Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant dishes on dressing actress Christina Hendricks, and her secret shapewear sources.
Though there are still a good eight months of hiatus left until Mad Men returns to air next March, costume designer Janie Bryant has been keeping plenty busy. This August, Banana Republic will launch an entire Mad Men-inspired line which Bryant helped create, featuring party dresses, separates, shoes and handbags all worthy of Betty, Joan and Peggy. But how will shoppers pull off the looks if they don’t quite have the body? We rang up Bryant to ask her how us modern girls can create those killer retro curves.
What’s it like working with Christina Hendricks?
It’s great! We have a great understanding for her character Joan, and I am always designing pieces for her. We work together closely, and from the beginning there has been a lot of trust. Sometimes she may not be into a certain color, but most of the time, she loves everything.
Do you have any tips for dressing a curvy figure like hers?
It’s always about accentuating the waist and creating that hourglass shape. The show’s [style is] different from contemporary dressing. I use long-line bras and girdles—reproduction undergarments of the type that were used during that period. I work with a company that still makes those garments as they were made in the 1960’s called Rago. They do alter how the girls on the show move and sit. It’s all about transporting them back in time.
What other shapewear brands do you suggest?
I’m a brand ambassador for Maidenform and I am such a fan of their products. They have the most beautiful waist nippers, which are very helpful in creating that hourglass look. Their Pure Genius Extra Coverage bras are great; they have more coverage, more support, and that helps the figure too. They also make an amazing slip that is called the Easy Up Strapless Full Slip. It has amazing details, but it’s still comfortable. It really smoothes and creates an hourglass figure.
Any red carpet tricks for keeping things in place?
Topstick tape is always a great friend to gowns, for sure.
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