The ‘Mad Men’ Wardrobe Department Took Donations

Jordin Althaus/AMC
Actress Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in her favorite dress, which came from a woman in Queens.

Janie Bryant, the show’s costume designer, reveals that some of the authentic pieces the cast wore came from fans across the country.

We always knew Mad Men fans were invested. And now it’s clear just how dedicated they have been over the course of the show’s seven seasons. With the obsessed-over AMC series coming to a close on Sunday (May 17), costume designer Janie Bryant spilled a fun fact to The Cut, at Maybelline New York’s 100th anniversary party this week: People actually donated their own vintage clothing to the wardrobe department.

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“I’ve had people contact me from all over the United States wanting to donate things to me: fabric, patterns, vintage clothing, accessories,” Bryant told the site. “I became friends with this woman named Mrs. Jean Bell from this teeny little town in South Carolina and she sent me, like, all of her old clothes. And her peignoirs, and her hats, and her bags, and her husband’s ties.”

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One specific ensemble she credits to her slew of donations — as opposed to the vintage she has hunted out or pieces she’s designed specifically for the show — is actually actress Elisabeth Moss’ favorite dress worn by her character Peggy Olson. Moss recently revealed to Vulture that she kept it when the show wrapped. That long-sleeve eggplant-hued dress, said Bryant, came from a woman in Queens, New York who offered her several original dresses from the ‘60s.

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While the concept of wardrobe donations was previously unheard of to Bryant, she told The Cut it was a really special gesture. As for their motivation, she said, “I think people have this amazing love for the show, for the costume design, and I think that they just want to feel like they’re a part of it.”