Friday, August 30, 2013

Mad About Mad Men (Part 4: Joan Holloway)

Since its premiere in 2007, Mad Men has received critical acclaim for bringing the iconic 1960’s back to life. The women of the show represent the changing social norms and a newly found empowerment through fashion. Because we're obsessed with the show even in the off-season, we're going to pay homage to Mad Men by showing garments worn on the show and their modern day equivalents!
Mad Men creator Mathew Wiener had a vision to make Joan stand out as an “unpredictable and complicated woman” instead of the stereotypical 1-dimensional hot female character. Christina Hendricks took on the challenge (and more!) with Joan's feisty personality. She said to USA Today that Joan's "got fire to her. She snaps back. And men love her because she’s in touch with her sexuality and femininity. The men at the office can play with her a bit. They can tease her, and she’s not going to be in the bathroom crying later.”  Finally, a voluptuous and sensual female character who has self-respect and fantastic dialogue!

The Corset
  Christina Hendricks                  Elvgren illustration   
As if Christina Hendicks didn’t already have enough of a tiny waist (she does!), her role on Mad Men pushes the limits of the hourglass figure. “Underneath their outfits, every female cast member wears reproduction vintage bras, except for Christina Hendricks, who suffers for her art in original corsets and suspender belts.”-Janie Bryant

During the Victorian Era, new patented technologies changed the face of corsetry forever.  Suddenly, the much-desired waist of a mere 18” was possible for women who trained their bodies in corsets daily.  “Victorian fashion highlighted a woman’s body with exaggerated full sleeves, minuscule corseted waists, and whalebone hoops and crinolines covered with yards of fabric and enhanced by bustles. Taking it all off was quite a task, and both textual and visual accounts associate Victorian clothing with sexual anticipation.”  Gendered Fashion, Power, and Sexuality (Kunzle, 2004).   

Though the modern woman has the option whether she wishes to wear one or not, surely a femme fatale such as Joan was made to rock the corset!  At Angela Friedman, we specialize in dramatic hourglass shaped corsets that are cut to flatter the modern woman (and her relative comfort!)  For more information on why our corsets are so unique, read up on how we create them here: Why Angela Friedman Corsets? (Part I & Part II)

Angela Friedman                                                Sparklewren
Here we have two corsets from Angela Friedman, both in our most popular Victorian-style sweetheart shape. These luscious corsets in silk and brocade are the ultimate in luxury for that fabulous nipped-in silhouette without sacrificing comfort.  On the right is a corset from British designer Sparklewren, a beautiful piece featuring draped silks to enwrap the body in decadence.  Wouldn't Joan look amazing in each of these? 


Unfortunately, this concludes our series on Mad Men lingerie - for now! The 1960’s were specifically a period of growth in fashion and lingerie, especially due to the changing social climate of the time. It's been fun to find lingerie and lounge wear to compare to the styles of Mad Men, a show that takes as much pride in the costume design as it does in the script.  These are just a few of the many designs and types of garments that could bridge the gap between the 1960’s and today.

I hope these ideas are helpful - at the very least, they really do show that there is a type of lingerie for everyone!  Thanks for reading!

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