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Designer and photographer Gaëlle Strohmenger (Germany)

“Give me a piece of paper and I’ll show you how to dream” - As I prefer to say.

I am a french, 26 years old designer and photographer based in Bamberg in Germany. Paper has always been a privileged material for me. As an only child, I spent a lot of my time taking care of drawings or doing some little sculptures with paper. After I finished my literary bachelor's degree with 18 years old, I went to the Fine Arts of Mulhouse (F) and applied to textile design specialization. In contrast to the focus of the study I almost never worked with fabric, but most of the time with paper. I was a shy girl compared to all those crazy personalities at this art school. Paper was familiar and it was maybe easier and comforting for me to keep the same material. But I think it was already my way to express myself. I really like the different paths to interpret paper. Fragile and delicate,but also strong and sharp. During my studies I had the opportunity to do a six months ERASMUS program at the Fine Arts school in the beautiful city of Munich which confirmed my interest in fragile and ephemeral materials. At the same time as my studies, I started with photography (2011). It was fascinating to crystallize ephemeral moments such as sun rays on delicate leaf structures, frost or a soap bubble hanging on a twig. I love the precious moments of nature’s beauty in all their vitality and their transience.

In order to learn more techniques and gain knowledge, I am doing an additional apprenticeship as a tailor in Nuremberg since September 2017. I learn to make sewing patterns and clothes. It is very enriching because I can take some of these techniques for my paper outfits. Following the end of my studies and getting my art degree in June 2015, I settled in Bamberg in Germany and became self-employed. Quickly I associated photography with my favorite material: paper. Portrait photography for me is the best way to connect them. That’s how I started to design paper outfits. I try to compose a relation between the nature and the body. Combining something strong and something very fragile to display something strong in its fragility. The most present theme in my work are flowers and leaves, where I like to play around with transparency to veil or unveil focal points. Many people ask me why I don’t make my outfits with fabric. “...that is so brittle!” Yes, exactly, it is. That is what I want to express. I don’t make outfits to walk around. I build my photos as a painting. I like to pass an emotion. I remember one of my paper outfit I wanted to shoot with my model in the water. I spent a lot of time to make this creation and after five minutes in the water the outfit came off. But that is the challenge! When I make personal projects, I always pay attention that the model transmits an emotion. The eyes, the makeup and the poses are fundamental. These change according to the atmosphere. Settings are also very important. Most of the time I shoot outdoors in summer as well as winter. I really like the natural light and the nature surrounding the model. Maybe it is surprising, but the paper keeps the heat well. Finally, photo editing is an equal part of my artistic work. I use Photoshop to accentuate the overall mood. I take care that the photo is already technically correct at the time of the shooting, but often I create real harmony by changing some colours and add some touch of magic. I lead the viewer away into an enchanted world full of poetry and fairy tales, which are illuminated with pastel colours. Each photo is an invitation to escape the moment and dream.

Fb : Gaëlle Strohmenger Diplomdesignerin & Fotografin

Gaëlle Strohmenger

Model: Marjoline, Mua: Eloïse Alter

Model&Mua: Sandrine Jarczyk

Model&Mua: Selina Hils

Model&Mua: Camille Jaecker

Model&Mua: Marjoline

Model&Mua: Julia Bezold

Model: Kim Fassel, Mua: Eloïse Alter

Model&Mua: Camille Jaecker

Model: Julia Bezold

Model: Julia Bezold

Model: Céline, Mua: Eloïse Alter

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