Since my background is in fashion merchandising I thought that this week I would put all of those years of book learning to good use and do a fun little post on how to dress a mannequin.
I’ve been really lucky to have two mannequins in my possession that have both been gifted to me. The one that I’m using today I know the history of and it was something that was being discarded due to the condition that it is in. Mannequins cost a lot of money and they are unfortunately not always treated well, as you can see from the pictures above. Damage to the arms, torso and legs makes sense due to just regular wear and tear, but the marks on her face are strange. It looks like she was dragged.
To start, the mannequin needs to be disassembled in sequence then partially dressed and reassembled while dressing on the way. First step is to remove the hands and then the arms.
Next the torso comes off, then the legs are removed from the base. One of the legs is always stationary and the other is detachable.
Depending on the piece there are different methods of attachment. The arms have disks that are inserted into the torso section and slid down to lock in place. The hands fit onto the arms and then are twisted to lock into place.
The torso and the leg attach in the same way and once the pieces are lined up so they fit together the torso or leg is twisted until it is secured in place.
Once the outfit is selected it is best to make sure that any creases or wrinkles are ironed or steamed out. The bottoms, in this case pants, go on first. This is followed by the shoes.
I then rolled up the pant leg on the right so I could easily position the mannequin back onto the base.
After the legs are back on the base, the torso can be place back on.
Before putting on the arms you will want to dress the torso with all the layers that you will be putting on display. If the shirt had long sleeves you would want to tuck them into the jacket at this point.
Arms go into through the neck of the shirt. This is the easiest way and also because the upper arm would not fit through the bottom of the sleeve. Repeat for the other arm.
Now it’s time to add the accessories. I’m placing these bracelets on before the hands are attached. Since I’m also giving her a purse, I’m putting in a little stuffing to give the bag some shape. It’s the little details that really make the difference. Like, if this was at a store, I would make sure the outfit is lint free and position the window lighting accordingly.
Since the end goal of any window display is to sell product, you always want to make sure that you are putting together full outfits.
I disassembled the mannequin, undressed her, put the sandals on and put her back on the base. This mannequin has a great feature where there is a space after the big toe for thong sandals to slide in. With the torso attached, I slipped the dress over her head.
Attached the arms and hands, then finished off the look with a bag and a necklace.
I used to love dressing mannequins not only at school, but also when I worked in retail. Is there anything that you miss from a past job?
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