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The Greatness Of Gatsby

22 Jun

If you haven’t seen The Great Gatsby yet, it is the equivalent of being dropped in the middle of your favorite town with a black AMEX card and 24 hours to splurge.  You are overwhelmed with sights, sounds, flash, opulence, excess. Baz Luhrmann is the King of over-the-top productions and this one does not disappoint. From the jazz/rap/ethereal sounds of the soundtrack from artists like will.i.am, Beyonce, The XX and Jack White to the extravagant sets that scream conspicuous consumption and eccentricity, the film never lacks in giving you something to absorb. Of course the fashions designed by Miuccia Prada and jewelry by Tiffany are reason enough for us to sit and drool in front of the screen for 2 hours.

Here are some of our favorite scenes from the movie, and from Carey Mulligan’s fashion shoot with Vogue magazine.

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Tom and Daisy’s parlor with the flowing curtains and Daisy’s frothy tea dress. We also love that Jordan is bold enough to wear pants.

ImageGatsby in Nick’s cottage after he had “a few” flowers delivered for tea with Daisy.

ImageThis scene made us fall in love with head scarves all over again!

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Of all the characters, Jordan was the one that kept surprising us in her costumes. Here, for their outing to the city, she is prim and proper in her dress, capelet, hat and bag. A far cry from the rebel who wore pants in the earlier scene.

ImageHere, at Gatsby’s largest party, she is daring in her cutaway halter dress with the low back. The hat she holds in her hand is actually a headband with a veil worn over the eyes.

ImageThe mayhem that was Gatsby’s parties.

ImageCarey Mulligan graces the cover of Vogue in this amazing chartreuse velvet gown from Oscar de la Renta and those jewels from Tiffany. GAH!!

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Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012

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Our favorite spread in the Vogue issue. Chanel Haute Couture sequin dress, headpiece by Julien d’Ys.

In these increasingly warm summer Texas days, it’s nice to be able to escape to the coolness of a movie theater. This movie will make that theater even cooler.

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Observations from a Project Runway Junkie

19 Oct

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that I am a Project Runway junkie. Last night was the finale for Season 10 and while the final 4 designers were not the best we have seen on the show, the finale was definitely a nail-biter between 2 very different yet equally intriguing collections. If you are unfamiliar with the show, in a nutshell, it is a fashion design competition that starts with 15 designers and is whittled down each week through elimination design challenges. The challenges include everything from the wacky “Create a garment out of candy” to my favorite, the “Avant-garde challenge” which gives the designers the opportunity to push the limits of fashion design. The final 3-4 contestants (depending on the judges’ discretion) create 10 look collections and show at NY Fashion Week. The final four contestants were Melissa, Fabio, Christopher and Dmitry.

Melissa is a tough-as-nails, semi-goth, 31 year old from San Francisco with an affinity for structured garments in black and leather. Take her to any 80s concert with The Cure or Depeche Mode and you are guaranteed a great time. Although she struggled with overthinking designs and time management, she had a definite “look” that was her own.

Fabio is a 29 year old from Brooklyn who has a hippie/hare-krishna vibe to him. You just want to sit down with him and a chai tea and a clove cigarette and discuss the philosophy of buttons. His designs of draped pastel silks in multiple organic layers are ethereal works of art and full of soul. With all the huge egos on the show, Fabio was the calming presence that seemed to keep everyone sane.

Christopher. OH, Christopher! For some reason he reminds me of Winnie the Pooh eternally searching for his honey pot. He was one of the youngest designers, at 24 and from Massepequa, NY. Not one of my favorites, his signature design element consisted of frayed raw ends of chiffon layered in skirts, tops, and gowns. Probably not my choice for one of the final 4 as there were other designers (Sanjia) that I would have loved to have seen collections from.

Dmitry is a 33 year old New Yorker who emigrated from Belarus at the age of 18. A former ballroom dancer, Dmitry’s story is the epitome of the American Dream. He is soft spoken, but still very Slavic in that he is serious and doesn’t put up with crap from anyone. He was one of the best tailors on the show and his clothes always fit his model perfectly.

After the final runway shows, it was evident that Dmitry and Fabio were the front runners. As much as I loved Melissa and felt it my obligation to root for the only female designer, it was clear that her collection was not as innovative and compelling as Dmitry’s or Fabio’s. I won’t give away the winner, you can go here to find out for yourself. But here are some more pics of Dmitry and Fabio’s collections. Who would you pick?

Fabio Costa

Dmitry Sholokhov

All image courtesy of www.mylifetime.com

2012 Emmy Fashions. The Good, The Bad and The January

24 Sep

So, I came late to the Emmy party this year and did not get my standard hour long E! Live from the Red Carpet preview of the fashions of the evening. I was en route home from visiting my older daughter at the University of South Carolina and even though our flight went off without delay (thank you American Airlines!); the baggage took 45 minutes to make it 4 gates over (gotta love DFW). Nevertheless, I caught the broadcast during the award presented by Lucy Liu and was so taken dumb by her gown that I didn’t even know what award she was even handing out. I have since done my obligatory research on what I missed and have purposefully tried to avoid reading other Best and Worst Dressed lists so I am not influenced by people who think they know better.

It appears that the color of the evening was citron/chartreuse/lemon/antifreeze/you get the idea. NOT an easy color to wear and attempted by women with varying skin tone and hair color.

Leslie Mann in Naeem Khan probably was the most successful of all the golden girls, but I also liked Julie Bowen’s boldness in her Monique Lhuillier mermaid cut gown.

Now for my favorites:
Lucy Liu in Versace. I know, I’ve already mentioned her, but the entire look was so amazingly fierce and powerful. It fit her perfectly and did not overwhelm her tiny frame.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier. Normally I’m not a fan of the “mullet” dress, but this one was subtle enough that it worked. I love the crewel-like embroidery that gives it a vintage feel and the color works so well on her. I DO wish she would not have been so matchy-matchy with her Louboutins though.

Michelle Dockery in Louis Vuitton. NO, I don’t like her just because she’s on Downton Abbey. I thought the navy color was so unexpected and different for the Red Carpet and seriously, who doesn’t love an evening gown with pockets AND a giant bow in the back!

Nicole Kidman in Antonio Berardi. I know what you are thinking and you are right. It’s been a while since Nicole has impressed me on the Red Carpet, let alone succeeded in vacating her permanent spot on the Worst Dressed List. And I DO find it painful to look at her frozen Botox face for too long. BUT, she apparently found a new stylist because this dress has amazing detail, fits her perfectly, and definitely gets her back on the “Best” list.

Brooke Burke in Tony Ward. OK, yes, I know she has a killer body and can pretty much wear a burlap sack and look great. With white being such a hot color this year, she found a way to make it appropriate and not wedding-y. Stunning.

AAAAND for the not so fabulous. In the words of my nephew, “she tried.”

Edie Falco in Stella McCartney. Hate the Wonder Woman belt, hate the cut-in bodice, and it looks like they just ran out of navy fabric. Honestly, the whole look is too youthful for her. You can tell she has a great body, just not shown off in the right way.

Elisabeth Moss in Dolce & Gabbana. First of all, what in the world did she do to her hair?! I would have loved to have seen this dress on her with her auburn hair and see if that made it any better. Again, I’m not a fan of the mullet hemline, and the print with the ruffles and the peplum is just too overwhelming for her. Looks a bit like a can-can dancer.

Julianne Moore in Dior. *Sigh*, you noticed I didn’t include her up there with the other Golden Girls. There’s a reason. I think the number one rule for red-heads is to know what colors you can wear. I’m not sure it’s entirely the color that is so bad, it’s just that there is too much of it. The high neck and long sleeves don’t allow her beautiful skin tone to be seen. For the record, no, I don’t like her but yet see how I can come up with a compliment?

Jena Malone in J. Mendel. I do love the Grecian goddess look as much as anyone, but this cut in this color doesn’t seem to do anything for her. And she obviously has Angelina Jolie Leg Syndrome with this pose. It was a bit pandemic last night; Heidi Klum and Lara Spencer also suffered.

The last commentary is reserved for January Jones in Zac Posen. I am still on the fence on this dress. I love the avant-garde-ness of it. I can see it being the winner for the Avante Garde Challenge on Project Runway. It fits her well and looks great against her fair skin, but I do wish the makeup was not so severe. The dress has enough going for it, no need to compete for attention with the severe bun (again!) and dark eyes. A pop of color in her shoes would not have been bad, either.

What did you think? Questions? Comments? Challenges? Who did I miss? OK, off to watch Fashion Police. Until next week!

All photos courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. Individual photo credits available in file details.

Tales from the INTERN…

23 Jul

So my name is Steph, I am a student at Texas Christian University, and I have been working as an intern at Bess and Evie’s for 10 weeks now. Some of my favorite moments from working in the store have come from listening to people who come into the store and visiting people who want to sell us merchandise. You would be surprised just how much people will share with you. It’s also fun to hear how far people have traveled to end up in your store. We’ve had people come in from Washington, New York, and all kinds of great places. We’ve heard stories of how people are heading to rock band auditions, how people met who just got engaged, how someone acquired custom made cowboy boots from someone who rode in a rodeo, we hear about photo shoots and fashion shows people are putting together and how they want to use our merchandise, and so much more.

There are a few things I have taken note of since working here. The most entertaining are the customers that come into the store. Each customer is unique and different so it is important to have sales people who are able to accommodate a diverse range of personalities. So far I’ve noticed that there are about 4 types of customers:

1. First up there’s the Socializer. This person likes to come in and talk while they shop. You’ll end up hearing all kinds of stories about how things have changed today from in the past, something they heard on the news recently, how that dress would look fabulous on their niece or daughter, memories of a style, or how once upon a time they could fit into that dress. Some shoppers just want someone to listen to them and some like to support local businesses they’ve taken a liking too. Talking and getting to know customers just tells them that they are welcome and it helps them to feel comfortable in your store. These customers actually turn out to be some of the most loyal and are more likely to spread the word about your business.

2. Next up is the Big Spender. This person will buy pretty much whatever as long as the circumstances are right. She’s looking for quality and fantastic service. You aren’t sure if you consider her nice or not because she has you running all over the store trying to keep up with whatever story she’s telling you and her many requests to either see something up close or try something on. However, at the end of the day it is totally worth it because the employees got a workout and she actually buys the merchandise instead of just walking out. She’s a loyal customer, but because she kind of stocks up during that one trip she comes through only a couple times a year.

3. Floaters as I call them are my favorite. They claim not to know about fashion and just want someone to dress them and be their personal shopper. This is where we come in. I love floaters the most because they will try on whatever you give them without complaints, let you accessorize them, and then just bask in joy as they admire the fashionista we’ve created.

4. Last but not least, is the Quiet Shopper. This customer can either be really nice and sweet or snippy. If they do not want any extra help then the best thing to do is just leave them alone and let them shop. They have a clear idea of what they are looking and are focused on finding that item. They come in, assess the store, try on items they are interested in, and then decide whether or not they are willing to spend the money for it.

Everything’s bigger in Texas. This includes our hearts, personalities and our collection of vintage cowboy boots! You just cannot discuss Bess and Evie’s without mentioning how Kalen has the largest collection of vintage cowboy boots in the Fort Worth metroplex. But really, these last ten weeks have been a great experience. Kalen is a very business savvy person and I have been able to learn a lot just from being in her presence. Then there’s Paula, one of the brightest most cheery people I have ever met, and an excellent sales person. Finally, a shout out to Anna and our girl magnet Jack, can’t leave him out. Jack is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and the sweetest thing ever. I try to learn something from every experience and I’ve had a blast working with everyone at the shop and look forward to visiting every now and then.

Junkin’ in Houston

10 Jul

While I still count myself a New Yorker, I spent most of my adolescent life in Houston. First living in southwest Houston, and then north Houston, and now I’m pretty sure I’ve lived in just about every part of this large, thriving city. People always ask where you are from, and once you tell them Houston, they want to know what part. There are about a thousand parts, and a dozen new, hopping neighborhoods popping up every few months. The trendy parts are ever changing and adapting to the hipsters that want to be where all the action is. My mom, aka the original-hipster as I have coined her, swears she was cool before cool was cool. She has always been a “thrifter”, and says she used to go “junkin”, as her friends called it, way before it was cool to do it. One of my girlfriends had mentioned an amazing resale/vintage shop in Houston, in one of those trendy parts of town, of which I don’t remember the name. I decided last Friday that I needed a girl day. Too many days at home, in the summer, with MY child, lets just say it wears on you. I made a few calls, mom promised to babysit, and the day was planned. We were going “junkin”, just us girls.

For some reason, this shop closes at 2pm on Saturdays. Coined the “best resale experience in Houston”, The Guild Shop may be the largest store of “junk” that I’ve seen in a LONG time. And as big as it was, filled to brim with patrons as well. Apparently, this is the Saturday shopping hot-spot. My friend being the expert that she is, took me on a tour of the store before we found a section to begin in. The store is broken up into housewares, a room full of dishes, bowls, mugs, etc, a smaller room of just silver and brass, a large room full of large furniture, the showroom has clothing, bags, and a jewelry section, for which you need to take a number and it closes before the store closes itself. Now, being the daughter of a “professional thrifter”, I’ve been dragged to a lot of thrift/resale stores. This one topped them all. Of all the resale stores I’ve experienced, not including ones that carry strictly clothing, this was the most organized and thought out, well planned resale store I’d ever seen. They were a well-oiled machine. There must’ve been 50 people working in this store for the five hours it was open. I was thoroughly impressed, and I’m rarely impressed by much these days. The phrase, “customer service is dead in this country,” must come out of my mouth several times a week. But these people…These people knew what they were doing.

So not only was I impressed with the lay-out, the staff, the organization, but also the price points. Each tag has a starting price on it with the date it was brought in. A month from that date the price goes down a certain percentage, something like 20-25%. It may vary per type of product. Two weeks from that date, the price goes down again. Two weeks from the above date, the price goes down to its lowest price point. For most products this is $1, unless it’s something like furniture or other big ticket items. From what my partner-in-crime has experienced, it never usually makes it to its last and lowest price point. This place is serious business. If you see it and you like it, you better get it before the person walking in behind you does. This stuff is priced to sell and does. I found a dresser that would be perfect for us to take home refinish and repaint and add to our baby room. My husband comes home this week. Hopefully it’ll still be there when I get a chance to go back. Fingers crossed!

 

 

Needless to say, The Guild Shop will be a frequented destination in the years to come. What did I come home with you ask? Well, let me brag here: an shiny orange bowl, two Fire King mugs that were a set of four that I split with my friend, and a set of six New York theme dinner plates by Homer Laughlin. Total spent: $34. A mere drop in the bucket for the amazing finds and great quality items.

The next place we wanted to stop was Bluebird Circle. Bluebird Circle is a charitable organization, started in 1923, helping womens organizations and childrens charities, they are one that has left there mark on this city for many years. My mom remembered visiting their resale store as soon as I mentioned it. Unfortunately they also closed at 2pm and we were unable to make it this time. Because of its reputation, I know we’ll be back to visit soon.

If there is one thing Houstonians take seriously, it’s their resale shopping. I’ve never been to a city that has more resale shops than Starbucks, and I think that says a lot. I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on all the great spots to hit up, and all the stores that take the word “vintage” to mean “expensive”. What’s the point of green-shopping if you can’t afford it?

Kalen’s Guide to Thrifting

2 Jul


A few months ago, one of our favorite customers, Margaux, asked me if I would be interested in going Thrifting/Vintaging (yes, those are real verbs!) with her as research for her blog. We think Margaux has one of the most unique styles around and I was thrilled to say yes! We decided to go exploring in Dallas since I never get out much and it was a good excuse to go East. We both did some research on places to go, both thrift stores and vintage stores and we headed out. We didn’t have much luck on our first two stops as they were both closed at the time. One place we really need to make time to go back to was Voodoo Chile. Described by one reviewer on Yelp as being a “…very special opium den themed episode of Hoarders”, this thrift/antique/junk store is only open from 7pm to midnight. Its owner, Jimi Hendrix, (swear), dresses as his namesake and “lurks” around the store with a “fishbowl glass of red wine”. This definitely sounds like our kind of place and worthy of a trip back to Greenville for Bluefish Sushi and Voodoo Chile.


Anyway, our first real stop was at Buffalo Exchange. Advertised as being a mixture of modern resale and vintage, we had to actually dig to find much vintage. We did end up with a sweet yellow lace 60s prom dress and a 70’s Lilly Pulitzer poly tunic. The tunic, we noticed when we got back to the store, had the points of the collar CUT OFF (!!!) no doubt to make it less 70s looking. Thus, bringing us to Rule #1 in vintaging/thrifting; look over everything VERY carefully, and then have someone else look over it again. People do weird things to their clothes, and age does even weirder things to clothes. We have made many a buying blunder by not looking over things closely enough and it’s heartbreaking.
Margaux found some killer cobalt blue rhinestone encrusted platform sandals that she carried around the store for a while but then decided against. If anyone could rock these shoes, it would be her, no doubt with some sweet Hello Kitty ankle socks.


Next stop was Lulu B’s Antique Mall in Deep Ellum. Whereas most antique malls have only a smattering of vintage clothing, the entire upstairs at Lulu B’s is full of vintage. We really didn’t know where to start, kinda like walking in to a wine tasting with 10 bottles lined up in front of you. Margaux is searching for items for her new apartment, so in addition to vintage clothing, we were on the hunt for fun, eclectic things for her. Our first find, something everything needs, was a blowfish on a stand. Sadly, she passed on that, but opted for painted busts of Diana and Adonis. So versatile, we thought; jewelry holder, hat holder, perpetual party guests so she never has to drink alone. I once picked at a house where the owner collected dolls. There were dolls on the sofas, dolls at the breakfast bar, dolls on the bed, and 2 giant teddy bears (like 6 feet tall giant) seated at the head and foot of the dining room table. It was a little creepy, hopefully Margaux will be satisfied with Diana and Adonis and not feel the need to go all William Randolph Hearst with the Roman statuary.


Anyway, we ventured upstairs and hit the jackpot with a 75% off section. Now, Rule #2 of vintaging/thrifting: Just because it is a cheap price, doesn’t make it a good deal. I have learned that lesson as a buyer for the store and with my own personal wardobe. Even if it’s a $1, if it won’t sell, it’s not a good buy. Personally, if you spend $5 on something you’ll never wear, it’s worthless. And those $5 worthless purchases add up to big money that Wendy could spend on a really great bag! Those of you who shop our store know that I’m very picky about what I buy. It was hard at the beginning to not buy every vintage item I saw while thrifting simply because it WAS vintage and I was afraid of what would happen to it if I didn’t buy it. I know now that I’m not in the business of rescuing vintage from the throes of thrift stores and I have the strength (most of the time) to walk away if it isn’t right. Your wardrobe deserves the same respect. It’s OK to walk away from the $5 Tshirt bin.
I did walk away from the $5 Tshirt rack and found some great dresses for the store. I tend to look more for cocktail dresses when I come across these sales just because those are the items that can give you the biggest bang for your buck. And vintage cocktail dresses are just one of those things that if you are me, I can always sell; and if you are you, you will eventually have a need for. Rule #3 of vintaging/thrifting: If it passes Rule #1 (intense inspection) and Rule #2 (a good deal) and it fits you like a glove, BUY IT. I don’t care if you don’t know where you are going to wear it to, you will, someday. And trust me, it saves you the stress of going in to a store at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon frantically trying to find a dress to wear to a wedding the next day. Every girl should have at least one (or eight) “go to” dress for each season that you love and fits you impeccably. Buying when you find the perfect dress is way better than being forced in to buying something that you don’t love for three times the price because you ran out of time.
After a quick lunch at La Duni (because sadly we have to get our Latin food fix in Dallas), we ended our day at Genesis Thrift. No such luck there, so we said goodbye to Margaux and Dallas and headed back to the Fort. It was a great day and loads of fun to shop with someone with such great style. Make sure you check out Margaux’s blog at http://thegirlwhoworeeverything.blogspot.com/.

Mad Men Midseason Madness

9 May

I don’t know where it all went wrong, but I’m so glad it’s back to be right. Mad Men, that is. We are several episodes into the new season and I can finally say with confidence, Mad Men is actually GOOD again. Great even. I can’t get over how well written this season is, and how it actually keeps my attention, and doesn’t just drone on while I fold my laundry, or do a thousand other things around the house that never seem to get done. Mad Men is back, with a vengeance. I’m not sure what has changed: new writers? Jon Hamm directing? Perhaps it is the era we’ve found ourselves heading into, in the show. Whatever it is, it’s working, and if you aren’t watching it, you are missing out on something special.

The world became obsessed with Mad Men in the summer of 2007, and we continued to watch through every mistress, every cocktail, and every boring second we spent watching Pete’s life pass by. The first few years were something great, but still had its moments of drab. In the years just before the “quiet” writers’ strike, the show had become mundane, and I found myself just watching ’cause I always had. It’s like that show you watch on TV that would make a great movie, but then they drag it in to six seasons and suddenly there’s a polar bear on a remote island and you question whether or not the writers are sober, EVER, writing this crap. The style has always been there, the fascination with the past, and watching the events up to JFK’s assassination unfold were nostalgic and gripping to relive for some. But let’s be honest: Mad Men had become “old hat”. The outfits seemed to come in repeat. The arguments were the same. Roger still womanizing, Don still hating his life with Betty but somehow still making children, and Peggy, poor Peggy, always be a side character and not getting her fair share of spotlight. The highlight for most was Joan and her curvy attitude and bright hair. It definitely wasn’t Pete’s sweatiness that brought people back every week. Why does that guy always look so greasy??? Sure, Mad Men had it’s moments of excitement. I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time Roger had a heart attack with one of the twins and Don had to slap his face to remind him his wife’s name was Mona. I still snicker when I hear that one replay in my head. What is it about men and twins?

I recently heard someone say that they couldn’t watch Mad Men because of all the sexism. They said it really bothered them and they just couldn’t stand to watch it replay on TV. I should’ve told her to take a walk around. We do live in Texas after all. C’mon! You’re telling me the sexism, (which to me is few and far between, not to mention funny at times), on the show is too much for you to handle, but living in the deep south doesn’t bother you…at all? If anything I think Mad Men has been a beacon, a little light shed on how men and women settled into what they thought were their roles. My stone cold example lay in this past week’s episode. Don “let” Megan quit her job at the agency because she wanted to follow her dreams. If he were any kind of A-typical 60’s man, shouldn’t he have told her to take off her shoes and get in the kitchen? Instead he and her were working side by side, something which he thoroughly enjoyed. I do believe it broke his heart a little when she quit, but he also understood the importance of letting her follow HER dreams, and not just be in his. He didn’t want her ‘to wind up like Betty, or worse, her mother.’ While Don has his faults, I think he’s shown everyone that he appreciates having a woman in the office to challenge him. He does and always has with Peggy. He believed in her and gave her an opportunity when no one else would. She stands up to him and puts him in his place when he needs to be put there, which is often. Ok, I get it, all the women are secretaries, and they all wear dresses, and most aspire to be housewives. Isn’t this still something we see every day anyway? And something we definitely see a lot south of the Mason Dixon line. I’d have to say to each their own, and I’m no more ready to throw stones at a glass house than anyone else. Mad Men just brings certain era-appropriate issues to light. It throws these issues that were swept under the rug for years and puts them in your face, but in that classy, stylish kind of way. You know, like the back-handed compliment from a frenemy.

Something a little less serious, is the style to which Mad Men has always alluded. It’s officially the swinging sixties. And things are getting into full swing. Young women like Megan are chasing their dreams instead of succumbing to their husbands’ aspirations. Peggy is moving in with her boyfriend. Not to mention the colors and patterns are getting more and more vibrant! I don’t know what it is about the 60’s that makes me wanna get up and dance, but I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong era. The sixties brought about shorter skirts, louder music, and the beginning of the free-love movement that the 70’s are utterly famous for. There is definitely a change in the air. Poor Don. His daughter Sally is about to be a child of the sixties. I see more drinking and grey hair in his future.

So Mad Men has finally gotten better. The stories are better. The characters are more fun and complex. The drug use is as blatant as the drinking. I have to say I’m excited for the 60’s. I’ve been told I have an old soul. Apparently, my soul loved the sixties, because I can’t help myself and I can’t get enough of them. Why is Mad Men so much better this time around? Is it just because they had more time to work on the storyline? Is it the era we are wandering into? Is it the deliberate care they are taking to build each character for you? Is it because Betty is heavier than her normal, unfair, perfectly thin body? Nah, that can’t be it. Maybe it’s the fact that Roger is back on the prowl and we know disaster is looming around the corner for that guy. Oh Roger, you       never disappoint. Whatever it is, it’s working and I am hooked again. And I’d bet another Pete affair that you’re hooked as well.

SPOILER ALERT: Mad Men recap follows…

27 Mar

Well its been almost two years since we’ve been blessed with a Mad Men season premier. Last night they debuted their new season with a two hour long show, as if that would make up for its disappearance for so long! So the question remains, does Mad Men still have what it takes to reel us in, even after all this time? The jury is still out on this blogger’s opinion. Beware, spoiler alert coming! If you haven’t watched the new episode yet because you are harboring it on your DVR to share with a nice Pinot Noir, please do not continue reading. But please do come back and read after!


When we meet the Mad Men again, we see an older, hopefully wiser Sally. Her voice has changed, and the kids are obviouslyolder. Guessing from what happened prior, I would put us about a year from where they left off. Joan has had her baby, which we know is Roger’s, and so has Trudy, but hers is her husbands. No judgement, Joan, you know I love you, and your curves. Don has married Megan, and they have a lavish apartment in the city. From the the looks of it, Betty and Henry have moved out of Don’s house and into, what Don made a reference to , a very Adams’ Family style home. While Henry and Betty did not make an appearance in this first episode, I did see in what’s to come next week that they will be back in the picture. I had to wonder if Betty’s character was left out due to January Jones’ pregnancy, cutting it awfully close to production and what not.The temperature at Sterling Cooper Draper Price as certain taken a wee bit of a turn. Peggy is a much more confident woman, which is nice to see after all these years, extruding her “Don-ness” on the people around her, and not leaving the clients out of that mix as well. Megan has adopted a new job in what looked to be like Peggy’s first job with the firm. Jealousy definitely exists among the ranks, but nonetheless, she is the boss’ wife after all. Don, who always arrived late pre-Megan, still arrives late but it is heavily noted as the pair entire the building, being compared to royalty. Everyone has always known this is Don’s show. The clients come, for Don. Even the big bosses recognize they are merely there for the drinks.

What I found interesting is how each character did not progress in a different direction of their own willing, but adopted another characters persona. I heard it discussed on the radio this morning and I have to say I agree. Peggy is the new female “Don”. Pete is the new “Don”, but in the miserable, commuting husband kind of way. Saddled with a wife who doesn’t take care of herself as she used to, and a house in the ‘burbs. He comes home late, looking dreadfully bored and stuck. I smell an affair in the works for Pete again.

Back to Peggy. She is everything she always admired and hated about Don. She is confident, cocky, but says too much, one thing you could never say about Don. She is still with the liberal, underground journalist; an odd mix, the two of them, but definitely interesting. She dresses better, but still not the way Joan would like her to dress. She has definitely come full circle, but not into her own her, but more into Don’s own.

Joan is still gorgeous as ever, just maybe a little tired. New mothers have the look of sweet desperation that screams from across the room, HELP! However she is still Joan, and ready as ever to come back to work. This, I admire and get. She may be needed at home, but being needed by twenty grown men is so much more of a compliment than a drooling newborn. The fact that Roger greets her as if nothing has changed is a little heartwarming, and yet disheartening at the same time. Her eyes light up when he yells “There’s my baby”, but the light wains as she realizes he’s talking about her, and not the boy. Sad really. Another man in the firm has fathered a child with another woman in the office that he doesn’t admit. They’re batting two for two at ol’ SCDP.

So this brings us to Don. Oh, Don. Everyone just thinks you are so charming and handsome, it seriously makes me ill. Jon Hamm has got to be a jerk. I just can’t think of him any other way. He plays a jerk so well, and people telling him how handsome he is??? C’mon, can I get a EGO with a side of Hamm. So Don is married, again. Shocking, I know. However this marriage seems different. Is he a changed man? Is he just still in that honeymoon phase? Is he really happy or this just an act? I was convinced we were going to see a new Don, but then sorely disappointed after the jab he made at Megan over the party. After that, I thought, same old Don. When he came back to the house to apologize and further explain himself to her, it made me think of Don in a good light again. Maybe he has changed. He is definitely happier, and less uptight. Only time will tell, because if I know Don, the way we all know Don, it is only a matter of time before that ticking, time bomb of a insecure, confused orphaned boy goes off. People like that cannot ever enjoy their lives for too long. They find themselves destroying anything and everything in their path that makes up their lives, and that brings them an ounce of happiness. That Don is still in there. Unless we’ve got another Anna on our hands, in Megan, I don’t see the self destructive Don Draper wandering too far from home. It was however a shock to see that Don’s irritation about the party was about the people, and said nothing about the sexy little number Megan put on for every one there. Can I get a little hum of the now classic, Zou Bisou Bisou? Not to mention that every wife in the country is hitting the gym this week in order to be more confident while cleaning the house in their bra and underwear. I see your game, Megan, and I like it!

In the end was the season premier of Mad Men really worth the two hours it cost me? Probably not. It was definitely a slow build, but looks to be a promising season. I look forward to the twists and turn it always delivers, and having to rewind my DVR in order to catch what Pete just said because I was distracted by another amazing dress Joan will be wearing this season. Gotta love that 60’s fashion!