Anatomy of a studio design class

Ever wonder where mannequins acquire their personality types? It starts in Studio Design class taught by Professors Mary Constantini and Anne Kong in the department of Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design.  Some rather sophisticated types are formed from door hinges, cheap fake pearls, metal wire and synthetic wigs.

For the class Hue, Tint, Shade and Color, students are assigned a color and a material type out of which to create an imaginative look for their mannequin — one that says “If you want to look this fabulous, buy what I’m wearing.”

“The great part of this type of presentation is the investigation of materials. The use of non-traditional material and converting it into a tool to sell real merchandise,” says Professor Constantini.

Jennifer Park and Kaiyi Xu with the "perfect" mannequin

“We’re making a bird cage skirt,” says Jennifer Park who along with her classmate Kaiyi Xu has been assigned the color purple and wire as their material. “At the end of the arm will be a purse. “

Scaling the bird cage skirt

“We’re making progress,” says Jennifer. “We have the perfect mannequin, so we’re happy.” How many people can say that?

Lisa Fishbein helping to create a rocker girl
Early stages of a door hinge dress

Lish Fishbein said she and her classmate Soo Yeon Gee were after the “rocker girl” type.  “We’re using metal sheet and copper and gold color spray paint. We’re going to cover the whole dress. Then we’ll use door hinges from that’s going to be where the belt is.  We went to Ace Hardware and got a bunch of different metals. It’s a rocker girl look.”

Alyssa Cohen working with gold fabric strips

“Our color is gold. Our accessory is really glittery gold shoes,” says Alyssa Cohen.   “We made strips we’re putting our (our mannequin) for inspiration. We’re taking it from there.” Sarah Kang’s color is white and her “merchandise is a pearl necklace.” Lots of pearl necklace in this case!

Hair taking shape
Sarah Kang working with synthetic hair

“She’s going to be Botticelli’s Venus,” says Sarah. “I originally bought a synthetic wig. I teased it up because I wanted her hair to look really big, but it didn’t look right so I tried to untangle it.  Now I’m making a wig out of yarn.”

Proper etiquette  of these curvy, inadament dolls is also taught in class. The term etiquette in this context refers to industry standards of proper handling.

“The great part of this type of project is the investigation of matierals,” says Professor  Constantini . The use of nontraditional materials and converting it into a tool to sell real merchandise.”

Another words, it’s not all personality that counts.

photos by Rachel Ellner


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