Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant on the Style Pieces Every Woman Should Own

Janie Bryan at Mad Men's 'The Black & Red Ball' on March 25, 2015.
Mad Men's costume designer Janie Bryant dishes exclusively to Us Weekly on her Black and Red gown designed by Black Halo. David Livingston/Getty Images

The end of an era! 

The thought of Mad Men approaching its final air date is maddening itself — but at least there's still time to fawn over those killer fashions. At the helm of the wardrobe department for the 1960s-set show is costume designer Janie Bryant, who after eight long years will be sending the show off in true style. Bryant's first order of business was designing a memorable getup for the final season's gala premiere aka "The Black and Red Ball," held on March 25 in L.A.  

"I wanted to design a gown for myself and I asked Black Halo if they would collaborate with me," Bryant exclusively revealed to Us Weekly. "We made this beautiful red lace and silk dress, with a dramatic long train of yards and yards of silk." 

Mad Men Gala sketch
Mad Men's head costume designer Janie Bryant sketched her Black and Red Ball Black Halo creation with brand owner Laurel Berman.

As an Emmy Award-winning costume designer with every top fashion house on speed-dial, Bryant's choice to partner with Black Halo designer Laurel Berman was fairly simple. "They make the best fitting clothes," Bryant told Us of the celeb-loved line. "I felt like we had a similar design aesthetic and philosophy in how to make women look amazing." 

Bryant's partnership with Black Halo is hardly a Draper one-night stand. Come July 2015, a full collaboration, Janie Bryant for Black Halo, will be sold at major retailers including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor.

"The theme came together like this luscious floral rich garden, but the whole collection has a feminine feel to it," Bryant shared.

Bryant began the Black Halo project a month after shooting ended, while designing her second Shoes of Prey collection and uniforms for Washington D.C.'s Watergate Hotel. "There is nothing as grueling and intense as film production," she said about her busy schedule. "To design these other collections was a walk in the park." 

Mad Men - Final Season Promo
January Jones as Betty Francis, Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris, Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson and Jessica Pare as Megan Draper model fashions directed by Janie Bryant for Mad Men's final season. Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

So what are key must-haves for the woman who understands fashion like no other? "Great undergarments and a sheath dress aka the wiggle dress," Bryant said, adding that less-curvy silhouettes should skip the wiggle and opt for a flirty minidress instead.

No look is complete without additional sparkle. "A big brooch, matching earrings, and a charm bracelet like Joan [played by Christina Hendricks]," Bryant told Us. "Or big dramatic drop earrings if you're going for the Megan [played by Jessica Pare] look."

As the show's final seven episodes begin on April 5 on AMC, Bryant copped to the one souvenir she swiped from the set, albeit one not found in her costume department. "The memories are the best thing about the show for sure," she told Us. "It was eight years of my life." 

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