Monday, January 20, 2014

Mannequins Then and Now

I`ve always had a curious fascination with mannequins and have been known to take more than a few photos of them when I`ve found them in unusual locations. Here are some pictures from my collections. I suppose I thought of them as art shots at the time, who knows.
For sale at Zeller`s closing
Abandoned in a hallway near washrooms
in Fairview Mall

I recently became aware of some new, very explicit store mannequins on display in an American Apparel store in New York City. They have caused quite the stir. I suppose that`s the idea. I`m not certain whether the reaction has been good, bad or shocking. Nonetheless, the result has been publicity. People are talking. I expect that the store was trying for the attention and has therefore been successful in their campaign. Whether it improves their sales remains to be seen.

When I first decided to write about this, I was ready to include photos, albeit censored ones. I decided against this idea. I prefer not to post such things on here. Anyone curious can simply google American Apparel mannequins as I did. You will either be shocked or you will laugh so hard that tears come out of your eyes. My friend and I had the latter reaction. We shared our comments, there were many, in private.

I thought back to the Twiggy-esque mannequin styles from my teen years and am pleased that in recent times more realistic forms have emerged. My curiosity about their evolution caused me to google the history of mannequins. Clearly, the word ``mannequin`` was of French origin and as such, the first images were created in France during the mid eighteenth century. Over the years, mannequins have been made from various materials including papier-mâché, wax, plaster, plastic and fiberglass. Less interesting than I had thought.

I discovered that the Dufferin Mall in Toronto has more voluptuous mannequin figures. I think I`ll go have a look next time I`m out that way. Spain and Sweden have banned overly thin mannequins and the U.K. considers size 16 to be the norm. It`s only taken forty years to overcome the boylike ideal image of the sixties.

As for the American Apparel display, I have to wonder what other countries are thinking about that. Perhaps they`re just sorry they didn`t have the idea first.

No comments:

Post a Comment