Mad Men Returns: What Fashion Trends Will Characters Embrace?

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Season seven of Mad Men premieres on Sunday, April 13. With the cast and crew as tight-lipped as ever, it is difficult to discern where the plot for the final season will lead. Pictures of the ever dapper Don Draper have been released, showing him smoking a cigarette on a New York City street.

Dressed, as usual, in a suit and sporting a hat, Draper gives little information as to what year it is in the Mad Men world. Season six ended in November 1968, but a jump forward in time would not be unprecedented. It is probably safe to say the season will pick up in 1969, or the very early 1970s. Important not only for guessing where the story line will lead, but for predicting the trends that will be displayed in on-screen fashions.

During this era, the fashion world reacted to real-world developments Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion explains. In defining the period between 1968 and 1975, the book states that as the economic boom dissipated, and the protest movement in America grew, disillusionment sank in — furthered by the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a result, people turned away from the futuristic, mod clothing that typified a good part of the mid- to late-1960s and instead looked to the East. Hippies donned leather and suede. Accessories came from home-made crafts, and political symbols –like flowers and peace signs — dominated. The East held a strong influence over fashion, and oriental-inspired designs featured prominently in fashion shows.

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