How could clothing boutiques and department stores survive without these creepy, smooth, life-sized human replicas? Blank stares and dull flesh-color all up in a wooden pose, modeling the latest fashions like a guard at Buckingham Palace. Who wouldn’t want to buy that turquoise sweater, when it looks so good on this styling stiff?
For the past few years, Julie has patiently put up with my fascination for foreign mannequins — the freakier the better. We’ll be strolling along some city street in a faraway land when suddenly I drop back. She turns and, rolling her eyes, sees me with a crooked smile and the camera aimed at a rigid figure stuck out on the sidewalk.
Some of the freakiest we’ve seen were in Asia. Gaping, blowup-doll mouths on child-sized dummies. Female figures with knobby hairdos and Stepford Wives expressions. The mannequins are always Caucasian and many look like they are leftovers from the former Soviet Union.
One day while making our way back to our hotel in Hanoi, we came across an entire mannequin district! Shop owners browsed cubby-like stores stuffed with nude fiberglass bodies — zombie armies waiting for their next deployment. Even Julie got excited by this find.
So here are few images to help you get in the holiday shopping mood. Or give you nightmares.