Bust a move
Type ‘tailors dummy’ into the Morplan website’s search facility and you will be bombarded with more than 250 items. Tailors dummies (no lower half for these models) were originally created to help tailors and seamstresses work to realistic contours and specific measurements since they provide moulded proportions, however today they are increasingly made to be used as models for window dressing.
Models of inspiration
Tailors dummies typically take the form of a headless, armless, legless human form. It could be man, woman or child, but what they all have in common is the fact that they are essentially a torso, attached to a height adjustable stand.
Of course, that’s just the basic form (that starts at £39.95 for an adult figure). A quick flick through the pages of products offered by Morplan shows that when it comes to choosing a model today, the options are endless. We’re talking construction (deluxe hard foam or economical polystyrene), choices of finishes (from traditional wood and linen to modern chrome and black), poses (how it can be possible to have a sultry looking model without a head, I don’t know, but somehow they pull it off!) and then there are decisions about what kind of height adjustable stand to go for. Arms can be added, trouser bars fitted to display suits, covers can be replaced and female dummies can even be made to appear pregnant with the simple addition of a strapped on pregnancy bump!
The children’s dummies come in four different ‘age’ sizes, while male and female forms are more standard. Tracey Coleing, Product Manager for tailors busts and display dummies at Morplan tells us that 98% of dummies ordered are in a women’s UK size 10, even though the average UK woman actually wears a 16. But the larger lady is certainly not forgotten – Venice busts are offered in both a 16 and a 22, while what are known in the trade as ‘adjust-a-busts’, allow for the creation of varying proportions within the range of a UK size 12 to a 20.
Fashion for dummies
While fashions change with the season, the biggest trend in window dressing at the moment is to use faceless mannequins or headless models so it’s great news for those who already had tailors’ busts for dressmaking.
Although the torso is generally covered by clothing (it could be everyday attire, bridal wear or even costumes and suits), there is still the issue of colour which may be seen on the neck cap. Most of our dummies come in a shade of ‘oatmeal’ ‘cream’ or ‘black’ but Morplan’s ‘heavenly body forms’ offer a choice of seven colours – from clear to chrome. Those who like to mix things up a bit can opt for replaceable body stockings as a quick and easy way to update the look, while Tracey tell us linen busts are also coming back into vogue, particularly among those going for a vintage look who can even get vintage styled stands on which to place the bust forms.
Keep abreast of developments in the world of dressmaker’s dummies and mannequins by checking out www.morplan.com – with more than 600 combinations to choose from, many of which are adjustable, you are sure to find the perfect man or woman for you – and if you can’t, talk to them. Their expert model makers can create a bespoke dummy just for you. Of course, these will be made to order, but most of their other products are held in stock for same day dispatch.