Every character has a bar or bar cart. Each bar is particular to that individual character, not only the liquor that they drink but the kind of glassware and kind of mixers and condiments
Megan’s Andy award was a very difficult thing to create. After much searching we found John Annarino who had won an Andy award for one of his Volkswagen ads (Annarino was a copywriter and creative director for Doyle Dane Bernbach / Los Angeles). We sent a prop assistant to his house in Palm Springs to measure and photograph the award (as an added benefit she got to see his portfolio and hear tales of the era). We then took the measurements and photos and created Megan’s award.
When Don buys a Clark bar from the candy machine we had to create 30 Clark bars so Don could buy it from the machine, open it up and take a bite. Getting the red color correct, and the material of the wrapping was very difficult.
One of the most challenging jobs we have is recreating a total corporate identity. We did it for Burger Chef, for Playboy and for Howard Johnson’s. These projects require an enormous amount of research, tracking down experts and collectors in addition to the actual design and construction, for which I rely heavily on the graphic designer. The whole art department gets involved in these projects.
Watches really tell the story of an era. You have to be very careful to get the dates right, as so many people are obsessed with watches and know so much about watch history.
Matthew Weiner has a saying: “I want a horse, not a zebra”. When looking for the fondue pot for the drapers dinner party in Episode 602, I found the most beautiful fondue pot ever made. I also found an advertisement proving it was from the correct year! Matt’s feeling was it was a zebra and he really wanted a simple fondue pot that Megan would’ve picked up at the same department store where everyone else bought their fondue pots that year.
It took a lot of time to create the shoe shine kit Roger is given. I purchased 10 boxes and shoe shine kits on eBay and Etsy before finding the perfect box. These purchases provided me with enough vintage interior dressing for the box and allowed me to pick and choose not only the best looking, but time-period-appropriate polishes and brushes that would’ve belonged to the shoeshine man in the lobby for many years. We gave it the perfect amount of the aging and personalization. This is one of my favorite Props of the entire show.
Finding pristine paper goods, toilet paper, paper towels and almost any household goods are a gold mine to find a roll of aluminum foil in good shape from that era in history, can make my whole week! We keep them as pristine as possible, rarely open the packages and use them over and over again as shopping bag dressing, counter dressing, something to sit in the laundry room or on the countertop. They never cease to bring joy to anyone sees them and remembers the era.
Creating Sally’s world was a lot of fun for both the Set Decorator and myself. We were both born right around when Sally was born and so we could draw on our memories of being her age. The stuffed animals I had made for her bed were sewn from patterns I found from 1964. I remembered having these animals as well as many of the books and other items in the room.
Eyewear deserves a section on its own and eventually will get one. Suffice it to say that I could never provide the eyeglasses and sunglasses without the help of Old Focals expert Russ Campbell. We go through hundreds and hundreds of pairs of glasses and sunglasses every season. Megan alone, has had five different pairs of sunglasses and Betty at least four.
Donald Draper’s wristwatches always attract a lot of attention. In the 6th and 7th seasons this is the watch he wore. While on the beach in Hawaii in episode 601, his watch stopped working and for two episodes we switched him into a Movado watch while he got this Omega repaired.
Food and menu planning has it’s own post but it is such an integral part of Mad Men and so much fun, I also wanted to add it here. This photo is from the Christmas party in the fourth season there is a wonderful shot of a conga line passing the dessert and food table which always makes me laugh.
This is Glen Bishop’s pocket knife with a lanyard that we assume he made in summer camp. He leaves the lanyard on Sally’s pillow so that she’ll know he was there. Our Art Department coordinator, Kama Hayes, learned how to make lanyards and created this one for us in triplicate.
MORE PHOTOS AND TALES TO COME….