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The Ralph Pucci Mannequins Coming to the MAD Museum Are Anything But Stiff

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Mannequins have come a long way since the standard faceless, cream-colored, enviably skinny plastic model became a store's go-to display choice. They now come in all shapes and sizes, and in suggestive poses, too, some of which are covered in yarn. And mannequin OG Ralph Pucci is largely to thank for that, since for decades he's been creating dynamic figures that are way more than just clothes hangers—they're art in themselves.

The Museum of Arts and Design will be celebrating these in "Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin," set to open on March 30th, WWD reports. The exhibit will span the museum's entire second floor, featuring 30 of his mannequins created in the past 30 years. Putting the emphasis on the creative process, mannequin sculptor Michael Evert will hold demonstration's in Pucci's Chelsea showroom, where he'll create busts of people like fashion designer Isabel Toledo and Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo.

"I always think of our mannequins as capturing moments in time," Pucci (not to be confused with fashion designer Emilio Pucci) told the paper. "One of my biggest successes was doing action sport mannequins, mannequins doing handstands, stretching or jogging." The mannequin in the lotus position above, for example, was modeled after Christy Turlington holding that pose to capitalize on the newly discovered yoga craze.

"Mannequins are like sculpture but not like sculpture. They're like portraits of us, but not like portraits. They have an uncanny, alluring, quasi-human quality," MAD Museum director Glenn Adamson added. "We are not using the mannequins in their normal role to show off garments...they are about a gesture or a pose. Ralph plays with that a lot."

For more on the exhibit, which runs through August 30th, head to the MAD Museum website.

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)

2 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019 (212) 299-7777 Visit Website