Mad Men Mania Redux

Love the color, love the pockets. Reserving judgment on the design/quality.

The eagerly (well, for some) anticipated Mad Men Collection, designed with input from Janie Bryant, costume designer for the AMC series, hits the racks at Banana Republic next Thursday.

It’s interesting to me that BR would launch this collection now. They seem to be a bit behind the curve, and nothing here is particularly new or fresh. Mad Men style has been on trend for a couple of years now (look at some of what Talbots and J.Crew have been doing the last few seasons), so this collection is a show of faith that fascination for the early-to-mid-1960’s style isn’t played out yet. I’m mostly underwhelmed with what I’ve seen of the collection, though I will want a closer look at that dress at top. 

I’m also surprised there isn’t more color. Lots here for leopard lovers, though:

This is SO Rachel Menken.

What do you think?  Will you be shopping this collection?

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  1. I’m not impressed, either… The clothes look too theatrical and not something I could wear with a straight face. It does seem like odd timing for BR, indeed.

  2. I do like most of what I see here – the leopard bag is gorgeous – but it’s far dressier than my style. I would add a couple of pieces to my closet, like the aforementioned bag and the lace tank. I agree it’s late out of the gate.

  3. I’ve done this look–a long while ago! So not once around again for me. Although I still love the vintage sleeveless sheath dresses (and have a black banded lace one with square neckline), the full-skirted ones only look right to me on younger ladies. I’ll wear a prairie skirt with leather belt, but not a swirly frock. And I don’t care for animal prints, except on animals, so no, I guess I won’t be shopping this fast-fading trend.

  4. I am not that impressed so no I would not buy them.
    I see a lots of leopard prints but I am tiring of them…colour is what I am craving for Fall…autumnal shade like that polyvore of what to wear to the cafe that you posted awhile back!

  5. I Love the looks- but i love that era for clothes- men with suits and hats, women looking put together. But they are nothing I’d wear on any normal day. The cocktail dress is the only thing I’d buy because the style of it is timeless.

    I’m surprised at the comments tho! I guess I’m used to shoddy craftmanship- with my Old Navy and Express shopping habits! 😀

  6. You are right…the first dress is the best and everything else has been seen before…there is nothing here that sends me running to BR! I can do a couple of these right out of my current closet. But thanks for the heads up that the collection is coming out!!

  7. I’d wear leopard with gray – happily… But the “Rachel Menkin” look is very hard to wear for many body types, and is begging for some sort of brightening or updating.

    That said, I’m a Mad Men maniac! (Can’t wait for the new season to begin. I’ll be ready to watch with my Dirty Martini in hand, my pearls in place, and possibly a pair of kid gloves to boot… though by 65-66, I think those days were quickly waning… )

  8. I don’t see anything I have to have, but I’d need to see larger pictures and/or the clothes in person. However, Banana, like so many other brands, has such poor quality these days that even if I see a design I like, the shoddiness of the construction will often prevent me from buying something. I think J Crew is even worse than Banana since their quality is rapidly going downhill but their prices stay high. I’d love to see you write a post about brands that have maintained high-quality construction/fabrics, and those that haven’t.

  9. Hello:
    Our defence is that we have no television,but, as usual,we are definitely behind the wave [if not totally washed upon the shore]as we have no knowledge of ‘Mad Men’ or what has been launced in their name.

    We rather like the look of the pocketed red dress, as long as it is lipstick red and not a rather orangey hue. We do not ‘do’ orange. But we are not ones for ‘collections’, always preferring to mix and not match and bring something antique out of the drawer!

  10. They sure look cute and all, but I can tell these are nothing but a cheap immitation of the 60’s fashion without the proper cut, fit or materials used. Money wasted in my opinion.

  11. I agree with Style Sud-Est–if you’re going to do this style, go with the original. BR could have brought a new twist to the table.

    That being said, I happen to think that a lot of the clothing from the 50s/60s is classic enough to outlast the fad aspect. There might be some good investment pieces in the collection…thoughts?

  12. I agree with Amy…quality in the mid-priced brands doesn’t exist. For my teens, I would say, sure, shop at BR or J Crew, especially if you want to look like everyone else. For myself, I am not interested. I confess to wearing Mad Men type clothes for the past 20-odd years, working in other classics so I dont get bored. Rachel Riley and Anne Cramer make my favorite skirts, and Elizabeth McKay makes great blouses.

  13. The sack suit is not a falltering style for me, and i have never been able to get away from leopard prints as something Cher wore in a unitard as her slutty lady Laverne(?) on the Sonny and Cher show, with big ball dangle earrings…

    The classic hourglass dresses, however, are a staple, but NOT with pockets on the hips and NOT is a stiff printed fabric.

  14. I am disappointed. An almost slavish reproduction of period garments, accessories, and how the look was originally styled is not fashionable, stylish, or au courant. I can appreciate the clean line of the skinny slacks and the svelte sheath dress but I will not purchase anything from this collection. There is no twist, no fresh take, no delightful new detail to draw me in.

  15. meh.
    I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to the lace tank or the skinny leopard belt, but otherwise, I’ll pass.

    I don’t buy much BR but I like their timeless t-shirts. Not pricey, cut well (and never get that weird point at the shoulder seam some inexpensive t-shirts get.) Seems like I go through white t-shirts like crazy, so I do stock up on theirs once in awhile.

  16. Pretty, but lacking something. I don’t think I would wear any of it except the fitted sweater with the black sash/bow around the neckline.

  17. I’m another who would rather rummage for vintage if I were looking for a dress like that. Even from these pics, it looks like the cut is not that great on some of the items. Not terribly inspired …

  18. I like the first dress–the colors and the pattern. I have my fingers crossed that it will past your quality inspection and that readers will get to see it on you.

    I know I won’t shop the collection…sticking to my thrift stores for the remainder of 2011.

  19. The trouble with Banana Republic and the other national chains is that the clothes are too recognizable. For the most part the quality is not there either. A few years ago, I had a new jacket and when my friend saw me, she said, “Oh I saw that at Banana Republic.” Since then, I’ve only bought one other item there – a pair of red cotton chinos that I really like. A little piece here or there might be OK in a high-low kind of way. The Mad Men trend re clothing is nothing new. Love the show though.

  20. The first dress is gorgeous. I didn’t see it at my local store. I happened by the day they opened the collection so I took a look and was not impressed…and I used to be such a BR fan.