We are seriously mad for the hit tv show “Mad Men” here at Design Intervention and so it was with a sense of great sadness, this week, that I watched the finale of what has to be the swankiest show on TV. I have followed this series through its entire seven seasons. It is a show that has entertained, surprised, enlightened and confounded me, provoked and inspired me and made me think. And all that, set against a backdrop with aesthetics to die for. Much has been written about the show’s sartorial influence. Over the past seven years, echoes of its costumes have popped up on many of the great catwalks The return of the slim suit silhouette can be credited to the sharp suits donned by Sterling and Draper with entire clothes lines being credited to the series.
Images of Meghan in patterns have doubtlessly contributed to making Pucci cool again. Over the past eight years, the outfits of Betty, Joan and Megan have influenced fashion houses from Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, to name just a few. But for us in the design field, it is the set design that has literally stolen the show. My all time favourite “Mad Men” moment was in Season 5, Episode 9, His ex-wife, Betty drops by Don’s new Manhattan apartment to collect the kids. In the hallway outside, she glances in the mirror, adjusts her hair and sucks in her tummy. When she steps inside, her eyes widen as she takes in the sleek, modernist design. The camera slowly pans to reveal Don’s spectacular apartment with its white carpets and grass cloth clad walls; the sunken living room with it’s Knoll –inspired sofas; the Lied Mobler leather lounge chair; the walnut cabinetry; the countertop cocktail bar; the and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with a spectacular view of the New York skyline. Betty stares at the suave, modernist design with a mixture of desire and envy – a feeling familiar to every “Mad Men” aficionada. It is no surprise that mid- century modern modern furniture has undergone a populist revival since the shows launch in 2007. For those not yet fully briefed on mid-century modern style, here’s the history: toward the end of the 1950s and into the early 1960s, America developed a mass appreciation for the perfect mix of simplistic form and function and the idea of “less is more”, and streamlined shapes. Mid-century modern design first emerged at a time when the economy was bleak, but mind-sets were bright. In the post-war years, people were looking to the future. Don Draper has a fast-paced, stressful life, as do many of us today. So it is probably not surprising that the no-frills functionality and clean aesthetic lines that appealed to him, resonate with so many of us today too. The beauty of this style is that it merges so effortlessly with a variety of décor styles from contemporary furniture to eclectic. Check out how we have incorporated mid century modern clean lines into some of our recent projects.
We developed these sofa designs for two of our projects and loved the sleek lines so much that we have just added them to our signature series. Can’t you just imagine Don lounging across these couches with a glass of scotch in hand? As the show ends and we say goodbye to Don, Peggy, Joan, and the rest of the gang, will our current obsession with mid-century modern style dissipate? Something tells me no… The beauty of mid-century modern style is that it’s still, well modern.