CHICAGO
09/09/2010 03:12 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Chicagoan On 'Mad Men'? Leilani Wertens Hopes To Make The Cut

Since 2007, AMC's Emmy-winning show "Mad Men" has been inspiring fans and fashionistas to embrace all things old school. From the beautiful, Mid-Century furniture in the Sterling Cooper office to Joan Holloway's curve-hugging vintage dresses--the show has many people longing for an era of dressing up and martinis at lunch.

Chicago's Leilani Wertens loves the show--but was a connoisseur of all-things-vintage even before Don Draper madness set in--that's why Wertens thinks she has what it takes for a walk-on role. This summer, Banana Republic and AMC's "Mad Men" teamed up for the "Mad Men Casting Call" contest. The contest asks fans to show off their show-inspired style for a chance to win a walk on role in a Season 5 episode. Runners up will take home $1,000 Banana Republic gift cards, but most people are going for the gold. Wertens is one of them.

Aside from running her Thriftaholic blog, Wertens, 25, is a photography graduate student at Columbia College Chicago. Her MFA thesis project, titled "Forget Me Not," featured interiors from Chicago-area estate sales. (Check out some photos from the project below.) This fall, she has a solo show in Kalamazoo, Michigan in conjunction with the Midwest SPE. She will also be part of the "There's No Place Like Home" exhibit at the Hyde Park Arts Center curated by photographer Dawoud Bey in 2011.

In an interview with HuffPost Chicago, Wertens discussed her love for "Mad Men"--and the character that inspires her:

"Joan [Holloway] is definitely my Mad Men style icon, I actually dressed up as her for Halloween last year. We have the same curvy figure and I admire her subtle sexuality-- she always looks professional, never cheap, and is the antithesis to today's 'show all' culture. Joan also knows how to dress her figure and what colors suit her best, I like the rich colors and jewel tones that she wears and the structured fit of her dresses. She always looks chic, even when lounging at home on her day off. Her outfits also translate to a contemporary lifestyle better than Betty's or Peggy's looks-- they look a little less dated and the line and silhouettes of her dresses remain classic."

You think Wertens has what it takes for a walk on "Mad Men" role? You can vote for her here, and browse the other candidates here.

Check out some shots from her "Mad Men" photo shoot, along with photos from her MFA thesis project here:

PHOTO GALLERY
HuffPost
BEFORE YOU GO
Leilani Wertens' 'Mad Men'-Worthy Style
PHOTO GALLERY
Leilani Wertens' 'Mad Men'-Worthy Style