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Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

12 March 2011

Mad Men Barbie Dolls

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
The TV series Mad Men premiered on July 19th, 2007.

Set in 1960's Manhattan, the show chronicles the lives of the men and women of a fictitious Madison Avenue advertising agency. The first season was set in 1960, and each successive season maintains a realistic progression of time.

Mad Men is acclaimed for its historically accurate visual style. Costume designer Janie Bryant looks to old catalogs, sewing patterns, and women's magazines such as Vogue and Good Housekeeping for inspiration. She uses a combination of original designs, vintage items and outfits rented from costume houses for the show.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
The summer 2010 issue of Mattel's own Barbie Collector Magazine.

In the spring of 2010, Mattel released a series of limited-edition collectible Mad Men Barbie and Ken dolls. The dolls are based on Don Draper, the show's leading man; his wife, Betty; one of his colleagues, Roger Sterling; and Joan Holloway, the agency's office manager.

Designed by Mattel doll designer Robert Best, the dolls embody the show's iconic 1960's aesthetic. Molded of Silkstone, a material that resembles the look and weight of porcelain, each doll comes with accessories true to their show counterparts.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
The Betty Draper doll embodies the character's Grace Kelly-like glamour. In a Vanity Fair interview, Janie Bryant describes her vision of Betty:

"Betty is sort of a combination of my grandmother and Grace Kelly. And for her, it’s about always presenting that image of perfection. She’s changed, though. The first season her palette was very pale—the grays and the cool blues and pale yellows and all the creams and the whites. But then, for season two, I felt like her character was really transitioning and getting stronger and so you can see there are times when the palette is a lot brighter and stronger, like she’s wearing hot pink and the bright blue..."

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
Buxom bombshell Joan Holloway has an equally ravishing doll, though she's a contrast to Betty's glacial glamour. Says Bryant of Joan's wardrobe:

"I always design things for her that are very strong in palette because I feel like her character is very strong. She really commands that whole office. And so I really like using bold tones for that character. And I think her silhouette is about knowing that that looks great on her body and knowing where all of her assets are, which she uses to her advantage."

Barbie designer Robert Best's original sketches for the Mad Men dolls.


Haute Doll Magazine Photo Shoot

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
Prior to the release of the Mattel collection, the now-defunct Haute Doll magazine created their own "Mad-Men-meets-Barbie" photo spread for their March/April 2010 issue.

Not authorized by Mattel, these one-of-a-kind dolls were styled based on outfits from the show, and set in a miniature version of Don Draper's office... complete with cocktails and cigarettes!

Note the Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson dolls, 2 characters that were not produced for the Mattel line...

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
Prim Peggy Olson presenting her Popsicle ad campaign.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
Peggy Olson and Pete Campbell.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
Joan Holloway, the office vamp, in a signature jewel-toned dress.

Mad Men Barbie Dolls
From left: Mini Joan Holloway, Betty Draper, Peggy Olson.

images: (1 to 4) barbiecollector.com
(5 to 13) flickr.com

"Haute Doll" photoshoot:
diorama by Carloyn Allen
fashions by Natalia Sheppard
Barbie repaints by Vin Trapani
photos by Michael Williams

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Suzanna said...

OMG!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

10:12 a.m.  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

I knew you would...!

8:56 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have OUTDONE yourself!

2:09 p.m.  
Anonymous Irene said...

I am a big "Mad Men" fan and I love this post!!
Since I personally remember and loved Expo 67 I am enjoying your interesting blog very much. You are doing a great job! Thank you for sharing!!

5:14 p.m.  

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