Alterations by Hand

A standardized sign, original in this window

A standardized sign, original in this window

October 22, 2015

This seamstress is ubiquitous. She's a Pretty White Lady, blonde or brunette, smiling graciously as she stitches dutifully. Usually her act is depicted within a sticker, made of vinyl, adhered neatly to the front window. Doesn't matter if the shop is run by Asians or Latinos, the Pretty White Lady is in there if they're offering alteration services. I expect to see this illustration in the window of the average shop offering tailoring and alterations.

It's like the big red "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE" sign in the average Brooklyn bodega window. It says the statement, does the job. Not that the signage means the thing. Doing the job is saying the thing, not meaning it. It seems a personal touch, but it's not too personalized. The sign is written to be reproduced and distributed.

But this figure of a seamstress, blonde like the woman in the vinyl, wearing blue like the woman in vinyl, working on somebody's something, has been painted on the window by hand. Perhaps they want to convey their dedication to handicraft. Perhaps they are just too cheap to buy the sign. 

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