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26 March 2012

Mad Men: Don Draper’s New Apartment

 

Zou Bisou Bisou.

I don’t think I’m ever going to get that song out of my head.

I trust we were all watching last night?  The big news of course is that Don Draper, apart from getting himself a sexy little package of a new wife -  who I predict is going to be nothing but trouble – but has also got himself a sexy, new, not-so-little apartment.

   

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Don now lives in the big city, away from Betty and her suburban angst and her suburban furniture (remember her er, lovely ‘fainting couch’?) in an apartment big enough that his kids can come visiting and where his wife can host wild surprise parties.

It’s a clever set.  Instead of filling it with mid-century icons such Saarinen tables and chairs and Arco lamps (unlike Roger’s office with its shipped-in style), it just feels very comfortable and of its time, very sixties, but not ostentatiously so. 

The colour scheme of burnt orange and turquoise is kept to the periphery and the accents  -  the aqua curtains, the seating out on the balcony, the orange kitchen cabinets and the gorgeous throw pillows, but the main body of the set is very brown, very boxy and very wood-panelled, with even the pattern on the curtains seeming quite subdued.

   

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A little light relief is offered by the white cupboard doors, the white feature wall and of course the infamous white rug, with the occasional dark red painted door or panel, but in general the main body of the set is kept quite spare and neutral.  Even the art on the walls is quite dull and nondescript.

   

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Which makes sense of course if the marriage-threatening surprise parties you hold are such a riot of sixties pattern and colour.  Weren’t the costumes in these scenes just awesome?

   

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I managed to spot a few Sixties icons dotted about – the Catherine Holm enamel bowls, the Eames lounge chair, the Murano glass and the zebra-striped cushion. Did any other Sixties paraphernalia catch your eye?

   

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And I have to give a shout out to the exquisite chandeliers in the entrance way, and that lovely low-hanging blue lamp.  What did you like most about the set?

   

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These images show how the designers had fun with costumes, party accoutrements and accent pieces to create a mood.  I’m sure we’re going to see that mood darken as the season progresses.

   

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I am certain the Husband had eyes for nothing but that glorious aqua Sixties vacuum cleaner in this scene.

   
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So did you watch? Did you enjoy it? What did you think of the new apartment? Any particular objects you were coveting?  I’m enjoying how the new Mrs Draper is quite literally leading Don by the balls.  I’m sure that’s going to end up well.

Zou Bisou Bisou.

   

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Comments

Loved the apartment, loved that the Brit's wife (Lloyd? Lee? God I suck at names) wanted the name of Megan's decorator. What really cracked me up the most about the show was, oh god, what's his name, Harry (?)'s office, the one who had to trade w/ Pete. It had this very out of place traditional lamp which made me notice his ornate desk and some sort of traditional painting. Then I looked at his outfit and it was plaid tie, prep-school outdated, unflattering slop. Then he walks into Roger's black and white op arty office and there's Roger, perfectly matched to his office in a crisp white shirt, and charcoal suit. Oh, and shock of white hair! Then I realized that all of the characters match their offices (the Brit had some sort of suit of armor on his walls) and got a big kick out of it.

I noticed that last season and again last night. I love the idea that the characters get to furnish their own offices. Nowadays they'd all be bland and the same.

Though having a suit of armour on the wall is surely far too much of cliche' even for Americans stereotypical views of Brits (and Mrs Lane would never in a BILLION years have said 'Fall'. That really jarred for me.)

They do a masterful job of the set decoration. Often in period shows all of the items are from that particular era which is not how we live in real life. We have some current items and items from years back - a hodge podge.

I thought that the colour palette was spot on too along with the cinematography. Nothing is taken for granted - I love when a show respects us as the viewer enough to take the time to do it right.

The sunken living room reminds me of Mary Richards' sunken living room in her apartment in Minneapolis. I know it's in an old house but that step down is so sixties/seventies.

Love the grasscloth wallpaper that's back in right now.

And I think Pete Campbell's kitchen cupboards are repurposed from Don and Betty's old house. My aunt had cupboards like that - those crazy hinges.

Finally, Lane's wife is actually South African. She was in the first season of In Treatment - playing older than she is in this show. "Fall" WAS jarring...

One more thing - "Oh Canada" as Megan is not only Canadian in real life, she is in the show. Vive le Quebec!

Lane's wife is also that awful Natasha in Bridget Jones.

When is In Treatment coming back? Love that show, though it drains me emotionally!

What is In Treatment. Should I be watching it?

Definitely! It's an American remake of an Israeli show about a therapist and his clients. Stars Gabriel Byrne. The first season is especially good.

I am actually watching the episode as I type this! At first I was a little bored with Don's apartment, but as the episode goes on it makes more sense and I think they made some really smart choices. Don is cliche in some ways, but not others, and he definitely has the run of the house, doesn't he?

Oooh do you think? It seems to me that Megan has him by the short and curlies :) Can you tell I don't like her?

Oh man! Now you've gone and made me wish I had TV! Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and say that I'm loving your blog and so happy I found you through all those Alt Summit classes and I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award here; http://glutenfreetravelette.blogspot.com/. It's just a fun way to recognize some new-to-me blogs that do awesome things!

GENIUS post, Paola! I'm so in love with this show, I don't know what to do with myself. Everything you point out is spot on.

Regarding the comment discussion, Megan definitely decorated the apartment. As Don says, they got the white carpet because it's what Megan wanted, even though he knew it wasn't practical. He doesn't care about decor -- Betty styled her way, Megan is styling her way. Remember what Don's bachelor apartment looked like? I think it was prefurnished. He didn't care.

And, yes, Mrs. Draper has him by the balls. It's payback time (at least for now).

I'm reblogging you, Miss Paola. You're seducing me to do it! Such a vixen.

@tula. It was my 'zou bisou bisou' that did it wasn't it? Admit it...

I am scouring the internet, trying to find pix or info on the wingback chair in Don and Megan's bedroom that I saw in last week's episode (the one in which Don is so sick). I MUST HAVE THAT CHAIR!!!! Anyone? Anyone?

Fun.


it is all about fun. Very nice apartment.

Oh, I didn't catch this. But, I'm sure I can find a copy anywhere... What do you think?

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