Red as a symbol of sexuality and desire

There is a great scene in Mad Men (S1 E6), where girls are asked to try out some lipsticks. Secretly, they are being watched by a couple of men through a mirror in opposite room. Joan (the red dress) is the only one among girls who knows that and she does enjoy it.

So while other girls are trying out the lipsticks, Joan entertains the men behind the mirror and drives them totally crazy, especially when she leans over and puts out a cigarette. Wow, that was sexy! Sexy is also her dress, but most importantly, the color!

Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6

 

The red color of her dress is by no means an accident. Costume design plays actually a big role in each episode and gets even analyzed!

I am completely aware, that this color may represent many other things (violence, danger, happiness, anger) and this largely depends for example from which country do you come from.

But in this case, I think that the color red represents the symbol of sexuality and desire. Here are other examples from the same episode:

  1. Roger seduces Joan in a hotel room.
  2. Don dates Rachel.
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6
Mad Men, Series 1, Episode 6

 

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4 thoughts on “Red as a symbol of sexuality and desire

  1. I could talk about Mad Men for hours, but this is good observation.
    The show’s stylist also discusses the importance of colour for each character, especially the women. She states that peach is Megan’s colour as in the last episode of season 4 when she announces her marriage to Don she wears it, and again in the opening of season 5 as well as when they get into a fight and Don drives away leaving her in the middle of nowhere. 🙂

    1. Yes, the costume design by Katherine Jane Bryant is amazing! I’ve seen only the first season so far, but I’m already looking forward to see the rest! And thanks!

      1. Then all I have to say is good luck and you’re in for a treat! I also suggest reading Mad Men blogs that analyze each episode as you get more out of the show overall.

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