With arms outstretched, a mannequin wears a dress made of 7-inch records. Another, donning a Fendi dress, sits on a giant vintage phonograph with a horn. The third, in Belvest, stands atop an oversized box made of vinyl records.
In all, 2,000 scratched records, saved from the trash, decorate the occasionally headless mannequins in the window display at Stanley Korshak in Uptown Dallas. It's music, fashion and art, darling. It's "Spin," now on display.
"These are some of the biggest visual display retail windows in the country," says freelance visual artist Ben Lewis says. He's standing in one of the two enormous, 90-foot Korshak window display rooms at the Crescent. But it isn't just the air-conditioning that makes this workspace interesting.
"The intent, of course, is to sell clothes," says Stanley Korshak creative director Bret McKinney. "But fashion is art, and the way we are able to present it is so much different than on a hanger."
Since 2003, Lewis has made window displays for clients in Dallas, including Macy's, Nordstrom, Dior and Stella McCartney. He also helps design and build stores for Josey Records. Since opening in 2014, the Dallas record store has quickly expanded to two more states and has even bought a record plant.
"We buy tons of records every month, and not all of them are sellable," says Josey Records partner Waric Cameron.
Defective, scratched or otherwise ruined, the steady stream of junk records usually goes into the garbage. But Lewis started taking home stacks of unusable vinyl. Thousands of records later, Lewis decided to use the material for installation art.
It's not even Lewis' most outrageous idea: He also "put 400 Mr. Potato Heads in a window with $10,000 Gucci dresses" when he worked at Barneys years ago.
Lewis spent weeks covering frames with vinyl for the window display in Dallas. He also used a heat gun to bend records and "slowly manipulate them around a mannequin's face" to create detailed masks, he says.
Many of the male mannequins, wearing Brioni suits, have vinyl record sculptures for faces. Wearing brands like Andrew Gn, some of the dummies spin slowly, standing on overwhelmed turntables meant for playing records.
Too large to fit through the doors, Lewis and his team assembled "Spin" in the display windows. "We're still not sure how we're going to get them out," McKinney says, "But I'm pretty sure we will have to destroy the globe, which is my favorite." The ominous blob of vinyl records is 6 feet tall.
Cameron, however, hopes the giant phonograph can be relocated to Josey Records. "I am obviously biased about art made with vinyl records," he says. "But music goes hand in hand with art and fashion." Indeed, Josey Records has functioned as an art gallery and has hired artists like JM Rizzi to paint murals.
McKinney hopes the window displays draw people who have never heard of Stanley Korshak, perhaps artists and vinyl record addicts. "Decades ago, they built this complex like it was a fortress," he says. But the large display windows were installed as part of enhancements made to the Crescent just a couple years ago.
"The goal now is to turn it inside out and make it more pedestrian-friendly and inviting."
"Spin" will be on display at The Crescent until Sept. 24.