It’s my first Sunday night in a while without a MadMen episode to look forward to and that makes it a bit of a dark day. Last week I had the (dream come true!) chance to attend the live screening of the season finale with many of the cast and crew members. A special bonus was the wardrobe on display where I found three of my favorite dresses from this past season. I absolutely adore all three of these somewhat iconic dresses. Here’s why:
1. The Zou Bisou Dress
I don’t recall Megan wearing black prior to this episode. Most of her outfits in the past season were bright primary colors and/or white. They were classic, but not sophisticated and sexy. The dress (and her performance) set the tone for the season, revealing another side to her character and her character’s relationship with Don, which was mired in the past. Black seems right. It’s a departure from the wife, home and Don Draper concubines of seasons before. The past is dead.
2. The LSD Dress
I appreciated that while Megan (the recent bride) wore black, Roger’s second wife wore white. The season started with every indication that Roger was done with his infatuation with Jane. He says “They’re all great girls until they want something”. Jane wants more from him, emotionally. Roger begrudgingly agrees to take LSD with her as a sort of “last resort” for their relationship, and the effects are surprising. It is a life changing experience for him. On the way to the LSD party Jane mentions how overdressed she feels. She should have worn something more comfortable. Comfort or no, nobody can argue with Roger about how beautiful Jane is, particularly in this dress. The naked waist details and “window” are divine. They are also a metaphor for Roger’s rebirth. He is reborn after his experience. We see him naked in from of a window at the end of the season.
3. Joan’s Pink Dress
Who says that redheads can’t wear pink? Joan spends season five breaking the rules. In the episode where she wears this dress she is passing off her son (Roger’s child) as her husband’s child and trying to find her way back to power, back to her “self” in the office. She is being bombarded with societal messages about what she can and cannot do and should and should not do as both a woman and a new mother. Her own mother browbeats her for her every decision. Joan doesn’t listen, she plays by her own rules, and that’s part of why we love her.
I’ve always been a fan of the wardrobe on this show but I couldn’t help but notice/feel that designer Janie Bryant stepped it up a bit this season. There were many layers to the storytelling and I loved the depth of the details – from the window around Jane’s midriff to the image of Peggy’s green shoes propped up on her desk (in contrast to the red shoes of the woman Don dreamed of murdering).
Disclosure: I did not attend the Madmen Season Finale event as a blogger. I went as the plus one of a very generous and awesomely hooked up friend – Elise of Elise’s Ramblings. I was a complete geek and giddy except for when the guy sitting behind me hit me as I am such a fan. I spent my childhood visiting the offices of my own Madman Dad in Manhattan and can still smell the rubber cement, cigarette smoke and lemon scented teak oil mixed with aftershave, every time I watch the show.