Bring it back: Creepy window displays

by Chelsea Hughes

Sometimes I see a picture of something from the past, and I get jealous to the point of becoming angry.  I’m jealous that the thing I saw and its sheer awesomeness no longer exists in modern day society.I think, “GOD DAMN IT I WISH I HAD A BILL AND TED STYLE FONE BOOTH THAT COULD TRAVELL BACK IN TIME TO SEE THAT AWESOME THING THAT USED TO EXIST BUT IS NOW GONE 4EVER”.  I get so furious at the extinction of the awesome thing that my internal voice screams at top volume and completely disregards grammar and spelling.

Rather than sit back and lament the good ol’ days when life was a million times better than it is now, I’ve decided to write a semi-regular series of blogposts highlighting these awesome things.  The series is called ‘Bring it back’, and I hope we can create a groundswell of demand and that together, with our powers combined, we can reintroduce it into society.

The first thing I want to bring back are creepy window displays.

Before breast implants, women could pick a new set of boobs from a selection of boob-only mannequins.

Window display for Rodfield Woollens, James Smith Ltd.. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-211381-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23102517

Window display for Rodfield Woollens, James Smith Ltd.. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-211381-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23102517

I’m glad the movie Chucky come out after these window displays, otherwise we might’ve been spared this creepy mannequin child display.  I think it should also be made clear that I believe real-life children are also super creepy.

Kirks, Vyella Window. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-217181-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23070445

Kirks, Vyella Window. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-217181-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23070445

I feel like everytime I look away from this image, the mannequins come to life.  I’ve decided these people died in a horrible plane crash, and their ghosts now spend their afterlives perpetually booking the fateful flight that led to their untimely deaths.

White's display window in Rendell's department store, Waitakere. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-20543-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23203586

White’s display window in Rendell’s department store, Waitakere. Whites Aviation Ltd: Photographs. Ref: WA-20543-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23203586

And finally, a window display that is both creepy and literarily inspired by Lord of the Flies. Severed heads! On sticks! (Poor Piggy.)

Window display of men's hats, James Smith's department store, Wellington.. James Smith Ltd :Photographs of personnel, activities and shops. Ref: PAColl-3332-03-34. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23072860

Window display of men’s hats, James Smith’s department store, Wellington.. James Smith Ltd: Photographs of personnel, activities and shops. Ref: PAColl-3332-03-34. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23072860

Where, might you ask, are all the bodies that belong to the severed heads on sticks?  Well, they’re right here, in a different creepy display.  It would’ve seemed far less suspicious if all the mannequins in this display had been legless and headless rather than include a fully assembled one alongside those ‘less fortunate’ than him.  It’s totally obvious he’s a mass murderer!
Shop window display, Vance Vivian, Wellington. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-210322-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22494192

Shop window display, Vance Vivian, Wellington. K E Niven and Co :Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-210322-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22494192

Feminists rejoice: gender equality among severed mannequin head window displays.  A-head of its time! (get it?)

Tingay, Thomas Hugh, fl 1928-1944. Window display of women's hats, James Smith's department store, Wellington - Photograph taken by Thomas Hugh Tingay.. James Smith Ltd :Photographs of personnel, activities and shops. Ref: PAColl-3332-03-37. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753459

Tingay, Thomas Hugh, fl 1928-1944. Window display of women’s hats, James Smith’s department store, Wellington – Photograph taken by Thomas Hugh Tingay. James Smith Ltd: Photographs of personnel, activities and shops. Ref: PAColl-3332-03-37. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753459

 

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