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Does it put you off buying clothes if they aren't displayed on a real human being?

(17 Posts)
Ujjayi Tue 04-Mar-14 10:52:23

I am currently photographing my womenswear designs for Etsy, using a mannequin.

My concern is that perhaps customers would prefer to see clothes on real models? Having said that, there seem to be many sites which just have the item of clothing in no context whatsoever (e.g. Topshop, Outnet) although I concede that often they have an image of a model once you click on the item! If it makes any difference, my current collection does not include any trousers (which obviously could not be accurately depicted on a mannequin!)

Using a model is going to take up time & money that I just cannot afford at this point.

Just wondering if S&B MNers could give me some feedback?

(BTW, I am a regular on this board and have been for several years so I hope that asking here is okay smile )

Ujjayi Tue 04-Mar-14 10:53:45

Obviously the title should read "buying clothes online ... Clearly nobody would expect clothes modelled on real people in stores blush

OneLittleLady Tue 04-Mar-14 10:56:30

I do like to see clothes models on real models but seeing them on mannequins doesn't put me off. I find a mannequin is better than them just being on a hanger as it does at least give you some idea of where things like waistlines fall etc I think it might be helpful if people gave approximate heights and dress sizes for mannequins as it would help me better picture lengths on myself IYSWIM?

Ujjayi Tue 04-Mar-14 11:01:25

Completely agree re: hangers. Hadn't thought of listing actual dimensions of mannequin but that is a great idea as useful comparison with garment dimensions.

Thanks for that idea.

WillieWaggledagger Tue 04-Mar-14 11:08:20

i agree that a real life model is better (especially like e.g. New Look online where they add something like 'model is 5'8" and wears a size 10' so you get an idea of skirt length etc)

however if that's not an option then next best would be a mannequin, in addition to exact dimensions of the clothing where possible (e.g. length from back of neck to hem?)

RestingActress Tue 04-Mar-14 12:46:01

Much better on a person IMO and like Willie said height and size is good

Bluebell79 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:08:40

Agree with willie

MarshaBrady Tue 04-Mar-14 13:10:54

Mannequin is fine I think. Give size and height.

The outnet used to used mannequins until quite recently iirc.

Sounds exciting. Good luck!

MarshaBrady Tue 04-Mar-14 13:12:27

Also I wonder if it's easier to get a professional finish and pic with a mannequin than a real model. There's probably a fair bit that goes into simple model shots on NaP etc.

Thurlow Tue 04-Mar-14 13:13:53

I model is better than a mannequin, but a mannequin is better than nothing. Agree that you should give an idea of size and height.

winterhat Tue 04-Mar-14 13:49:48

I think a mannequin is fine. I'm never the same shape as the real-life models anyway so a mannequin is just as good!

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 04-Mar-14 14:22:20

Agree that a mannequin is better than nothing. When the clothes are shown without also showing them on a model or mannquin, then it puts me off.

Can we get a link to your Etsy?smile

Mannequin better than nothing. I also like it when they tell you the length of dresses.

Even things like bags are better with models (or mannequins) to give an idea of sizing.

Hopefully Tue 04-Mar-14 14:57:05

I actually prefer at least one shot on a mannequin, as models posing in artistic ways can hide a multitude of dodgy cuts, weird tucks and baggy bits etc.

AcaciaBeez Tue 04-Mar-14 19:13:19

I definitely prefer people but yes, mannequin is better than nothing

Ujjayi Tue 04-Mar-14 19:55:45

Thank you all for taking the time to reply and all the positive encouragement. Your feedback is really helpful.

Will definitely list all measurements. My mannequin is a proper dressmaking form rather than a cheapy decorative version which means proportions are accurate. However, it is a couture sample size 12 (which means an 8-10 in real life!) but then most models rarely represent the average sized woman.

Marsha - you're right about the photographs being harder to get right on a model. I have good photography skills for still life and abstract shots but fashion photography with a model is very different. And to be honest, trying to find the model to fit my style (bearing in mind my budget is approx zero!) would be too time consuming at this point. I will, however, attempt to rectify this. I do know an excellent fashion photographer but he will quite possibly want payment (understandably) and even at "mates rates", I would rather be putting any money I make directly into fabric purchases right now.

Hopefully absolutely agree re: preferring a mannequin shot to see the actual cut of the piece. I think catalogue photographers can get a bit too "editorial". Fine for Vogue but not fine when you actually want to see how the piece is put together/the actual shape/texture etc.

BriarRainbowshimmer I will put up a link once I have all my current stock uploaded (if MN are okay with that) hopefully by the end of next week. Currently, all my pieces are one-offs which is my USP. I've allowed the fabric to dictate the design rather than creating a concept-driven collection (i.e. there is no theme - they are all unique & quite different). However, I am also currently designing a small summer collection which I am hoping will be ready by April.

Thanks again everyone!

Ujjayi Tue 04-Mar-14 19:58:07

Oh and I had a brainwave: photographing the piece styled on the mannequin (with accessories and other pieces in a "model's own" type manner) and then another shot completely stripped down.

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