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Inside the closet of ‘Emily in Paris’

By Tanya Lara Published Oct 05, 2020 1:11 pm Updated Oct 05, 2020 2:45 pm

Not since Sex and the City has an ensemble cast dressed so well.  

“Paris is the most exciting city in the world,” Emily Cooper’s new friend, au pair Mindy Chen, tells her.

You can add that it’s also the most exciting in terms of covetable fashion streaming on TV today, judging from the clothes on the new Netflix series, which debuted No. 2 in the Philippines on Friday. 

Created by Darren Star (Younger) and costume designed by Patricia Field (The Devil Wears Parada)—the duo that gave us (and dressed) Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in gorgeous couture for six seasons—Emily in Paris gives a not-so-subtle nod to Sex and the City aesthetics.

Lily Collins, as Emily Cooper, in plaid and beret
The Audrey Hepburn look
Nothing like the Seine to start off a series set in Paris 

As the previous show tipped its hat to New York, so does Emily in Paris to the City of Lights.

Quite literally—as Emily’s first outfit in her Paris office has the Eiffel Tower on it.

Emily (an effervescent Lily Collins) is an American marketing girl who moves to Paris after her boss Madeline Wheeler (Kate Walsh) turns the job down upon finding out she is pregnant.

A fish out of water, Emily navigates—sometimes naively—French snobbery, language, culture, practices (including between the sheets), and fashion.

“You move to Paris without speaking French, that’s arrogant,” she is told many times in different ways. (“The Rosetta Stone lessons on the plane haven’t kicked in yet.”)

“That’s not black, that’s off black”
Emily goes to a party
Covetable sartorial pieces

Even her choice of clothes in early episodes is Midwestern before she evolves into a more Parisian style.

For a party where she is supposed to disappear, she wears black. Her French boss Sylvie Grateau (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) gives her a head-to-toe and says, “That’s not black. That’s off-black.”

As ‘Sex and the City’ tipped its hat to New York, so does ‘Emily in Paris’ to the City of Lights.

Costume designer Patricia Field said in an interview with Paper, “On Sex and the City, Carrie went to Paris. And I've always had this—I don't know, I guess, fantasy about Paris. Like, an American in Paris, because I'm from the time of Audrey Hepburn, Leslie Caron, and I just love the idea of Paris chic.”

Emily wears a David Dalrymple tulle skirt in a glam party as she “starts this transition into part-French, part-American.”

This outfit is paired with Christian Louboutin sandals. (Fall/winter collection here.).

Emily wears a colorful sweater and wellies
...and then goes glam

Not since SATC  has an ensemble cast dressed so well or whose fashion influenced mainstream culture—except maybe Gossip Girl, which is referenced by Emily several times. In an earlier press release, Field said, “Emily's black tulle skirt in Episode 102 is an homage to Carrie's tulle skirt in the series finale of Sex and the City.

While SATC made household names out of labels such as Jimmy Choo, Emily in Paris mixes couture with high street. In fact, as soon as the series  premiered there were already  where-to-buy stories for the outfits she wears—or at least very similar ones.

In a Paris cafe with Mindy, the au pair
...and a park bench. This yellow ensemble is one of the most seached on the internet

One of Emily's most eye-catching ensembles is a black dress with bateau neckline, an homage to Audrey Hepburn. “You look at her and you see Audrey Hepburn. It's insane. So I was a little not afraid, but maybe reticent, should I do this? Is this going to be corny? But I think it worked OK,” Field said.

The dress is by American designer Christian Siriano paired with French glovemaker Agnelle’s feathered gloves.

Emily and her boss Sylvie

You can be sure the series will feature more exciting fashion finds and couture pieces. As Field said, “If Sarah Jessica is the queen, Lily is the princess.”

Photos courtesy of Netflix