Monday, 9 March 2009

Mad Men 4 Alfies: Part 1

By guest writer, Katie Lipton

Since Mad Men hit our screens, I have to confess I've been completely hooked. I love the show's aesthetic, the structured, beautiful colour, perfect lines and shapely cuts. It makes me think that perhaps we’ve all got a little bit sloppy and I personally would like to get back to the creativity and experimental attitude from the mad men era.

In a five part series of posts, I'll be exploring the details that keep me addicted to watching Mad Men; the fashion, the jewellery, the hair styles, the interior design and of course the advertising. With the dealers at Alfies that specialize in the 1950s & 60s eras, it’s easy to be transformed into Betty or Joan, and get rid of our lazy naughties ways…oooh exciting!

The Fashion

It’s not just the dynamic characters and snappy, quick dialogue that make the life of the turbo-powered advertising agency Sterling Cooper so intriguing. It’s the clothes!

With style to die for, the characters in Mad Men look both charismatic and stylish. Don Draper looks impeccable, as does the entire male cast. The men are in plaid suits with all the sleek trimmings — tie pins, Jaeger-LeCoultre watches, fedoras, monogrammed dress shirts, and elegant slim ties — with their hair perfectly Brylcreemed into place.

Roger Sterling rocks the three piece suit in a way that makes him sexy, suave, and sophisticated while Pete Campbell’s blue plaid suits are a thing of pure beauty. What’s great about the male cast’s wardrobe is the way it reflects their character and personality in a way I just don’t feel a mans’ outfit does these days...has Mad Men stylist Janie Bryant turned Don Draper, Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling into the most fanciable men on television?

Whether it's Betty's cashmere casual or Joan's form-fitting office wear, the women always look simply gorgeous and utterly feminine. I also love how the outfits are juxtaposed against each other to further distinguish character. From Joan, the sexy secretary with the sumptuous hour glass figure (wouldn’t you kill for that waist!) who wears skirts and blouses that really make the most of her assets, to Betty, the picture perfect wife and suburban princess, who is always playing the part in her belted crinoline dresses and pearls, cigarette pants and perfect sweater or cardigan.

Their outfits all reflect a mischievous primness that designers today are increasingly trying to recreate. I say…why recreate when you can have the original vintage 50’s and 60’s clothing from Alfies?

From the top: the leading ladies of Mad Men looking stunning. A 1960s pink crystal embroidered chiffon dress from Persiflage at Alfies. 1950s Hawaiian Cotton green fish print circle dress with fish appliques and a 1950's Pink dropwaist soft folded dress, both from The Girl Can't Help It at Alfies.

From top left: 1950's felt hat with red parrot detail with green bakelite beak from Tin Tin Collectables. A pair of black patent and three different shades of blue stilettos and dark blue patent leather handbag both from June Victor. A set 1960's Gucci suitcases from Paolo Bonino. All from Alfies Antique Market.

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