Behind the Scenes of our Mad Men-inspired Shoot: A Mod Affair

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Like millions of other  lovers of fashion and sensational dramas, we here at ModCloth have Mad Men mania! We’re raising a glass high to salute this sinfully stylish show by launching a new Mad Men-inspired lookbook on Wednesday. To whet your whistle, though, we’re giving you an exclusive sneak peek into the new lookbook with this behind-the-scenes foray into the photoshoot!

You may not realize it from viewing the finished product, but capturing all of the magnificent photo montages is actually one of the last steps in creating a lookbook! For this Mad Men-inspired fashion feature, there was the initial concept, which was then followed by months of putting together the looks from true vintage items and ModCloth pieces, processing the items to launch on the website, coordinating the shoot, creating sets, hiring hair and makeup designers, styling the models, and so on!

Continue reading to learn what goes into setting the stage for a lookbook photoshoot.


What led to the new Mad Men-inspired photo shoot actually began as a concept dreamed up months ago by our Newsletter Coordinator, Crystal.  She remarks, “After learning about how meticulous the costume and set design is for this show, I became fascinated with it! Soon Don Draper pulled me into his world with that mysterious gaze, and I’ve been hooked on Mad Men ever since!” She then took her idea for a lookbook inspired by this 60s-era show to the campaign team, and together they concluded that the lookbook would coincide with the mid-August premier of this AMC hit show’s third season.

Susan and the buyers soon began purchasing and putting together a vintage collection to include in the lookbook with the idea that the shoot’s outfits would be assembled using a mix of vintage dresses with ModCloth accessories and ModCloth dresses with vintage accessories. After acquiring all of the necessary materials, Susan and stylist, Vasil, began conceptualizing the ensembles, and then Vasil began to prepare the outfits for the model to wear.

In the meantime, our creative director, Joe, contacted local vintage furniture and decor enthusiasts, Nico and Anastasia, who some time ago generously gave ModCloth an open invitation to use items from their collection in future shoots. Anastasia and Nico invited Joe and ModCloth graphic designer, Mara, to their home to peruse their retro wares. Joe says of the experience, “We got there and it was clear that Anastasia’s and Nico’s passion for vintage furniture mirrors ModCloth’s passion for retro fashions.” Joe and Mara went about selecting items to include in the photoshoot and then, as if the couple’s generosity in letting ModCloth use their furniture weren’t kind enough, Anastasia and Nico took the time and effort to deliver the pieces to the ModCloth office themselves!

Once the vintage furniture (Eames chairs, a Saarinen table, a Wegner lounge, and a Von Nessen brass lamp) arrived, Mara used it, along with ModCloth’s A Long Time Ago Clock (coming soon), to turn an empty warehouse space neighboring ModCloth’s current headquarters into a mid-century office, while our photographer, Danielle, began researching lighting options that would give the photos the right dramatic atmosphere evocative of the moody Mad Men show.

Just days later, the model arrived, and the photoshoot began after her makeup was applied by Shain Kish and her hair was styled by Brad Bosco. Finally, our marketing intern, Mandy, snapped photos to document all of the behind-the-scenes action!

Now that you know what goes into crafting the scenes for a photoshoot at ModCloth, here’s a backstage pass to what happens behind the scenes in the costume department for Mad Men:

And remember: Check the ModCloth homepage on Wednesday when we’ll unveil the new Mad Men-inspired lookbook, “A Mod Affair,” and shop all day for new true vintage and vintage-inspired items!

13 Responses to Behind the Scenes of our Mad Men-inspired Shoot: A Mod Affair

  1. Rebecca K. 08/17/2009 at 10:51 am #

    Man, here I thought I only got “mad” during march madness! I’m loving Mad Men and the vintage inspiration everywhere. Keep it coming.

  2. Rose 08/17/2009 at 12:34 pm #

    So excited for this lookbook! I’m a huge fan of Mad Men and vintage style.

  3. Elaine 08/17/2009 at 1:38 pm #

    The fact that this half baked piggyback of a successful show was conceived by more than a summer intern is appalling. In contrast with Mad Men’s fantastic style and award-winning art direction, this ModCloth shoot is a shameful poor-man’s verison. If you are going to blatantly copy a good thing, at least do it right, rather than Google “mid-century” and throw together a pitiful set to annoy designers like myself who know the difference and appreciate shows like Mad Men for their depth and authenticity of style. It might have been nice if you tried to add a twist to the concept as well, rather than attempting to replicate and coming up so painfully short.

  4. Kara 08/17/2009 at 1:43 pm #

    I love your photoshoots and love Mad Men. Can’t wait to see the photos.

  5. Kristin 08/17/2009 at 2:06 pm #

    I love behind the scenes! This is a really well written article Richard and I can’t wait to see the MadMen inspired lookbook!

  6. Dad 08/17/2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Susan,Don’t forget Wed. is Gram’s 84th birthday!!!

  7. amy hirt 08/17/2009 at 3:47 pm #

    yayyy what a fun shoot!!!

  8. Robin 08/17/2009 at 10:04 pm #

    So excited to see this one!

  9. Lauren B. 08/17/2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Genius!!! Can’t wait!

  10. Leslie 08/18/2009 at 9:51 am #

    I honestly can’t wait to see the new look book !! im a huge fan of mad men and would love to get some new vintage inspired ideas !! Thanks ModCloth!

  11. aire 08/19/2009 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Elaine,
    I’m sorry to hear you are not a fan of our Mad Men shoot. We here at ModCloth are big fans of show, and loved the idea of using it as inspiration! Since the the costumes are so amazing we knew we had a big project ahead of us! We were happy with the outcome, as they were big shoes to fill!

    Thanks for the feedback. :)

  12. Sonya 08/21/2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Dear Elaine,

    Firstly, it’s version not verison.
    Secondly, a bit snarky, don’t we think?

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  1. Mad Men of the '60s controlled the conversation. Today, not so much. - 11/14/2010

    […] After months of hard, Mad Men-obsessed work, the fashionistas at ModCloth launched a Mad Men inspired lookbook, “A Mod Affair.” The result is a stunning wardrobe combining true vintage items and […]

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