Believe it or not, mannequins have been around for centuries. Created in the 15th century, mannequins were one doll-size and used to demonstrate the most modern fashions to possible consumers. Although the purpose remains essentially the same, the design has changed significantly.
The inception of the mannequin
The first mannequins were known as milliners’ mannequins. These cute little doll-like figures were made to show itty bitty examples of clothing styles. Realistic, but not at the same time. However, the mid-19th century brought about a more life-like, or life-sized mannequin. Made of paper mache, this modern version wasn’t very reliable when dressing and undressing came into action.
It wasn’t until 1835 that an ironworker created a wirework model. This model was the first to revolutionize the purpose of modern-day mannequins. With a sturdy frame, wirework mannequins were the perfect way for tailors to execute their customer’s requests. From here, the frame evolved. From heads to headless, hands to handless, the mannequin business exploded. However, their purpose remained the same; to serve the retail industry.
The fascination with mannequins has continued to grow over the decades. From the focus of realistic photography to hit Hollywood films, mannequins have become humanized. Thus, a need to adapt to society arose. By this, we mean the need to adapt to an ever changing society filled with every changing beliefs. Once upon a time, all mannequins had the “Barbie doll figure.” However, in today’s age, you can find mannequins of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
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