Cinematic Homage to Romy Schneider


Editorial ROMY is part of a greater work named BCD – BEAUTIFUL COMMUNICATION DESIGN which I created for my bachelor thesis in 2015. It illustrates different fields of communication design connecting them to fashion photography.

View more information on BCD

The Story behind editorial ROMY

Fashion editorial ROMY exists in two different versions which are for both print and digital media. One version consists of photographs while the other one is made of animated GIFs.

The latter adds up to an innovative storyboard taking the term moving image upon its actual meaning. The GIF version contains landscape formats only, according to the format of movie screens. In every image, a certain element moves constantly while the rest of it is frozen. The photographic version follows the same plot.

Inspired by themes from cinematic history, a fictive scene from the life of Romy Schneider (german actress, 1938 – 1982) is shown, which allegorizes the actress’ inner conflict with her own life and with the roles she played. At the same time, her suffering resembles very much the sorrow of empress Sissi (Elisabeth of Austria, 1837 – 1898) who she played, but after the film series’ great success she soon found the role unpleasant since she didn’t want to embody the sweet princess anymore but play more challenging characters. However, Sissi herself suffered from the Austrian royal lifestyle and the strict role she had to play as a queen and empress.

In the short story, Romy is standing at the window of a hotel room sadly watching the tiresome paparazzi. She is making a phone call and then blow-dries her hair which has been wrapped up in a towel before. An unknown man enters the room holding a bottle of champagne. When she notices him, she seems to be scared. But he pours her a glass of champagne and lights her a cigarette. The last shot shows both of them lightly clad, tired, and seemingly thoughtful lying on a bench in the hotel room. She is lying down on his lap but turned away and still lonely.

Romy’s dresses are elegant and noble, they reflect her fine sense of taste in fashion. Romy loved Chanel.

The wardrobe is adapted to the colours of the room. Altogether gold, black, white, blue, and purple tones dominate the look and create a movie-like atmosphere as well as the warm light does. The colour symbolism is mixing a melancholic and sad mood, created by blue and black elements, with affection towards the protagonist because she is shining with yellowish warmth. The male character stays slightly more distant due to the cooler colours of the clothes, however, through the white shirt he is sensed trustable.

Unfortunately, you can’t expect anything from photography using natural colours, neither in the near future nor for all time.  – Emil du Bois-Reymond

The different takes of ROMY display elements of classic film language. The flowing champagne, for example, symbolises a sexual climax while the lighting of a cigarette stands for fertilisation or for two people catching fire.


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