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One of the things I was greatly looking forward to seeing during my very short trip to London last week was the Topshop (Oxford street) window, and to be more exact, the Topshop mannequins.

My fascination with mannequins began when I was ten years old and saw the 80’s iconic film, ‘Mannequin’ starring Kim Cattrall and Andrew McCarthy.  In fact back in the SATC days when people would often debate who was the prettiest out of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte (the popular choice) or Samantha;  I always thought that for anyone who had watched Mannequin and seen Kim Cattrall in her heyday ‘Samantha’ won that beauty (and body) race hands down.  Don’t believe me?  Watch this video and pause on that fur peekaboo moment-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=agxwOaTVnCY

The film Mannequin taught me the importance of a shop window and how the creative use of fashionably styled mannequins could attract crowds, generate press headlines, increase footfall and lead to high sales for a department store.  It also showed me how a dwindling department store could use their shop window to become  ‘relevant’ to the public again.  Then I didn’t know that decorating a shop window and styling mannequins was called, visual merchandising.

Due to Mannequin, I often use the a store’s window display to determine whether I enter a shop or not.  In London, with so many great high street, vintage shops, boutiques et al- stores really up the ante to make sure they pull out all the stops to catch and keep a potential customer’s interest.  Time after time, Topshop’s windows have cast a spell on me and even when my purse strings have been tightened, after gazing at their amazingly styled mannequins, I find that they cast a spell on me luring me inside.

Furthermore, if you are feeling strapped for cash and you can’t afford to buy a magazine to let you know what the trends are and you want a more entertaining experience than looking online- Topshop’s mannequins are styled to let you know what the seasonal trends are and how to work them.  In fact, I found them so inspiring that for the next couple of weeks I am going to write posts dedicated to A/W 11 trends and I will be using  mannequins (from various high street stores) to illustrate my point. And P.S if you haven’t worked it out already- that top shot illustrates that one of the key accessory pieces to invest in this season is a fedora.  Pair it with an oversized fur coat to add a touch of nonchalant glamour to your overall look.

Topshop’s attention to detail and their creativity is just incredible, I love the ‘cry baby’ effect of this mannequin.

Can someone please buy me this black leather jacket with silver spike embellishment please?  This is the perfect jacket to brave fashion shows, parties and festivals with as any queue jumper or pusher is likely to feel more than your wrath when they attempt to shove you out of the way.

Topshop mannequins show that black is still the most effective colour to contrast gold with.  I wonder if transgender icon, Amanda Lepore was the inspiration for the mannequins exaggerated lips as they sure remind me of her.

Amanda Lepore

The razzle and dazzle effect didn’t end there-

Another reason I love Tophsop mannequins is because of the makeup and hair styles they sport.  I’ll never understand stores that cut their mannequins heads off.  Topshop gives you the full package- the clothes, acccessories, hair and makeup, thus humanising their mannequins and making them more relevant.  In fact, I want to come to the Topshop, Oxford street store one night, sprinkle some fairy dust on my favourite mannequins to bring them to life and go partying with them. They just look so damn cool. 

At this point a rather surly shop assistant told me that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the store.  When I apologised, she ordered me to delete the images whilst she watched.  This I did- or rather pretended to- I’ve been in the game far too long to not get the story I want dearie.  That being said, I guess in some way I can understand why Topshop don’t want to let their genie out of the bottle, a store with mannequins that look this good must be protected at all times.  So does that mean that with this post, I’ve let the cat out of the bag, oooooh…

Amanda Lepore image courtesy of contactmusic.com

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