In 2010, The Guardian cleverly gave a name to an epidemic that was sweeping the Western world: “Madmenalaria.” According to an advice column published in November of that year, the key diagnosable symptom of Madmenalaria was an obsession with emulating the hairstyles and fashions worn on AMC’s Mad Men, then in its fourth season. In 2011, the outbreak of Madmenalaria worsened when Banana Republic launched its Mad Men line, which helped bring early-‘60s business wear—like tailored narrow suits, skinny ties, and fedoras for men, and scarves, pearls, belted dresses, and pencil skirts for women—back into vogue.
But after the credits roll on this coming Sunday’s premiere for the show’s seventh and final season, Madmenalaria may be eliminated forever.
As series creator Matthew Weiner famously insists on keeping even the least-spoilery details of his show a secret, I can’t specify what year this season’s beginning is set in. But suffice it to say that last season’s finale took place in the closing months of 1968, and Weiner himself has said the series won’t make it to 1970. Arithmetic suggests that there’s an approximate 12-month window in which Season Seven could take place. And much of the urban fashion in that 12-month window in England and the United States included fringe, fur, facial hair, paisley, plaid, tiny dresses, big bell bottoms, and bold, funky patterns in candy colors:
Season Seven of Mad Men, then, sits squarely in an era that pop culture often remembers as inherently cheesy and ridiculous—the late 1960s and 1970s. See: That ‘70s Show, Anchorman, Boogie Nights, American Hustle, Dazed and Confused.