Tag Archives: mad men

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.

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To Hair, and To Hair Not: From Vintage Classic to Just Plain AWFUL

1 May

Hair styles are one thing that go in and out of style before you even walk out the door the your latest hair appointment. I’ve seen it all. As someone who is particularly OCD about their hair, I find comfort in paying too much for a haircut in order to feel like I am

getting one that is quality. I am notorious for frequenting Toni and Guy. My friends laugh at me, but they always seem to compliment my hair. Hmmm. What do these two things have in common?


 I find it funny that a lot of women are turning to a vintage hair style and I thought I’d touch base on what that is actually considered. Having pin curls done for my wedding was quite the challenge. First of all, finding someone who knew what pin curls were, an accomplishment all in its own. Then, making sure this girl knew what to do so that the pin curls stayed in their proper place, while I busted a move on the dance floor to the Macarena…priceless.

The cut that I have seen come in and out of style, and seems to look good on everyone but me, is the Bob. January Jones made it quite the rage when she came donned the style in Mad Men, and everyone seemed to follow suit. Lets face it, nobody does a Bob better than Katie Holmes or Victoria Beckham. Of course if I had that kind of discipline, or lack of appetite, I’m

sure I’d look just as good. Unfortunately, I love cake. While the Bob has made a frequent comeback time and again, it wasn’t the 60’s housewife who made it popular. The Bob dates back all the way to the early 1920’s. After all, in all that Charleston-ing, you didn’t want a little hair getting in your way. My new favorite, the Bob and the Bangs. They could be an eighties grunge band, but instead they are an adorable pair that only look good on really skinny girls with thin faces (aka Posh and Joey). I find it makes my face look fat, and I tend to not like that look.I’ve seen the straight bang, the swept bang, the almost to the middle of my head bang. All adorable, but like I said, you have to look the part. Get it, part. Like in the part of your hair. I entertain myself, what can I say!


Oh the bang. I’ve had a love hate relationship with the bang. I love them, I hate them, I can’t live without them, but I’m on the 12 step, 12 month program where I am letting them grow out. It’s never easy to grow out your bangs, and by the time you do grow them out, they are back in style again and you concede to have them trimmed again. But getting bangs is like having that last drink of the night when you know it’s time to go home. You wind up blacking out and having to hear from a friend that your rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, was the best they’d seen in years, and has instantly become a YouTube sensation. Now Daniel Tosh is calling you to be on his web show and you realize you really can’t make it out there to do the show because you are in the middle of growing out your bangs. Damn the timing. There’s only one thing you regret more than that drink, and it was cutting your bangs to begin with. Can someone please explain to me why it takes your hair less than 6 months to grow 6-8 inches, but your bangs take a full year to completely recover. Isn’t it all hair to begin with?

Now here is something I commonly like to refer to as Pin-Up girl hair. A nice little curl in the front (ya know where your bangs are supposed to be) and a swept under curl in the back to show off your neck. It’s fun and cute and wildly popular with those hipster chics. (See previous blog if you are unsure if you fit the “Hipster” category). This looks good on just about anyone with curves. FINALLY! We have a cut for our own kind. The curvature of the hair style accentuates the curves of the body, and if it doesn’t, well, then you did it wrong. I once did this hair style for a friend who wanted to do a Pin-Up shoot with her a the drag-race girl. I don’t think I quite mastered it but, eh, that’s what Photoshop is for: to make you look like you knew what you were doing in the first place. (By the way, just kidding, this is NOT what Photoshop is for at all).

Lately on Mad Men, Roger’s wife, Jane, has been pulling out all the stops on her hair styles. I hate the look, personally, but I guess if you have that much free time and money, it doesn’t always guarantee that you have style as well. It’s what I kindly refer to as “I Dream of Jeanie” hair. You remember this look, if you grew up during the 80’s. We embellished the look with

the wall o’hair. Very simple: step one, pick up the front part of your hair and hold straight up; step two, spray with an entire bottle of hairspray; and complete. While Jane’s look was a lot less drastic than the famous 80’s wall bang, it still has the same principle. Take hair, put in top of head, making it hard to walk through low lying ceilings. You leave a little bit hanging off the back, that way it can sit comfortably on your right shoulder, or down your side. However, this is not a good look if there is any male under the age of 30 who still thinks it’s funny to pull girls hair. Watch out guys! These days you may get a handful of faux-hair inthat pull.

 

I love changing up my look with a new hairstyle every once in awhile. I unfortunately don’t have the face for a Bob and Bang, but I still love the style nonetheless. While I still hold that the I Dream of Jeanie looks good on no one, I’m sure it works for some. Sorry if this is your signature look. I’m sure you and Tony have a wonderful life together. Tell Endora I said hi…oh, wait, wrong hit 60’s sitcom. Good hair styles come and go, and go back again. I just hope the 90’s stay gone, and that wall o’hair 80’s bang don’t make a come back either. While the 90’s are not considered vintage yet…they will be one day. And if you survived the first go ’round of it, you know we don’t want to see those looks EVER again.

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!

The Greatest Thing to Happen to Texas since….

13 Mar

We have been traveling the world, also know as Texas, searching for some incredibly unique finds in preparation for our show this weekend. We will be joining over 50 vintage dealers from all over the metroplex, dealers from online shops, and from other parts of the country in the Dallas Vintage Jewelry Show in Grapevine, March 16-17. Other vintage shops from DFW will be there as well, such as Zola’s, Vintage Martini, and Dolly Python.

The show itself is the first of its kind in Texas. One of the promoters is quoted as saying you can find everything “from Mad Men to Downton Abbey”. This sounds like a perfect excuse to duck out of work early on Friday and head over to Grapevine! Doors open at 3pm, but if you’re like me you can get in an hour earlier for $20 and beat the crowds. Not to mention, secure some of the best deals for yourself.

When our store does shows like this throughout the year, the first question is always what to take. We’ve hit the vintage lottery so much in the last few months that it’d be hard to not take everything! The 80’s Carolina Herrera dresses, the silk Malcolm Starr, our lot of vintage skin bags…who can choose? And our plethora of vintage cowboy boots, they get lonely without enough attention. But don’t fret! We won’t empty the store. You’ll still have plenty to play with in our store this weekend. We know that Easter is right around the corner, and scoring that one of kind, would hurl yourself over a pew if you had a twin at service that morning, Easter dress is top priority. No Easter is complete without a great vintage hat to match.

Pastels mean Spring, and while we hope that was the last cold front of the year, Spring is coming! Whether you come to the store in Fort Worth, or the show in Grapevine, we hope to see you this weekend, with some sunshine and good weather to keep us all in a better mood.

We have the pleasure of meeting some really cool people in the shop from time to time. On Friday we met a couple in town from Austin, escaping the SXSW craze. It was their first time to Fort Worth, so we got to chatting with them of course. He is an inventor, and vintage lover, and she is an adorable young lady who makes everything vintage look good. He is the creator of Vintage Vanities, a small, but soon to be large, company that hand makes pocket sized mirrors. He cuts the glass, crafts a copper material around the edges so they are smooth and never rough, and places a unique image in the other side. His images, he’s chosen carefully, hand picking each to his own taste. Some of the images include the graffiti artist Banksy, Duchamp’s Mona Lisa, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and many other classic images of vintage beauties like Bridget Bardot. Not to mention this pretty awesome David Bowie! Love the hair dude. He also has a line of 19th century images that would make you laugh, or blush, but are great to say the least. These we’ll have to let you discover yourself. His mirrors are carried in stores all over Austin, and are quickly catching on all over. When creativity and small business come together and meet success, that always makes us smile! Happy soggy Monday, vintage lovers!

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