Mid Century Mad

Posted by Louise Fearn on 2 March 2012 | Comments

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Have you seen the online countdown clock http://www.secretsareback.com for the fifth season of Mad Men, which premieres this month in America and for Sky Atlantic subscribers a week later in the UK? Suddenly the web is awash with teasers and I for one can't wait!

Mad Men is an American television drama series created and produced by Matthew Weiner. It is set in the 1960s world of advertising, on Madison Avenue in New York. Depicting the social mores of 60s America, Mad Men has received critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style, and has won multiple awards, including fifteen Emmys and four Golden Globes. It is the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, winning it in each of its first four seasons in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The deep and quirky characters, which evolve before our eyes and the witty dialogue are both awe inspiring, but as designers what we are truly in love with is the highly pleasurable aesthetic experience. The imbuing of everything from the fashion, to the architecture, to all aspects of the art and design with an undeniable, inescapable, meticulous mid century seductiveness. 

Last season we saw Knoll-inspired chairs (like those designed in the 1950s by Saarinen and Risom) and that heavenly Eames executive desk seat. I have complete faith that production designer Dan Bishop will continue to shine this series too.

From attention to the minutia of graphic elements, like period-appropriate fonts, to the show's elegant treatment of art (Bert Cooper's unveiling of his Rothko painting and his delightfully lewd Hokusai print in past seasons) the design is exquisitely accurate. Mastermind costume designer Jamie Bryant has been credited with setting off a wave of renewed interest in the fashion and decor of early 1960s and this season Este Lauder and Banana Republic have Mad Men inspired ranges. The whole world of 60s New York is lushiously laid out for our consumption.

If you’re a fan of the show already take a look at this hilarious site in your coffee break. http://whatwoulddondraperdo.tumblr.com/ Don’s response to everyday problems. That man has style.