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Today's Inspiration

April 8, 2012

Thinking about Zoobie’s look: Who are you, Polly Maggoo? comes to mind. It’s a 1966 french art house mockumentary about a young model played by Dorothy McGowan.

"I’m twenty years old and I’m in love with love a young man and I yielded to him, now when I see him in the street, he seems to don’t know me anymore. Desperate."

"Desperate, desperate.."

Work that nude lipstick. 

9:22pm  |  311 notes   |  megan draper |  fashion 
August 9, 2010
Pryce’s suit is purebred English: with vest, tie with a full Windsor knot, in muted browns, grays, and blues—if you want to get cheeky you could go cream—a white pocket square (no patterns), with the shirt quite starchy with hard collar. (He’s an interesting contrast as Don’s ties are getting ever-thinner.) And on the jacket, beautiful buttonholes. As Oscar Wilde wrote, “A really well made buttonhole is the only link between art and nature.” An Englishman’s business style rested upon the idea that through conformity to tradition there is dignity.

Pryce’s suit is purebred English: with vest, tie with a full Windsor knot, in muted browns, grays, and blues—if you want to get cheeky you could go cream—a white pocket square (no patterns), with the shirt quite starchy with hard collar. (He’s an interesting contrast as Don’s ties are getting ever-thinner.) And on the jacket, beautiful buttonholes. As Oscar Wilde wrote, “A really well made buttonhole is the only link between art and nature.” An Englishman’s business style rested upon the idea that through conformity to tradition there is dignity.

3:01pm  |  33 notes   |  Lane Pryce |  Fashion |  Men's suits 
August 3, 2010
Betty Draper loves a makeover. She’s redone her home, her hair, and her wardrobe, all in attempts to be her own woman, and yet! Betty’s reinventions are all tied (like she’ll always be tied!?) to Don, and this latest incarnation of Elizabeth Francis nee Draper nee Hofstadt? No different than the rest. 

As Don’s wife, Betty was Grace Kelly at her height. Like a movie star dropped in Ossining, her wardrobe, hair, and makeup all served to enhance her youthful yet polished beauty. She looks like a living, breathing Barbie Doll, ready to be shown off at industry events in Manhattan.  
As her first marriage starts to disintegrate, Betty, no fool, has her second lined up—and a new look to go along with it. If Betty is some 6 or so years younger than Don, and Don is at least 6 years younger than Henry (based on greyness of hair and age of adult children, approximately), then she’s at least a decade younger than her new husband. Unlike that strumpet Jane Siegel Sterling, Betts realizes the gravity of her situation—now the wife of a respected lawyer/political figure in the Republican Party, she’s going to dress the part.
You can see her transformation begin in Season 3—by the time Margaret’s wedding rolls around, Betty has swapped out her trademark candy confection-gowns for an icy blue suit (a suit!) with a fur collar.

Dancing with Don and gazing longingly at Henry, she’s already beginning to look the part of Mrs. Francis, and not unlike Grace Kelly post-addition of royal husband. 

When we meet again in Season 4, Betty’s overhaul is even more striking. At Thanksgiving Dinner, 1964, she looks, well—old. Her brocade suit is mother-of-the-fall-bride, and her hair and makeup are pure Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady after the Most Fashionable First Lady of All Time.  

The funny thing about Betty’s new looks? They never seem to stick. Not a moment after her fancy (and expensive) decorator placed 42 Bullet Park road in the ‘success’ category, her id went and put a fainting couch right in front of her hearth. The Anita Ekberg Betty of Rome was left behind in the Hilton courtyard, but her resentment at being forced to give it up somehow made it past airport security. 
Only time will tell if Betty’s new look (and the marriage that inspired it) will last.
*Footnote by Angela Serratore

Betty Draper loves a makeover. She’s redone her home, her hair, and her wardrobe, all in attempts to be her own woman, and yet! Betty’s reinventions are all tied (like she’ll always be tied!?) to Don, and this latest incarnation of Elizabeth Francis nee Draper nee Hofstadt? No different than the rest. 

As Don’s wife, Betty was Grace Kelly at her height. Like a movie star dropped in Ossining, her wardrobe, hair, and makeup all served to enhance her youthful yet polished beauty. She looks like a living, breathing Barbie Doll, ready to be shown off at industry events in Manhattan.  

As her first marriage starts to disintegrate, Betty, no fool, has her second lined up—and a new look to go along with it. If Betty is some 6 or so years younger than Don, and Don is at least 6 years younger than Henry (based on greyness of hair and age of adult children, approximately), then she’s at least a decade younger than her new husband. Unlike that strumpet Jane Siegel Sterling, Betts realizes the gravity of her situation—now the wife of a respected lawyer/political figure in the Republican Party, she’s going to dress the part.

You can see her transformation begin in Season 3—by the time Margaret’s wedding rolls around, Betty has swapped out her trademark candy confection-gowns for an icy blue suit (a suit!) with a fur collar.

Dancing with Don and gazing longingly at Henry, she’s already beginning to look the part of Mrs. Francis, and not unlike Grace Kelly post-addition of royal husband. 

When we meet again in Season 4, Betty’s overhaul is even more striking. At Thanksgiving Dinner, 1964, she looks, well—old. Her brocade suit is mother-of-the-fall-bride, and her hair and makeup are pure Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady after the Most Fashionable First Lady of All Time.  

The funny thing about Betty’s new looks? They never seem to stick. Not a moment after her fancy (and expensive) decorator placed 42 Bullet Park road in the ‘success’ category, her id went and put a fainting couch right in front of her hearth. The Anita Ekberg Betty of Rome was left behind in the Hilton courtyard, but her resentment at being forced to give it up somehow made it past airport security. 

Only time will tell if Betty’s new look (and the marriage that inspired it) will last.

*Footnote by Angela Serratore

5:06pm  |  92 notes   |  Betty Draper |  Fashion |  Grace Kelly |  Makeover |  Angela Serratore 
July 13, 2010
This vision of soft-shoulder, narrow lapeled, two buttoned, smokey glory is Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita (1960).

What you see draped over that drop-dead handsome Italian is called the Continental style which gained popularity in the midcentury thanks to movies like Roman Holiday and Vita.  

As we have established  through wild eyed adoration of Gregory Peck and Cary Grant that by 1962 the smaller suits, with flatter trouser, and thinner ties were considered standard but modern dress for the upwardly mobile man in Manhattan (this will be on the test, people!). But the truly daring man, the fashionable, trendseeking man, could have verged towards the Continental style made popular through the Brioni shop. 

Brioni was an Italian designer who outfitted the olive tanned men of Europe and, most importantly for our purposes, tailored the suits for American movie stars wore whenever they appeared in an Roman romp  (Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson).

The Brioni/Continental style suits have an even slimmer silhouette to their American counter parts, slanting pockets, without  patterns or pins, double cuffs, looser collar and usually comes in cool colors (Brussels blues and Geneva greys), and the general aloofness that comes with riding scooters by 800 year old fountains. 

Now think back to that dreadful number Don wore when he and Betty played their little game of pick up in Rome. He was wearing a bright blue sack suit!  No wonder Betty called him ugly. Only in a place as hip as Rome could Don be a square. 

Related links:
History of Brioni Style [A Modernist]
Ivy League Jazz Style [RL Magazine]
Iconic fountain scene [Youtube]

This vision of soft-shoulder, narrow lapeled, two buttoned, smokey glory is Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita (1960).

What you see draped over that drop-dead handsome Italian is called the Continental style which gained popularity in the midcentury thanks to movies like Roman Holiday and Vita.  

As we have established  through wild eyed adoration of Gregory Peck and Cary Grant that by 1962 the smaller suits, with flatter trouser, and thinner ties were considered standard but modern dress for the upwardly mobile man in Manhattan (this will be on the test, people!). But the truly daring man, the fashionable, trendseeking man, could have verged towards the Continental style made popular through the Brioni shop. 

Brioni was an Italian designer who outfitted the olive tanned men of Europe and, most importantly for our purposes, tailored the suits for American movie stars wore whenever they appeared in an Roman romp  (Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson).

The Brioni/Continental style suits have an even slimmer silhouette to their American counter parts, slanting pockets, without  patterns or pins, double cuffs, looser collar and usually comes in cool colors (Brussels blues and Geneva greys), and the general aloofness that comes with riding scooters by 800 year old fountains. 


Now think back to that dreadful number Don wore when he and Betty played their little game of pick up in Rome. He was wearing a bright blue sack suit!  No wonder Betty called him ugly. Only in a place as hip as Rome could Don be a square. 

Related links:

History of Brioni Style [A Modernist]

Ivy League Jazz Style [RL Magazine]

Iconic fountain scene [Youtube]

June 28, 2010
Pete’s prep school style circa 1957: dustily well bred.

Pete’s prep school style circa 1957: dustily well bred.

3:15pm  |  57 notes   |  Fashion |  Pete Campbell 
The handsome gentleman of A Continuous Lean has posted some rich Kodacrome shots of ladies in their summery mid-century fashions. 

The handsome gentleman of A Continuous Lean has posted some rich Kodacrome shots of ladies in their summery mid-century fashions. 

8:49am  |  12 notes   |  Fashion 
June 1, 2010

Swathed around Joan’s sumptuous hips or bubbling over Betty’s delicate shoulders is a clothing style called the New Look.  In 1947, Christian Dior, introduced his line of women’s clothing that revolutionized women’s clothing and fashion manufacturing.

Up until Dior’s models sauntered down the runway, the fashion world had also been suffering the deprivations of WWII. In response to women working on factory floor workforce, war rations, and the morose atmosphere that comes with something like economic devastation from warring empires, clothes coming out of Europe were plain and functional. 

Dior’s 1947 line rejuvenated the fashion world with his voluptuous new collection infused femininity back into fashion with yards and yards of luxurious fabric. The line combined long billowing skirts with pleats folded , narrow waitslines, soft rounded sleeves, flowering dresses, hour glass silhouettes, and accessories such as umbrellas and gloves.
“It’s quite a revelation dear Christian,” Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar remarked at the time, “Your dresses have such a new look.” 

French Couture patrons (ie, rich ladies) were in a frenzy to wrap themselves in such elegant and cutting edge designs.  But Dior’s biggest clients were Americans: Hollywood stars, New York socialites and most importantly, department store buyers who purchased exclusive rights to individual designs to be reproduced by their factory houses. Even discount retailers were allowed to attend Dior’s private fashion shows if they promised to buy the rights to nine outfits.

Other clothing companies would send sketch artists to European fashion shows, copy the design, and mass produce inexpensive clothing to American population. And that’s how the steno pool got pretty.

Swathed around Joan’s sumptuous hips or bubbling over Betty’s delicate shoulders is a clothing style called the New Look.  In 1947, Christian Dior, introduced his line of women’s clothing that revolutionized women’s clothing and fashion manufacturing.

Dior's New Look line

Up until Dior’s models sauntered down the runway, the fashion world had also been suffering the deprivations of WWII. In response to women working on factory floor workforce, war rations, and the morose atmosphere that comes with something like economic devastation from warring empires, clothes coming out of Europe were plain and functional. 

Dior’s 1947 line rejuvenated the fashion world with his voluptuous new collection infused femininity back into fashion with yards and yards of luxurious fabric. The line combined long billowing skirts with pleats folded , narrow waitslines, soft rounded sleeves, flowering dresses, hour glass silhouettes, and accessories such as umbrellas and gloves.

It’s quite a revelation dear Christian,” Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar remarked at the time, “Your dresses have such a new look.” 

French Couture patrons (ie, rich ladies) were in a frenzy to wrap themselves in such elegant and cutting edge designs.  But Dior’s biggest clients were Americans: Hollywood stars, New York socialites and most importantly, department store buyers who purchased exclusive rights to individual designs to be reproduced by their factory houses. Even discount retailers were allowed to attend Dior’s private fashion shows if they promised to buy the rights to nine outfits.

Other clothing companies would send sketch artists to European fashion shows, copy the design, and mass produce inexpensive clothing to American population. And that’s how the steno pool got pretty.

4:17pm  |  163 notes   |  Betty Draper |  Dior |  Joan Holloway |  The New Look |  mad men fashion |  Fashion 
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 12, 2010
While women like Betty wore dresses that flowed out from their waist lines and bubbled out over their shoulders, men’s dress style contracted. Collars were smaller, lapels narrowed, silhouettes shrank, belts thinned, and ties got skinny. The postwar man was streamlined.  Dennis Black, a storeowner for the men’s clothing line J. Press, believes that the demand for a smaller suit came from post-war exhaustion:
“When guys came back from World War II they were shattered. Their only thought was to get into college and get a career started. Their lives had been complicated enough by the war. And that simple, stable look… I mean, for years we lived off IBM and the FBI [employees], because that was the look. It’s the simplicity of it all.” 
Pete Campbell just wants simple fun, everybody!

While women like Betty wore dresses that flowed out from their waist lines and bubbled out over their shoulders, men’s dress style contracted. Collars were smaller, lapels narrowed, silhouettes shrank, belts thinned, and ties got skinny. The postwar man was streamlined.  Dennis Black, a storeowner for the men’s clothing line J. Press, believes that the demand for a smaller suit came from post-war exhaustion:

“When guys came back from World War II they were shattered. Their only thought was to get into college and get a career started. Their lives had been complicated enough by the war. And that simple, stable look… I mean, for years we lived off IBM and the FBI [employees], because that was the look. It’s the simplicity of it all.” 

Pete Campbell just wants simple fun, everybody!

4:33pm  |  103 notes   |  Fashion |  Skinny Tie |  Pete Campbell 
April 27, 2010
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]