Throughout the 20th century the evolution of the fashion mannequin has reflected the events, icons and attitudes of the changing times and female body shape, from WWII rationing to women’s lib; from Marilyn Monroe to Kate Moss; from boyish beanpole to curvaceous hourglass (and back again).
At the turn of the century, the earliest shop mannequins - with waspish waists and (alarmingly) human teeth and real hair - had more than a whiff of taxidermy about them. Fast forward to 2016 and today’s typical shop dummy is 5’9", faceless and a UK size 8, not typical of real women (with average British woman measuring a size 14.)
June Rowe, fashion historian and lecturer at Central St. Martins, tells us: ‘Historically, fashion mannequins represent idealised forms of femininity yet today’s current fashion mannequin body is unrealistic and often unattainable.’
Which is why Long Tall Sally’s #MadeTall campaign, in which a customer is 3D scanned for a bespoke 3D mannequin, represents a groundbreaking initiative.
'3D scanning meets the new demand of consumers looking for a more "real" reflection of themselves, as well as a more inclusive fashion industry.’
June Rowe, Fashion Historian