This project – a project very near and dear to my heart – my last ode to Mad Men – is now yesterday’s (or rather a week and a half ago’s) news. The buzz about the series finale has quieted to a whisper among die-hard fans or those behind on their DVRs. Everything I know about the Internet and blogging and Google and the immediacy and timeliness of it all tells me I need to let this project go and write it off as a series of unfortunate mishaps, time and money and energy I’ll never get back. But I refuse to let this project die in the depths of my external hard drive. So, without further ado, I present my final tribute to Mad Men: Marie in Manhattan, a short story of a woman whose life ran parallel to Peggy and Joan.
MARIE IN MANHATTAN
Marie moved to Manhattan in the fall of 1965, just a few weeks before her twenty-second birthday. She came to New York City with the hope of becoming a writer. To pay the bills, Marie took a job as a secretary. Although typing company memos and contracts wasn’t the best use of Marie’s written skills, she was a capable typist no matter what the content. Her personal record was 48 words per minute.
After nearly two years in New York, Marie hadn’t made much progress with her career, but she had made new friends and met a man, Paul Miller. Paul was an associate editor at The New Yorker, and he was certain he could make Marie a star. He told her she was the next Pauline Kael.
By the summer of 1968, Marie had her foot in the door at The New Yorker. They had published one of her short stories titled “The Dandy Game,” which was a witty anecdote about the life of a secretary in New York City. Before the piece was published, Paul pulled some strings, and Marie came into the office to meet with the Editor-in-Chief. “You’ve got a spark,” he said, “don’t lose it.”
On a warm Sunday in the spring of 1969, Paul proposed, and Marie said yes. Planning a wedding would be a welcome distraction from her career. Monday morning Marie returned to work. It didn’t take long for her co-workers to learn of her engagement. “Congratulations!” exclaimed Anna, whose desk was adjacent to Marie’s, “You don’t have to worry about being a writer anymore, you’ve got a ring!”
Shot on location in the Garment District of Manhattan courtesy of Breather.
My grandparents moved into the house on East 33rd Street in February of 1968. My mom was about to turn six, and her younger sister was only a month away from being born. My mom always says she remembers it vividly: my grandmother eight months pregnant, sitting under the shade of the awning on the front porch, directing the movers.
Forty-three years later, my grandmother decided it was time to leave this home and its original avocado-green fridge. I spent every Christmas in that house, even my first Christmas at one-month old. So for the Christmas of 2010, my family and I went there one final time.
My mom and I slowly made our way through the house, identifying the things we wanted. One night we were going through the mid-century modern highboy in the guest bedroom, her room growing up. In the bottom drawer, we came upon a treasure trove of costume jewelry my aunts had somehow missed. Among the baubles was a gold bangle.
In the summer of 2011, I was at my parent’s house, packing to move from Georgia for the first time, across the country to Madison, WI. In the background, I was re-watching Mad Men. I looked up from the pile of clothes I was folding and placing in boxes, dropped what I was doing, and darted toward the T.V. I paused the episode and immediately called my grandmother. Joan was wearing the gold bangle.
As silly as it sounds, I’ve come to treasure the bangle even more ever since I discovered Joan wearing it. I always knew the bangle was genuinely vintage, but for some reason, knowing costume designer Janie Bryant deemed it worthy for Mad Men makes it all the more authentic.
Note: I attempted to remember and locate the original episode in which Joan wears the gold bangle, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so before publishing this post. Now I have a good excuse to re-watch the entire series and report back! However, Joan wears the bangle again in the final season, episode 12.
Reflecting on the past can be an important part of moving forward. I often choose to end each year looking back at what has transpired and what I’ve accomplished. When a portion of your life is documented online – through social media or a blog – it’s easy to travel back in time through the past 365 days. Sometimes this is a blessing and a curse. There’s a point at which spending too much time on the past can hinder our journey into the future. There’s such a fine line between constructive and detrimental reflection on the past.
For me, the past year – my first year of freelancing and blogging full-time – has been a lot of learning what not to do. I’ve made a number of poor decisions as I’ve taken total and complete control of carving and shaping my career. While I know it’s all part of the learning process, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking back with a negative mindset – the could-have, would-have, should-have mindset. Of course there are many, many things I could have, would have, should have done differently. The key to reflecting on these moments in a productive way is to acknowledge and examine what can be learned from them as I head into a new year and fresh start.
Whether it be self-imposed or a force from the universe, there’s a lot of pressure on year two of freelancing and blogging from New York City. So, I’m spending the last day of 2014 focusing on my energy – mental, physical, emotional energy – and reflecting on 2014. As cheesy as it sounds, I have this intuition that this is my year. It’s scary to proclaim in writing on such a public forum, but perhaps this is my first step in telling the universe I’m ready!
W I N T E R
S P R I N G
S U M M E R
7. Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee
8. Midwest Style Blogger Happy Hour
10. My Best Friend’s Wedding
13. Just Knotted ARTicles of Clothing Blog Bands
F A L L
24. Birthday in NYC with blogger GaBrielle Pedriani of Look Sharp, Sconnie
Instagram is arguably one of the fastest growing social media platforms. On this week’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, I learned that Instagram actually began as a project similar to Foursquare that focused on checking in and location based social networking, then it pivoted and revised its focus to mobile photography. Instagram has been a particularly significant platform for the fashion community. From LIKEtoKNOW:IT, a service that allows you to LIKE photos on Instagram and receive ready to shop product links directly to your inbox, to Vogue’s impromptu Instagram fashion shoot aka promotion for the Met Gala and the Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, the fashion community has found ways to fully utilize Instagram’s features. The platform is gaining such popularity in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America (CFDA) named their first ever Fashion Instagrammer of the Year to be the official CFDA Instagram correspondent for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards (which were last night, btw!). You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them. Here are 3 unsuspectingly stylish Instagram accounts you should check out!
Maybe I’m weird and creepy for being obsessed with a 14-year-old’s Instagram. Maybe I’m just partial to anything and everything relating to AMC’s Mad Men. But really, is it just me or does this girl have amazing style? Chanel + Chuck Taylor + Miu Miu… need I say more?
You may know Bethany Watson by her voice as one of the leading radio personalities of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show. Bethany is a born and raised Wisconsin gal (shout out to all my Mad Town ladies) living in NYC. Of all my unsuspectingly stylish Instagrammers, Bethany rocks the most attainable, everygirl looks – most recently she prided herself in finding the amazing Alice + Olivia pumps (pictured above) at a local consignment store for $60!
Busy Philipps is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to showcasing her amazing fashion sense, she posts tons of awesome pictures of her life in LA and some of the best throwback photos. This major celeb’s Instagram is down to earth, totally relatable, and seriously stylish.
Know of an awesome Instagrammer that’s flying under the radar? Share the unsuspectingly stylish Instagram account you’re obsessed with following in the comments below!
Last night was the Mad Men Season 7, Part I Premiere. For the past four years, my boyfriend and I have developed the tradition of going all out for the Mad Men premiere. We dress in era-inspired attire, drink Manhattans, and make a fancy dinner all to the tune of oldies from the corresponding decade. In case you can’t tell I have a little obsession with Mad Men, not only for its impeccably written script but also for its fashion. So, today’s post is about all things Mad Men + Fashion, from how I Mad Men to some of the top features on Mad Men fashion you should totally check out. Whether you’re a die-hard Mad Men fan like me or just a lover of vintage fashion, there’s something for everyone!
HOW I MAD MEN
Step 1: Mad Men yourself at amctv.com
Step 2: Make Manhattans
2 Parts Rye Whisky
1 Part Sweet Vermouth
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
Step 3: Get Ready – hair, makeup, and music
Step 4: Fancy Dinner
and the end result is…
Cynthia Steffe Printed Floral Cap Sleeve Dress (last season, purchased from Hautelook for $89)
Stuart Weitzman Logoplainfield Peep-toe Patent Pump (purchased from Hautelook for $179)
*To other die hard fans like me: Does that bangle look familiar?? Joan wears the same one in Season 6! Eek! I’m so proud to own a number of pieces from my grandmother’s jewelry collection!
FABULOUS FEATURES ON MAD MEN FASHION
Harper’s Bazaar showcases some of the most captivating images of Janie Bryant’s costumes, spanning over the shows first 6 seasons.
AMC has created a comprehensive guide on how to achieve the look of your favorite female character. This look book features some of the top still shots and scenes from seasons 5 and 6 as well as hair and makeup how-to guides.
Take a walk down memory lane with a montage of style through the seasons. See the top 5 looks that represent each of the leading ladies on Mad Men: Betty, Joan, Megan, Peggy, and Sally.
BONUS: Shop for the Looks
One of my favorite member’s only discount sites created a boutique with fashions inspired by Mad Men. With pieces as low as $20, there is something for everyone with any budget in this selection of apparel and accessories. The boutique closes on Wednesday at 11am EST, so get shopping!