Tagged: Midwest

Mad Men, 1970 Style – On the Road with Don Draper

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.13: "The Milk and Honey Route")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.13: “The Milk and Honey Route”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, former ad man in search of himself

Oklahoma to California, Fall 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “The Milk and Honey Route” (Episode 7.13), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 5/10/2015
– “Person to Person” (Episode 7.14), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 5/17/2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

To honor the anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, published today in 1957, I’m taking a look at “The Milk and Honey Route,” the penultimate episode of Mad Men in which Don Draper’s journey to find himself drives him through the heart-land of darkness.

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Lee Marvin’s Beige Suit in Prime Cut

Lee Marvin and Sissy Spacek in Prime Cut (1972)

Lee Marvin and Sissy Spacek in Prime Cut (1972)

Vitals

Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin, mob enforcer

Kansas City (and Chicago), summer 1972

Film: Prime Cut
Release Date: June 28, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The beginning of Prime Cut follows a mysteriously packed package of meat as it journeys from Kansas City to Chicago, where it is received by Jake (Eddie Egan), the head of the Windy City’s Irish mob. The delivery’s significance is not lost on Jake, who promptly seeks out and recruits enforcer Nick Devlin (Lee Marvin) to head to Kansas and set things straight.

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Ray: Jamie Foxx in a Windowpane Fleck Jacket

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004)

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004)

Vitals

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, groundbreaking R&B musician

Houston, Summer 1953

Film: Ray
Release Date: October 29, 2004
Director: Taylor Hackford
Costume Designer: Sharen Davis

Background

Jamie Foxx became only the second actor in history to receive a Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award for a single performance when he played Ray Charles. Though it was released five months after the real Ray Charles died of liver disease at age 73, Ray had the blessing of the real Ray Charles who had received – and approved – a braille version of the original shooting script.

Fresh off the success of his first hit for Atlantic Records, the exciting “Mess Around”, we see Ray Charles’ career shooting skyward. He endorses a group called the Cecil Shaw Singers while on-air at a Houston radio station, resulting in a lunch date with the group’s tenor, Della Bea (Kerry Washington), who is amazed that he was able to pick out her voice. Continue reading

Gene Hackman’s Ranch Suit in Prime Cut

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann in Prime Cut (1972)

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Mary Ann, brutal “meat mobster”

Kansas City, summer 1972

Film: Prime Cut
Release Date: June 28, 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris

Background

Today, March 10, is officially National Ranch Dressing Day. What could possibly be the relevance to menswear, you ask? Well, I managed to find a connection for National Potato Day so let’s use today’s observance to explore and celebrate that oft-tragic American phenomenon, the ranch suit.

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Warren Oates’ Brown Striped Suit as Dillinger

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Warren Oates as John Dillinger in Dillinger (1973)

Vitals

Warren Oates as John Dillinger, Depression-era bank robber

Indiana, Fall 1933

Film: Dillinger
Release Date: July 20, 1973
Director: John Milius
Costume Designer: James M. George

Background

Eighty four years ago tonight – November 15, 1933. Four police cars converge on a small office building on Irving Park Boulevard in the Chicago Loop. In an upstairs doctor’s office, one of the most wanted men in the tri-state area is being treated for either a ringworm infection or “barber’s itch,” an inflammation of hair follicles, depending on which account you read. On the floor below, a cagey informant named Art McGinnis is signaling desperately to police that their quarry is upstairs. Fate, however, is on the side of the outlaw, a thirty-year-old bank robber named John Dillinger. Continue reading

Ryan Reynolds’ Tweed Jacket in Mississippi Grind

Ryan Reynolds as Curtis Vonn in Mississippi Grind (2015)

Vitals

Ryan Reynolds as Curtis Vonn, charismatic drifter and gambler

Iowa to New Orleans, March 2014

Film: Mississippi Grind
Release Date: January 24, 2015
Director: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Costume Designer: Abby O’Sullivan

Background

I was honored to correspond with Abby O’Sullivan, the talented costume designer who worked on Mississippi Grind, to learn firsthand insight about the inspiration, concept, and execution of the costumes that gave the film its distinctive look.

Abby recalls Mississippi Grind as “a special film” that stands out on her impressive resume due to the talents of the creative team, particularly directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and cinematographer Andrij Parekh, who all contributed to developing the “distinctive 1970s Americana road movie” attitude that radiates off the screen like neon bar lights through Marlboro smoke. Continue reading

Ron Swanson’s Red Tiger Woods Polo

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation (Episode 2.08: "Ron and Tammy")

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation (Episode 2.08: “Ron and Tammy”)

Vitals

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, surly libertarian city parks director and jazz saxophonist

Pawnee, Indiana, Fall 2009

Series: Parks and Recreation
Episode: “Ron and Tammy” (Episode 2.08)
Air Date: November 5, 2009
Director: Troy Miller
Created by: Greg Daniels & Michael Schur
Costume Designer: Kelli Jones

Background

By design, little attention is paid to Ron Swanson’s clothing throughout Parks and Recreation. In fact, Ron’s style could best be summed up by saying he dresses like a non-threatening suburban dad, as opposed to Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), who basks in the show’s sartorial attention with his “Brooks Brothers Boys” suits. We even learn, in “Ron and Tammys” (Episode 4.02), that Ron has only spent $40 on clothes in the past five years.

That said, there is one thing that gets Ron to care about what he pulls out of his closet that morning… and that’s his activity from the night before. Continue reading