clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Those Mannequins at the McQueen Exhibit Are Actually Models

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Turns out those mannequins from the upcoming McQueen exhibit at the Met's Costume Institute are more elaborate than we thought. In fact, they're not mannequins at all—they're models. So that's actually McQueen favorite Polina Kasina over there to the right, just in white acrylic makeup and without a face. The New York Times explains that the photos, shot by photographer Solve Sundsbo, are "a combination of makeup, lighting and Photoshop," which doesn't sound so different from the typical magic practiced at other shoots, except that this one takes a bit of a detour in the editing room. "In the final images, the models' heads were replaced with featureless dummy heads or, in some cases, their heads were chopped off."

Two more crazy tidbits? The models had strings tied around their wrists, necks, and waists—anywhere that a mannequin's "parts would be assembled," which later took two months to digitally enhance. And those streaks that kind of look like blood? That's a little bit of hot model peeking through. "The only evidence of their humanity is seen in the spaces where the paint, during the long shoots, began to chip off, a detail that Mr. Sundsbo found particularly appealing."

Besides just looking cool, the Savage Beauty catalog is the first-ever for an exhibit at the Costume Institute to be more than just be clothes photographed on mannequins. Because technically, it's not allowed. "It was a rare opportunity for the museum to photograph the clothes it will exhibit on a live model because most of the collection belongs to the McQueen archives, rather than the Met’s Costume Institute, which prohibits a garment from ever being worn after its acquisition."
· A Mannequin in Every Sense [NYT]
· Another Preview of the Met's McQueen Exhibit [Racked NY]

Photo Credit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10028 (212) 535-7710

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10028