“Mad Men’s” New Look: The ’60s Have Landed

Last night's season five premiere of Mad Men brought back all the old favorite characters and introduced one very important new one: 1960s counter-culture. Much has been made of the series taking place during this tumultuous decade, but the '60s of the first seasons was very different from the '60s of season five. In 1960, when we first met the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Kennedy hadn't yet been elected president, Catholics still said mass in Latin, and the agency didn't even have a TV division. As we pick up in mid-1966, the Beatles are three months away from playing their final concert, Valley of the Dolls is about to become a bestseller, and the civil rights movement is in full swing. The world is changing—fast—and the characters are just along for the ride. On a show notorious for its fashion and impeccable attention to period detail, nowhere is the passage of time more apparent than in the costuming. Gone are the prim crinolines and stiff, starched hairdos—last night's double episode made it clear that Mad Men has entered the world of go-go boots and psychedelic miniskirts.
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Even at the office, Megan’s youthful style is more colorful, fun, and casual than the older secretaries’. In contrast to fussy foundation garments and fusty, constricting dresses, Megan dares to wear a blue bra underneath a sheer white shirt. Photo: AMC

Mad Men

Even at the office, Megan’s youthful style is more colorful, fun, and casual than the older secretaries’. In contrast to fussy foundation garments and fusty, constricting dresses, Megan dares to wear a blue bra underneath a sheer white shirt. Photo: AMC

Mad Men

Although Peggy has previously been the show’s best symbol of youth culture, this season finds her straddling the cultural divide—of a younger generation than Betty and Don, but older-seeming than Megan and the young secretaries. At the office and outside of work, Peggy is still sporting prim, ladylike dresses and full skirts. The other young women are idolizing pop culture figures like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, and Edie Sedgwick; Peggy somehow still seems stuck in the past. Photo: AMC

Mad Men

At a time when the radio was playing Nancy Sinatra, Mamas and Papas, Petula Clark, and the Monkees, even a WASPy, well-off couple like Pete and Trudy Campbell could lunge forth into the fashion future; Pete is a garish checked jacket and Trudy in a psychedelic-print Edwardian minidress. Photo: AMC

Mad Men

As the married-couple personification of the divide between Young and Old, Roger and Jane could not be more different—Roger in a stuffy suit and Jane in a Mary Quant-ish shift dress and a modern updo. Also foreshadowing the increasing distrust between adults and the new generation—they can’t stand each other. Photo: AMC

Mad Men

Although it was women who were increasingly embracing easygoing, free-spirited fashion, men were not exempt from the new trends. This season, Harry Crane seems to have traded in traditional suits for beatnik-esque turtlenecks as well as items like this flokati-trimmed jacket. Chronologically, it’s only one year until hippies wear fashions just like these during the Summer of Love. Photo: AMC Related Stories: "‘Mad Men’ So Far: Everything You Need to Know":http://www.divinecaroline.com/122442/125830—mad-men-far-everything-know "How Does a Celeb’s Phone Get “Hacked”?":http://www.divinecaroline.com/22319/125621-celeb-s-phone-hacked "Jon Hamm Says the Darndest Things":http://www.divinecaroline.com/22319/125859-jon-hamm-says-darndest-things

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