Joan’s gorgeous dresses and Megan’s chic Los Angeles look aren’t only fashionable and perfect for the time period: the careful design of Emmy-nominated Janie Bryant has allowed for intricate character development over the span of seven seasons.
A recent article in Deadline covered Bryant’s costuming on characters Don and Megan Draper.
Mad Men is a costume intensive show with lots of specific changes in the time period and character growth. The initial Season 7 fitting for principals was three hours, and the show usually has 75 costume changes per episode for principals as well as 200 extra costumes for background talent. “I’m lucky to work with a cast who really loves their costumes. It’s part of their job,” Bryant says. Her prep time for the first half of Season 7 was a mere five weeks.
The show, which has followed Don Draper from 1960 to 1969, has only featured slight costume changes for Don throughout seasons to stay true to what his character is experiencing. “One of the themes of Mad Men is that change takes time,” Bryant said. “I really love that idea to be reflected in the costume design with the principal cast. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) can change a little bit, but it’s not like he’s going to change that much.”
Megan Draper however, whose character has transitioned literally across the country, in economic and social status, and in career aspirations, has seen a lot more change through costumes. Bryant’s research on Megan often involves flipping through period copies of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. “She’s had a lot of costume design changes,” Bryant mentioned. “She’s a character who can be fashion-forward.” (Deadline)