It's the end of an era. "Mad Men," a show that has received just as much recognition for its clothing as it has for its writing and acting, is about to embark on its final season. And while we'll certainly miss the smoking, drinking and philandering the show has become known for, we're going to miss the clothes even more.
Indeed, it's also the end of an era for costume designer Janie Bryant, who became one of costume design's most visible and famous figures for her award-winning work on the show. Early on, she nabbed a deal with QVC, followed collaboration deal with Banana Republic and then one with Maidenform on shapewear. So what will Bryant do after Don Draper pours his last old fashioned?
Surprisingly, what's up next for Bryant is not costume design. She recently joined handbag line Koret as a "Brand Envoy" and she's even shopping around a reality show. But her next biggest project is a line of legwear (i.e. tights) under her own name -- Janie Bryant Leg Couture -- produced by Doris Inc., which also produces and distributes ubiquitous, accessible hosiery brands like Silks, Secret and Kushyfoot.
The legwear line launches in August and we're told will be sold in "around 100 doors," including major department stores, and we could see it becoming a hit. The styles are interesting but more chic and glamorous than gimmicky. In addition to basic black, there are nude and black sheer pantyhose, a textured nude with gorgeous subtly sparkling beading down the back seam, and a variety of patterned styles in black, nude and gray.
Bryant says she spent over a year working on the line, and was heavily involved in every aspect, which shows in functional details like a lack of a waistband and super-flat front seams (so that they don't show under dresses). We can also attest that the tights all looked and felt great -- they were super soft.
Bryant, who stressed the importance of undergarments in making women look and feel their best, hopes the line helps women feel glamorous, and that they see it as a "foundation" for their their outfit.
Of course, she doesn't plan to stop at legwear. She tells us a menswear line, a capsule collection of dresses and another shapewear line are all on the horizon. And as she focuses on developing her brand and working on these collections, she's putting costume design on the back burner until something amazing comes along.
So while we may not see Bryant's work on others for a while, it sounds like we'll definitely be seeing a lot of her.