You don't have to know anything about a trend to mine it, and I'm proof. I've never watched an episode of Mad Men, but mon ami, I do adore it. Cinched waists, gloves, brooches, and the lady-like look are seeping out of AMC's screens and all over the common culture. Only a year ago, I was struggling to look less like a tent in those trapeze dresses (official report: it cannot be done), now, I can't throw a Chanel ballet flat without hitting some display of sartorial taste. This new upsurge in propriety has permeated pop music too. Exhibit A: Beyonce. Yes, Beyonce. Her newest music video, Why Don't You Love Me tops the charts for 50s/60s kitsch (and mad use of Chanel accessories). The story, insomuch as there is one, falls into the typical disaffected housewife genus. Which is a popular, and I'm afraid to say, rather tired interpretation of women and pill box hats a la Betty Friedan. Yet, liberated womankind of the 21st century remains fascinated with un-liberated womankind of the 20th. The best - and most infamous - Mystiquette (as I'm calling my obsessed sisters) portrayal was W magazine's 2005 photo story starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as they wandered around a suburb-scape, looking disaffected. It's genius.
DOMESTIC BLISS, W MAGAZINE
The same Poor Little Housewife genre crops up again in the July Vogue story Magnificent Obsession, looking, sadly, like second helpings. It's lovely, but lacks the hopelessness and rage of W's story, as well as the sympathetic eye. Natalia Vodianova is playing an adulteress and Ewan McGregor a man scorned. I don't really believe Natalia and Ewan's lives are being rent at the seams. But the clothes are worthy of "obsession."
MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, VOGUE
And here is the hip-hop-pop version of Mystiquette style. Beyonce has left no accessory behind, and though she's the wronged women, her style is more pin-up than housewife.
WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME, BEYONCE
Just last week (and last post) I mentioned how marvelously Talbots is reinventing their look. Well, honey, I hadn't seen anything yet. I stumbled across their Fall look book and I'm enchanted. The Fall line is a clever adaptation of Mad Men for modern girls, and I want every stitch of it.
TALBOTS FALL COLLECTION
All images, as attributed above. Beyonce stills from her official music video.