United States of Mannequins: a view into shop windows through the 1980s

Apr 29, 2021 | Photography, Popular Culture, Roberto Bigano

August 1984  -  Beverly Hills, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. A forty-year project by the Italian photographer Roberto Bigano documenting mannequins.

August 1984. Shop window. Beverly Hills, California.  BUY

“Plastic Girls” episode 2. United States 1982-1988


This is the second part of “Plastic Girls,” a forty-year project by the Italian photographer Roberto Bigano documenting mannequins. All the pictures were taken in the United States from 1982 to 1988, mainly with a 4×5 view camera capable of delivering an incredible amount of details comparable to today’s high-end digital cameras. Read the first episode.

These photographs are part of “A Big Country,” another Roberto Bigano’s project on the “True & False” in the United States, that we will publish soon.

The images are available for purchase with a Royalty-Free license.
August 1982  -  Rodeo Drive,  Beverly Hills, California.  -  From "Plastic Girls" series

August 1982.
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California.
BUY Digital File

August 1983  -  New York City.  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1983. Shoe shop window. New York City.  BUY

August 1982  -  Beverly Hills, California.  -  From "Plastic Girls" series.Photo Roberto Bigano

August 1983. Shop Window. New York City,  BUY

Curiosities and tech specifications.


I always pay a lot of attention to the equipment and shooting techniques. To me, reportage meant faithfully telling what I saw, providing as much detail as possible.
I worked in film with a 4×5″ (10x12cm) view camera with top lenses. The film was the Kodak Etrachrome Professional, which I, whenever possible, developed at the A&I Lab in downtown Los Angeles.

Shooting through fresnel ground glass required meticulous preparation and framing. To have a proper depth of field, you had to stop down and use long exposures; for the close-up below I exposed the film for 45 minutes at F.64. Kodak EPT film, Etrachrome Professional Tungsten. Lens: Rodenstock Sironar 150mm.

Leggi in italiano

Pane calendariale.

Il pane calendario è di solito panificato all’inizio della quaresima, in linea di massima in forma di bambola a sette gambe che vengono “mangiate” una alla settimana, fino a Pasqua. Il secondo esempio qui sotto con bamboline che ricordano un pò il Vodoo, rappresentano i giorni rimanenti alla prossima panificazione.

August 1983  -  Boca Raton, Florida.  -  From "Plastic Girls" series..Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1983. Boca Raton, Florida.  BUY

August 1983 - Boca Raton, Florida. - From "Plastic Girls" series..Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1983. Boca Raton, Florida.  BUY

August 1984  -  Melrose Ave. Hollywood, California. Photo Roberto Biagno

August 1983. Hollywood, California.  BUY

August 1984  -  Melrose Ave. Hollywood, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano

August 1984.
Melrose Av. Hollywood, California.
BUY

August 1984  -  Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano

August 1984.
Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, California.
BUY

August 1984  -  Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1984.
Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, California.
BUY

August 1985  -  Sunset Strip, Hollywood, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series.. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1985. Shop Window. Beverly Hills, California. BUY

August 1985  -  Sunset Strip, Hollywood, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1985.
Shop window on Sunset Strip.
Hollywood, California
BUY

August 1985  -  Beverly Hills, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1985. Beverly Hills, California.  BUY

August 1985  - J. Magnin Dept. Store, Beverly Hills, California  -  From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1985.
J.Magnin Dept. Store.
Beverly Hills, California
BUY

August 1988. Senter & Crunes Dept Store. Rockland, Maine. From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1988, Rockland, Maine. Senter & Crunes Dept. Store. BUY

August 1988. A Calvin Klein Window at Lord & Taylor. New York City. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1988 New York City. Bravo Calvin Klein! Lord & Taylor applauds American Design. BUY

August 1988. Altman's Dept. Store. New York City. From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

August 1988, Beverly Hills, California. Altman’s Dept. Store. BUY

Copyright and credits

Photographs by Roberto Bigano.
All the images in this post are copyrighted.
Tutte le immagini di questo post sono coperte da copyright.

  • 0415-21 Costume shop window Berlin, Germany, February 1980 | From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo by Roberto Bigano. Buy this image in the ikonographia.com store.

    A charming magician mannequin. West Berlin 1980. Royalty-Free

    $49.00

    A charming magician mannequin. West Berlin 1980. Royalty-Free

    $49.00

    Vat added to EU customers.

    A charming magician mannequin. West Berlin in September 1980. This picture belongs to the “Plastic Girl” series, a unique reportage about the evolution of style and costume through mannequins from 1978 to today.
    Photo by Roberto Bigano.

    16bit tif (4000x6000px, 60.4MB). Royalty-Free unlimited license. Non-transferable.
    More info on the License/Terms of use tab below.

    Quick View
  • 0419-05 Store window Berlin 1980, Germany, February 1980 | From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo by Roberto Bigano. Buy this image in the ikonographia.com store.

    A provocative dummy in West Berlin 1980. Royalty-Free. Photo Roberto Bigano

    $49.00

    A provocative dummy in West Berlin 1980. Royalty-Free. Photo Roberto Bigano

    $49.00

    Vat added to EU customers.

    An impacting dummy in West Berlin. September 1980. This picture belongs to the “Plastic Girl” series, a unique reportage about the evolution of style and costume through mannequins from 1978 to today.
    Photo by Roberto Bigano.

    16bit tif (4000x5500px, 50.3MB). Royalty-Free unlimited license. Non-transferable.
    More info on the License/Terms of use tab below.

    Quick View
  • August 1988. Senter & Crunes Dept Store. Rockland, Maine. From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

    A real girl and a mannequin compared. Rockland, Maine 1988

    $49.00

    A real girl and a mannequin compared. Rockland, Maine 1988

    $49.00

    Country Vat added to EU customers.

    Senter & Crunes Dept. Store Windows. Rockland, Maine, August 1988. This picture belongs to the “Plastic Girl” series, a unique reportage about the evolution of style and costume through mannequins from 1978 to today.
    Photo by Roberto Bigano.

    6316x5000x, 26.74MB jpg from 4×5″ film. Royalty-Free unlimited license. Non-transferable.
    More info on the License/Terms of use tab below.

    Quick View
  • August 1988. Senter & Crunes Dept Store. Rockland, Maine. From "Plastic Girls" series. Photo Roberto Bigano.

    A real girl and a mannequin with a red dress. Rockland, Maine 1988

    $49.00

    A real girl and a mannequin with a red dress. Rockland, Maine 1988

    $49.00

    Country Vat added to EU customers.

    Senter & Crunes Dept. Store Windows. Rockland, Maine, August 1988. This picture belongs to the “Plastic Girl” series, a unique reportage about the evolution of style and costume through mannequins from 1978 to today.
    Photo by Roberto Bigano.

    6361x5000x, 27.414MB jpg from 4×5″ film. Royalty-Free unlimited license. Non-transferable.
    More info on the License/Terms of use tab below.

    Quick View