Modelling the new look

With only 38 days left to Christmas, London’s Regent Street will soon be heaving with folk out to see the lights and raid the shops. But this weekend two new faces will look out on the crowds as Sarah Dickins and Kendal Jones make their debut as mannequins for Dickins & Jones’ fashion store.

Designed by Gary Porter of Elemental Design, Sarah and Kendal (named after another House of Fraser store) are part of the Spacial K mannequin family. For the London store’s Christmas windows and in-store displays, they’ll be joined by their partners Nicholas and Noel, ethnic friends Mi-Hu, Nena and Kofi, Kendal’s brother Felix, Sarah’s mother and even Sarah’s dog and Kendal’s cat.

The main mannequins, sculpted by Panyin Ewusi-Aikins to Porter’s art direction, portray best friends with very different characters. Sarah is rich and blonde, ‘more Chelsea and chintzy’, according to Porter, and ‘doesn’t chase trends’. Dark-haired Kendal, meanwhile, has a minimal lifestyle in a Clerkenwell-style loft. Together they represent the main spread of Dickins & Jones customers from the ‘classical contemporary market’, he says.

The characters are being introduced this week via illustrations by Linda Scott mounted on to the store’s revolver blinds while work on the windows continues. When the tableaux scripted by comedy writer Karen McGlaglan are unveiled on Saturday (2 November), the characters will act out their parts against backdrops by artist Rian Hughes sprayed on to huge canvasses by robotic arms.

Porter says the mannequins are influenced by ‘cutesy’ Seventies fashion drawings, but have been brought up to date with ‘a space-age feel and features which are currently fashionable’. Forget liposuction. Eye enlargement looks set to be the latest test of the cosmetic surgeon’s art.

Design: Elemental Design

Client: House of Fraser

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