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Does That Mannequin Look Familiar?

Summit boutique turns shopper into Femmebot with help from high-tech window dressing.

Shoppers can see their faces atop the outfit worn by the mannequin in Femmebot's window. Credit: Femmebot
Shoppers can see their faces atop the outfit worn by the mannequin in Femmebot's window. Credit: Femmebot
Want to try on a new outfit without the hassle of waiting for a fitting room or even stepping inside the store? 

Femmebot clothing boutique, which celebrated the opening of its Summit location in November, has just the thing for the busy fashionista. Window shoppers can step up to the storefront and, thanks to the creative design of Tim Arculli of OLS Design and Installation, see their faces on a television screen atop the outfit worn by the mannequin.

"It is such an innovative and fun idea to see yourself as the mannequin and in her outfit. You truly turn into a Femmebot," said store owner Tina Setia, who defines a "Femmebot" as a "strong, unhindered, foward-thinking woman with a style to match."

Arculli and Setia agree that the new window treatment is causing a stir and generating "lots of laughs" among passersby - especially men.

"It's funny regardless of age or sex," Arculli said. "I have seen people make some funny faces and act out some funny scenes. It's good, light-hearted humor and everyone can use an extra smile in their day. I promise that the staff inside will make you smile, too. It doesn't take long around there."

The designer said while the display is fun and whimsical, a great deal of thought went into creating something that is representative of the store's atmosphere. When Setia began explaining the environment she wanted to create, Arculli realized it reached beyond fashion and clothing. 

"Everything was to be done with purpose and appeal to multiple senses," he said. "It was going to be futuristic and industrial while at the same time being beautiful like lace and soft like a flower. Tina expressed her dream with such passion that I felt myself standing in the mood that she had painted. That level of passion is infectious.

"A very wise man once told me that you can always change someone's mind, but never a first impression. The storefront window is people's first impression. I began thinking of ways I could take everything that she said and summarize it into a single glance. A purple light outlines the window and casts a distinctive light off of the purple ornaments that John Cannon had installed. Two silver Femmebot mannequins were created to represent the unique and futuristic qualities of the store. One has a TV for a head and a camera installed so that you can walk up to the window from outside and see your head on the mannequin's body. 

"The other Femmebot mannequin is picking up her intriguing glowing purple head from the table. She represents the unique and the quirky fun that can be found in the housewares section along with some of the actual items that are placed around the display. There's everything from fun books to mugs that make you look like you have a giant diamond ring on when your finger is through the handle."

The inventive arrangement, which added some levity for harried, holiday shoppers, is here to stay, the business owner said.  

"I think it definitely intrigued people to come in and the uniqueness sets us apart from the rest," Setia said. 

Femmebot is located at 371 Springfield AveFor more information, visit Femmebot's website. For more on OLS Design and Installation, contact Tim Arculli at 973-703-8164. 

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