is a freelance writer/student living in Melbourne.
The Sensational Sixties.
Debonair suits, a champagne silk gown, a flaming hot-pink bodice dress. All are on display for a brief time in the Chadstone Icons of Style Exhibition, showing the original costume pieces from the set of the successful and stylish cult-hit Mad Men. It's a small display, featuring only twelve pieces, but well worth the look for devoted fans and fashionistas.
Jane Bryant, curator of the exhibition and costume designer guru, has assembled the show in the center of the Chadstone luxury prescient. It's impossible not to be drawn towards the sexy, alluring and elegant pieces, all straight from the show's costume department. The women's gowns are admittedly the most captivating, with their stunning sixties silhouettes in a composition of colours and styles. The dress worn by January Jones in the Mad Men promotional shoot is on display; a beautiful silk gown with a tiny fitted waist and billowing skirt. It rests atop a pair of black vintage shoes, which has signs of wear immediately evident upon inspection and stage notes poking out. The clothes themselves, however, are in pristine condition and one has a newfound apprehension for Bryant's endless commitment to source pieces both preserved and appropriate for the show.
Just as in the show itself, the clothes portray the characters personality; with Jones' extravagant, sultry gowns contrasting with the blatantly sexy Christina Hendrick's hot pink bodice dress, and the additional busty floral shift dress. A conservative and poised ensemble represents Elizabeth Moss, who plays the role of secretary then copywriter in the competitive office. A shirt, pleated skirt, cardigan and thin belt are arranged perfectly in a wonderful display. Though each woman is dramatically different, Bryant has captured the traditional sixties silhouette in each with excruciating detail.
The men's suits smack of sixties style and glamour. In a deep navy blue, Don Draper's suit features crisp, sharp lines–a brilliant example of the fitted power-suits of the era. Bryant adds tie bars, fedoras and white pocket squares to complete the look, and give it a definite suave flair.
The exhibition remains until the 2nd of October, and will appeal to everyone, not just fans of the show. Younger children are also amused by the old Hollywood glamour and are happy to tag along. The collection is strong, bold and stylish, and just a fraction of the sweeping sixties sensation that Bryant has created.
The Icons of Style Exhibition is on display at Chadstone in the luxury precinct.