Man Ray & Jean Charles Castelbajac

Man Ray: Mannequin with a skull on her head and a black belt around her waist)  from Resurrection des Mannequins 1938-66

8/6/12 Man Ray’s Skulls inspire contemporary Fashion

While browsing through the internet, I recognised Man Ray’s black & white photograph of a Mannequin with a skull placed on the top of its head. One could argue that the mannequin features realistic characteristics through the wig and the eyelashes.

When viewed at a distance the mannequin appears very similar to a real person and the photograph encourages the viewer to take a closer look at the skull. The photograph provides interesting shadows and overtones, which highlights the shape of the Mannequin and the material, which covers the waist and the shoulders.

The skull provides an interesting composition with the Mannequin, which requires further speculation. One could argue that the skull is used as a hat or fashion accessory, which promotes a certain brand or aesthetic.

Fashion Designer, Jean Charles De Castelbajac may have appropriated Man Ray’s photographs through hats, dresses or pants, which display the image of the skull. The designs feature very bold and striking representations of the skull, although the hats do not generate the same effect or style compared to Man Ray’s orginal photograph.

The black and white depictions of the skull may feature a close reference with the jolly roger and the range of dresses or high waisted pants deliver an interesting aesthetic. Castelbajac’s designs also feature representations of a full length skeleton, which corresponds with the model’s movements and the effect also creates a dynamic composition and style.The designs feature similarities to an x-ray scan or photograph, which presents the human body as a stylish fashion icon.

 Jean Charles De Castelbajac: collection

Image Citations:

Man Ray,

Jean Charles De Castelbajac,


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