Mad, Mad, Mad World
Much is being made of the influence of the show “Mad Men,” and rightfully so. It has been “officially” recognized as one of the best shows on TV, as evidenced by its’ Emmy’s. It’s well-written, well-directed and has a great cast, but it’s the set design and costumes that seem to be having the most sway.
The show is a mid-century design showcase. With the show shot here in LA, much of the furniture comes from the stores on this street or those adjacent. Mid-century design has been one of the leading styles in furniture over the course of the last decade. Almost every store has trafficked in it to some degree, so seeing it all in all its’ resplendent glory on the show, isn’t exactly inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s spot on, masterfully curated, but it’s already happening. In fact, it’s happened. We could argue about whether or not mid-century is “In” or “Out,” but why bother? (Personally, I think it still looks right, though I readily admit that it’s waning. People have seen it, so the best of it remains relevant, while the lesser stuff and the knockoffs just look tired.) What I think is more interesting is to compare what’s going on in design with what’s going on in fashion.
I read again today that the “Mad Men” look is hot for spring. The slick hair with the severe part is back for the first time since literally the mid-century. Skinny ties have been back for about a year now. Heavy beards are supposedly on their way out, which really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. My point is that fashion is following “Mad Men” while design is leading it. Am I wrong? Maybe fashion is just mining design. I don’t exactly know what to think of it, I just think it’s interesting.