An essential figure in the European cinema of the 1970s, Romy Schneider has always expressed her gratitude to Gabrielle Chanel, crediting the designer for helping her leaving behind the role of Sissi, a trilogy of highly successful films from the 1950s, which, however, overwhelmed the actress, who was unable to find her own identity as everyone saw her as the eternal Princess Sissi.
Gabrielle Chanel met the Austrian actress through the director Luchino Visconti, who asked the designer to dress her for his short movie “Il Lavoro”, the third of the four parts of the collective film “Boccaccio 70”, so thanks to the help of the famous french brand, Sissi disappears, allowing the birth of Romy Schneider: a new silhouette, a new language, a new destiny, an elegant, strong and independent woman.
Coco Chanel taught Romy Schneider the sense of elegance and shared with her the Chanel aesthetic and attitude. To emphasize this connection and the credit the actress gave to Chanel’s designer, Romy Schneider often said that three people played a decisive role in her life and work as an actress: Alain Delon, Luchino Visconti and Gabrielle Chanel. Since then, the actress has worn Chanel, both on and off screen.
For the Romy Schneider exhibition, Chanel is lending a mottled tweed suit from the Fall-Winter 1961/62 Haute Couture collection, similar to the one worn by Romy Schneider in Visconti’s film, as well as five photographic prints taken between 1961 and 1965 by Shahrokh Hatami and George Michalke.
An eternal friend of the Maison, Romy Schneider will forever be the inspirational embodiment of the CHANEL allure.
“Chanel taught me everything without ever giving me advice. Chanel is not a designer like the others… Because it’s a coherent, logical, ‘ordered’ whole: like the Doric order or the Corinthian order, there is a ‘Chanel order’, with its reasons, its rules, its rigours. It is an elegance that satisfies the mind even more than the eyes”.