Mo Ryan, the Chicago Tribune’s Watcher, has promo pictures up from season 2 (promo as in, they’re all standing there posing for the camera, not a shot of an episode). She also reviews the DVDs and reminisces about season 1:

The word that kept coming to mind as I watched the show again was “ambiguity.” Where the show truly shines is in putting its characters in situations that provoke a multitude of responses, some of them contradictory. Even though Weiner and the outstanding cast gave us good ideas of who these people were, sometimes what they said or did was shocking – but believable too.

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Mad Men keeps turning up on the fashion pages, this time in an article on men wearing vests.

After spending a long time at the back of Dad’s closet, vests are popping up everywhere – on rock stars, celebrities, and TV shows like AMC’s “Mad Men” with its cool 1960s ad-exec wardrobes.

I hope the fashionistas don’t freak out too much when we jump ahead fourteen months for season 2!

Grace Dent of the Huffington Post seems to be a Mad Men fan.

Or is she?

She wrote a fun piece today all about fashion on TV, featuring lovely photos from Mad Men. Three of them, in fact, all Joan.

And yet, she refers to Betty Draper.

Betty Draper from Mad Men does ice cool femininity better than anyone since Grace Kelly.

See? That’s Joan. Ice cool is Joan. What is funny, of course, that she has the Grace Kelly thing right.

So actually, if you investigate further, there’s a whole other section with a shot of Rachel. Which is quite nice:

Yeah, suddenly that land is looking all “glamorous”, “swoonsome” and “va-va-voom”, to quote some recent reviews. And you can see why. No man here would walk around in oversized T-shirts and cropped combat trousers; instead, it’s dark grey suits and smart tailoring. As for the women, it’s all tight cardigans, wasp-waisted full skirts and ladylike dresses – in short, a look Anna Wintour has been wearing for years. The only kind of trousers a woman sports are Audrey Hepburn-esque narrow cropped ones, and only if she’s a bit of a rebel, which on this show seems to mean “recently divorced”.

I’ve written before about Michael Kors’s sixties-inspired fashion this season. Early sixties that is; many articles call the clothes Mad Men-inspired.

Here’s a picture.

Here’s a slide show, with a review and a history of Kors’s work.

It’s interesting. Some of it is gorgeous, and some of it is butt-ugly. The skirt lengths are like early 50s instead of 1960, which I find unattractive. You can definitely see the influence in shapes (look at the collar in slide #60). Lavender wasn’t a color you saw much in 1960, but I love it. The tweedy-and-green palette is more vintage, but a bit much for me. The first six slides are very MM, except for that length thing. Anyway, enjoy.

Here’s an Associated Press article on men’s fashion that gives lavish attention to the Mad Men look:

“Is it time for the suit? God, I hope so,” says Janie Bryant, costume designer for AMC’s “Mad Men.” “I think it’s fantastic to see people dressing up. It’s a beautiful thing to be cool but elegant but hip. A man can still wear a great suit and be casual, cool and comfortable. I say let’s burn all the T-shirts.”

The look of her show captures a successful Madison Avenue ad agency in the ’60s. The clean sharp lines, shorter jacket, narrower leg and skinny ties are all historically correct – and they’re relevant now, too.

“The characters could walk out onto the street and totally look like they belong,” Bryant says, although she’d encourage them to trade their wing-tip shoes for zip-up ankle boots.

“The younger men on my show are so happy to know how to buy a shirt if they’re going to wear a tie, they like knowing how a suit should fit. If they got into the tailoring and accessories today, I’d think they’d love it too!” she says.

She adds: “The ’80s is when comfort came into play. It was oversize everything and deep, deep pleats. It created a bad look.”

Seriously, those men in their sleek suits are hotty hotty hot. Some of the women’s looks are best forgotten, but Mad Men are Mad Hot.

Entertainment Weekly’s annual Entertainers of the Year list is out, and Mad Men is on it. The Top 25 list is broken into “class” categories (Valedictorians, Class Clowns). MM is one of the three “Most Buzzed About.”

As is so often the case, the article cites the fashions and “plitical incorrectness” rather than the writing, acting, and mystery. Nonetheless, I’m happy whenever MM gets good buzz.

French-cuffed shirts. Tailored suits. Fedoras. What’s not to love? Especially when such retro-chic fashion travels on the backs of 1960s ad execs who spend their days smoking, boozing, scheming, and sleeping around?

Okay, the other day I criticized an article for thinking the show’s about fashion, and Roberta rightly called me on it.

We love the fashion. Love it. And totally, I adore men who do the dapper thing. I love a man in a suit; always have. Even when I was the hardest of hardcore hippies, I would readily admit to finding Brooks Brothers way sexy.

And here’s an article suggesting that MM is having an influence on men’s fashion. I’m not sure it’s MM’s influence so much; the show is more a cult fave than a real hit, but I think it’s tapping the zeitgeist; I think men in particular want to spruce up.

While the first season has just ended, we already miss the show, in part for its attention to visual nuance and fashion. At the Sterling Cooper Agency, men arrive every morning as sleek as dolphins, with their pomaded coifs, clean-shaven cheeks and shiny wingtips.

The women look great, too, although their pencil skirts, sweater sets and tight-as-fists chignons feel more like the contents of a sartorial time capsule. (Never mind the fact that the blatant sexism they endure as secretaries dates them as much as their conical bras. ) And while the men may reek of chauvinism — not to mention Scotch and cigarettes — they also manage to look amazingly modern.

In fact, Draper could do for the three-button glen plaid suit what Paulie Walnuts did for the zip-up velour tracksuit. GQ just ran an article on how to cop the Mad Men style, and retail research firm NPD Group reports that sales of suits and blazers are up more than 50 percent for men ages 18 to 24.

“As sleek as dolphins” is my quote of the week!