Emily in Paris: fashionista or fashion faux pas?


By Ellen Woodley, Second Year History

The Croft Magazine // Netflix's Emily in Paris (2020) was set to be the next comedy-drama with an enviably fashionable protagonist. Considering that talented Darren Star created the show, also the creator of Sex and The City (1998-2004) , it is safe to say that fans were expecting the next Carrie Bradshaw.

It is safe to say that fans were expecting the next Carrie Bradshaw.

One trope well known to shows such as Sex and the City and Gossip Girl (2007-2012) is that most outfits raise the question of how the characters afford such luxurious clothes. The integration of Chanel bags into a majority of Emily’s outfits was one styling choice that definitely reflected this. While this added glamour and classic Parisian luxury to many looks, it also begged the question for viewers of how a social media manager at a marketing firm could afford such opulent items.

I always enjoy when a character has a few core pieces such as a jacket that they wear over and over throughout the show, becoming part of their on-screen characterisation. The absolute lack of outfit repeating in Emily in Paris produced characters that felt covetable in their outfits but also very unrelatable.

There were some outfits that should not have worked but somehow did; for example, the ensemble in episode 5 that features a green jacket from the Chanel Cruise 2020 collection alongside a green plaid mini skirt and matching bucket hat.

There were also a few occasions in which Emily wore a berry pink colour that I think worked very well; on one occasion it was a berry pink Kenzo coat and in another instance, it was a pink Kangol bucket hat (which sounds like a risk but it worked weirdly well).

Letters from Paris: @XanderInParis

There were, however, so many looks that just felt over the top and didn’t emulate the natural Parisian chic I have a feeling the production team envisaged. For example, the slip dress which features a garish number ‘7’ printed largely on it and paired with a bright red fedora style hat was an outfit that looked like someone had thought about for just a bit too long.

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Then again, maybe Star's intention wasn't to have all watchers gasping for all of Emily's outfits. Maybe he did want to create an image of a stereotypical Francophile American who, while pulling off these looks, does have just a touch of try-hard 'Ringarde'.

Featured image: Epigram/Morgan Collins

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