Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant Is Getting a Reality Show
One of the best things about the mercurial psyches of the characters on Mad Men is seeing each one's wardrobe evolve right along with them. Besides perfectly representing whatever era the show happens to be in (over the last six seasons, we've seen things progress from a conservative mid '50s landscape to the tumultuous, riot-riddled late '60s), each outfit reeks of personality. Joan Holloway, often portrayed as an object of her bosses' desire, is known for her sexy wiggle dresses; housewife Betty Francis keeps full skirts and cardigans on constant rotation. Each ensemble makes total sense, but not in an obvious way.
It's that same storytelling through clothes that the series' costume designer, Janie Bryant, is bringing to the reality show she and its producers are shopping around to different networks right now, possibly called Janie Bryant’s Hollywood (a working title). Just announced yesterday on Deadline.com, the program is a design competition with a bit of a styling bent: each week contestants will be asked to create a garment either based on a classic Hollywood style or iconic celebrity's signature look. Janie, along with a panel of judges, will evaluate each challenge.
Although televised design challenges are hardly a new genre (there's already Project Runway, Fashion Star and The Fashion Show), Bryant's forthcoming project does sound refreshingly different—even if it's hard to tell from the press release whether it'll be geared more toward costumes for films/TV or a marketable line for stores. Perhaps, as we are living in the era of anything-goes collaborations (just look at Janie and Banana Republic!), we'll get to see both sides.
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