Friday, September 21, 2007
In English, we refer to window shopping as the activity practiced by teenagers, New Yorkers whose rents are too high for them to afford anything else, and large groups of 17 or more from the Midwest. In French, this same activity is referred to as "leche-vitrine," or window licking, an expression which more appropriately describes the salivation that may be inspired by a sumptuous shop window.
In the days of gas lamps and trolleys, mannequins were inspired by bombshells; Brigitte Bardot, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn. As our tastes evolved, the looks of mannequins followed suit. The daintily arched foot morphed into the authoritative street corner slant knee, and the poised hand, inquisitively peeking from behind the body, became the "you're two minutes late and I'm pissed" hip jaunt. The prudent, 2 and 1/4 wide heel became the javelin shaped "fuck me pump," and the neckline, once simply round and prudent like a ferris wheel, due to lack of fabric, buttons, zippers or perhaps just decency, became a log flume shooting straight to the navel.