mad men

JANIE BRYANT083 (c)Elisabeth Caren_R2

 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?

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How to Dress Like Don Draper

draper-tux

Image courtesy AMC

What would Don Draper do? Careful down that road. You might end up wasted, fired or worse.

But what would Don Draper wear? Better question.

The enigmatic and pathological main character of AMC’s Mad Men TV show dresses sharp, with a “classic gentleman” look built on straightforward ties, tan car coats, oxfords or derby shoes–and when stepping out: black tuxedo.

To really get in touch with Draper’s style, remember consistency is key. Pretty much the only change in his wardrobe as Mad Men arced from the 1960s to the 1970s was that he started wearing more stripes.

Clothes and accessories to keep you draped up and dripped out, so to speak:

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Haspel | Behind the Brand

haspel

Haspel invented the seersucker suit in New Orleans, and not like Puff Daddy “invented the remix.” This is for real.

The classic brand goes a lot deeper than one fabric, and with two new designers steering its style, we figured it’s a good time to go behind the brand with interviews and photos from Haspel’s showroom in New York.

But for one sec, let’s appreciate their heritage.

Haspel was born in New Orleans in 1909. They’ve outfitted every United States President post-Coolidge, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Jon Hamm in Mad Men. Without Haspel, who knows if we’d have the idea of American suits that keep you literally cool. Or suits that you could wash and dry at home. (They pioneered wash-and-wear, too.)

These days, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos are the design force driving Haspel (you may know them from their own brands Shipley & Halmos and S&H Athletics). They were hired last year by Laurie Aronson Haspel, whose great-grandfather Joseph Haspel started the company and whose grandfather Joseph Haspel, Jr., remains something of a company spirit animal.

Jeff Halmos (on the right, above) spoke to us about taking a serious but light approach to handling so much history, about what’s fresh for Haspel for spring–and about what a rad dude Joseph Haspel, Jr., really was.

Shop: Haspel | spring suits | all suits | men’s style

Portrait courtesy Jeff Halmos; all other images by Brad Ogbonna

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If you’re an avid reader of our sister blog, The Thread, you might have caught our recent coverage of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)—including a Q&A with its organizers, photos from its opening-night Jimi Hendrix flick, and a look at menswear mastermind Raf Simons’ new gig.

SIFF is the biggest festival of its kind—this year’s consisted of 435 films screened back-to-back at multiple venues during the course of 25 days—and while we hit upon a few highlights, we couldn’t come close to seeing it all. Which is why we asked our Nordstrom colleague Liz Marklewicz (a film buff whose fiancé gave her a SIFF pass as a gift—take note on that one, guys) to catch us up.

Keep reading to preview Liz’s three favorite SIFF flicks—which encompass Australian musician Nick Cave, Dazed & Confused director Richard Linklater, Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and more.

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Are you into #hashtag quote-unquote “fashion”? Maybe not. But are you on-board with attractive members of the fairer sex displaying creativity and good taste via uniquely expressive and eye-catching clothing choices? If you answered “No”…Well, that’s probably not possible.

Seen here are our latest favorite images from our sister blog, The Thread—where New York Fashion Week is currently in full swing. Head on over for tons more street style, celeb spottings, backstage antics, and runway reports. And don’t say we never did you any favors.

—  —  —

[Above: One of our Nordstrom Beauty Spot guest bloggers, nail artist Madeline Poole
a certified hit on our Tumblr page, thanks in no small part to a devastating
girl-next-door combo of red nails x white Chucks.]

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Jessica Paré, aka Megan Draper (yes, that Megan Draper) from Mad Men, front row at Jason Wu.

And below: In our opinion, the cream of the street-style crop—so far—by our own roving photographer, Crystal Nicodemus. There’s a school of thought out there that such assertive “fashion” is capable of physically repelling men. We are not repelled. Keep trying, women of Fashion Week—we insist.




 
 

[Street style by Crystal Nicodemus; Jessica Paré photographed by Mary O’Regan.]

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ANNIVERSARY SALE CONTINUES. Don’t wait too long, though—prices go up August 5. Previously, we showed what inspired the Expert Picks of creative director Andy Comer. Today, get to know tailored clothing buy planner Ryan Sharp, a man who’s as into Gucci loafers as he is video games. Shop Ryan’s picks here, and read more about him below.


[L: David Beckham—a baller in more ways than one.
R: The view from Bandits Bar, a Seattle spot famous for tamales.]

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[L: Ryan’s loafer game is strong. | R: John Slattery, aka Roger Sterling of Mad Men.
Not wearing his signature three-piece suit…but still.]


[How Ryan kicks up his Guccis and blows off some steam.]

MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Who’s your top style icon?
RYAN SHARP:
“I’d say David Beckham. From being casual courtside to formal on the red carpet, he’s always looking sharp. I’m not sure how much Posh has to do with it, but the looks he puts together are generally on point.”

MSD: Like many guys, you occasionally unwind at the end of the day with the Xbox. What are your current favorite games?
RYAN SHARP:
“Right now, I’m pretty into Borderlands 2. I rotate in Skyrim, Call of Duty, Dishonored and am always down for a round of FIFA. I’m looking forward to attending PAX Prime this summer, and I’ll hopefully get a chance to try out the Xbox One, PS4 and some upcoming games.”

MSD: What trends are you most excited about for fall?
RYAN SHARP: “I really like all the different patterns and textures for fall, the tweeds, corduroys, Fair Isle sweaters, etc. All the vested looks are really nice, too. Three-piece suits are very Roger Sterling—they’re definitely dressier and make a statement.”

MSD: How do you refuel in your time off?
RYAN SHARP: “When the weather is nice, I enjoy exploring the city, trying out new restaurants and bars. It does have a tendency to rain up here, so I also enjoy reading or playing Xbox at home (when can I get my Xbox One?).”

MSD: What brought you to the Seattle area?
RYAN SHARP: “I grew up in Orange County, California. My girlfriend moved up here for work; after I visited once, it was an easy decision to move up here, too.”

MSD: How would you describe your personal style?
RYAN SHARP: “Smart casual? I’ll wear a suit or a sportcoat with jeans to the office. Lately on the weekends, it’s normally my A.P.C.s and maybe a Todd Snyder shirt.”


A few of our favorites from Ryan’s Anniversary Sale picks (from left):
Joseph Abboud sportcoat | Santoni double-monk | Dockers slim chinos | Hugo Boss dress shirt

 

FOR MORE, SHOP:
ALL OF RYAN SHARP’S PICKS
ALL EXPERT PICKS
ALL MEN’S ANNIVERSARY SALE

 
 

[Interview by Laura Oxford. Instagram photos by Ryan Sharp. David Beckham photo via Esquire UK; John Slattery photo via GQ. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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When Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner—a bona fide visionary with an armload of Emmys under his belt—has an odd-sounding request, his team at cable-saviors AMC have learned to listen. Such was the case with the extremely specific idea he had for hyping the show’s upcoming sixth season. To quote The New York Times:

“…Inspired by a childhood memory of lush, painterly illustrations on TWA flight menus, [Weiner] decided to turn back the promotional clock. He pored over commercial illustration books from the 1960s and ’70s and sent images to the show’s marketing team, which couldn’t quite recreate the look he was after. ‘Finally,’ [Weiner] said, ‘they just looked up the person who had done all these drawings that I really loved, and they said: Hey, we’ve got the guy who did them. And he’s still working. His name is Brian Sanders.'”

We decided to look up Sanders for ourselves. Amidst a long and illustrious career in England, the work that most caught our eye on the illustrator’s curriculum vitae comes from the 1960s, when Sanders convinced Stanley Kubrick to allow him to document the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sanders observed and sketched on-set twice a week for over a year, later working on larger paintings in his studio. An excerpt of this amazing record appears below. See more of Sanders’s artwork here.

 

Here’s a look at how that little project turned out:

…And in case you need a reminder of why to watch Mad Men (besides the impeccable style inspiration), here’s one of our favorite quotes—Don Draper explaining why he seldom says ‘Thank you’ to his valued employees:

 
 

[Artwork © Brian Sanders. Mad Men poster and clip courtesy of AMC.]

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The season-five finale of Mad Men a few nights ago ended with a brief chain of events that threatened to decimate the central premise of the entire season—namely, a new Don Draper: less work-obsessed, more monogamous, and less haunted (literally) by demons from his past.

Despite the revelatory plot twist, it was hardly shocking to see classic Draper reemerge—and beguile the best-looking ’60s mod-era minx in the bar, and her friend, without even trying.

What was unexpected, though, was this season’s occasional loosening-up of the definitive Mad Men uniform  (trim suit + white shirt + narrow tie). Secondary characters came into their own, style-wise, and even Draper and Roger Sterling relaxed a little. Read on for our top five less-buttoned-up looks of the season.


1. Off-Duty Don. He wore this timeless, casual-yet-polished combo to the office—on a Sunday. Take a cue and make an effort, even when you don’t have to. Shop V-Neck Sweaters.
Shown: Etro | Kenzo | Dockers

 


2. “Dinner-Party” Roger. Couldn’t resist including this scene of Sterling, in the bath with his quasi-estranged second wife, hallucinating that he’s at Yankee Stadium. Directly prior, he was talked into trying LSD by a group of hippie intellectuals—while wearing a perfect navy blazer and power tie (Sterling’s version of ‘casual,’ as opposed to his standard three-piece suit). Shop Navy Blazers.
Shown: Hickey Freeman | Psycho Bunny | Hugo

 


3. Stan Rizzo’s Stripes. Mad Men nails all the differences—in personality and attire—between account men and creative types. Rizzo, an art director, makes casual-staple polo shirts look office-ready on a daily basis, thanks to a trim fit and clean lines. Shop Polo Shirts.
Shown: Rag & Bone | Gant Rugger | Boss Orange

 


4. Harry Crane’s Adventurous Side. We decided to pass up the vibrant, prep-staple plaid dinner jackets donned by Draper, Cosgrove and Campbell early in the season, and instead focus on the subtler, but still statement-making patterns that TV-exec-schmoozing Crane has caught on to. Shop Plaid Sportcoats.
Shown: Hart Schaffner Marx | Psycho Bunny | Hart Schaffner Marx

 


5. Ginsberg’s Creative Streak.
The new guys’ clothes are like his thoughts: scattered, a little messy, but inevitably a glimpse of brilliance shines through. His pattern-mixing here is a travesty, but his printed shirt is as on-point in 2012 as it was in 1967. Shop Novelty-Print Shirts.
Shown: Etro | Eton | Kenzo

 

In Closing: We’re sad to see Mad Men go—but at least the new season of True Blood premiered the same night. Which means less Megan, but more of this guy. Fair enough.

 

 [Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products shown. Images courtesy of AMC and Lionsgate. Don, Stan and Harry via GQ.com; Roger and Ginsberg via polentical.com.]

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Mad Men Finale

Mad Men’s fifth season comes to a close this Sunday night at 10/9c. This long-delayed, much-anticipated season has seen Don Draper get a new wife, a (temporary) new work-life balance, and endure 30 whole seconds of a Beatles record before getting up to turn it off and pour another Scotch. Old-school ad man Roger Sterling dropped acid. Pete Campbell finally got punched in the face. And Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce “promoted” its first female partner—while another partner unexpectedly “resigned.”

After all that, there’s no telling what will go down Sunday night. But two things are for sure: Draper’s late-season return to form will continue to put the mere mortals of The Pitch (AMC’s reality-TV version of Mad Men’s ad-agency drama) to shame; and, the clothes will be impeccable, as per usual.

Check back next week for our own full-season style recap. Until then—
Shop: Trim Suits | Narrow Ties | Trim-Fit Dress Shirts | Tie Clips

 

[Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom or products mentioned. Photo courtesy of AMC.]

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