On the set: 'Mad Men'
A detailed look at the props that give the AMC show its authentic 60s feel
1. Lowball Glass
”Decorated glass was very popular in the ’60s,” says set decorator Amy Wells. ”They always came with their own rack. Sometimes you’ll find a whole set. That’s great if one breaks, and that’s happened a bunch.”
2. Belt Buckle
”I just love the whole idea of the solitary ‘D’ for Draper,” says costume head Janie Bryant of the vintage monogrammed belt buckle. (The strap is a contemporary Brooks Brothers belt.) ”It just spoke to me. It’s really so much of what the character is all about.”
3. Cottage Cheese
”We probably have 20 cottage cheese containers,” laughs Perello. ”I come across cottage cheese containers like you wouldn’t believe.” Thankfully, they’re empty of any vintage cheese.
”She’s kind of creepy, isn’t she?” asks Wells of Sally Draper’s doll. ”I got her in Pasadena, in this antique mall. She was perfect when I found her, because, of course, it’s supposed to look like a doll Sally’s played with for a couple years, not for 50 years.”
5. Polish Remover
”When I was researching, I kept seeing the same nail-polish remover over and over with that distinct top and squatty bottle,” says Perello. ”To find, in mint condition, three bottles — it was a joyous day.”
Bryant calls this Dobbs hat ”the Don Draper signature fedora,” with a two-inch brim that’s slightly wider than was in fashion at the time. ”I just felt a brim of, like, an inch would be too trendy. Don’s very much the classic male.”
7. Key Chain
Authentic ’60s Cadillac keys ”were a couple thousand dollars,” says Perello. So she had Don’s made — only to see the shot in which they appeared get cut. ”I probably would not have spent the money if it would have been just lying around. But I love them. They’re one of my favorite props.”