Christina Hendricks on pencil skirts, Mad Men and Ryan Gosling...

Christina Hendricks


Do NOT ask Christina Hendricks about her figure. Is that clear?

Hendricks is the LA-based actress who plays Joan Harris in the cult TV series Mad Men and she was in Sydney last week for the 2012 Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition.

After the now internationally-famous incident involving a question about her body shape (and used the word “full-figured”) that caused Hendricks to terminate the interview and complain the question was rude, all further interviews came with strict conditions.

There is to be NO mention of weight, shape, size, body or body image. Fortunately, I hadn’t been intending to.

As a style editor, Mad Men is superb TV. The polished, 50s/60s fashion is almost a character. I love the contrast between Joan’s sultry, come-hither wardrobe and Betty’s domestic goddess A-line dresses. (If you have never watched, what’s wrong with you? Get to the itunes store immediately and download yourself series one – you’ll be hooked in minutes).

In a very business-like hotel room surrounded by anxious PR reps and a queue of other nervous journos, Christina and I  chatted about pencil skirts, Mad Men and Ryan Gosling. Here’s how it went down:

JG: Do you have much influence in Joan’s wardrobe in Mad Men?

CH: Little to none to be honest, our costume designer is unbelievable and the first time we came together we had the exact same vision of the type of clothes Joan would wear. She had story boards with all these images – it was exactly what I pictured. Basically she just brings these amazing things and I get to wear them. I have to say Joan’s wardrobe has influenced my own wardrobe in the opposite way.

JG: How?

CH: I’ve learnt a lot from Joan about tailoring and fit. I don’t think I owned one pencil skirt before Mad Men which was idiot for me because they’re just the most flattering, nicest thing, so now I have a bunch of them.

JG: (A teeny bit disappointed) So what is your personal style like?

CH: I love fashion, so I love to try all sorts of different things. However, I think over the years I consistently go after feminine, romantic clothes with a quirky twist.

Christina Hendricks as Joan.

JG: What are your tips for anyone wanting to re-create Joan’s look?

CH: To get the ‘Joan look’ I think you’d be pretty good to wear a blouse with a bow and a little pencil skirt and you’d be well on your way. Of course you need the little chain with the pen hanging too.

JG: You’re very much a pin-up girl for elegant and glamorous red carpet style, what about off the red carpet, what does your casual wardrobe look like?

CH: LA is a very casual city, so I often wear a blouse or a turtle neck and jeans. But probably my favourite thing is a sun dress, like a little forties style dress is my favourite.


JG: How do you pick what you wear on the red carpet?

CH: Generally I just go with my instinct – I see a dress and I fall in love. But every once in a while I’ll have a feeling a couple of months before and really like something I’ve seen like a particular colour or style. You go to these events and you almost play a character – I get to wear these extravagant gowns and I think, do I want to be this woman or do I want to be this woman? Do I want to be feminine and pretty and sweet, or do I want to be old Hollywood glamour? That usually steers me – what kind of mood I’m in.

JG: Are there any trends in fashion that particularly catch your eye at the moment?

CH: Gosh, I really love some of the romantic, gothic looking things around – anything with black lace I’m particularly loving. [Also] I really like the ‘equestrian look’.

JG: You co-starred with Ryan Gosling in ‘Drive’ and will be working with him again to film ‘How to Catch a Monster’ next year. What’s it like working with him?

CH: He’s fantastic. I think he’s one of the best actors of our generation and he’s fun and sweet and collaborative…

JG: (Deep sigh)….

CH: He is everything you would want him to be.

JG: You’re here for the 2012 Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition – how do you make glasses look awesome?

CH: I think glasses can be sexy, well my husband thinks they are sexy! He’s always like, ‘wear the glasses’. Sexy for anyone is about confidence and standing out as an individual while having your own sense of style.

JG: And after you leave Sydney, what’s next?

CH: In about three weeks I’m back to Mad Men, then after that I’m doing Ryan [Gosling]’s movie. Another movie is lined up after that if time-wise it works out. And that will probably take up my whole hiatus and I’ll be back doing season 7 of Mad Men. Hopefully I’ll get to take a holiday in there somewhere.

JG: What’s it like on-set filming Mad Men?

CH: It’s like a family at this point – we’ve known each other for years. You know, we take it very seriously on set, everyone is very prepared, very professional, but when we go offset we have a little area where we play cards and dominos, play music and decorate our little area. It’s very fun. 

And just because she’s so damn awesome (I’m considering creating a Christina Hendricks fan page on Facebook), here is a gallery of Christina Hendricks’ best looks, plus a few ways to re-create her style:

If you’re feeling a little fashion-inspired, click here to head over to Mamamia Shopping for pencil skirts, blouses and basically everything you need to get Christina Hendricks’ (or Joan’s!) look.