I saw this antique, supposedly German mannequin head for sale on eBay several months ago (the listing is long gone.) It doesn’t look like any other antique mannequin head I’ve seen. Not that I was looking for one- they just pop up now and then in the categories I like to search.
After a minute of staring at the serene head trying to figure out who it reminded me of, it came to me- it could only be Jessica Joffe- the stunning journalist/model/style expert, who I believe is also German, at least in part.
I’m not saying they look exactly alike- just that there are some uniquely similar qualities about the two- which is a little spooky since unlike in the Seinfeld episode where that weird guy meets Elaine on the subway and then models a mannequin after her, this particular mannequin head came into existence at least half a century before Joffe.
Physically similar features are the red hair curled at the ends, the “dainty” red lips, the straight, slim nose, the uniformly linear eyebrows (although exaggeratedly arched on the mannequin,) and light-colored eyes.
Antique mannequin heads are cool because they record ideals of beauty and style from other time periods. This one is from around the 1920’s – 1940’s.Â Joffe, who modeled in several Banana Republic campaigns, is beautiful in my opinion, but neither in today’s weird-looking model way, or the button-nose jail bait way (to name two of many of today’s visible types.)
Images: Left via Pravda, right via Woohoo
(Actually I find the girl on the left adorable, but I want to see her on an episode of Star Trek.)
Looking at this mannequin head makes me see something of old Hollywood in Joffe- definitely in the hair- and something about her facial expression and oft-seen fancy dress evokes a doomed German aristocrat at the start of WW2 like in Luchino Visconti’s The Damned.
Photo via Cinemorgue.
Photo via Flickr: HillyBlue
Here, at the corner of the mouth, you can almost see Joffe’s smirk.