Rebecca Lerner didn’t watch Crazy Men since she attended high school almost a decade ago. During stay-at-home orders, however, with the world closed, Lerner found himself at his parents’ house re-watching the AMC series, which ran from 2007 to 2015.
More than a year later, her quarantine watch has become a passion project. In November 2020, she started an Instagram account @madmenstyles, a love letter and analysis of all the outfits in Crazy Men, styled by award-winning designer Janie Bryant. Today, this account has nearly 10,000 followers and makes Lerner agree with both Bryant and Crazy Men Actress Elisabeth Moss. “Sometimes [Bryant] would comment on my posts and I had to give up,” Lerner said.
A lover of movies and fashion, the 25-year-old graduated from the University of Michigan, where she majored in film and English. (Lerner now works in a nonprofit focused on food equity.) She remembers that she was often the only student in her class to bring the role of costume designer in the movie they studied, an aspect of the film and television industry that she considers very little attention. “The costumes and fashion in movies are always gendered,” she said, referring to the disparity in wages and credits in the industry where women’s apparel designers, who make up 83% Costume Designer Guild Guild member, fought for many years. “And I think that’s part of the reason that we may not have given it as much attention as the actual directing because it’s a hidden labor job done by women.”
With @madmenstyles, she hopes to change that.
Since its launch, Crazy MenYour fandom just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The show, which celebrates its 14th anniversary this July, closely follows the inner workings of New York City’s advertising agencies during the ’60s. Lerner believes what distinguishes it. Crazy Men is how the show’s plot blends with real history, showing the lives of its characters at key moments in the 20th century, like the 1960 Richard Nixon-John F. Kennedy election, the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 and the moon landing in 1969.
“This is an incredibly influential and iconic time in history,” she said. “The show is rooted in events that happened.”
Similarly, the outfits represent a period of America from 1960 to 1970, from the gender politics of workwear to the rise of mini skirts and Aesthetic Mod. As of 2020, Lerner has been documenting the outfit in every episode of Crazy Men, Order Time. Now, she’s up to Season 3.
“I started to really think about it from a more theoretical lens and look at it specifically through the story they were portraying in fashion and clothing, because, especially in a show like Crazy Men, everything is very meticulously planned,” she said.
Her first post features Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in the opening scene of Crazy Men, where he drank at a bar while researching a cigarette advertisement that he had to present to a client the next morning. Draper wears a dark gray suit with a white shirt and striped tie, while his hair is meticulously combed back. For this post, Lerner focuses on the importance of first impressions, noting that the “straightness” of the look is reminiscent of 1950s workwear that was considered high standards. Then when she discussed a gray A-line dress worn by Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) in Episode 15 of Season 2 emulating her boss Draper’s style, she compared the character’s similarities to the modern day “girlboss” archetype, writing : “The idea that to be successful she has to be Don and Peggy, overtime and assertive and no threat? Ya that’s the damn boss’s daughter. “
Lerner watched each episode two to three times – once to enjoy, one to take notes. As she watched, Lerner took screenshots of the outfits she wanted to feature, doing research on the specific styles, cuts, fabrics, and inspiration behind the suits and stools. Analyze how it fits into the character’s plot. Shen then uses the Notes app on her phone to write captions she calls “academic, hot scenes.”
Since the early days, Lerner chose to focus on her looks women In the program. Her favorite female character on Crazy Men is Megan Draper (Jessica Paré), Draper’s second wife, whose stylistic taste is imbued with Mod fashion and the glamor of Hollywood at the time. See: colorful off-the-shoulder dresses and short hemlines, often paired with hiking shoes, heel pump and fishnet. But she’s also backing Peggy, Draper’s copywriter, copywriter and patron, who begins the series as a shy Brooklyn girl who doesn’t wear a skirt and transforms into a businesswoman. Successfully wear long pants (literally). However, Lerner also appreciates the consistency of characters like Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), the chief company partner turned in by the secretary, who “loves a sheath dress.”
Before starting the account, Lerner gathered some inspiration from other Instagram pages dedicated to recording TV shows and movies on the app. An example is Sex and the city-centralized account @everyoutfitonsatc, created by Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni, has grown to nearly 700,000 followers and even published a book called We should all be Mirandas. This community of film and TV-focused accounts, Lerner says, “keeps these truly incredible time capsules alive” and helps the works gain more fans.
Along the way, Lerner found a community Crazy Men lovers who interact with her content at the same level of education that she approached the show. “Some people told me they watched the show 13 times,” she said, adding that sometimes her followers even help her find out details she missed.
For now, she’s predicting a time when she can revisit her favorite episodes, which will come in Season 5. After completing the entire series, Lerner said she’ll leave the account open even if she does. He doesn’t update it often.
She said @madmenstyles will always be a reminder of the times she revisited her passion for film and fashion in the midst of the pandemic: “That’s something I’m going to take away, that you can always create. time and space for a project you’re passionate about, even if you’re not locked indoors 24 hours a day.”
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https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/07/10585252/mad-men-styles-fashion-instagram-interview?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss | How this Mad Men fan turned a quarantine project into a popular fashion history account