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Today's Inspiration

July 22, 2010
The Daily Beast is running my favorite essay from the book: The Sexual Alchemy of Don Draper.
Hope you lap it up. 
*Illustration by Priya Rajdev 

The Daily Beast is running my favorite essay from the book: The Sexual Alchemy of Don Draper.

Hope you lap it up. 

*Illustration by Priya Rajdev 

9:15am  |  68 notes   |  Don Draper 
July 19, 2010
"Just so you know, the people who talk that way think monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and just stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than shoeshine. You are the product. You, feeling something — that’s what sells.” - Don
Do blondes in cat masks sell?
(ad circa 1966)

"Just so you know, the people who talk that way think monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and just stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than shoeshine. You are the product. You, feeling something — that’s what sells.” - Don

Do blondes in cat masks sell?

(ad circa 1966)

6:59pm  |  16 notes   |  Advertising |  Don Draper 
July 2, 2010
Web-savvy Reader of Immense Attractiveness:
We created a little gift for you.
Christina Perry and Derrick Gee are two illustrators I commissioned for the Mad Men Unbuttoned book (pre-ordering is for winners!) to make it pretty. There are 5 original pieces and they are beautiful as this wallpaper you see above.
For this illustration we were trying to isolate what motivated us to do the book, we figured out that we loved so much was to getting closer to the characters by filling in the gaps. Looking at the history that surronds them and plugging it into the personal details of their lives. So Christina, Derrick and I imagined all the little treasures we would find in Don’s desk.
*A movie ticket from La Notte (one of Don’s favorite flicks)
*A copy of ‘Man in the Gray Flannel Suit’ which appears on his Sterling Cooper bookshelf.
*Keys to the Cadillac
*Mints for kissing your wife, ex-wife, or otherwise.
*Engraved zippo.
*Cufflinks in case a change of shirts is order.
*And of course, Don’s bread and butter: some Luckys.
Just right click and save! And here is What’s in Joan’s Purse?

Web-savvy Reader of Immense Attractiveness:

We created a little gift for you.

Christina Perry and Derrick Gee are two illustrators I commissioned for the Mad Men Unbuttoned book (pre-ordering is for winners!) to make it pretty. There are 5 original pieces and they are beautiful as this wallpaper you see above.

For this illustration we were trying to isolate what motivated us to do the book, we figured out that we loved so much was to getting closer to the characters by filling in the gaps. Looking at the history that surronds them and plugging it into the personal details of their lives. So Christina, Derrick and I imagined all the little treasures we would find in Don’s desk.

*A movie ticket from La Notte (one of Don’s favorite flicks)

*A copy of ‘Man in the Gray Flannel Suit’ which appears on his Sterling Cooper bookshelf.

*Keys to the Cadillac

*Mints for kissing your wife, ex-wife, or otherwise.

*Engraved zippo.

*Cufflinks in case a change of shirts is order.

*And of course, Don’s bread and butter: some Luckys.

Just right click and save! And here is What’s in Joan’s Purse?

May 17, 2010
"A friend suggested I watch the series, "Mad Men". It feels like deja vu….this photo was taken in 1960 in Manhattan (the series takes place in the same year and place)….my mother and stepfather (a television executive) look a lot like the main characters Don Draper and his wife Betty. It all feels so familiar…the hair styles, the thin ties, the smoky air, the cocktails…….the extra-martial affairs……”
This photoset of childhood in Manhattan is delicious. Give it a click through, you will enjoy.
I promise.

"A friend suggested I watch the series, "Mad Men". It feels like deja vu….this photo was taken in 1960 in Manhattan (the series takes place in the same year and place)….my mother and stepfather (a television executive) look a lot like the main characters Don Draper and his wife Betty. It all feels so familiar…the hair styles, the thin ties, the smoky air, the cocktails…….the extra-martial affairs……

This photoset of childhood in Manhattan is delicious. Give it a click through, you will enjoy.

I promise.

1:19pm  |  178 notes   |  Betty Draper |  Fashion |  history |  Don Draper 
May 3, 2010
“How about a movie? I hear The Apartment is good,” Joan baits Roger, waiting for an opportunity to describe the misfortune of Fran Kubelik, a congenial elevator operator played by Shirley MacLaine who sleeps with the married men her office building. “The way those men treated that poor girl, handing her around like a tray of canapés?” Joan snaps when Roger says nothing, “She tried to commit suicide”.
                             
This exchange comes on heels of a hotel room tryst where Roger suggests Joan get her own apartment so they could stop sneaking around.
“Don’t you like things the way they are?” Joan asks while re-adjusting her dress.
 “Are you kidding?” Roger responds. “This has been the best year of my life. Do you have any idea how unhappy I was before I met you? I was thinking about leaving my wife.”
                           
Released in 1960, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment likely sparked similar spats between professional men and the women who loved them (no, not their wives—the other women who loved them). Jack Lemmon stars as a hapless middle-manager whose apartment is considered community property by his bosses: use the pad to conduct extra-marital liaisons. The suicide attempt to which Joan refers comes after MacLaine’s Kubelik, object of affection to Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter, is faced with the grim realization that Baxter’s Sheldrake, played by Fred MacMurray, is, despite his apparent interest in her, is cold, rational, and unlikely to leave his wife. Sound like anyone we know?
                

“How about a movie? I hear The Apartment is good,” Joan baits Roger, waiting for an opportunity to describe the misfortune of Fran Kubelik, a congenial elevator operator played by Shirley MacLaine who sleeps with the married men her office building. “The way those men treated that poor girl, handing her around like a tray of canapés?” Joan snaps when Roger says nothing, “She tried to commit suicide”.

                             

This exchange comes on heels of a hotel room tryst where Roger suggests Joan get her own apartment so they could stop sneaking around.

“Don’t you like things the way they are?” Joan asks while re-adjusting her dress.

 “Are you kidding?” Roger responds. “This has been the best year of my life. Do you have any idea how unhappy I was before I met you? I was thinking about leaving my wife.”

                           

Released in 1960, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment likely sparked similar spats between professional men and the women who loved them (no, not their wives—the other women who loved them). Jack Lemmon stars as a hapless middle-manager whose apartment is considered community property by his bosses: use the pad to conduct extra-marital liaisons. The suicide attempt to which Joan refers comes after MacLaine’s Kubelik, object of affection to Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter, is faced with the grim realization that Baxter’s Sheldrake, played by Fred MacMurray, is, despite his apparent interest in her, is cold, rational, and unlikely to leave his wife. Sound like anyone we know?

                

April 27, 2010
A selection from Don’s office library:
“By the time they had lived seven years in the little house on Greentree Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, they both detested it. There were many reasons, none of them logical, but all of them compelling. For one thing, the house had a kind of evil genius for displaying proof of their weaknesses and wiping out all traces of their strengths. 
—Sloan Wilson, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

A selection from Don’s office library:

By the time they had lived seven years in the little house on Greentree Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, they both detested it. There were many reasons, none of them logical, but all of them compelling. For one thing, the house had a kind of evil genius for displaying proof of their weaknesses and wiping out all traces of their strengths. 

—Sloan Wilson, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.


You guys! We’ve never discussed the Most Important Outfit of All: Don Draper’s uniform! The gray flannel suit.
So the gray flannel suit gets a bad wrap; the single breasted, three buttoned, narrow lapelled, tapered trouser is cultural short hand for the stultifying conformity of the 1950s and early ‘60s (with the accompanying necktie serving as a metaphorical noose. ) No other dress style of the modern era elicits with such scorn as the gray suit.  This is thanks in part to the 1960 book The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and the Gregory Peck movie based on the novel . The suit in Sloan Wilson’s story is emblematic of pervasive soullessness in the mechanized world,  making men numb to themselves and their families and their morals.

Yet the reason for the mass adoption of the suit was not likely due to thoughtless conformity. Before the late 1960’s men didn’t really own very many clothes! As men moved off the factory floor and into a corporate building the new standardized uniform became the gray flannel suit. From lowly office drone, to FBI spook, or IBM engineer, the men riding the train into Grand Central wore the same wore the same thing (sometimes accented with a brimmed hat, tweed overcoat, and a handy umbrella).
 
 The gray suit was an acceptable wardrobe to wear daily that didn’t require much upkeep nor varied season to season. And while yes, the suit was a type of uniform, to make the historic verdict that men who donned the outfit did so out of unquestioned conformity is too simplistic.
 
According a Time magazine article “The Masculine Mode,” from 1964, the American male over 30 actually preferred to dress similarly to everyone around him. “If one of his colleagues — or two of them — turns up in the same outfit he is wearing, he does not feel embarrassed, as would his wife. He feels reassured.”
In Don’s case, as for most men in gray flannel suits, their business uniform allowed them to singal a sense privilege and status that a farm boy on Madison would not generally be able to access.
Related Links:
* Somewhere in Time: Conform and Function [Ivy Style]
*Man in a Gray Flannel Trap [LIFE archive 1956]
*Brooks Brothers Don Draper Edition [Colider]

You guys! We’ve never discussed the Most Important Outfit of All: Don Draper’s uniform! The gray flannel suit.

So the gray flannel suit gets a bad wrap; the single breasted, three buttoned, narrow lapelled, tapered trouser is cultural short hand for the stultifying conformity of the 1950s and early ‘60s (with the accompanying necktie serving as a metaphorical noose. ) No other dress style of the modern era elicits with such scorn as the gray suit.  This is thanks in part to the 1960 book The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and the Gregory Peck movie based on the novel . The suit in Sloan Wilson’s story is emblematic of pervasive soullessness in the mechanized world,  making men numb to themselves and their families and their morals.

Yet the reason for the mass adoption of the suit was not likely due to thoughtless conformity. Before the late 1960’s men didn’t really own very many clothes! As men moved off the factory floor and into a corporate building the new standardized uniform became the gray flannel suit. From lowly office drone, to FBI spook, or IBM engineer, the men riding the train into Grand Central wore the same wore the same thing (sometimes accented with a brimmed hat, tweed overcoat, and a handy umbrella).

 The gray suit was an acceptable wardrobe to wear daily that didn’t require much upkeep nor varied season to season. And while yes, the suit was a type of uniform, to make the historic verdict that men who donned the outfit did so out of unquestioned conformity is too simplistic.

According a Time magazine article The Masculine Mode,” from 1964, the American male over 30 actually preferred to dress similarly to everyone around him. “If one of his colleagues — or two of them — turns up in the same outfit he is wearing, he does not feel embarrassed, as would his wife. He feels reassured.”

In Don’s case, as for most men in gray flannel suits, their business uniform allowed them to singal a sense privilege and status that a farm boy on Madison would not generally be able to access.

Related Links:

Somewhere in Time: Conform and Function [Ivy Style]

*Man in a Gray Flannel Trap [LIFE archive 1956]

*Brooks Brothers Don Draper Edition [Colider]

November 30, 2009
One of the things Don actually admits to, under extreme interrogation by Bobby and extreme alcohol intake, is he likes the movie La Notte! Well, what a svelte cineaste Don is. Notte was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (Story of a Love Affair, Blow-Up), it stars a personal favorite actor, and Draper-esque prototype, the above pictured Marcello Mastroianni.Have you ever read James Joyce’s The Dead? Imagine that, but way more Italian. There’s a focus on memory and the resurgence of the past, on intangible relationships, on wandering through life like sleepwalkers, half alive, half dead. (But keeping with the Italian thing, there’s also some DANCING.) It’s about a man and his wife who engage in flirtations and affairs until the end, when she wakes up one morning and tells him she doesn’t love him anymore. Hmmmmm.There’s a big party scene where Giovanni, the husband, socializes and gladhands while his wife lingers on the edges of things, there as a trophy, lonely in a crowd of people. The similarity should strike you pretty quickly if you recall Don and Betty at the Kentucky Derby party.  It doesn’t end there. Giovanni is a restrained man-child, someone who has everything he could want but can’t manage to connect to the happiness those trappings ostensibly entail. His indecisiveness, his recklessness, and his creative frustration (he is a writer) remind us of our own leading man.P.S.! As a film history side note, are you interested in why Don loves foreign film so much? Well, I’ll tell you! The educated consumer, middle class, with tendencies toward art, totally gave up on American cinema around the 50s and into the 60s. In short, this is because American 50’s cinema sucked. Badly. It was all gimmicks and wide screen and teenage idols like James Dean romping around — not serious enough for a man of Don’s taste. This is when imports took off, and in particular, Italian cinema boomed. The neo-realist movement, referred to by some as “male weepies”, really got an American audience interested. The French Nouvelle Vague and the British working class “Kitchen Sink” movement was also right around this time, and provided a foreign escape route from the American chaff of the day.
• footnote - by Natasha Simons

One of the things Don actually admits to, under extreme interrogation by Bobby and extreme alcohol intake, is he likes the movie La Notte! Well, what a svelte cineaste Don is. Notte was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (Story of a Love Affair, Blow-Up), it stars a personal favorite actor, and Draper-esque prototype, the above pictured Marcello Mastroianni.

Have you ever read James Joyce’s The Dead? Imagine that, but way more Italian. There’s a focus on memory and the resurgence of the past, on intangible relationships, on wandering through life like sleepwalkers, half alive, half dead. (But keeping with the Italian thing, there’s also some DANCING.) It’s about a man and his wife who engage in flirtations and affairs until the end, when she wakes up one morning and tells him she doesn’t love him anymore. Hmmmmm.

There’s a big party scene where Giovanni, the husband, socializes and gladhands while his wife lingers on the edges of things, there as a trophy, lonely in a crowd of people. The similarity should strike you pretty quickly if you recall Don and Betty at the Kentucky Derby party.  It doesn’t end there. Giovanni is a restrained man-child, someone who has everything he could want but can’t manage to connect to the happiness those trappings ostensibly entail. His indecisiveness, his recklessness, and his creative frustration (he is a writer) remind us of our own leading man.

P.S.! As a film history side note, are you interested in why Don loves foreign film so much? Well, I’ll tell you! The educated consumer, middle class, with tendencies toward art, totally gave up on American cinema around the 50s and into the 60s. In short, this is because American 50’s cinema sucked. Badly. It was all gimmicks and wide screen and teenage idols like James Dean romping around — not serious enough for a man of Don’s taste. This is when imports took off, and in particular, Italian cinema boomed. The neo-realist movement, referred to by some as “male weepies”, really got an American audience interested. The French Nouvelle Vague and the British working class “Kitchen Sink” movement was also right around this time, and provided a foreign escape route from the American chaff of the day.

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

November 26, 2009
Don is not interested in your dime-store critique of the capitalist ‘system.’

Don is not interested in your dime-store critique of the capitalist ‘system.’

2:46am  |  43 notes   |  Midge Daniels |  Season 1 |  babylon |  Don Draper 
Let us all be thankful for restorative weekends in Palm Springs.

Let us all be thankful for restorative weekends in Palm Springs.

2:42am  |  32 notes   |  Don Draper |  Palm Springs |  The Jet Set |  Season 1