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Emily in Paris Fashion Week?

Rohan Bhatia

“I like Paris, but i am not really sure Paris likes me."

Darren Star’s Emily in Paris, starring Lilly Collins, is a Netflix original romcom series revolving around the story of Emily and her life in Paris. Emily’s fashionable struggles begin, when she moves from Chicago to Paris to work at Savoir, a luxury brand marketing firm, for a social media strategy job. But Emily’s outfits steal the spotlight over her profession. Unknown to French, and unwilling to learn, Emily is a skinny-white girl with a trendy yet loud fashion sense, who expects appreciation and respect from Parisians.

The series focuses on the new and bold style of fashion, trending on many social media platforms today. With bright colors and minimal make up, Emily has a chic yet quite American approach to fashion. She is seen in well-coordinated clothes, not only with colors, but, we also see her matching different patterns of tops with matching or well-contrasting bottoms. For instance, Emily can be seen in a colorful ensemble of solids, but she can also layer patterns as we can observe in the following episodes. Her checkered and houndstooth pattern blazers became very popular, very quickly after the show. But, like most things today, fashion is also a product of culture. The show, Emily in Paris compares the culture and mindset of people in America with that of Paris. The first evident comparison is when Emily is working on a perfume commercial and she realizes what people in France find “Sexy” may be considered “Sexist” by the people of America. Emily is not quite adored for her fashion sense by her boss either. She appears to be loud and tacky to her Parisian boss. The show also explores different work cultures in the US and France. It comes as a shock to Emily how lives of Parisians do not revolve around their careers. They don’t live to work unlike the career driven Americans. Americans are extremely passionate for their jobs according to this show, that they make the protagonist move to Paris for a promotion. There are several cultural cliches in the storyline, including French as cold-hearted people who would rather have multiple lovers than a happy marriage to ‘enjoy life’.

Cultural cliches are not the only type of cliches in Emily in Paris. The show offers the audience an array of typical romcom moments fixated in the narrative. From the ethically incorrect love triangle, to the failed long distance of the protagonist so she could be part of the unethical love triangle, and many love affairs with handsome men, while “struggling” at her well-paid job.

Although, the only avant-garde aspect of Emily in Paris is the fashion, it still manages to entertain and strike a travel nostalgia in times of a global pandemic. The show was released at the perfect time, in the midst of a pandemic where people crave to travel the world, Emily in Paris gives a virtual tour to the city of love, with OOTDs for your IG feed.

Edited by Paridhi Mittal & Palak Malhotra