Hot! oona does it!: domo arigato, mr romano.

when mena told me the band was getting back together for mad men, she suggested i do an ODI for it.  maybe someone spiked her lavender soda, but she didn’t add and you should base it on the picnic blanket they use in season three.  she just innocently said i should join.  no eighties horrors.  no six foot zippers.  no crazy ODI challenge.

so i decided to make it hard on myself.  y’all have trained me well.

ruggy, i said, said i, if you think about mad men, who would you say is the fifth beatle of the show?  his immediate response was sal.  SAL!  salvatore romano!  art director of all iterations of don’s agencies.  i love sal.  such an intricate character, played so very wonderfully by bryan batt.  and italian!  like me!

(yes, i am italian.)

i won’t give away too much about his story line, because i’m pretty sure that after all this homage going on at the sew weekly, those of you who don’t watch will want to take a peek.  and his tale is just too good (which in mad men world means too desperately bad) to be spoiled.  suffice it to say he’s a closeted gay man with a heart the size of new york city, living a lie in a world full of lies.

(no, i am not gay.)

i had several yards of some very lovely, very chic muted eggplant toned soft wool that i knew would be perfect for a vest combo (he is almost always in a three piece) but that just wasn’t floating my boat.  my italian friend and i both look good in warm tones, and hey, sal is always hiding behind some neutral.  i think that man would be rocking the loud prints daily if he could.


erm, no, not in a dress though.  but he so wants a suit made up in a print from wifey’s dress.  (that dress is gorgeous, by the way, the skirt is mainly ivory with a hint of the rose pattern cascading from the cinched waist– and their scenes in this episode are absolutely heart wrenching.)  but evidence!  his ties are usually bright and glorious.  bright silk tie equals bright poly print dress.  perfect logic.  with that thin little tether of inspiration i threw 3 yards of fabric at my dress form and started draping.  (draper.  hehheh.)

it became a wiggle dress with a wide waistband, pleats at top, waist and hemline which of course you can’t see for the print.  i knew this would happen but i did it anyway.  self made bias tape around all the raw edges, including the hemline.  the dress was finished last weekend and ready for write up… but i didn’t feel i’d risen to my own mena-fied challenge.  where was the sal in this?  so it sat forlorn on a hanger as i oohed and aahed over all of the contributor creations… the wonderful collar necklines… the accents at the neck… the bows and ties… and finally, way past the eleventh hour, i realized.  THE TIE.  (thanks sertyan, meg, sarah, barbara and bethany!)


the tie is totally fake.  JUST LIKE THE LIE THAT SAL IS LIVING.  I AM A GENIUS.

it’s currently clipped on with vintage pearl earrings.  i may just keep it.  i wish i could keep sal too… but, alas, if you don’t already know, read between the lines on that whole fifth beatle connection.



oonaballoona, from kalkatroona, first started visiting the sew weekly in 2011. since then she's made new clothes, new friends, and many many new drinks.


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  1. Absolutely Brilliant! Sal would definitely approve. I just adore Sal…wonder what is going to happen with his character this season? The tie is the perfect compliment! And I can’t believe that fabric is wool…I am SO LOVING it! You might bring me over to the print side. you might, Oona. you might.

  2. I always felt for Sal. I do hope now that a particular account is out of the picture that a particular art director could be hired at SCDP!

  3. OH YOU WONDERFUL PIECE OF FABULOUSNESS YOU. I love the fabric, the dress and THAT TIE!!! Perfection. I say Bravo, my dahlink, on the fabulousness you are rocking.

  4. Sigh. I love Sal too. That one scene where he’s acting out the Anne Margaret “Bye Bye Birdie” dance and his wife has an epiphany — but nothing is said….
    The dress is great too!

  5. What a lovely and– triumphant!– ode to Sal. Keep the tie, for sure. And how is it that you can take such amazing shots a bathtub?

  6. Saaaaaaalllllllllll… sniff, sniff. I can’t take that episode (with Kitty, and the spaghetti sauce, and oh no I’m getting sad just thinking about it!!). Love this dress!!!!!

  7. a genius, that’s what you are, lovely oona..

  8. Oh, Sal. Sal is the best. DAMN YOU LEE GARDNER JR.! You screw Sal (OR DO YOU?), you screw Rodger, you SCREW US ALL. Sal, call me, we will go to Bye Bye Birdie together and then get drunk. I’m kidding, we are getting drunk BEFORE Bye Bye Birdie, that’s the only way I’m seeing Ann Margaret belt again. ZING.

    This dress is amazing. I love it. I would wear it always.

  9. Oh NO the 5th Beatle curve but the dress lives on. It’s great Oona and looks beautiful on.

  10. Oona has indeed done it! The tie totally works. I love it :D

  11. You are always the most entertaining, I have imagined having drinks with you, we got on like a house on fire stumbling about the place in our handmade frockery causing havoc you in your prints and me in my blacks, you the fire me the smoke haha! Love your dress, love the print, team Sal all the way. *Ching Ching *

  12. Ah. May. Zing!!!!

  13. You can always be counted on to BRING IT, Oona. And you definitely BROUGHT IT this time..self-drafted wiggle dress with tie…get outta here with that genius!

  14. “the tie is totally fake. JUST LIKE THE LIE THAT SAL IS LIVING. I AM A GENIUS.” You most certainly are. And also, I love Sal. The episode you showed a clip from kills me; my favorite episode of the series thus far.

  15. I love the tie! Please keep it!

  16. WHAT amazing fabric and I’d like 50 dresses (and perhaps trousers too!) in this print please! ORANGE and AQUA! Very you and very Sal! xoxo

  17. Awesome dress – just love it!!! The tie detail isn’t totally over the top – nice and subtle.

  18. LOVE it! The dress is stunning, fit to perfection. The fabric pattern and tie kick it up a notch. You are a star. Thanks for sharing your quirky genius.

  19. Oh Sal was my favorite!! Sniff sniff… I still have hopes for a comeback! Anyway! This is one crazy getup!! In my minds eye Sal finds some inner peace and goes to Miami where he lives happily ever after in this ensemble!

  20. I think this may be my favorite dress that you’ve made. So original and the “faux tie on a dress” might just become a fad now.