1964 is a touchstone in American culture. With the advent of The Beatles and trends aiming at the younger generation, I can’t help but wonder what styles or fashion icons our beloved characters will imitate in their personal styles? Age and background are a huge factor. By now, Peggy, Jane, and Allison are @24, and Betty and Pete are around 30, Joan is 34. Don must be pushing 40, and Roger @50. I bet Don suddenly feels really old. Let’s start with the youngsters, shall we?
Peggy is definitely a career girl, and her style has been slowly evolving from prim and meek to bold and strong. She still likes the blouses with bows and pleated skirts, but at the Christmas party, she was wearing a figure hugging sheath ala Joan. Yet, Peggy, with her big eyes and bangs, still can evoke the fresh faced appeal of supermodel Jean Shrimpton. I can easily see Peggy emulating ‘The Shrimp’s’ mod, yet clean, work worthy style. (BTW, Peggy’s Belle Jolie Ad features a facsimile of a famous photo of Shrimpton)
And speaking of ‘The Shrimp’ Jane’s holiday party dress is not only an emulation of Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra look, but very similar to another dress Jean Shrimpton was photographed in. You know Jane will keep up with all the fashion trends that come along – I can see her in a YSL Mondrian by the end of ’65! As to make up, I think it very likely that all the younger women on MM will wear the Liz Taylor ‘cats’ eyes – and paler lipsticks. Except Betty.
And now sweet Allison. Her hair is towering higher, ala Barbara Streisand and Audrey Hepburn, but her dresses are still moderately conservative, neat, and somewhat bookish. But methinks that now that Don has all but ignored his liaison with her, she may want to distance herself from him professionally, and personally, and which might mean embracing a younger, hipper look – maybe wearing her hair down like Pattie Boyd, and wearing bolder patterns.
Our Glorious Joan has already dipped into the mod fashion, jazzing up her figure hugging sheath with a long, brightly patterned scarf (men do love scarves, you know). But I don’t think you’ll see Joan totally embrace the mod style. After all, she is over thirty and a professional married woman – but I think that she’d likely follow in the steps of an iconic worldly goddess; Sophia Loren. Loren, who turned 30 in 1964, was one of the few actresses who managed to look younger as the ’60’s progressed. I think Joan would be likely, and wise, to follow Loren’s example of timeless beauty.
Then there’s Betty. Honey, what happened to you? Henry Francis, that’s what. Betty is so committed to her new lifestyle that the Felini-esque knockout we saw in Rome is gone forever. Enjoy the rerun’s kids, because the wife of a conservative governor’s aide would never don such an outfit. She’s strictly Lady Bird Johnson now, especially with the helmet hair! Maybe by 1970, she’ll realize how old she’s looking, or maybe she’ll just keep her look ‘respectable’ as was expected with married women of a certain class at that time. But I’ll miss the wild Betty that we knew was always there.
And now the mad, mad men.
Don. Oh Don. Others have noticed your hat that is never far from your head. Matt Weiner suggested that ‘Men like Don will always wear a hat’ and I suspect Don will continue to, like Frank Sinatra. Of course, Don isn’t balding, like o’ blue eyes, but I agree that this is part of Don’s work uniform, and the disguise he uses to keep Dick Whitman at bay. Maybe he should complete the look and get some sharkskin.
Pete broke out of his blue sharkskin at the party and sported a totally Mod double breasted burgundy sport coat. (And very dashingly, I may add!) But Pete, the Brylcreem has got to go! You’re the forward looking one, you wore the black turtleneck last year, get with the program, son! (Here’s my Pete mash-up with Ringo’s hair—amazing how he looks like John Lennon now! )
And Roger, our sexy silver fox? Well, if he has to keep staring at that op art in his white Star Trek office for a couple of years, his hypnotic state could lead him down only one path – Tune In Turn On, Drop Out, Man, and become the Timothy Leary of SCDP!
And when (we expect) Ken Cosgrove comes back?
Which means only one thing:
I can’t see him morphing into a Beatle bohemian yet, but you never know.
One thing is for sure. As Mad Men and Janie Bryant strive to keep it real, I’m sure that most of our characters will still be seen in some of their outfits from previous seasons, which is as it should be.
What would you like to see?