Whatever and Ever...

As you've probably noticed, I haven't felt much like writing lately. It's a combination of the writer's block that afflicts me from time to time, and a general sense of being a bit in the doldrums. Not only have I not felt inspired to write, I've also had little motivation to do anything worth blogging about. I know, I know, I'm missing out on the supposedly best time of year to be living in Chicago, but I'm just not feeling it right now. Until I am, I thought I'd share a little piece of randomness from my daily life with you.

As if this mannequin isn't creepy enough, I enjoy the fact that it's aligned with the portrait behind it so that it looks like it has a tiny, shrunken male head.

This, my friends, is a Schlappi, one of the mannequins used by the museum in our clothing exhibitions. For some reason, they seem to turn up in strange places around the museum, often seemingly abandoned for long periods of time. Randomly running across one, especially when the lights are dim early in the morning, can be a truly unsettling experience. This particular one has been hanging out in our main conference room for a couple of weeks. The fact that it is covered in padding seems to indicate that it was intended for use in an exhibition, but surely it wouldn't have been left out in a public place for so long if it were needed imminently. In fact, it's been sitting there so long that some staff member finally felt emboldened to touch it, and put it into this flamenco-like pose. All it needs are some castanets. Seriously, what is it doing there, and why hasn't someone put it away yet? Such are the mysteries that come with working behind the scenes at a museum...

Fun Fact: The costume department staff stuffs pantyhose with batting and sews extra layers around the breasts and stomach to bring their mannequins into the shape of the woman who originally wore a given garment. Old clothing was usually tailored to fit a specific body, so not only does it not look right if it's hanging off a skinnier, less curvy form, it actually puts additional gravitational stress on the fabric and seams if they aren't properly supported. Originally, our museum used to create custom forms for each piece of clothing they put on display, but they recently decided it would be more efficient to switch to pre-made mannequins and add custom padding as necessary.

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