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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 Crazy Things You Didn't Know About The Hair On "Mad Men"

The head of the hair department for the AMC period drama, Theraesa Rivers, told BuzzFeed about close calls with razors, Miss. Blankenship’s wig, and what lies ahead. The seventh season premieres April 13.


There is a TON of research that goes into each character's look.


There is a TON of research that goes into each character's look.


Theraesa Rivers, who has been head of the hair department for three seasons and won an Emmy for her work in 2011, said that Mad Men strives for a "period-correct" look for each character.


“All the looks that you see on the show are actually looks that existed in the '60s,” she told BuzzFeed.


The department uses magazines, movies, and newspapers to research looks from the 1960s. Rivers said the hair department will go to different resources for setting- and character-specific looks — for instance, an issue of Vogue from the time period for a party scene.


“It all depends on the character. If it’s a politician’s wife like Betty Francis than we look at Time Life magazines," she said. "Any newspaper where it has like Nixon’s wife or the the Kennedys, that’s what we base her looks off of.”


AMC


Hair is all about location, location, location.


Hair is all about location, location, location.


Rivers said each scene's location is crucial to dictating the look of each character. Office scenes in Manhattan are "conservative," scenes in California call for a "looser and easygoing" aesthetic, and party scenes can be "avant-garde."


“We think about where we are, what the setting is, who the people are, and who would be around them — that it would be real," she said.


Equally as important is accuracy, and not choosing looks just because they were popular at the time, Rivers said.


“We’re careful not to throw inappropriate looks for the setting that we are in into the scene, just for the sake of having it because it was being done at the time," she said.


AMC


Hair, wardrobe, and makeup choices are all about synergy.


Hair, wardrobe, and makeup choices are all about synergy.


Before a character is brought to life on screen, Rivers goes through production meetings, and the hair and makeup teams have their own meeting with the director of the episode. Rivers also meets with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to discuss any new characters or if a principle cast member will have a particularly important storyline.


A character's hair, makeup, and wardrobe then comes together collaboratively.


“If the hair doesn’t go well with the costume or the makeup, you know, it all has to make sense together," Rivers said. "It’s not that one speaks louder than the other. We want balance and the entire look to be cohesive and tell you something about the person on screen.”


AMC


A big part of Peggy Olson's attitude comes from her hair.


A big part of Peggy Olson's attitude comes from her hair.


Hairstyle is a visual reflection of a character's attitude, Rivers said.


“I think in any time period you can look and see a person’s hairdo reflects some part of their personality," she said, naming Peggy Olson, played by actress Elisabeth Moss, as an example.


“[She] is a little more conservative, but she’s also a businesswoman and she’s a no-nonsense person," said Rivers. "She doesn’t have a lot of time to do her hair and have a big teased-up hairdo like Betty Francis or an updo like Joan.”


Rivers noted Peggy's look has transformed from a longer, girlish hairdo to a more conservative, shorter look that still isn't as polished as other female characters on the show like Betty Francis (January Jones) or Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks).


“We always laugh, because [Peggy] is always a little off," Rivers said. "Her clothes are great, but there is something a little off about her.”


AMC




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