"Mad Men" Booth

By Jason Parker Counce


The popular AMC "Mad Men” TV show has been an overwhelming success these past few years and only brought back many styles of furniture, accessories and fashion back into vogue. As in years gone by, GasLamp focuses on the past to move us into the future.


For January, the "Front Collaboration Booth," where GasLamp showcases inspiring wares from dealers all over the mall, is contrived much like the 1960's with a combination of styles and eras to evoke that "Mad Men" feeling. There are vintage lit bars, cocktail shakers, women's furs and gloves, and men's hats and skinny ties, all mixed with style and finesse.


(During the planning the booth, we also noticed something else. When looking to the show for some inspiration, we realized that many of GasLamp’s employees and vendors might be interpreted as characters on the show. For those of you who know these “insiders,” think about it and come to your own conclusions!).


Set in 1960s New York City, the stylized drama “Mad Men” follows the lives of the ruthless competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players perform the art of the sell. If you haven't seen it, I beg you to watch a show just to see the sets and actors. “Mad Men” is amazing to see; it’s a perfectly done step back in time.


At GasLamp, we could envision the key players having a cocktail party in this booth – there’s dashing Don Draper, Creative Director and partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ad agency; Joan Harris, the sexy office manager, and even Peggy Olson, the brainy copywriter. Set amid the bar ware and vintage ashtrays might be a Blue Hawaiian, Greyhound, or Dirty Martini set on a vintage silver tray.


While walking around Gaslamp I felt like the costume designer of the show, Janie Bryant when pulling together my ideal look (FYI: This Tennessean has a new book out called "The Fashion File"; check it out). Amazingly, it comes together quite easily, since all of the booths have such great antique and vintage items. I just started by pulling the big items. These included an old Art Deco armoir, a 1920s "waterfall" mirrored dressing table with an over-sized upholstered chair, a painted Oriental chest, a red carved lamp, an Art Nouveau chest, a set of hassocks, two vintage humidors, and a 1950s lit bar. I also picked out many more to replace those that get sold, as that always becomes the case.


This “Mad Men” selection also helps to accessorize you! Much like our homes, you would look chic in a 1960s-era outfit, adorned with a simple clutch, and a cigarette case or martini glass, then watch the sparks fly and the heads turn! This is the great "Mad Men" feeling we all want to portray every now and then.


The old saying of "everything comes back" has never been truer than with this “Mad Man” phenomenon. There might be a time or season for which everything we grew up with, read in our history books, or even heard about from our grandparents becomes new to the next generations. This is the feeling of "recycle in style" that comes into play. Among the antique dealers and booth owners, alike, we have long been passing along memories, furniture and fashion for the next era. Always remember that styles and trends may come and go, but antiques and well-made furniture are here to stay.


Wishing Everyone the Happiest of New Years


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