March has been and gone and of course a hare is not a rabbit but I just had to share with you, the latest, crazy buzz, that is, Mannequin Madness...
'Mannequin Madness' or indeed 'Bunny Rabbit Mannequin Madness' is a new one on me, but much to my surprise I noticed a bit of a craze going on in Cyber Space that I just had to share with you...
Mannequins, in various
states of dress, style and creative display seemed to feature a lot on
my Internet searches, and while many are just ordinary shop dolls,
wearing the latest trends in fashion, there are a few that really stand
out above the others as being that little bit more unique - and
sometimes just a tad scary!
The 'normal', (and goodness knows what that means nowadays), are made of plastic, (or other synthetic materials), perfectly proportioned dolls of various ages, sizes and gender, appealing to you from shop window displays wearing the latest fashion trends.
OK - but what may be a little odd is the growing popularity of the 'recycling' of these stiff, synthetic, style icons.
The term "Mannequin Madness" isn't just a term or a phrase, it is also a company. An American, award-winning family business, owned by a very clever lady called Judi Townsend. That's her below with some of her mannequins, not her family!
Judi specializes in everything related to mannequins. They sell,
rent, recycle, repair and blog about mannequins. It's fascinating stuff!
What they don't know about mannequins is not worth knowing, and trust me I know as I spent a long time finding out myself, they have a great story, check it out...
Judi found that people, all over the world, want mannequins. They want to buy them, rent them... love them... dress them... and display them in odd and often dramatic ways.
I've been taking a look at some of the more outlandish, unique and weird displays.
These are the ones that have rabbit heads!
It's where Bunny Rabbit Mannequin Madness lives up to it's name...
Putting the head of a bunny on a human form may be a popular and a bold fashion statement now, but the seed of that notion may have come from a 'mad' time in the 1900s, or even earlier.
If you look back on the history of the rabbit, you'll see that the popularity of the bunny rabbit was already underway in the early 1900s.
The Victorians were so fanatical about their rabbits and their breeding, a special society was formed called The Rabbit Fancy.
By the time Beatrix Potter, children's author and the creator of Peter Rabbit, was a popular household name, there were bunnies everywhere.
But with The Fancy, cute children's tales and a bunny in everyone's back yard, came also, a little bit of madness.
But was that 'madness' handed down through time?
Let's go on a journey...
The concept of a rabbit head on a human has been around for many years, at least back to early prehistoric Egypt.
Unut the swift one, is an Egyptian goddess who had the head of a rabbit. Like so many other deities such as Horus, Osiris and Thoth, Unut was represented as having the body of a human - in this case, a female - with the head of a rabbit. Other times, Unut was simply a woman with a head- dress that bore a sitting rabbit on top.
Strangely enough, we know that she originally started her ancient 'window displays' in tombs and Pharaoh temple walls, as a Snake Goddess circa 3000 BC, but eventually had a beauty makeover and became a lovely female with a rabbit on her head.
To find out why she changed appearance, this blog by Mary Thatcher, a writer for Yahoo News, may have the answer...
But what's the connection with rabbits, you may or may not wish to know?
Unut was worshiped in the city of Hermopolis which took its namesake from the Greek god Hermes, whose Egyptian counterpart is Thoth.
Thoth often had an infamous messenger of his Godly laws... In many showings this messenger was depicted as a hare. However, it's not sure if it was supposed to be a hare or a rabbit, both have been observed and written about.
Moving through time there have been many statues, paintings, etchings etc of rabbit-headed images to amuse, delight and shock the viewers, customers and art critics of that particular era.
We can see here in this amusing 18th century painting of a hare, (I know, it's not a rabbit), is in fact the portrait of Hilaire Rouillé du Coudray, who was the Marquis de Boissy in 1765 to 1840.
Look, he's even got a bag of carrots under his arm!
I hope the Marquis found it amusing. Otherwise the artist may have had to say goodbye to his own head!
Of course nothing is 'real' here. This is a concept of the artist's imagination. He didn't have living things to work with, just a canvas, some paint and a very clever hand.
But then photography became all the rage...
Funny animal photos with 'LOL' poses weren't created first for the Internet, and social media, they've been around since the end of the 19th century.
The image above is an example of the latest style of humour on social networking sites. This is a funny take on a common phrase.
But something similar was being done much, much earlier...
Harry Whittier Frees was a well known 'novelty' photographer of his time. (Late 1900s). He dressed all types of animals and then posed them in funny scenes.
He found rabbits and cats to be the easiest animals to work with and pigs to be the most difficult!
Here you'll see Harry Whittier Frees loved posing rabbits in his well known animal photography shots which may have given rise to the notion of using animal heads in other ways - by other ways, I mean sticking them on top of human mannequins!
Time Machine... 'ON'...
Yes, the Japanese...
We skip from Victorian England to the bustle of modern day Tokyo...
You only need to take a short walk round the main shopping areas of Japan, and the Tokyo Flea Markets to see that the Japanese really have a thing for rabbits...
The earthy tones that these two images recreate are exactly what the window dresser was going for.
The Forest look is very popular not only in Japan, it's making it's way around the globe... and it has a name...
Mori Girl or Mori Kei
Read more about the Forest Girl Style here...
The lovely frilly image on the right comes from the Japanese fashion display at Wonder Rocket in Harajuku Tokyo. (Photo Credit: Alphacityguides.com).
Japanese fashion has really embraced the chichi bunny in Mori art and displays. This is because the rabbit symbolizes outdoors.
We picture woods, greenery and nature when we see a bunny rabbit, which is the message of Mori after all, but what gets me is, why does a ditsy quaint Mori girl feel the need to chop the bunny rabbit's head off and stick it on a human body?
That being an horrific thought in itself, sometimes the whole 'look' can go horribly wrong, and all that is actually created, in the easily influenced minds of young fashion conscious girls, is a down-right scary nightmare!
Here's another one that will scare the be-Jesus out of you...
The one below reminds me of Hannibal Lecter, the psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. Lovely!
Of course there is a more terrifying, well known image of a really scary rabbit, that probably many of you picture when you think of nightmare rabbits, and that's this one...
Yes, sorry about that.
It makes me wonder if the little girl really knew what was behind her when this photograph was taken, or was she told to keep looking at her book and not move.
My theory is that the little girl is a mannequin.
Ha, that made you think hey!?
Have you seen any amazing bunny rabbit mannequins about?
What about bunnies that act like mannequins?
Share your discoveries with us and join in the discussion!
Have a look at some of the crazy rabbit accessories in the Just Rabbit Shop and dress your 'window' in true Bunny Rabbit Mannequin Madness!
Share your views, points, tit-bits and tales! (Remember, you don't have to have a Facebook account to make a comment.)
All input is good, no matter how small ;-) Thank-you.