Long before she was the costume designer for AMC’s Mad Men, Janie Bryant was known at her Tennessee high school as Miss Vogue, and it seemed she was destined for a life in the world of high fashion. After studying fashion design at the American College of the Applied Arts, she moved to Paris to learn the art of couture, and then to New York’s Seventh Avenue. But the screen always beckoned, and after meeting a costume designer at a party, she transitioned into a career designing for television rather than the runway. In 2005, she won an Emmy for the HBO Western series Deadwood. As the costume designer for all five seasons of Mad Men, she has both captured a particular period — men in grey flannel suits, women in lacy dresses, everyone, for the last time, in hats — and the incremental sartorial revolution that brought the starchy ’50s into the Modish ’60s. Her designs have captivated everyone from Michael Kors, whose Fall ‘08 collection bore her influence, to Banana Republic, which recently launched its Mad Men line. Here, Bryant shares selections from her sketchbook, including an early rendering of Joan’s eye-catching dress from the Season Five premiere, and explains how a costume travels from a napkin doodle to the screen.
Read more. [Images: Janie Bryant]