As we wait — and wait, and wait — for Season 5 of “Mad Men” to begin, we can quench our thirst for whiskeys at noon with Banana Republic’s new “Mad Men”-inspired capsule collection. The line, about 65 pieces for men and women, is available at Banana Republic starting today and takes a modern approach to some of the greatest hits from Betty, Joan and Don’s wardrobe. Expect to see animal prints, high-waisted skirts, chic tailored trousers, pocket squares and one smoking-hot tux that will make your boy feel like he’s 2011’s answer to Don Draper.
We spoke with Banana Republic Creative Director Simon Kneen and “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant to see how many Old Fashioneds went into making this suave collection.
What were some of your inspirations for the collection?
Janie Bryant: I drew inspiration from my favorite Mad Men pieces. I also have a few nostalgic pieces from my mother that had been made by my grandmother in the ’60s. A favorite is my mother’s engagement dress that is a royal blue A-line party dress with embroidered lavender and navy roses.
Why do you think there’s this fascination with fashion from the ’60s?
Simon Kneen: What’s not to love about beautiful, dressed-up tailoring? Janie describes the fashion from the show as character armor. It’s fascinating to see all the faults of the characters, yet they put on this incredible facade of chic polish and panache.
Who do you think has the best style on the show?
SK: I love that Joan works her incredible silhouette so fashionably. Fit is everything, and I always encourage people to find the most flattering fit to complement their assets. Joan’s a role model for that!
Did you guys have a whiskey or three to get into the mood of the show? What was the process like?
SK: Wouldn’t that have been fun? It was actually over a strong cup of coffee at 6 a.m. that Janie and I first met. We had such a genuine connection and shared passion for tailoring and white shirts — we could talk for hours about white shirts! It sounds silly, but it’s really how all this came to be.
Currently, who do you think has great style?
JB: Don Draper, of course.