All right…so by now we’ve all heard about John Hamm’s trouser troubles,* and while that is for some of us a lovely, period-perfect distraction, there’s a lot more to Mad Men’s Season Six fashions then…well….
As with each season, costume designer Janie Bryant has done an incredible job this season by bringing the cast into a mid-1960s mod aesthetic, while letting the character’s personalities shine through (literally and figuratively.) The first thing I noticed in the Season Six promo pics that are circulating is the variety of bow-tie styles in Men’s Eveningwear
In this pic, we’ve got both modified (or narrow) butterfly bow ties, and traditional thistle bow ties with pointy ends. Obviously, these are hand-tied and not clip-ons. No one in this bunch would be caught dead with a clip-on. Not while Roger Sterling’s around! (here’s a little bow tie history from Wikipedia.) Besides, this is the 60′s and no man looking to advance in a high-profile company would be caught dead in anything but a tie-it-yourself bow tie at a black tie event.
If you’re at all interested in knowing the ins and outs of tying a bow tie, here’s some instructions on how to do it from the Cordial Churchman (a custom tie maker)
Unlike today, there really wasn’t much of a need for a guy to stand out at a black-tie affair (unless he was young and going for that hipster vibe) mostly because he could stand out in a crowd on any given day of the week. In the ’60′s, men emerged as fashionable peacocks in a way that hadn’t quite been seen in the 20th Century…
A few design notes here….Kenny Cosgrove is sporting a thin tie (perfect!) while Stan Rizzo is hiding his handsomeness under a beard (!?!) and a Ban-Lon shirt. Here’s a little history of the dreaded Ban-Lon shirt. What I remember most about the was the feel of the shirt rather than the style. It had something of a plastic look to it, and I will always associate it with what looked to my little kid’s eyes as Dadwear. In fact, Stan’s slightly high-water pants–oddly, a popular length at that time–also remind me of Dadwear.
Aside from Stan’s Dadwear, the menswear styles on each character draws a clear line between Management in suits and white shirts (the only nod to hipster style in Cosgrove’s thin tie) and Creative (who are dressed…well….in a way that expresses their creativity, shall we say…) It’s a fascinating picture when looked at from that perspective.
The beard though–that one’s got me a bit confused. Beards are more frequently associated with the 70′s than with the mid to late 60′s. If Stan’s going to end up the inspiration for the Brawny paper towel guy look, then he’s nailed it. Maybe that’s where that look is going (quick! hand the man a plaid shirt please!)
(H/T to Tom + Lorenzo for the pics and dish!)
- Mad Men star Jon Hamm’s crotch spurs pants war – and male objectification | Arwa Mahdawi (guardian.co.uk)
- Jon Hamm tired of ‘rude’ jokes about his private parts (todayentertainment.today.com)
- Jon Hamm ordered to wear underwear on Mad Men set overs fears his bulging bits are ‘too distracting’ (metro.co.uk)B