2020.05.26 09:15

Mannequins fill empty tables in Vilnius cafes to keep physical distance 2020.05.26 09:15

Restaurants in the Lithuanian capital are using social distancing rules to become fashion displays for local designers, according to a press release by Vilnius municipality.

Although restaurants and bars are able to operate indoors, they must still maintain a two-metre distance between clients, leaving tables and seats vacant.

A few dozen restaurants and cafes located in Vilnius Old Town are now participating in the initiative – over 60 originally dressed mannequins have been placed at the unused indoor tables, filling the space between dining guests.

Read more: Retail workers hit hardest by quarantine in Lithuania

"Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don't have any way to remove them," explained Bernie Ter Braak, the owner of Cosy restaurant, who co-authored the idea with the fashion designer Julija Janus.

"Therefore, we decided to reach out to our neighbours, fashion boutique stores, and invited them to use our empty tables to showcase their newest collections," he said. "The news spread, and well-known designers joined this project, which keeps gaining interest across the city."

The mannequins will showcase unique fashion pieces from 19 boutiques, featuring local fashion designers and brands.

At each table, visitors will be able to find the information about the exhibited items and where each can be purchased.

This way, restaurants expect to be able to maintain the required indoor social distancing while helping designers gain attention for this season's newest fashion trends.

"The fashion industry is particularly affected by the lockdown," said Janus. "As [the local boutiques] are currently closed due to the quarantine, designers do not have many opportunities to showcase their latest collections, and in general, the consumption is down."

Earlier this month, Vilnius fashion designers, also led by Julia Janus, organised Mask Fashion Week.

Meanwhile, the collaborative initiative between restaurants and fashion designers in Vilnius is planned to last until the end of May.

Read more: ‘Mask fashion week’ hits the streets of Vilnius