Los Angeles-based Natasha Feldman and Julianna Strickland host a web-based cooking show about food and movies called “Cinema & Spice.” They are big “Mad Men” fans, and recently taped a segment about how to throw a “Mad Men” party.
Q: How did you become fans of the show?
A: Julianna: Natasha’s mom was a media manager in the advertising industry for many years and worked for New York agencies mentioned in the show, so she was familiar with that world from childhood on. When a show came out focusing on the intrigues and adventures of advertising executives, she was curious about it and wanted to see what challenges women in the ’60s faced vs. the opportunities they have now.
Q: Who are your favorite characters?
A: Natasha: We both love Peggy and Joan. They are both strong, intelligent women, who are always growing and evolving in a challenging environment. They both defy the traditional roles that women were forced into for lack of guts and opportunity. We love how talented Peggy is and how she forges her way in a business dominated by men, and we love Joan’s sass, courage and of course, amazing sense of style.
Q: Have you had any “Mad Men” parties?
A: Julianna: Each episode is inspired by a film or a television show. Our last episode was inspired by “Mad Men,” and we hosted a fabulous 1960s-inspired cocktail party, where we cooked up deviled eggs, meatballs, devils on horseback, Mai Tais and pineapple upside down cake.
Q: How the show has influenced pop culture?
A: Natasha: We both feel that the show has inspired people to wear more 1960s clothing and to emulate 1960s sauciness and elegance. Early ’60s fashion was so appealing with its form-fitting dresses, high-waisted skirts, red lipstick, false eyelashes, dramatic eyeliner, great hairstyles such as flips and up-dos and so on. One great thing about 1960s clothing is that it is built for curves, which inspires girls to be proud of their figures.
Q: Why do you think so many people like the show?
A: Juliana: The show immerses viewers in a total time capsule and is so true to the era. The costumes, sets, characters, furniture, telephones, cars, ads and so on are all so specifically ’60s that everyone, whether alive in the ’60s or not, enters that world and is fascinated by it.
Q:. Do you wear any “Mad Men” fashions? What are your favorite clothing pieces from that era?
A: Natasha: We both do. We especially love the hair of the ’60s and the cocktail dresses. In our “Mad Men”-inspired “Cinema & Spice” episode, Julianna wears a great dark blue, tight-waisted dress, and I wear a little red cocktail dress. They’re both vintage dresses from a secondhand store.
Q: What do you think the overall theme of the show is?
A: Julianna: It’s about exploring the roles that people had in society in the ’60s. It was a lot harder then to be a woman and to be heard and respected in the home and the workplace, and we see that struggle through Peggy. Men were also forced into traditional roles and perhaps had to marry, have families and be the sole breadwinners before they were ready for all that responsibility. We also see how people maneuver in the corporate world, how one climbs the corporate ladder, and the challenges people face who try to go against the norm. On top of all that, the ’60s is perhaps the decade that saw the most dramatic changes from beginning to end. The show has touched on women’s rights, civil rights, the first moon landing, the drug culture, the peace movement, cults, the assassination of President Kennedy, the list goes on.
–LaReeca Rucker, The Clarion-Ledger.