returned to UK television last week, delivering a rich mix of 1960s sexual politics, boardroom sparring and social upheaval. But what keeps us riveted to the stylised episodes isnt always the plotits the costumes.
The woman who puts the curves in the hourglass dresses is Janie Bryant. The award-winning costume designer determines everything from just how tightly to tailor Joan Holloways pencil skirts to how best to convey Sally Drapers stewing rebellion through clothes.
I look at it as this very careful dance that has to be done subtly, Bryant says. It is about being true to the characters, especially the established principal characters that have changed subtly through time.
Bryant begins preparing for the season by compiling design books for each character during six weeks of research. Once she receives the scripts each week, she and her team sketch designs, scour costume rental houses and vintage stores and rework pieces as needed. Location visits and rounds of fittings follow.
Bryant and her team create an average of about 75 costumes per episode for the principal cast, the day players and the guest cast alone, she says. The background extrasall of whom also undergo detailed fittings and head-to-toe wardrobingaccount for a further 200-250 costumes per week.
Such extensive requirements mean Bryant is always on the hunt for vintage jewellery, foundation garments and shoes. Theyre old and most of the time theyre worn out, she says of the shoes. There are always blow-outs. Also, vintage shoes were cut so much narrower than they are today. The actors are always squeezing their poor feet in.
But the results tend to pay off. When Megan treated Don and a room of his friends to a song More