Rebecca Lerner hadn’t watched Mad Males since she was in highschool virtually a decade in the past. Throughout stay-at-home orders, when the world shut down, although, Lerner discovered herself in her dad and mom’ residence re-watching the AMC sequence, which ran from 2007 to 2015.
Greater than a yr later, her quarantine watch has change into a ardour challenge. In November 2020, she began the Instagram account @madmenstyles, a love letter and evaluation of all of the costumes in Mad Males, styled by award-winning designer Janie Bryant. Right this moment, the account has practically 10,000 followers and earned Lerner the approval of each Bryant and Mad Males actress Elisabeth Moss. “Generally [Bryant] will touch upon my posts and I’ve to go lay down,” says Lerner.
A lover of flicks and vogue, the 25-year-old is a graduate of the College of Michigan, the place she majored in movie and English. (Lerner now works in a nonprofit centered on meals justice.) She remembers that she’d usually be the one scholar at school citing the function of costume design within the movies they studied, a side of the film and TV industries that she thinks is very missed. “Costuming and the style in films has all the time been so gendered,” she says, referring to the pay and credit score disparities within the trade that feminine costume designers, who make up 83% of the Costume Designers Guild membership, have fought for years. “And I feel that’s a part of the rationale that we’d not pay as a lot consideration to it because the precise directing as a result of it’s been this hidden labor carried out by ladies.”
With @madmenstyles, she’s hoping to alter that.
Since its premiere, Mad Males’s fandom has solely grown stronger. The present, which celebrates its 14th anniversary this July, follows the internal workings of New York Metropolis’s promoting companies within the ‘60s. Lerner believes that what distinguishes Mad Males is the way in which the present’s storylines merge with actual historical past, exhibiting the characters’ lives at pivotal moments of the twentieth century, just like the 1960 Richard Nixon-John F. Kennedy election, Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, and the moon touchdown in 1969.
“That is an extremely influential and iconic time in historical past,” she says. “The present was so rooted within the occasions that occurred.”
The costumes equally present a time capsule of America between 1960 and 1970, from the gendered politics of workplace put on to the rise of the mini skirt and Mod aesthetic. Since 2020, Lerner has documented outfits in every episode of Mad Males, chronologically. Proper now, she’s as much as Season 3.
“I began actually desirous about it from type of a extra theoretical lens and it particularly by the narrative that they’re portraying within the vogue and the clothes, as a result of, particularly on a present like Mad Males, every part is so meticulously deliberate,” she says.
Her first submit featured Don Draper (Jon Hamm) within the opening scene of Mad Males, the place he’s ingesting at a bar whereas doing analysis for a cigarette advert he has to current to the consumer the subsequent morning. Draper wears a darkish grey swimsuit with a white shirt and striped tie, whereas his hair is meticulously slicked again. For this submit, Lerner centered on the significance of first impressions, noting that the “uprightness” of the look is paying homage to Nineteen Fifties businesswear which was held to excessive requirements. Later, when she mentioned a grey A-line gown worn by Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) on Season 2 episode 15 that emulates her boss Draper’s fashion, she in contrast the character’s similarities with the modern-day “girlboss” archetype, writing: “The concept that to succeed she should be Don and Peggy, work additional time and be assertive and non-threatening? Ya that’s woman boss shit.”
Lerner watches every episode between two to a few instances — one to get pleasure from, one other to take notes. As she watches, Lerner takes screenshots of the outfits she needs to highlight, doing analysis on the actual fashion, lower, material, and inspiration behind the garment, and analyzing the way it suits into a personality’s storyline. Shen then makes use of her Notes app on her cellphone to put in writing the captions that she refers to as “scholarly, burning sizzling takes.”
Because the early days, Lerner has opted to concentrate on the seems to be of the ladies within the present. Her favourite feminine character on Mad Males is Megan Draper (Jessica Paré), Draper’s second spouse, whose fashion aesthetic is marked by Mod vogue and Hollywood glamour of the time. See: the colourful shift attire and brief hemlines, normally paired with go-go boots, heeled pumps, and fishnets. However she additionally favors Peggy, the secretary-turned-copywriter and Draper’s protege, who begins the sequence as a shy Brooklyn woman who dons lengthy skirts, and transforms right into a profitable businesswoman who wears the pants (actually). Nonetheless, Lerner additionally appreciates the consistency of characters like Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), the lead secretary-turned-agency companion, who “loves a sheath gown.”
Earlier than beginning the account, Lerner gathered some inspiration from different Instagram pages devoted to documenting TV exhibits and flicks on the app. One instance is the Intercourse And The Metropolis-focused account @everyoutfitonsatc, created by Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni, which has grown practically 700,000 followers and even printed a ebook referred to as We Ought to All Be Mirandas. Lerner says this neighborhood of movie and TV-focused accounts “maintain these actually unimaginable time capsules alive” and assist the works collect extra followers.
Alongside the way in which, Lerner has discovered a neighborhood of Mad Males lovers, who work together along with her content material in the identical tutorial stage she approaches the present. “Some folks inform me they’ve watched the present like 13 instances,” she says, including that typically her followers even assist her nail down particulars she’s missed.
At present, she’s anticipating the time she will get to rewatch her favourite episodes, which are available Season 5. As soon as she finishes all the sequence, Lerner says she’ll go away the account up even when she’s not updating it usually.
She says @madmenstyles will all the time function a reminder of that point she revisited her ardour for movie and vogue in the midst of a pandemic: “That’s the factor that I’m going to remove, you could all the time make time and house for a challenge that you simply’re enthusiastic about, even for those who’re not locked up in your own home for twenty-four hours a day.”
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