The Mad Men Outfits We'll Never Forget
THE END OF AN ERA
After eight years and seven seasons, AMC’s Mad Men is coming to an end. And as much as the drama will be remembered for it’s brilliant scripts and skilled actors, it will also hold a place in our memories for the inspired fashions worn by the fashionable characters. As we say goodbye to the series – which ends Sunday, May 17 at 10 p.m. on AMC – PEOPLE dives into the stories behind some of the show’s most iconic looks.
Walking PEOPLE down the road of Mad Men memory lane is Janie Bryant, the Emmy-winning costume designer behind the stunning period pieces on the 1960s-70s set. “I had no idea it would become what it has,” she says of the AMC drama. “It’s been a huge journey. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye.” Bryant is designing uniforms for the newly renovated Watergate Hotel (yes, that one) and launches her Black Halo capsule collection in July.
“The design of this gown is so old-fashioned. You can really see that Betty is out of touch with that era’s trends,” Bryant says of this vintage dress worn by January Jones in season 1 when Betty goes on a modeling audition. “We found the dress at Western Costume and added the pink to it. We wanted it to make a really big color statement.”
BACK TO BASICS
Bryant says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner asked her to create a “Classic Joan” look for this outfit worn in a date scene by Christina Hendricks during season 7. “So, I wanted that hourglass, bombshell silhouette but incorporated a Mandarin kind of collar. Joan has always had this love of Asian artifacts and artwork.”
MAKING AN ENTRANCE
“It was just a perfect moment,” Bryant says of the opening scene of season 7, in which Megan (Jessica Paré) arrives (via a slo-mo crane shot) to pick up Don () at the Los Angeles airport. “Megan is a stylish woman, so she was going to be in a minidress, but I also designed the same dress in a more vibrant color. I didn’t know if I was going to love the light blue. But I did.”
ROMP DOWN MEMORY LANE
“That romper was a really important moment because Betty is showing that she had a life before Don and the kids,” Bryant says of the silk brocade romper worn by Jones in season 1. “In my imagination, Betty got this outfit when she was working for an Italian designer who had inspired Pucci.”
“It’s plaid. It’s mustard. It’s polka dots,” Bryant says with a laugh of one of her favorite looks worn by Moss during season 7. “It’s everything that I’ve always done for Peggy melded into one outfit.”
Bob Benson (James Wolk) was known to fans for his mysterious backstory, but on the Mad Men set it appears he was known more for his thighs. “Everyone on set was talking about how good James looked in those swimming shorts,” Bryant says of dressing Wolk for season 6. “His thighs looked great in that but my favorite piece I put him in was that Thanksgiving apron. I had a lot of designing for Bob.”