Shop Window Mannequins, 1945-1970 by Olivia Gecseg
This article is part of the publication ‘Sooner, or Later’. 
I borrowed the title, ‘Le Mannequin’, from Léon Riotor’s 1900 book to represent my essay on mannequins, idealised beauty, and 1960s consumerism. Adel Rootstein, whose business my essay focused on, designed mannequins in the 1960s in the image of ‘real’ women, such as Twiggy and Donyale Luna. While society and the media decree what form beauty ideals take in each decade, it is also up to us how we interpret them, hence the interactive element of the dot-to-dot silhouettes, representing mannequin shapes from the fifties, sixties and the present day. On the other side of my page, the photographs are of the present day facades of twenty-three of the once-swinging boutiques of 1960s London. I used Richard Lester’s book, Boutique London, to map out every shop mentioned. Clusters of pins formed around Carnaby Street, the King’s Road and in Kensington. I spent a day walking around the city, taking pictures of all the shop fronts, some of which were no longer shops, but most had been transformed into modern chain stores. The one photograph in pink is of the Clockhouse, home to a Vivienne Westwood boutique since 1971. Although renamed many times (Let It Rock (1971), Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die (1972), Sex (1974), Seditionaires (1976), Worlds End (1980) – it is the only remaining ‘original’ shop from my map, and therefore I awarded it a special colour.