Mad Men Style Icon: Joanie

There is something quite catching when watching the women’s style in Mad Men. There is a certain panache, in the swishing and swooping movements of a Joan or a Betty Draper. The two are not exactly the same however. Even if Betty is always spotlessly styled, she has rather turned into a walking nervous breakdown. This is not the case with Joan, who somehow manages to keep it together no matter what goes on in the domestic scene. She occasionally lets out a sob but does so with ever more sophistication.

Joan’s appeal: Though she is quite voluptuous for today’s standards, she seems to trump the waif-like ladies such as Marnie in Girls or the nymph-like creatures like Selena in Gossip Girl. Given a choice, men would choose a Joan over a Marnie any time, probably (maybe I could ask the guys about this?).

On to her fashion sense: The choice of material for her clothing is very apt of course as her dresses are figure-hugging and the colours are sumptuous – a velvety plum or a fiery orange. And that necklace – have you ever wondered about it as it hangs surreptitiously? It is actually a pen, probably to keep handy for signing documents related to the ‘accounts’ (Mad Men speak).

Another surreptitious aspect of Joan is her walk, which is a contradiction in terms : she moves stealthily and gracefully, like a swan majestically claiming territory, but when she walks into a room, heads turn or rather, roll off. The blatant sexism towards her aside, her presence is indeed felt, in contrast to thinner versions of today’s women in tv shows. So what is the reason for this, we ask? It may be in the detail but in my opinion, it is the ensemble, the whole package. Sorry, hope that did not come out sexist.


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