Janie Bryant image by Elisabeth Caran
As huge Mad Men fans we are naturally in awe of Janie Bryant, the book-writing, Emmy-winning boss who designs the costumes on the AMC television show–now in its seventh and final season.
Bryant’s depiction of dress codes and coded dressing in the American office space in the late 1960s/early 1970s is crucial to the story of every episode. Her creations are their own characters, speaking to the viewership on several levels about the message-conveying power of surfaces and the ways they can be used to mentally manipulate others and also ourselves.
Bryant spoke to us on the phone about designing for characters’ traits–Joan’s “provocative” appreciation of her own body; Don’s desire to never change–and answered the question: Who has better style: Don Draper or Roger Sterling?