Dear Costume Designers for Mad Men-
First off, let me congratulate you on being a part of one of the best shows ever produced for television. Well written, thoughtfully acted, beautifully shot…really a triumph.
And in general, please know that I love the look of your work. Betty Draper’s cool icy beauty in those amazing ensembles where the dress has a matching coat of the same fabric, Grace Kelly couldn’t be more stunning.
Don Draper and Roger Sterling, either of whom would look fantastic in a burlap sack, those slick tailored suits with the trench coats and de rigueur fedoras, every woman I know wants to be the meat in that sandwich, if you’ll pardon the expression.
From Peggy’s prim and buttoned down working girl duds to Campbell’s slightly slick suits that underscore his general oiliness, you really have a total success on your hands.
Or at least you did.
The runaway standout of this hit is the character of Joan, played to purring seductive perfection by Christina Hendricks. Her personal code of honor which includes such delicious dichotomies as playing mama lioness protecting the execs fragile egos and professional foibles, while simultaneously sleeping with her married boss…pure melodramatical yumminess. Her stoic acceptance of rape at the hands of her fiancée, truly a brave bit of acting. She is complex and interesting and terrifically fun to watch.
And let’s be honest, how refreshing to see a woman on television who is built like a woman, and not a twelve year old boy! You have celebrated Joan’s curves, accentuating her amazing hourglass figure, letting her be the sexiest woman on the show, and giving those of us who are not, have never been, and never will be a size two a little frisson of confidence in our own curvaceousness.
I loved her as a bad-ass rebel courtesan in Joss Whedon’s short-lived and much beloved Firefly (mmmmm Firefly. Nathan Fillion. Sorry. Lost the plot for a moment.) and was really excited to find her in a strong supporting role on Mad Men.
So please understand that when I write you this letter it is simply to ask, in all genuine curiosity, and from a place of love…
What the f*** were you smoking when you did the costumes for this week’s episode!?!?
Christina seems to have put on a couple of pounds, which she can pull off like nobody’s business, and not being privy to her personal life nor much up on my Hollywood gossip, it is certainly possible that she might be preggers, but I’m not on baby bump watch.
I am however concerned that the outfits you put her in this week could not have been less flattering to some of her, um, currently slightly more abundant assets.
The shiny green blouse with the bow at the neck? Might be totally period appropriate, and is certainly in her wheelhouse color-wise. But good lord, what sort of underpinnings did you put that girl in? She looked like she was smuggling a pair of watermelons in her bra! I mean, I know she’s gifted in that area, but she looked like she should be hanging off the prow of a ship!
I know that some of the fault lies with the director’s choice of camera angles, having the poor girl filmed straight on from the side as she bent over was fair to neither her nor you. Nor to those of us watching, since who can follow the action when you are worried that fair red-headed Joan is going to faceplant in the middle of Sterling Cooper’s Madison Avenue offices due to the weight of her ponderous Kelly-green-silk-clad bosom?
I thought you might have saved the day with the blue suit in her second scene, from the back, it fit her like a glove. But then she turned around and from the front it fit her like, well, like she had borrowed Nell Carter’s boobs and tried to smuggle them into the office in a teal wool carpetbag tied around her neck with yet another blouse bow.
My sister and I had to rewind every scene she was in at least twice, because the ridiculousness of her in those unflattering get-ups made us laugh so hard we were crying and making dolphin noises, missing some of the cutting wit of the dialogue.
I assume if she is knocked up in real life that it will be written into the script sooner rather than later. But if she just had a few extra cheeseburgers between seasons (and god bless her if she did, you go girl!) for the love of god, get her in a drape-y cowlneck or give her some subtle ruching around the middle, and give her some balance.
And if you want to tell the director to have her cheat out a little bit so that he doesn’t film her in total profile, that wouldn’t hurt either.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying…