top of page


During 1900 – 1910 the transformation of the mannequin from a headless doll to a figure modelled on the entire human form is equated with industrialization, a time when the readily available manufacture of large plate-glass, sewing machines, and electricity reshaped the shopfront into an expressive space.

From 1910 – 1920 , with the beginning of the First World War in 1914, women began to work in arduous factory tasks such as weapon production, replacing males drafted to the front lines. Mannequins lose their caps, unlace their corsets, reveal their knees and ankles, and flatten the Victorian mono-breast. Mannequin forms evolved as women roles in society and the work force changed.

1920 – 1930 saw the conventional, straight-laced, and big-busted Victorian woman had vanished, replaced by the easy-going, boyish, androgynous flapper with a slim, straight body and a flat breast. Mannequins from this era reflect this shift in preference while also revealing the influence of the art deco and art nouveau styles with their geometric interpretations.

During 1930 – 1940, with the start of the Great Depression in the 1930s, a more modest fashion approach replaces that of the 1920s. Lester Gaba, a mannequin builder, creates models (dubbed "Gaba Girls") that are evocative of Marlene Deitrich and Greta Garbo, with slender physique and royal postures patterned after actual New York socialites.

During WWII, between 1940 - 1950, the store window becomes muted. Bright clothing is replaced with solemn faces, conveying a sense of patriotism.

During 1950 – 1960 there is a surge in US consumerism, and mannequins become more consistent at shape and size, representing the period's ideal conception of the female form in department stores across the country.

In the 60’s to 70’s Mannequins represented the shifting cultural norms of the sexual revolution and, although seeming different in style from the previous decade, continue to neglect the form and size of the ordinary customer. This is the age of the "supermodel," when stick-thin Twiggy reigned supreme.

The mannequins in 70’s and 80’s, in contrast to the glamorous, identifiable celebrity-mannequins of the 1960s, mannequins of the 1970s became increasingly abstracted and faceless, gradually evolving into the headless drone-like figures that became so popular in the 1990s.

The 1980’s saw denouncing of the unhealthy attitude toward body image that takes centre stage in the 1960s (with disastrous implications in the 1970s), the 1980s - notably its home-video exercise-tape fad - gives birth to a short focus on health and fitness. Mannequins with lifelike, toned features develop as a result.

The 1990s are remembered for the “heroin-chic” style, a decade in which the unachievable stick-thin body of supermodels like Kate Moss reigns supreme as the ideal female shape. During this time, plus-sized stores and designs gain prominence, and as a result, larger models that are closer in size to the average woman of the time, appear on the market.

Offshore Procurement Solutions [OPS] - Creating the Visual World of Retail.


Recent Posts

See All


Os comentários foram desativados.
bottom of page