This photo documentary was done by Chris Jepson in 2011. I believe the photos were taken at a Rootstein factory in the NYC area which has since been closed. Rootstein was purchased first by a Japanese company and then by Bonaveri and they moved the manufacturing to another facility.
Rootstein is the world’s leading Mannequin Design Company. The quality of Rootstein’s realistic mannequin display figures has not been surpassed since Adel Rootstein founded the company in the early 1960’s.
Adel Rootstein (1930 – 20 September 1992) was a British mannequin designer responsible for premium designs that are sold worldwide. She started by making window displays, which gave her an understanding of “the void that had existed between fashion coverage in the international media & what actually happened in windows.”
Adel started making mannequins in the kitchen of her basement flat in Earls Court in 1956. She first hired sculptor John Taylor and model Imogen for her first mannequin, placed in a reclining position. This was the start of her first collection, called “Model Girl”.
True to the company’s rich heritage of high craftsmanship, every Rootstein mannequin begins life as a handmade clay sculpture cast directly from a live model. It’s a painstaking process that takes several weeks to complete but ensures a true likeness, crystallising the unique qualities and contemporary looks for which the subject has been cast
Every subsequent mannequin is then produced by hand, including any adaptations required to customise the figure to a client or brand. Crucially, each mould is only used a maximum of 200 times to retain every critical detail.
Then comes the hair, each placed by hand…
And bespoke make-up completes the look…