Monday, March 07, 2005

first day of spring adorned with stunning mannequins

On Sunday, the temperature seemed to go up to the 70s. Tempted by the sunny sky and joyous warm weather, we decided to take a crazy six-hour hike to downtown via Clark St. Without out heavy winter coat, to make things even better.

Close to where my boyfriend lives, there is a small, rundown bridal store which comes to life every night under the purple fluorescent lights. Despite its nocturnal self-assertion, it seamlessly blends in with other stores around it by day, so it becomes unnoticeable during the day. Thus, I had never paid much attention to the bridal store, until Sunday. (Another contributing factor is our American way of life--too much reliance on motorized vehicles, robbing ourselves of slow-paced enjoyment of details, mainly reserved for pedestrians.)

a morning after

What I found in the storefront was an assortment of hand-painted, crumbling mannequins, (sort of) dressed up in bridal attires. In broad daylight, they were plain scary. It mannequins are supposed to help grow the business, they are an antithesis of mannequins. Cracked paint on their skin, hollow expressions on their hand-painted faces with a slight touch of sorrow, broken hands with missing fingers, some barely held together with pieces of scotch tape--there was something among these devastated featues of them that struck me as, dare I say, beautiful.

There were several adult female ones dressed in white bride's gown and one girl dressed in ring bearer's dress, which were pretty scary, but this one in red dress was somehow gripping. Her untidy hair made her look as if she just had a devastating experience, which confirms the impression from her facial expression.

kiss of the death

Whoever created/redid her (most likely the untrained hands of the store owner), the creator definitely achieved an inadvertent effect. The air of sheer devastation on her face was so gripping that several dozens of other pictures I took on Sunday just faded in her light, though the flourless chocolate cake we had about halfway to downtown in Lincoln Park neighborhood was still another pinacle of the day. :P


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