La couleur bleue

 Posted by on March 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm  Mad Men, Themes
Mar 152013






Pardon my French ….

But exactly what does the color blue symbolize in Mad Men?

There was an episode named after it – shouldn’t that have cleared it up??

But it keeps popping up.  Betty’s recurring winter coat.  Joan’s telephone.  Countless outfits and situations (“incidents and accidents,” as Paul Simon would say) where the color is called to the viewer’s attention.

Anyone wanna put this crayon in it’s proper place?


  13 Responses to “La couleur bleue”

  1. Sorry to be off topic, but………
    SPOILER ALERT: the title to the premiere is on the internet machine. Veracity to be verified.
    I was so happy, I hopped in my chair.

    Blue is the color of disaster, and desire on MM. Opposites of the same coin. That’s the ep Betts opened the shoe box, and Pandora was out and about.
    Don finally ‘saw’ wife no.2, 3? outside his door getting herself made up in a brilliant blue dress. Pete wore that same blue suit all through S1 as his office uniform it seemed, and was lusting for Pegs. The suit came off and Peggy wasn’t the object of his desire.
    DD liked to wear his blue dinner jacket for playful times. The bar in The Jet Set, the piazza in Souvenir, the date with Doc Faye in The Summer Man.

    • Ooo, yes, I have seen the ep title too. Very MW.

      I don’t think Joan has worn a lot of blue. The blue in this picture is very different from the Betty’s icy blues. It’s royal and with the golden braid and the ‘medal’ she looks positively imperial. I so hope this means she is doing well and has the power to match her talent.

      • Joan wears a lot of blue at home, and if memory serves, several of the pivotal scenes with Greg after their marriage have shown her wearing blue. Also – wasn’t she wearing a royal blue dress when she was showing off her engagement ring? I will have to go back and check – don’t know why that sticks in my mind.

        Betty has also worn royal blue in some notable situations – the dress she wore to the party where Jimmy Barrett told her about Don and Bobbie’s affair was royal blue, and who could forget that coat? It seemed to feature in several memorable scenes with Glenn and also around the breakup of her marriage to Don.

    • Yes, “imperial!” Last season, Pete asked what it would take to make her a queen – I know it’s tricky to try to read a lot into these promo pics, but I’m hoping this means that Joan is going to assume some real power.

      Also, in the promo pics, Joan, Betty, and Megan are all wearing blues – it seems to tie them in together and tie them to Don. (I love Tom and Lorenzo’s MadStyle Mad Men fashion posts!!) In fact, Megan is wearing an icy baby blue that seems more of a traditional Betty color although it is beaded like Joan’s dress.

      I don’t know what blue exactly signifies but it does seem to signify major moments.

  2. All I can say is — This is a regal royal blue and Joan is SCD- Royalty. The queen of the partners. I hope this will be a great year for her, and a triumphant move forward. I always thought that the agency would be better with Joan in charge!

    • Classic royalty comes to my mind, as well, especially with the effortlessly dripping jewels and gems. The off-the-shoulder gown calls to mind Cleopatra–sensual and powerful. She’s settling into her throne and enjoying the spoils. All hail Queen Joan!

  3. Everyone here should be reading TLo’s blog posts about mad men fashion. It’s incredible. So much detailed analysis of colors as it pertains to fashion, framing and characterization.

    • Madmanda, are you aware we interviewed TLo? look inthe menu under special features.

  4. Pedant’s corner: “La couleur bleue”. Oddly enough, since “couleur” has a typical masculine ending (-eur) it is in fact a feminine noun, so the feminine “La” particle is correct, but the adjective “bleu” must take the feminine ending too, to agree, as “bleue”. It’s pronounced just the same, though (unlike “vert”, “verte”.)

    • Ooh, it’s been changed to “bleue”. Good going. (My original comment was written when it appeared as “bleu”, for those wondering why I bothered. I’m not *that* pedantic, to go into all this if it were already correct!)

  5. OT Note: Top of the Lake. I’m sure it was noted earlier somewhere that the miniseries Top of the Lake, starring Elizabeth Moss (and created by Jane Campion), had its first two episodes last night on Sundance Channel? I missed it, but I’ve discovered that not only are they being repeated on Thursday evening, but that on many cable networks which don’t carry Sundance in HD, only in SD, they are already available in HD On Demand. Check On Demand HD/Sundance Channel HD. That’s how I’ll be watching them – it’s supposed to look beautiful (New Zealand).

    • I posted under Basket of News– wondering who else watched it and what did you think? Scenery is beautiful, for sure.

  6. I’ve always associated Joan more with the color purple….and like Therese, hope she gets her day as queen. God knows, it’s been a long time coming.

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