The reference might be a bit obvious, but we can’t help but think of the horror movie Bride Of Chucky while browsing through the dismembered hands, torsos and feet at Concept Mannequins, a decades old tiny basement store located in the twisty lanes of East of Kailash that deals exclusively in mannequins (hat tip: Anjie. Danke!). “Aren’t you ever frightened?” we ask the shopkeeper’s assistant and he giggles. Yes, us too.
Although they call themselves wholesalers, Concept Mannequins will not only part with a single figure, but also customise it to your preference: glossy or matte, red or blue or flesh-coloured, life-size, gigantic or scaled down to fit in the palm of your hand, headless or sporting one of many faces you pick out of a album, complete with an elaborate hairstyle of your choice.
Aren’t You Hand Some?
Scanning through shelves of smiling faces dressed in Caucasian skin, fake lashes and eyes the colour of mountain skies (which Salman Rushdie famously claims “has the habit of dripping into the pupils of Kashmiri men”), we are strangely drawn to a collection of glossy hands, red and black and a larger, slightly rough version in blue that we pick up and turn around - that mannequin’s going to have a long, long life, a palmist would say. These would be useful, a friend remarks, for the days when we need a little hand holding or need to give ourselves a high five.
Valley of Dolls
The creepiest dolls, however, are the kiddie sized ones, knee high cherubs that frolic amongst the feather boas and flat genitalia of their adult counterparts. One in particular worries us, blond and sharp-smiled, a sure-shot school bully. Much more comforting are wood and jute busts, far from life-like and easy to maneuver on circular joints.
Take Me Home
Secretly, we’ve always wanted a mannequin – it would help increase the body count at our house parties without consuming any alcohol, and would be a perfect way to use (and admire) the twelve layer conical bra dress we loved and bought in Paris years ago and have never been brave enough to wear out in public.
Still not sold? We get some super cool folks to help convince you of a mannequin’s many uses. Here’s what they would do with one:
Samit Basu, author: “I’d marry it and have the world’s only quiet spouse. Oh, and I’d name it Anakin. Anakin Mannequin.”
Rimzim Dadu, fashion designer: “I’d dress it up in the style of someone I hate and practice voodoo magic on it.”
Anisha Maker, chef & owner of Lah: “I’d make it a companion for the single guests that come into the restaurant!”
Purab Kohli, actor: “I saw some funky mannequins being used as scarecrows on a field in Italy. When I get my own field, I’ll have some custom made.”
Getting there: 306 & 299, Parkash Mohalla, East Of Kailash, call 26222422 or visit the website here.