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The best of Joan Holloway (Mad Men week)

“You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl” – Joan.

Hey everyone … guess what? Mad Men is back tomorrow (25th March) so I felt it was necessary for me to do a Mad Men-esque week for you, amongst other movie news of course.

What better way to start Mad Men week off than to talk about the first lady that pops into your head when you hear those two words – Joan Holloway … obviously!

Played by Christina Hendricks, she’s the red-head Marilyn Monroe equivalent, feisty, honest and has a body to die for – it’s refreshing to see men (in the show and in real life) swoon over Joan as she’s a very curvy woman and proves to be a definition of beauty.

So let’s get to it. Time to delve into (some) of the best Joan Holloway costumes.

This is the ultimate Joan Holloway dress. This fuchsia pink sheath dress is the perfect fit for her hour-glass figure and is extremely sexy without showing off too much. The dress is nipped in at the waist while the cap-sleeves and high neckline  help emphasize the upper-half – my favourite outfit of hers.

Another flattering outfit, Janie Bryant definitely knows what she’s doing, she’s a costume design goddess! The rusty coral-brown wrap dress highlights Joan’s tiny waist – the design of the dress has the same effect as a waist-belt would.  The matching shoes and bag with the subtle jewellery, including Joan’s signature brooch makes for a classic outfit for a day at the office.

This is in fact Christina Hendrick’s favourite outfit of Joan’s and I can see why – it’s lovely. The bold purple and pink colours combined completely sums up Joan’s fiery personality and show’s ‘Red’ (Joan’s nickname) at her best. Again, another fitted dress to show off her curvaceous figure and the pink sash with brooch in place gives off a very smart yet feminine vibe.

She wears skirts too! Here, Joan wears a polyester coral-red blouse and high-waisted tweed skirt which looks more office-attire-like but still remains very classy. Her signature gold pen necklace is the appropriate length for her outfit choice and the golden watch and earrings add that extra womanly touch.

What’s your favourite Joan Holloway outfit?

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An interview with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant.

Mad Men is one hell of a television show – based in 1960s New York – it has inspired many fashion-wise with the stylish office-wear that is envied by many. On Screen Fashion had the chance to have a chat with the woman behind the floral, feminine, hour-glass fit dresses and the classic American suits – costume designer Janie Bryant.


On Screen Fashion:
What influenced you to become a costume designer? Has fashion always been an important aspect of your life?

Janie Bryant: Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with fashion.  I designed and made my first dress when I was eight and fully intended to become a fashion designer. I studied fashion design in college and began working in fashion on 7tAvenue in New York. One night at a party I met a costume designer and we talked and talked about costume design. From that moment on I knew costume design was a career I wanted to pursue. The rest is history!

OSF: You recently did a great collaboration with Banana Republic – how was that?

Bryant: The collaboration with Banana Republic has been amazing.  I loved working with Simon Kneen and the Banana Republic brand.  Bringing a Mad Men inspired collection to the market that is modern, contemporary, luxurious, and accessible has been a dream come true.

OSF: Which character is the most fun to design for and why?

Bryant: To choose a favorite character would be like picking a favorite child! For me, it depends what is happening in the script, so my favorite character changes from episode to episode.

OSF: Joan Holloway seems to have had a great impact on woman embracing their curves, was this something you deliberately set out to do?

Bryant: I am happy that “Joan” has influenced women to embrace their curves.  I believe strongly that all women are beautiful and should play up their assets.  Christina Hendricks is beautiful and has an amazing figure.  Designing costumes for  “Joan” has been a wonderful experience.

OSF: Do you create all costumes from scratch or do you collect items from vintage sources?

Bryant: I design and build costumes from scratch as well as rent from costume houses in Los Angeles, buy vintage, and redesign vintage pieces to create new costumes.

OSF: Do you choose particular colours and patterns to represent the characters moods or particular changes in their life that they may be going through?

Bryant: Yes, definitely.  Color evokes moods for both the actors who wear the color and for the audience who perceives the subtleties of the characters’ personalities.  An example would be the bright, bold jewel tones I use in Joan’s costumes to showcase her sassiness and strength in the office.

OSF: What is your favourite fashion moment on the show?

Bryant: There are so many!! I love the episode when Betty and Don go to Rome as well as when Bobbi Barrett is in the studio with Don. And how can you not love the party scene for Derby Day or Jane Sterling at the Christmas party?! There are so many great moments that I could go on forever!

OSF: Did the costumes on Mad Men have a particular impact on your own personal wardrobe?

Bryant: No, the costumes on Mad Men are designed to develop a character’s personality and to tell a story on screen.

OSF: Being a huge fan of the show myself, I was wondering what television shows you enjoy watching when you have spare time?

Bryant: I love Mad Men of course, and seeing it all come together…and I am a big New England Patriots fan so I’m watching a lot of Tom Brady at the moment! I’m obsessed with football uniforms!

OSF: If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Bryant: Just one????????? well if i have to choose I’d say a bikini with high heels of course!

See the second Janie Bryant and Banana Republic collaboration in just under a month… 1st March. Yay!

Many thanks to Janie Bryant. 

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