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Mannequin Special: Dressed to sell

By Dipanjan Mukherjee | Vjmedia Works | July 24, 2013

In order to understand all aspects of the use of mannequins in retail, we spoke to different stake-holders to get their views on their side of the mannequin story. Read on to hear from the trend setters, the influencers and the practitioners about their experience with mannequins. But first, let's look at the growth and evolution of mannequins down the ages.

Shop  mannequins  were  born  out  of dress  forms  used  by  fashion  houses for  dress  making  in  the  15th  century, when  miniature  mannequins  were  used  to demonstrate  fashion  dresses  to  ustomers. Full-scale,  wickerwork  mannequins  were manufactured in paris from 1835 and used to display  costumes'  and  other  clothing  items. With  the  advancement  in  the  retail  industry and  customer  eeds,  came  specialized mannequins  made  of  diverse  materials  like wood,  wax,  wire,  plaster,  and  ven  fabric  to showcase specific types of merchandise.  the  latest  Global  mannequin  design  trends are  minimalist  mannequins  featured  in leading  high  street  brands  fashion  brands.  the  design  here  annequins  feature statement red lips with a focus on just one eyelash  clad  eye  or  are  completely  aceless or just contoured facial features in textures and  finishes  like  glossy  ceramic,  cracked, metal etc. Sustainable design in mannequin development  of  new  materials  and manufacturing  processes  layed  catalyst  to innovations  that  in  the  creation  of  unique mannequin  styles  and  types  for  ifferent display needs.

mannequin  design  trends  saw  the  first fashion  mannequins  made  of  abstract looking papier-mâché in France in the mid-19th  century,  leading  to  the  development of  realistic  wax  mannequins  and  later  the modern  day  durable  composites  like  fibre glass  and  molded  plastic  that  nabled fantastic finishes and shapes. Design trends and  technology  helped  make  possible dramatic  effects  with  in-lit  transparent mannequins,  used  by  brands  like la  Senza, and action mannequins that ran on a track in a nike town store. Bloomingdale's created theater  in  the  window,  like  in  their  famous 2012 holiday windows with animated props and  mannequins.  With  many  materials, finishes  and  forms  possible,  it's  left  to  the designers' imagination to create a function,  action  or  fashion  story  toinfluence  brand experience and sale. materials and manufacturing has also gained popularity  and  acceptance  with  esigners, brands and retailers.
the indian retail market has quite drastically transformed in the last few years owing to the  entrance  of  nternational  brands  and this has impacted the quality of design and display  in  the  store  environment.

VmrD did  some  window  shopping  in  popular shopping destinations to capture the diverse trends  in  mannequin  types  used  in  new and  established  national  and  international brands. the  types  and  trends  seen  were quite  diverse  and  visibly  dependent  on the  type  of  merchandise,  quality  of  rand presentation,  attention  to  detail  and willingness  to  invest  in  brand  experience. next VmrD caught up with the stake holders to get their views and opinions on their side of the mannequin story. read on to hear from the trend setter, the influencers and the practitioners about their successes, challenges and experience in being a contributing player in creating the shopping environment in the indian marketplace
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