Emily in Paris: A Fashionable Fantasy or a Realistic Representation?

The hit show Emily in Paris, created by Darren Star of Sex and the City fame, has captivated audiences with its depiction of a young American woman navigating the cutthroat world of luxury fashion in the City of Light. But one aspect of the show that has sparked debate among viewers is the wardrobe of its lead character, Emily, played by Lily Collins. Are her clothes over the top, unrealistic, and a reflection of the nouveau riche aesthetic, or are they a playful nod to the fantasy of the fashion world?


  • One of the main criticisms of Emily’s wardrobe is that it is reminiscent of the clothing worn by the women on the Real Housewives franchises.
  • Critics argue that it is not realistic for an assistant from a humble background to be wearing such extravagant designer clothes.
  • Some have also compared her style to that of the character Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, pointing out that both characters have over-the-top outfits that they could never afford in real life.
Purple Peacock Outfit
Toucan Outfit

Supporters View:

  • Supporters of the show argue that the extravagant clothing is part of the show’s campy aesthetic, which is meant to be a commentary on the world of luxury fashion and the excesses of the nouveau riche.
  • They point out that the emphasis on fashion is a recurring theme in Star’s work and that the show is meant to be a playful fantasy, not a realistic representation of the fashion industry.
Silly Emily in Paris Outfits: This piece requires a lot of space, which is often not easy to find in paris. Do you have to occupy two chairs at the same time for something like this?
Silly Emily in Paris Outfits: Sorry Emily, but this weird combination is really bad tasteNETFLIX/AP

The Creative Intent

  • It is worth noting that the show’s creators have put a lot of thought into creating a specific aesthetic that is meant to be both campy and commentary on the world of luxury fashion.
  • They have also made a point to showcase the more subdued and elegant styles of the other characters like Camille and Sylvie, which serves to contrast with Emily’s over-the-top wardrobe.
Mindy Outfit Inspo.
Camille Razat Outfit Inspo.
Emily Cooper Outfit Inspo.

Emily vs Camille vs Sylvie Fashion

When it comes to the fashion of the three main female characters on the show, Emily, Camille, and Sylvie, it’s clear that they all represent different sides of the fashion spectrum.

Emily’s wardrobe is the most extravagant and over-the-top, reflecting her status as the new girl in town trying to make a name for herself in the fashion world. Camille, on the other hand, represents the epitome of French chic, with her elegant and sophisticated wardrobe that exudes confidence and refinement. Sylvie, as the most senior member of the marketing team, has a wardrobe that falls somewhere in between, with a mix of classic French pieces and more modern, trendy items. These three characters’ fashion choices serve to highlight the different perspectives and experiences of the fashion industry, and how it varies from person to person.

Emily in Paris vs. Sex and the City’s Fashion

When it comes to comparing Emily’s style to that of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, there are certainly similarities. Both characters are fashion icons with over-the-top outfits that they could never afford in real life. Additionally, both shows document their characters’ lives, with the city and culture serving as its own character, and both have a love interest that things continually go wrong with.

Left: Lily Collins Emily in Paris – Right: Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City (Rex Features/Netflix). Source: Independent

The comparison between the series makes sense when you consider that the same producer is responsible for both “Emily in Paris” and “Sex and the City”, namely Darren Star (61). Both series are like fashion shows and celebrate the cities in which they are filmed, Paris and New York.

However, there are also key differences between the two shows’ fashion. Carrie Bradshaw was introduced to viewers as a fabulous metropolitan woman with a fashion-forward lifestyle, whereas Emily was introduced as a witty and hardworking pharmaceutical marketing manager who was basic and had 0 understanding of the world of French luxury. This difference in character background can explain why Emily’s wardrobe is more extravagant and over the top than Carrie’s.

Final Thoughts

Emily in Paris Season 3 Outfits | Everything She Wore

In the end, whether or not Emily’s clothes are over the top is a matter of personal opinion. Some viewers may find them to be an enjoyable and escapist fantasy, while others may find them to be unrealistic and a reflection of the nouveau riche aesthetic. But one thing is for sure, the fashion on the show has definitely sparked conversations and debates among viewers, and that’s always a sign of a well-done show.

MOVIE:Emily in Paris