Wednesday, August 14, 2013

LIFE Magazine: Cynthia the Mannequin: A Curious Star Is Born

Nowadays, mannequins are mostly made of fiberglass, polyurethane foam, or plastic.

But back in the 1920's and 30's, mannequins were often made of wax that melted in the hot sun and looked just down right creepy with their eerie look. Along came Lester Gaba, a former soap sculptor, who revolutionized the making of modern mannequins by using plaster that allowed realism.

LIFE magazine did a profile on one of Gaba's mannequins, Cynthia, who socialized around town, made appearances at the opera, and even visited nightclubs!


"In 1937, LIFE magazine launched the career of an up-and-coming starlet in a multiple-page photo spread that, overnight, made “Cynthia” a household name. In very short order she became an A-list celebrity; was given her own television talk show and starred on the silver screen; was sent jewels and dresses by top fashion houses; was briefly engaged to one of radio’s biggest stars; and became one of the most recognizable faces in the fashion world.
There was just one minor catch: Cynthia was a mannequin. Not a mannequin in the way a runway model is a mannequin. But a mannequin mannequin. A made-of-plaster mannequin."

There are more pictures along with the history of Cynthia at

Long Neck Hat Display Ladies Dress Form

The makers of this dress form really made it a FUN one. It was given an elongated neck for all the great accessories we love. The elegance of the neck is dynamic to any display, whether you use it to showcase a hat or to compliment the clothes, it will scream "look at me!" And shouldn't all your displays scream?

Our hot new Ladies Long Neck Hat Display Dress Form, MN-601, has a 31" chest, 22.75" waist, 32" hip, and is 34" in height. It is height adjustable from 4'4" to 6'4". The high quality 3/4 female body dress form is available in black leatherette or white linen.



Elegant Dress Forms with Bendable Arms and Articulate Fingers

Who could resist these clever and classy dress forms? 

Create eye catching poses with this Ladies Dress Form with Bendable Arms and Articulate Fingers. Can be positioned to various arm and hand/finger poses. Form is covered with high quality leatherette or fabric on the body. Has an adjustable height. Pole can be inserted straight into the body.


 Also available in a matching Men's Egghead Dress Form with Bendable Arms.

Decorating Plastic Torso Forms with Mosaic Tiles and Feathers

Who ever said stones and glass pieces are only made for the floor or walls? Perhaps it can be used to tell a story in a gorgeous way on the beautiful shape of a female form.

We like to think of this one as, fluff your feathers as you please. The color scheme and use of materials just draws us in, to look for hours on end of every detail planted on.

We carry these plastic mannequin forms in both men's, women's, children, and toddler sizes, starting at $1.99/ea. They all come with a swivel hook for hanging. Most people use these plastic forms to photograph clothes for eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, or for an affordable method to display apparel in stores. But we find these forms can really deliver in all ways of use and interpret all sorts of values and thoughts. How do you use your plastic form - for the inner artist or the amazing entrepreneur?