The first season of Emily in Paris premiered in 2020. During a raging pandemic, this show has been a source of inspiration for fashion stylists and professionals in the marketing industry, or at the very least, it was a good alternative to get distracted about what was happening in the world and simply enjoy a plotline with fashion, and beautiful shoots of Paris.
In fashion, inspiration comes from everywhere. Fashion designers create their entire collections based on a very specific plant, an emotion, a place, a time in history. Today, we will take a look at some of the most memorable moments from Emily in Paris, and see how we can interpret this fashion into our own style and budget. Here are the five fashion lessons to learn from Emily in Paris.
Lesson 1: Mixing prints Gracefully
Mixing prints has been a major trend for a few years now. We’ve seen some great executions and some others that didn’t work very well. When you are wearing more than one print in an outfit, you have to make sure there is a common denominator between the prints. This can be the pattern, the size of the motif, or maybe even the color. Things go wrong when there is no connection between the two prints. Many times both prints ask for attention and try to compete to be the focal point. Make sure that the prints that you choose are not competing against each other.
In one of the most memorable scenes of Emily in Paris, Emily delivers a way to mix prints that is very successful. The bold yellow outfit with a maxi printed dress and black belt is styled perfectly with a yellow printed bag that, even though it has a different shade of yellow than the dress, the black and yellow are prevalent in both pieces, so they make sense together. There is no print that is significantly bigger or a color that is bold enough to destroy the color harmony in this outfit.
It may be difficult to imagine how two items would look together, so the best thing to do, when possible, is to take the time to try everything on, take a picture and take the time to see if you like what you see or if you should try something else. There’s nothing wrong with scrapping the entire idea if something is not working or if you don’t feel entirely confident about your decision.
Mixing prints is a mission that all genders can accomplish, as you see in this graceful outfit, Julien delivers in season one. The shades of blue from the suit and the tie are very similar, and the proportion of the small print is not fighting against the big print on his suit.
Lesson 2: Accessorize it all up.
One of the best ways to make your outfits look different is by changing the accessories. Something happens when you put a pearl necklace on top, or a scarf, or a hat, or gloves, or a combination of some of these accessories. Again, there needs to be a common denominator in these accessories which most of the time is color.
Accessories can make a casual outfit look formal and the other way around. Accessories are the key to wearing multiple outfits with a blazer, and style it to make it appropriate for brunch, a day at work, a job interview, or a date.
Lesson 3: Dress for the occasion and the location
One of the best moments to understand how fashion changes based on location is when you are at an airport. You sit down and wait for your plane while you see people coming from different places and going to different places. There is a fascinating exchange of cultures, ideas, and perceptions of fashion, and we are able to see this high contrast in airports, as there are people from different parts of the world.
In the second season of Emily in Paris, it was fascinating to see how the outfits changed as soon as Emily and her friends arrived at Saint Tropez.
There is an interesting sophistication that is mixed with the beach vibes.
You don’t have to travel many hours in order to see this style of fashion based on location. Many times, there are cities, or even neighborhoods, that have a specific vibe, and it is really intriguing a huge area to explore, the idea of getting inspired by your destination as you get ready to curate your outfits.
Lesson 4: Let your statement pieces shine.
When we were in elementary school, there always seemed to be a kid who wanted attention. They started screaming, interrupting, or doing certain actions that would cause the attention to go toward them. The same thing happens with certain clothes. They are loud, they are bold, and they are a statement. They don’t want to be next to other loud clothes, and they shouldn’t be styled with other loud clothes. In Emily in Paris, there are stories of success and stories of failure following this prompt. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
There’s a printed red hat, and there are red lips. There’s also a lace top with an interesting neck detail and sleeves. But then there seems to be another top on top that is black, and it has a number and flowers that are very different from the flowers of the top below. And then there’s jewelry. And we don’t even get to see the shoes and the bottom.
The fashion styling of the show is designed to be comical, full of stereotypes of a young American woman traveling for the first time to Paris to work. Many of these outfits are designed to be silly and non-sense, which gives us a great opportunity to see things that can work and things that cannot work.
Before Kim Kardashian was seen on SNL wearing full fuchsia outfits, and before Valentino’s memorable full pink collection in March of 2022, we saw a confident Emily Cooper walking down the streets of Paris with a full fuchsia outfit that can totally be reinterpreted in several strong colors like royal blue, greens, reds, and oranges. The socks may go away, but a long boot can take their place instead, and it’s a perfect outfit for semi-formal occasions. The color itself is bold, but the individual pieces are not causing significant distraction that makes this outfit truly overwhelming.
Lesson 5: The Black Dress is Forever
From Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Editor in Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour to Jennifer Lopez and Emily Cooper, the black dress seems to be a timeless alternative for a full glam outfit that you can adapt to your own personality. We see little black dresses that are minimal and others that are rich in texture with lace or sequins. Still, the black dress is a safe choice, one that you can wear and style differently for several occasions.
Emily’s black dress for the Opera scene is one of the fan’s favorites because it is a glamorous look that may remind of Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, or any other public figure well known for being classy and stylish. Emily’s dress is beautifully balanced with silver highlights in her shoes and her bag.
And the list of fashion lessons will keep going as we start to see more scenes delivered with outfits that are memorable, funny, and dramatic. Because we need our outfits to represent who we are, what we are thinking, and what we are feeling, so sometimes it makes sense to have a source of inspiration in TV, of things that we can do and things that we shouldn't do.
“I have been dreaming of moving to Paris forever, you know. I mean French men, they love older women. Look at their president. He’s young. He’s hot. He married his schoolteacher.” – Madeline