Suspense was in the air during Mad Men's penultimate episode of this season. What will come of Don and Megan? Are Peggy and Ted having an affair? What's up with Bob and Pete?
As per usual, we have more questions than answers, but the thing we know for sure is that the fashion from last night's episode was not to be missed.
Check it out!
Don Our friend Don Draper is not having a good week. The guilt of knowing that Sally saw him with Sylvia leads him to take a day off work. But in typical Don Draper fashion, his "sick" day starts with a cocktail mixed into his orange juice.
He wakes up wearing his suit from the day before, a light gray with a black striped tie. He lounges around the house in this outfit, where he catches a glimpse of Megan's soap opera. He doesn't want to spend time with Megan in real life, let alone while she's away. Don finally showers, wraps his green and blue towel around his neck, and puts on a blue plaid robe while brushing his teeth. This may be the most color we're ever seen Don wear at once, which is in stark opposition to his darkening mood. Megan suggests a movie to cheer him up, though they end up seeing Rosemary's Baby–not the sunniest option.
In the theater, Don wears a very "Ted" look: a turtleneck with a plaid blazer and mismatched trousers. During that scene, Ted is dressed more like Don, in a black suit with a golden tie. The wardrobe reversal reflects their shifting positions in relation to Peggy. Ted is now the guy she sees movies with (and maybe does some other stuff too) while Don is the turtleneck-wearing jerk she hates.
Don continues his "Ted" streak the following day, wearing a grey suit with a golden hued tie. Gold is a color long associated with Ted this season, and while wearing it, Don tries to be more moderate and compromising. Ted and Peggy's flirty mood, however, kills Don's nice streak and sends him into a black and gray suit that reflects his malintentions. During the St. Joseph's meeting, Don is in a singular mood, pushing Ted and Peggy to the brink of revealing their (rumored?) affair, and then slyly saving the situation at the last minute. Just as his affair was interrupted by Sally last week, Don is interrupting and exposing Ted and Peggy's sexual tension in a real and embarrassing way. All that hot-blooded revenge is taking a toll on DD, though. In the last shot he is curled up in fetal position on his couch, balancing a tumbler over his heart. That seems a little foreboding, right?
For the majority of this episode, Ted is more focused on Peggy than on his work. He's first shown wearing a white shirt–a rather crisp color for him–with a solid mustard tie. Peggy and he playfully bicker over the Ocean Spray copy and later attend the movies together; he throws on his suit jacket to complete his classicly-minded outfit. This is Ted's version of a "Don look," but in friendlier colors. During Don's past phases with Peggy, even at his friendliest, his wardrobe still reflected his affluence and their difference in status through the use of cool and dark colors. Seeing Ted in warm, unassuming colors next to Peggy is a telltale sign they're on the same page, or that he wants to be seen as an equal to her.
As the ball gets rolling on St. Joseph's, Ted wears a brown plaid suit with a yellow shirt, and crazily striped brown tie. This is the outfit you wear if you're going to a costume party as Fantastic Mr. Fox; just throw on a mask and voila! The head-to-toe severity of this outfit and its warm colors is a signal that Ted is committing 100% to Peggy, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy. The following day, Ted is in cooler, more somber colors--but his green and navy tie matches Peggy's navy and green suit to a T. Even if they don't consciously realize it, their relationship is instantly visible to those around them.
Peggy Peggy's outfits vary this episode between business and pleasure. She's first seen wearing a dark green dress with a wide collar and short sleeves during a brainstorming session with Ted. This look is very non-threatening, a simple silhouette in a whatever-color, which makes her over-the-top flirting with Ted stand out all the more. It's not like she threw on a bombshell dress and is strutting around the office--Peggy is trying to pretend that nothing out of the ordinary is happening by dressing really blasé and hoping that no one else catches on.
The following day, however, Peggy opts for a look that's basically a dead giveaway of her feelings for Ted. She wears a nude, button-front dress with an orange, striped bow at the neck, a dress so similar to this eggplant dress she's already worn twice before. Both times in the eggplant version of this dress, she is called out or embarrassed for being a woman, and yet here in the nude version, her femininity is being celebrated. Much like Megan's nude audition dress, this dress is Peggy's sexy confidence booster.
For the St. Joseph's meeting, Peggy wears a more serious navy suit with green trim. She is expecting hit a home run in this meeting with her Rosemary's Baby idea, hence the outfit, and instead gets subtly made a fool of by Don. Also, as mentioned in the previous slide, her and Ted end up inadvertently matching in navy and green. Maybe they got dressed together?
Joan I don't know why Matt Weiner is laying off the Joan plotlines this season–she's definitely one of the most beloved characters. In last night's episode Joan makes just two small appearances, but she pretty much steals the show.
She's party to Ted and Peggy's flirting in a cobalt blue suit and rainbow scarf, the same outfit she wore when Bob took her to the hospital for an ovarian cyst. Maybe the repeat of the blue suit is a reminder of how little attention people are paying to Joan: She went to the hospital and no one noticed she was gone, and now she's the third wheel to Ted and Peggy's flirtatious affair and they don't seem to care at all that she's there.
She later does a complete color swap and wears all cherry red to the St. Joseph's meeting. It's not totally clear why she would pick such a vibrant look to wear to this meeting. Perhaps Joan's all-red look is a warning sign to the disaster that goes down in that meeting. Or Janie Bryant just knows Joan looks amazing in red and is throwing us a bone to make up for her lessened screen time. Either way, I'm happy with the outcome.
Megan Megan doesn't have much of a plot line this episode, leaving all of us crazy theorists on the edge of our seats waiting for next week's finale. Ok, I know Matt Weiner said no one was going to die, but... should we believe him?
Megan wakes up in a yellow pajama set alone. In this episode, yellow is supposed to be a friendly color, a color of relationship building, and yet on Megan, it's only highlighting the rift between her and Don.
She changes into a red sweater with a tapestry-like skirt and matching jacket to go to work and later to the movies with Don. Astute viewers (and conspiracy theorists) will notice Megan has been wearing a lot of red lately, perhaps foreshadowing a tragedy. Interestingly, on her TV show she wears angelic white and confronts her lover about "having his way" with her twin. That's hitting a little too close to home for Don, who changes the channel immediately.
There's a theme this season of housewives wearing wallpaper prints while in their homes, and Betty falls trap to this in her first scene. She wears a dark purple dress with a golden print--very royal seeming--while phoning Don to talk about Sally. Despite the massive secret between them, Don and Betty seem to be getting along well, although I guess they're used to keeping massive secrets from each other.
To take Sally to Miss Porter's, Betty transforms into "mom" mode with a tweed pink suit. The pink is a reflection of her sweet and sugary mood to Sally and to the school's headmaster, whom she is actively trying to win over. Upon picking Sally up, Betty wears a similar silhouette, but in an icier blue color. Betty's icy blue serves as a compliment to Sally's navy in the car ride home, during this drive they become more bonded than they have been in a while, smoking cigarettes and being so over Don together.
Betty is also looking to have gained some weight since we last saw her in her denim shorts, but this might just be a costume department illusion to make her seem more matronly.
Sally really has a whirlwind night at Miss Porter's. The sort of bullying and partying Sally goes through was typical of the era, and still is today, really.
Sally wears a prim blue plaid dress with a wide white collar and bow to meet and greet the faculty and students at Miss Porter's. She's also wearing blue plaid when she catches Don in the act; this outfit (and trip to boarding school) is a direct response to that incident. Her blue colors are a distinct opposite from the headmaster, who wears orange, and the other girls, who wear yellows, reds, and pinks. Later during the ride home, Sally is still in blue, this time a navy overcoat.
Millicent & Mandy
Millicent and Mandy are the future Muffys of the Upper East Side. They both have straight hair, round faces, and have accessorized their uniforms with shorter skirts and fringed suede jackets. On Wednesdays they wear pink.
Mandy, Glen, & Rolo
After the boys arrive, Mandy strips down into a pink floral blouse that she ties at her waist. Her and Glen maybe have a little fling going on? I mean, how could you resist a man in an army jacket and yellow flannel? Glen is no rock star like Sylvia's son Mitchell at least attempts to be–Glen's look is the white collar version of rebellion.
Glen also brings along a friend, alias "Rolo," for Sally, who is wearing a black turtleneck, jeans, and mandals. I just want to point out that Liam Aiken, the actor playing Rolo, is TWENTY-THREE and Kiernan Shipka is THIRTEEN. Them kissing would be all sorts of illegal, right?
Despite some good news (well, actually very bad news) that puts Pete on the Chevy account, his wardrobe is still pretty depressing. He first wears a charcoal suit with a burgundy tie, and later changes into a black three piece suit with a brown striped tie. His whole interaction with Bob is laden with innuendos to Don, homosexuality, and illegal activities. This is turning out to be the most interesting plot line of the whole season!
Now that Bob has revealed himself to be at least bisexual he is dressing loud and proud. First he wears a kermit-green sit with a multi-colored striped tie, and later he's in a pink shirt with another similarly striped tie. Interestingly it's his neat collection of ties that apparently got him hired at SCDP in the first place–Pete complimented Bob's tie in his interview, which led to his eventual hiring by Ken.
Sidenote: Here at Fashionista we're having a bit of a freak out about Bob. Nora wants to date him and I'm certain he's a card-carrying psycho. Here's what we know so far: Bob Benson might not be his real name, he spent three years as a "man servant" at another firm that he left overnight, he speaks fluent Spanish, and he asks for one day's lead time to run when he thinks Pete is going to rat him out. Gay? Impostor? Spy? War criminal? Bob Benson is an eternal mystery.
Green Mountain Boy, Ken Cosgrove, is not having the easiest time adjusting to life with Chevy. He's dressed in all duck hunting plaids for a hunt with the Chevy team that results in his getting shot in the head. Back in NY, he changes into one of his signature brown suits to put his relationship with Chevy to an end.
One thing we can say for sure is that Harry Crane is no Bob Benson in those short shorts.
Until next week!