Mad on Mad Men? Now get the look
Is it the visually ravishing vistas of fabulously frocked and jewelled women, or the vicarious pleasure of watching ubridled consumption of cigarettes and whisky that makes US series Mad Men, so compellingly viewable? Whatever the answer - and I suspect it will vary depending on your gender and your age - the BBC4 series, has led to a late-50s/early 1960s fashion revival that, frankly, seemed unthinkable even five years ago.
For a generation of women who grew up in the corseted and stratified early 60s, it was that period which was truly the decade style forgot. Before trail-blazers like Vidal Sassoon, Mary Quant and Polly Peck led to liberation in clothing and hairs, collections for the young didn't exist; a girl was her mother's mini-me. If you were female, you went from the children's department to the women's department around your 12th or 13th birthday. And what was on offer was, in the main, deeply ugly - pencil skirts, unflattering-unless-you-were-pin-thin dirndls, three-quarter-sleeve jackets and cardis, fur-collar coats, well-bred little shift dresses, frame handbags, pointed-toe kitten-heel shoes…
Yup, all the stuff we are now clamouring for, courtesy of the Mad Men trend accelerated by Marc Jacobs and Prada.
There is one rule I would urge you to observe in attempting to recreate the Mad Men look. It's not the now redundant, "If you wore it the first time around, you can't wear it again." (Thank God for that, because most women over 30 would have nothing to wear). But its replacement: "Don't wear the whole look, head to toe." Remember you are alluding to the era, not in fancy dress.
Glamour and formality are the key to successful Mad Men dressing. Indeed, a phenomenon of the era, brilliantly evoked in the show, is the rigid dress code: formal attire at the office and some serious dressing up for going out.
Topshop has lots of Mad Men-inspired pieces, including three-quarter sleeve black cocktail dresses and a floral
pussy-bow blouse that is perfect Peggy Olsen. Oasis has several '50s inspired lace cocktail frocks, including a black one sheer over the shoulders, and a curvy, below-the-knee pencil skirt.
Fenwick, Bond Street, has gone mad on Mad Men, with a grey dogtooth sweetheart neckline jacket (£415) and matching side-rouched pencil skirt (£195), both Sportmax. Andrew Majtenyi has a sculpted jacket which oozes late '50s glamour, while Browns has an Oscar de la Renta frock which could have come straight off the back of Betty Draper.
Fur was very on-trend then, so a fake fur coat, jacket, or stole is a quick route to the retro look. Fenwick, W1, has Helene Berman's grey leopard print coat (£229), Oasis has a glamorous fake fur jacket (£85), Matches has a divine nude fox jacket at £935 and Per Una Speziale has a fake fur stole at £120.
And don't forget to pile on the jewels. Buy fakes or raid granny's trinket box for cuffs, pearls, earrings and brooches.