The Pan Am Comeback

by swonderfulsmarvellous

I watched the new ABC show Pan Am warily; TV executives these days seem to have decided that the nostalgia factor is all a show needs to make it successful. Looking at the declining ratings in America, I thought they must have spent all their budget on the set and not enough on the script writing.

I was half right; the first show apparently cost $10 million to produce. 10 million dollars?! And the fact is, it doesn’t grab you as being worth that much from the first episode. There aren’t that many jazzy special effects or even big name stars to attract viewers- the biggest is Christina Ricci, who ironically, seems to be the worst character.

But all hope is not lost if you take Pan Am with a grain of salt. It’s trashy TV, but presented in a way that makes the viewer think they’re watching something meaningful; as long as you don’t forget that it’s really just a high flying soap opera, you won’t go far wrong.  They have story lines galore, from the Cold War to the rise of feminism. But in the end, it doesn’t actually make you think that much.

The casting is bizarre, but it works okay; Ricci does her best with a pretty unexceptional character, and Karine Vanasse is a joy to watch as Collette, the sophisticated French stewardess. For some reason, Margot Robbie  (Donna from Neighbours) has been drafted in to play a runaway bride, but she is also one of the better characters, outshining most of the other cast when she’s on screen.

So,  they have the eye candy for the men, obviously. And for the ladies it comes in the shape of Michael Mosely and Mike Vogel, our dashing pilots; and the beautiful costumes, which is the revelation of the show.

Think Downton Abbey in the air- that’s the excellence of the detail of the costume department working for Pan Am. It’s a delight to watch. And though it might buy into the vintage niche that’s around at the moment, it does it splendidly.

I’ve taken inspiration from Pan Am to find the best vintage, and vintage inspired, fashion this week. For the dedicated sorts out there, the best places are vintage shops on the high street- think COW and local Oxfam stores. For those, like me, who never have much luck shuffling through rails of clothes, there are lots of alternatives on the internet.

1. For a touch of nostalgia and  if you really love the Pan Am branding. Can be found on the official Pan Am site, or they have some on eBay too:

2. For 1960s style dresses try Vivienne of Holloway, who do a variety of beautiful prints a selection of styles. This is one of my favourites:

3. Topshop have pencil skirts sorted this season. My favourite is, conveniently, in the Pan Am blue:

4. For the shoes, I couldn’t resist these black courts from Office , aptly named Flight of Fancy: