Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mad For Mackie

 This little show called "Mad Men" will be beginning to film its 5th season after the "powers that be" finish sqabbling over money.  You may have heard of the program, it's on AMC, that's a basic cable channel.  One of the many beautiful aspects of this show is the Janie Bryant designed costumes.  Season 4 of “Mad Men” took place in 1966 and the gang looked as slick and sexy as ever.
2 of Aghayan's desgins for Judy illustrated by Bob Mackie

TV in the 60s brings to mind the designers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.  The costume designers of TV shows worked much like the movie designers of that time.  The difference being that all of the actors’ clothing had to be designed and made on a WEEKLY basis!!  Luckily a young Robert Mackie was there to save the day.  Mr. Mackie’s first break was as Ray Aghayan’s assistant on “The Judy Garland Show” in 1963.  His main responsibility was to illustrate Aghayan’s designs.   Could you imagine how a call like that would have gone between Bob and his headhunter? 

As well as working with Aghayan on other projects Bob Mackie also began designing various projects on his own.  His 1960s highlights include: designing a Flying butterfly costume for Lucille Ball for the first episode of the “Danny Thomas Show”, Episodes of “Hollywood Palace” and the TV Special “Mitzi” starring Mitzi Gaynor.

Costume Illustration for Lucille Ball on the Danny Thomas Show

Being that Mr. Mackie worked extensively on TV through the 60s and 70s I feel he would be an amazing resource for the costume team on “Mad Men”.  What better way to get information than from the original source?  I have a feeling Bob may still have some of his original gowns or sketches in storage.  Since Mr. Mackie owns a custom costume shop it would be easy for him to fabricate anything Janie may need for wardrobe.  A collaboration by these two designers could be great for the shows aesthetic as well as a PR bonanza for both parties.  If needed I can be called in to take notes, help with the sewing, and cater to their every need.  I am a VERY valuable worker.
What do you guys, the die hard "Mad Men" fans think?  Thoughts?

-Philip Estrada

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