Mannequin – Le corps de la mode

It’s quite funny actually thinking about the meaning of the French title of this great exhibition taking place at the Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris. I’m starting this post not writing about the great images you can see but about an epiphany I had the first time I red this title.

So, “Mannequin, les corps de la mode” would be roughly translated as “Models, fashion’s bodies”. But my brain, mixing and matching the five languages I know, plus my knowledge of fashion, and what I’ve always taught about models… well, produced something else. Something quite far from  what the exhibition is about.

The correct translation of “Mannequin” is dummy. The French word for “body” is corp” which reminds me of the English meaning of “corpse”: dead body.

So at the very end, a model is a dummy/dead body. Or, at least, that’s is what my brain tells me.



Corinne Day, 1990 Kate Mannequin Kate Moss Tirage gélatino-argentique sur papier Agfa, 2006, Ed. 2/10 © Corinne Day/Galliera.

14 Guy Bourdin 1978 - 72dpi

Guy Bourdin, 1978 Charles Jourdan, été 1978 Mannequin Nicolle Meyer Tirage moderne à développement chromogène © Guy Bourdin, avec l’aimable autorisation de la galerie Michael Hoppen Contemporary, Londres.


Anonyme, 1917 Modèle de Paquin Tirage gélatino-argentique ©Galliera/Roger-Viollet.


Suede – She’s in Fashion


She is strung out on a TV dream

And she’s the taste of the gasoline

And she’s as similar as you can get

To the shape of a cigarette

And she’s in fashion


Miles Aldridge, 2009 Kristen #11 Tirage à développement chromogène sur papier Fuji Archive © Miles Aldridge/Galliera.

All the featured images Courtesy of  Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design –






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