this story in the owh proves it.
Published Saturday July 24, 2010
Fans revel in the world of ‘Mad Men'
By Josefina Loza
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Suits, booze and lies. The AMC hit drama “Mad Men” returns to our TVs and DVRs in just a few hours.
And changes are a'coming to Madison Avenue.
Nearly a year ago — spoiler alert — we gasped as a cunning Don Draper and crew split from the Sterling Cooper advertising agency to start Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Betty Draper wanted a divorce. Peggy Olson nearly lost her mind. And Joan Harris married, quit and came back.
As the show's fourth season cranks up Sunday, we spoke with fans who are excited to see how the characters pick up the pieces after everything fell apart. And, of course, how the show's costumes are influencing current fashion and nightlife. Here's what they had to say:
What is it about the characters?
“All of the characters are fascinating to me. They are all hiding something, which the audience gets glimpses of directly or indirectly,” Omahan Max Riffner said. “Last season, I was especially fond of watching Peggy's character develop. And of course, I enjoyed watching the horror show of Don's life unraveling after making a conscious choice to be Don Draper rather than run away into a new life.”
“I honestly cannot believe how women were treated in the '60s, both at home and the workplace,” said Jennifer Stauss Windrum of Omaha. “I never would have survived. Peggy Olson is the career trailblazer in the show, working her way up through the ranks of the agency from secretary to copywriter. She's quite dowdy, but career women pull for her to make big strides in the agency, as well as in her personal life.”
And then there's Joan (aka Red).
“How refreshing to see a curvy girl on TV making the men drool,” Omahan PJ Feinstein said. “It's a reminder of how women are supposed to look ...”
Its influence on fashion
It's almost impossible to discuss “Mad Men” without giving a nod to its fashion influence.
“I've definitely seen more men with pocket squares, thank goodness,” Riffner said, “and just more men willing to wear suits in general. ‘Mad Men' made it cool to dress like a grown-up again, finally.”
The show's original allure for Danelle Schlegelmilch was her love for all things vintage: clothing, jewelry and advertising.
“Some of my favorite memories in my college advertising classes was studying ads from the 1950s and 1960s,” she said. “There is just something about the simplicity and class of the era. I've always been fascinated by the era, collecting vintage items as a child from my grandmother to build shadowboxes.”
Schlegelmilch has added “Mad Men”-styled clothing to her wardrobe.
“Anytime I can pick up a piece that screams Betty, Red or Peggy, I scoop it up and string on my pearls,” she said. “I actually have a lot of vintage or vintage-inspired jewelry and sweaters.”
On her wedding day, Schlegel-milch wore a lace tea-length wedding dress, ivory fur shawl, lace gloves, pillbox hat and her grandma's broach and pearls.
Now that's getting after it.
Feinstein is captivated by the 1960s era: the interior design, the fashion, the politics and the relationship between man and woman, husband and wife.
“‘Mad Men' takes place at the cusp of a cultural revolution,” she said. “Soon women won't be wearing dresses and pearls to cook dinner, and men won't be the primary breadwinners. Also, because I worked in public relations in New York City, it's so interesting to see how large advertising agencies used to work. The typewriters, the secretaries, the liquid lunches ... I love how the set designers and propmasters on ‘Mad Men' work to get every single detail accurate.”
Windrum 's loves '60s fashion. So the show was a double whammy for her.
“I actually bought a pair of '60s-style glasses before the show and have a lot of my grandmother's costume jewelry that I frequently wear.”
She wore the frames and an A-line dress to her ad agency's Christmas party.
Windrum's husband couldn't make the dinner party. So she cut out a photo of character Don Draper in a white tuxedo from a magazine spread, then placed her husband's name tag below the photo.
“And I had an instant date,” she said. “Don and I ... er ... I mean my husband ... had the times of our lives.”
Draper is the “ultimate bad boy you love to hate,” she said. “Not only is he very easy on the eyes, especially in the '60s wardrobe and slicked-back hair, but he is a very complex man you at times feel sorry for. Other times, you want to punch his pretty face.”
As the 1960s loosen up a bit, so does the characters' style in season four, according to fashion publications.
Expect to see looser A-line dresses, wider collars, bolder colors and higher hemlines — with the introduction of the miniskirt. Other fashion touchstones that may make an appearance include: go-go boots, colored tights, long flowing hippie-styled frocks, culottes and jumpsuits.
“Mad Men” and cocktails
Max Riffner has been a big fan of the Old Fashioned for most of his drinking life. (Mr. Toad's in the Old Market and Liv Lounge in Aksarben Village make them.) Riffner's friend turned him on to the cocktail when he was in his mid-20s. He's stuck on them.
“It's Don's favorite drink in the show,” Riffner said. “I've seen it more on drink menus now, whereas before I seldom saw it.”
Last season, Schlegelmilch entered the world of retro cocktails.
“I drank Betty's drink, the gimlet, on Sunday nights,” Schlegelmilch said. “This season, I'm thinking about the pink squirrel martini.”
Draper's swagger enticed Feinstein's husband, Jordan, to try a Campari cocktail at the Boiler Room in Omaha. Now his “signature drink” is the Negroni.
What's the attraction to the show?
Riffner loves the show from a storytelling perspective.
“It's mature in the sense that it doesn't spoon-feed you how you are supposed to think and feel,” he said. “You have to pay attention. And being in the industry, it's interesting to see how similar it is still to today.”
Obviously, there's much less sexism, but some hallmarks of the show ring true.
“I do know quite a few folks who have booze in their desks, or in the office for clients, still across the city,” he joked.
Windrum appreciates the then-current events episodes that highlight work vs. family, race relations, gender equality, homosexuality, true friendship and, of course, alcoholism. Ooh, and “there is always a gossip queen in the office.”
Riffner tends to watch each episode at the Liv Lounge with friends. The lounge offers drink specials inspired by the show. Every TV in the place is tuned to the show.
One of Riffner's friends works for the show in the art department. Last year, Riffner attended a wrap party in Los Angeles, “which was a total blast.” Matt Weiner, the show's creator, brought his Emmy to celebrate (they had just won it at the time) and Riffner was able to get a photograph with the award.