Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Adel Rootsein Mannequin Factory

Having my Branding tutor at the FRA to also work for Adel Rootsein Mannequins, meant it was more or less inevitable that our class would be taking a trip to the factory in West Kensington at some point over the course of the year.

Being more accustomed to wrangling all sorts of clothes onto mannequins and trying not to break the fingers off the delicate hands, I had never thought about their production, never mind the complexity of it all.

Edward Stammers, tutor and our tour guide, began with the moulding of the face. 'An interesting face makes for a better mannequin...Rootsein tend to base their decision of the model on their facial structure over their bodily proportions', unlike many of their competitors, at Rootsein use a live model and sculpt an initial mannequin out of clay. Its a time consuming process; the model will have to stand for several hours at a time and pictures of the position are taken for the sculptor's reference.
The clay statue is then made into a mould for the fibreglass/resin mix to create a familiar mannequin. 

The mannequins are sprayed and resprayed, and sprayed again by experts to build a clean, smooth and consistent colour all over the body.

The hair and make up is such an intricate process rows upon rows of 'faces' line the walls of one corridor for clients to mix and match their choice of make up for their mannequins.

This trip really opened my eyes to the potential of mannequins, and how time consuming the process is,  from sculpting all the way to shop window, and every consideration from a crossed finger to prominent hip bone. I've got a whole new appreciation for mannequins!

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