, though I'm not exactly preternaturally gifted on the "glide around the office like some magnificent ship" front. The rich color with a simple accent, the high neck, the fitted waist, the brooch—all of these say "Joan" to me, even though I picked up Phony Joanie three or four years before Mad Men premiered.
It was an amazing deal: just $5 at the sadly now-defunct Hala Vintage in Jersey City.
I think it was so cheap because the purple sash is slightly discolored from age.
You know what else adds personality?
One more thing:
Surprise! There's an airplane here to see you!
All photos by Claire Loeb!