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VM inspiration: mannequin headdresses by Harvey Nichols

While we often see mannequins’ heads covered, with an array of items including lampshades and masks, it is unusual to see hats created from sculpture. But this is exactly the installation at the Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge and it looks great.

With a selection of shiny sculpture-like pieces in each window, and mannequins dressed in iconic pieces from the spring/summer 2015 collections, the headdresses, which are more sculpture than millinery, transform the mannequins in to artworks. They are made using moulded plywood supported by wire and the same technique has been used to create a sculptural display in the centre of the window.

A simple wooden collar on the left above, and the metal crown with its three curling metal lianas, ending in tongues of curved plywood, are particularly successful.

Each window has been given an art gallery-style sign, listing the title of the installation, for example ‘Unknown couple.’ The brushed metal sign also lists the location of the season’s merchandise in the store, and the composition of the sculpture installation.

Ringing the changes, shards of mirrors have been used, again mounted on wire crowns, where more broken mirror forms a large sculpture in the centre of a further window.

In a further variation on the rough plaster-covered mannequins, twisted pieces of wood have been pinned together and balanced on a mannequin’s head.

Still with moulded plywood, a final two mannequins wear headdresses created from narrow plywood strips riveted together to form headdresses, more balanced on the mannequins’ heads than actually worn. Again, these are displayed with a related wooden sculpture.

In a final variation, I like the simple metal hat, which clutches the mannequin’s head with long aerial-like extensions, best. Simple, striking and imaginative.

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