A body shop

Dress is a polypropylene dress fitted with small “counters” which offer glimpses of human flesh for “sale”. The “sales-person” wears this “body-shop” and wanders in public inviting people to pull on a “pearl” protruding from the centre of the chest of the dress, one of ten windows or “sales countersâ€? opens to expose a piece of flesh that they can caress with their fingertips.


The aim with Dress is to explore the human need for touch by creating a shop which sells the possibility to touch human skin and challenges “customers” by having them confront their personal and cultural inhibitions to touching another person in public. Exposing naked flesh to the touch of a paying “customerâ€? also brings attention to the conflation of erotic and consumerist values prevalent in our culture.

The rigidity of the form and the almost total absence of visibility of skin create an “armorâ€? which serves both to hide and to shield the wearer. This accentuates the nature of the offering – the “parcelsâ€? of naked flesh – whilst highlighting the issues of vulnerability, exposure and morality inherent in the proposed transaction.

The semi-rigid plastic dress and its accessories (satin glove-sleeves and balaclava, stockings, sandals, and clutch-bag) are white and adhere to the perceived conventions of purity, chastity and good taste.

Designed in 2002 by Daniele Wilde with the collaboration of Sophie Birkmayer (RCA Design Products).