She is rolling in the grass dressed in sunflower yellow, passionately kissing a man she contrasts with (“Boyfriends and Girlfriends,” 1987). She’s roaming the countryside in a soft blue pullover, having no fun at all (“The Green Ray,” 1986). She’s lounging on the beach in a red bikini and ivory bucket hat, about to enter into a mysterious and awkward friendship with the shirtless Frenchman she’s observing (“A Summer’s Tale”, 1996).
This is summer love, Eric Roemer-style: It’s not easy, but it sure is chic.
Rohmer’s films, which ran from the 1960s to the 2000s, are known for their uninterrupted plots: the characters bounce across France, between the countryside, the seashore, and the city; They analyze their romantic entanglements. They read Balzac. They flatter and piss each other off — and do it all while wearing Mediterranean blue blazers, high-waisted jeans, puffy T-shirts and pops of red.
“There’s just this atmosphere about them where you want to be in them,” Alexandra Tell, creator of Rohmerfits, said of the costumes. She said that the characters are “often on vacation, so you want something breezy that you can go to”. “His clothes are not extravagant, but elegant in that inexpressibly easy way.”
The secret to this aesthetic ease may lie in Roemer’s dedication to naturalism. Like his contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, Rohmer, who died in 2010, started out as a film critic. These critics-turned-authors “were very much against the sense of industrialization created by shooting in studios,” said Ludovic Cortad, a film scholar who teaches French cinema at New York University.
An extension of that nature, Professor Cortad said, was Roemer’s decision not to use costume designers in many of his films, instead asking the actors to “create several costume choices that reflect their own tastes, which was a great strategy to convey a sense of authenticity”.
The aesthetic is a sharp contrast to films like the highly anticipated “Barbie,” which will be released this month. While Barbie plays with plasticine, Roemer did the opposite. “Perhaps Barbie’s world is more a reflection of our reality,” Ms. Teal said, while Rumer’s naturalism now seems more like a haven.
Professor Cortad said that although the appearance was carefully curated by Romer, they never felt forced. In Boyfriends and Girlfriends, for example, the velor shirt and belt, as worn by Blanche, played by Emmanuelle Chollet, match the color of some orange juice in a glass. “You can see the wrinkles in the clothes,” said Ms. Teal, a 32-year-old writer and assistant coordinator who lives in Brooklyn. “It’s very tangible.”
The simplicity of the clothing allows audiences to focus on the characters and their relationships as they grapple with complex questions of morality and love. Although Roemer’s tone can be witty and funny, his films have cleverly tackled “the challenges of personal interactions and the awkwardness behind it” – a dynamic that has only been enhanced with the advent of digital technology, Professor Cortad added.
In other words, Rohmer’s blend of ambition and realism is what keeps his films — and costumes — so fresh, Ms. Teal said: His characters, like Margot in A Summer’s Tale, played by Amanda Langlet, dress as you might, but better styled. . They also have what are called tough situations, but with the handsome Gaspard, played by Melville Poupaud, and amidst the backdrop of a grassy track.
In a scene in “The Green Ray,” Delphine, played by Marie Rivière, complains about going on vacation with her family after a breakup. Dressed in a gorgeous crimson jacket, Delphine says through sobs: “I need a real vacation.” A friend, played by Rosette, convinces her to join a trip to Cherbourg, promising her that they will “have fun and meet people”. Instead, Delphine wanders off against the mute sunshine, gloomy, lonely, and dressed all in blue.