I have a confession. I don't actually want to wear any of the dresses on Mad Men.
Don't tell anyone because I'm quite embarrassed about it. But I feel like there's vintage that can be worn whenever because it's classic and then there's vintage that is nice to look at, but very dated and belongs in museums or on tv. I think Mad Men falls into the latter category, which is why I always have so many problems choosing a dress for Julia Bobbin's challenge (which I love and obviously made a dress for and will continue to participate in every year).
I typically want, at a minimum, to update either the fabric or the style, and I've always accepted that that was normal. Because Mad Men is a historical show.
But then. Then I came across a show that has been dubbed "Britain's version of Mad Men."
I watched The Hour, expecting it to be good as most British shows that make it across the pond are. (Hopefully that works both ways and you guys only get our best, but somehow I doubt it.)
However, and I fully expect this to be controversial, I think The Hour is better than Mad Men. It's a little different so it's not necessarily a fair comparison (it's about news journalists at the BBC uncovering stories vs an advertising firm thinking up clever slogans), but not only do I think the writing better, but I think the dresses are better. Like, I would wear them as is.
Look at this beautiful cast! You have Sissy in the back on the stairs, a minor character with the most adorable outfits. Lix, bottom left, is a kick ass journalist who wears trousers and button down blouses. (She won't be featured here because of said outfits, but she's great.) Oona Chaplin plays Marnie, the wife of the lead anchor. (Guys. GUYS. I LOVE Betty Draper. Sure, she has issues and isn't perfect, but her character is fantastic, and I understand why she's so bored and depressed and hateful and I will always defend her... but Marnie is my new favorite housewife. Betty is who I'm afraid I'll turn into. Marnie is someone worth turning into.) And lastly, someone who should be front and center is Bel, the television producer who's trying to turn out her news program each week. I suppose you could call her the "Peggy" of the show, but that would really do Bel a disservice.
Okay so I'll try to refrain from telling you how amazing everyone is (because you're already downloading the first 2 seasons, right??) and focus on the outfits. Which I adore.
(And look, I made collages which are hopefully easier than scrolling through a hundred pictures!)
So Sissy is the young assistant. She wears the most adorable outfits. Usually it's colorful dresses with full skirts, but she also wears embroidered sweaters that I frequently drool over. And the neck ties! Love them.
And Marnie! As the housewife, she wears your standard full skirts, but they're always so interesting. The pink outfit, top left, is very, well, pink, but I feel like when it's paired with the black stripe it's rather unusual, as is the way it's sewn together. The blouse, while seemingly plain, has these great pleats near the neckline which gives it so much more interest.
The fabric in the center top has tassels on it! Which is so fun, and something I would normally pass by in the store. The center outfit is just so perfect: an a-line skirt with an embroidered sweater and a neck tie. (Clearly I need to get on and make some embroidered sweaters and neck ties!)
And the bottom left is a simple lace dress. My fabric store just got in some fabric that resembles lace but isn't, and I think I might try to replicate it. Of course, I'd love to replicate them all. I pulled all of these photos because the necklines and fabric choices are so creative.
And Bel is the producer. As such she wears very simply, business type clothing. Mostly pencil skirts and jackets. (I just adore that red plaid skirt.) Sometimes pencil dresses. She also has fantastic necklines with lots of pleating. The top right is an evening gown that is so simple and stylish. Romola Garai, the actress, actually complained that her character was dressed too nicely for the time period and her station. That may or may not be true, but I do love how her outfits are all business, yet still feminine.
And let's talk about this coat for a moment. I think this would be perfect to make for fall. It looks so cozy and stylish. And I'm such a fan of hounds-tooth.
But actually, I'll be making this dress first. As part of the Copycat Challenge, I'm making this pencil dress, and I'm self-drafting it. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out the top. I had a general idea of how to make it, but then I couldn't get the neckline to lay flat.
Anyway, I've pretty much figured it out (I think) and I've started sewing it up. If all goes according to plan, I'll have it done this week and then I'll be able to make TWO outfits from The Hour, on my way to sewing them all!
Has anyone seen The Hour? Can we please talk about how amazing it is? (And if you happen to think I've just finished it and that's why I'm obsessed, you'd be wrong. I've seen the whole series three times over the past year.)