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Since Mad Men debuted on AMC in 2007, viewers have been captivated by the visual style as well as the drama of the series centered on the advertising world. Megan’s groovy ′60s glamour, Joan’s trademark pen necklace, Betty’s shift from suburban Grace Kelly to matronly political wife, and Don’s always-sharp suits have provided television writers, fashion professionals, and fans with plenty to talk about on Monday mornings.
Emmy-winning costume designer Janie Bryant is the reason for that style buzz. She finds inspiration for the Mad Men characters from movies, magazines, advertisements, and catalogues of the eras the show spans. Her designs, developed through all six seasons, also help tell a story about the characters and the changing world in which they live. Remember Sally’s coveted white go-go boots or Pete and Trudy’s country-club ensembles?
Bryant has received national and international praise for her work on the series, and has even caught the attention of many in commercial fashion who have created runway collections inspired by the show, including Michael Kors and Prada. She also collaborated with Banana Republic to develop the wildly successful Mad Men collections for three seasons.
Amy Henderson, cultural historian at the National Portrait Gallery, talks with Bryant about her inspirations behind the costumes of your favorite Mad Men characters, and how the show has influenced contemporary style. Following the program, view a selection of Bryant’s original sketches as you sip Mad Men-inspired cocktails provided by Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Ledroit Brands, and Haus Alpenz importers.
You must be at least 21 years old with valid ID to attend.
Hear Janie Bryant talk about how the looks of the 1960s are reflected in Mad Men’s characters.
National Museum of Natural History
10th & Constitution Avenue, NW
Metro: Federal Triangle or Smithsonian