Being a devoted MM fan and in desperate need for series six to come into my life, the news of a Mad Men inspired clothes range hitting our shores courtesy of Banana Republic (-or at least the US for now) presented fantastic promise – almost as good as the real deal. Everyone likes to own a piece of the action of something they truly love and consider a masterpiece in it’s own right. When it involves iconic and razor sharp tailoring and polished silhouettes, I’m definitely in the buying zone. And hearing that the clothing range is actually developed in collaboration with the series costume designer Janie Bryant, well – it doesn’t get much more of a promise than that!
Questions like: Am I going to recognise who this outfit is inspired by? Which characters’ style would be my ultimate dream outfit? (hmm – still torn between whether it’d be delectable Joan or doing-it-for-the girls Peggy), or I wonder will it include lots of beautiful accessories and all important finishes and detailing that really capture the period? spring to mind. So with all this souped up hope and in need of a MM shot of pure pleasure and indulgence I clicked onto Banana Republic’s Mad Men range which frankly left me feeling a touch dissatisfied (not something I’d normally associate with a certain Mr Draper).
This number is definitely the best of the collection – a silk dress with a striking cactus flower repeat print, with buttoned cuffs and tie front belt – a fine addition to anyone’s wardrobe. But minus a couple of other interesting prints and textures this is pretty much it people. After that, there is a melange of not so different wardrobe basics lacking in much detail or depth – sure there’s a distinctive nod to the 60’s, but overall comes across pretty sanitised and lacking in the MM essence any self-respecting fan would love to linger over, and pay the (not-so-cheap) price for. I would actually go further to question how much Janie had to do with this not particularly inspiring collection other than sign off the BR design prototypes.
Do I want to part with the best part of a hundred quid for a white dress with vertical stripe? Nothing is inspiring me to this, which is a shame as I think they have missed a trick here, particularly now with the fashion landscape totally embracing black & white, stripes and 60’s influences. As you might have gathered by now, this collection leaves me slightly cold and wanting to head for the nearest ‘Beyond Retro’ branch to make it all better again *and relax*….
You can see the collection here