Did you guys watch the Mad Men season five premiere last night? In the hubbub surrounding the premiere, we spoke to Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant. While Janie was hush-hush on any spoilers, sartorial or otherwise regarding season five, she did dish about her new collaboration with Maidenform on a shape wear collection for the modern woman. We figure Janie has all the credentials to know what undergarments make women look best–after all, she spends her days outfitting January Jones and Christina Hendricks in period lingerie to give them perfect 1960s curves.
After seeing Janie’s Maidenform collection it’s pretty obvious that this is the kind of shapewear you’re not embarassed to wear in front of your boyfriend. No Bridget Jones granny panties here. And after seeing last night’s episode, and we’re talking about that particularly steamy scene between Don and Megan, lingerie should figure prominently during season five, too.
Fashionista: What makes shape wear an important addition to a modern woman’s wardrobe?
Janie Bryant:Shape wear is an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe. Shape wear smooths and shapes your body and makes all your clothing fit better. It is literally the foundation of any great look!
Your collection for Maidenform is quite sexy – was it a struggle to make shape wear sexy?
I think there is a void in the market for sexy shape wear and that was my first intention to make the 90th Anniversary Capsule Collection for Maidenform be just that–sexy!
How has working on Mad Men inspired your shape wear designs?
The foundations of the 1950′s and 1960′s are so inspiring! Not only are the design details beautiful but how they shape the body is pretty magical. We can take that inspiration and knowledge today and make modern shape wear beautiful and comfortable to wear.
Which Mad Men lady would you pick to model your Maidenform collection?
I couldn’t choose just one. There’s a piece for everyone of the ladies.
I know the actresses on Mad Men wear historically accurate lingerie–what’s the biggest struggle in working with the vintage undergarments?
The actresses mostly wear reproductions of vintage foundations. Occasionally I will find genuine foundations that can work but usually they are not in good enough condition. I also have some of the foundations made.
How did these issues inform your design for your Maidenform collection?
The capsule collection was inspired by the retro designs of the beautiful garments that Maidenform had in their historical archives. I designed with knowledge of being true to that period, and making the collection to be about sexy glamourous shape wear that would celebrate curves and femininity…
What’s an insider tip for finding perfect fitting shapewear that won’t bunch or feel uncomfortable?
Finding pieces that fit properly. Every body is different and you need to find the style that is designed best for your shape.
So perhaps the best way to celebrate Mad Men returning to the airwaves is to slip into some of Janie’s Maidenform collection underneath your shift dress, and put on your gold bauble earrings. This season is going to be all about channeling Megan’s style anyway. More on that in our style recap, coming soon…
Click through to see Janie’s collection for Maidenform.