Anthony: I’ve been enveloped in a Mad Men cocoon lately and I think I can attribute this to three things:
1 – Netflix
2 – My fascination with advertising in the 1960s
3 – Curvy women
I know some of you are thinking that number three doesn’t exactly fall under my modus operandi but hey, even Salvatore Romano appreciated the view as Joan left a room.
*My apologies to anyone who doesn’t get that string of references. I’ll boil it down to this: I’m a gay man who appreciates well dressed women*
As a fan of fashion, history and advertising, I sometimes feel that Mad Men was made for me. There are so many visuals to take in and the attention to detail is, on occasion, stunning as the writers create a living snapshot of American culture in the 1960s. There have been many breakout stars created by this program from Christina Hendricks to Jon Hamm but my personal favourite is Elisabeth Moss who plays secretary turned copywriter, Peggy Olson.
Sure, in the first season it looked like Peggy was involved in her own Cuban Missile Crisis if you substitute her bangs for nuclear warheads. She was the poster child for the wallflower set with her prim ponytail, subdued dialogue and tweed skirt upon tweed skirt that didn’t so much scream virgin as it slapped you in the face with a chastity belt and said, “Keep your hands to yourself!” like a nun in a private school.
Thankfully Peggy grew into a sultry little minx carrying on tawdry love affairs and even experimenting with – brace yourself – marijuana. As an aside, I recommend that episode; it’s in the third season and hilarious.
Seeing Ms. Moss dressed in lovely vintage creations, I had to explore her real life wardrobe and let me say this: HOT DAMN.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if she does have a stylist they’re taking a healthy dose of inspiration from Peggy’s character. Some of her red carpet looks are amazingly sexy updates to the vintage aesthetic that Mad Men is so enriched by. It’s not hard to notice the effect Mad Men has had on popular culture, seamlessly bringing a vintage sexiness back to women’s fashion. I’ve seen dresses go from hooch to glam almost overnight. L-A and I are fans of using “Peggy Olson” as a verb to describe working your way up the corporate ladder but I think it can even be extended to fashion.
“Did you see Maxine last night? She was looking fan-tas-tic.”
“I know! Last time we went out it was all I could do to not catch a glimpse of her stage presence but she was so elegant last night.”
“For real, she Peggy Olson’d the hell of that dress.”
See? It’s perfect.
If you’re looking for local businesses to find your inner Peggy I recommend checking out the vintage shops on Queen Street for some silken scarves. If you’re more of an adventurous type, pop into Dressed In Time on Brenton Street. You may have to do a little digging but I can guarantee you’ll find a treasure to add to your wardrobe. Also, if you see my in any of these shops eyeing some scarves please stop me, I tried that back in 2006 and it just does not work with a beard.
L-A: I love verbing nouns and Peggy Olsen is my favourite. Trust me, when I’m done with school this year, I fully intend to Peggy Olsen the hell out a job opportunity. (I’m not even going to try today…it was a long and crafty weekend).