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Netflix EMILY IN PARIS: Q&A Darren Star, Lily Collins, Costumer Patricia Field; Overview; Fun Fact

Maj Canton - October 2, 2020





On Friday, October 2, 2020 Netflix premiered all ten episodes of Darren Star’s new fun and fashionable series, EMILY IN PARIS. Emily is an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, who unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company — and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily’s new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues (who hate her), making friends, and navigating new romances. It’s an entertaining romp that will bring a joie de vivre to your binding watching experience. If you are fan of SEX AND THE CITY and YOUNGER (both created by Darren Star), this is a must watch.





  An ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company — and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily’s new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.

Emily’s chic new boss at Savoir who possesses a born-and-bred, Parisian je ne sais quoi. Sylvie projects such condescendence and oftentimes superiority, she intimidates and intrigues everyone around her.

  A twenty-something au pair that Emily meets and becomes friends with soon after arriving in Paris. Mindy is a fellow expat who has fallen in love with the city, in stark contrast to Emily’s adjustment to Parisian life.

LUCAS BRAVO as Gabriel
  Emily’s sexy downstairs neighbor in Paris. When they meet for the rst time, it is evident they share a mutual attraction. The sensitive and charming Gabriel can’t help but be intrigued by the new American woman living upstairs.


Emily’s more sympathetic Parisian coworker who does his best to make Emily feel at home.


Emily meets Camille in the neighborhood and is the cool French woman Emily dreams of emulating: stylish, outgoing and, most importantly, down-to-earth. She alleviates Emily’s fear of Paris being a big, sprawling city, likening it to more to a small town, which she soon finds out to be true.

  Emily’s quick-witted, colorful and snarky Parisian co-worker, who quickly becomes a lifeline for her as she navigates this brave new world.

KATE WALSH as Madeline
  Madeline’s boss and mentor in Chicago who unexpectedly provides Emily a life changing opportunity.

  The distinguished French owner of the luxury marketing rm Savoir. His sale of the company to an American partner paves the way for Emily’s arrival.


The seductive and very attractive married owner of a French fragrance house and long time client of Savoir. He loves having Emily on his team - maybe too much.


Darren Star

Question: Darren, how did you first come up with the idea for EMILY IN PARIS?

Darren Star: I’ve wanted to do a show about an expatriate living in Paris for quite some time. When I was 19 I did the whole backpack tour of Europe for the summer, landed in Paris, and fell in love with the city. And I thought it would be great to share that feeling with an audience and create a show that would explore the overall experience of what it's like to be an American abroad. Traveling and immersing yourself in a foreign culture renews you in a sense, and it opens your eyes to the world you. That exposure helps you perceive things in a really new and fresh way; you have to leave a lot of your preconceived notions behind. I think that's something that Emily does in the series, and certainly something that I certainly did when I was making the show.

Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in Episode 101.

Question: Lily, what drew you to the role of Emily?

Lily Collins: Emily resonated with me because when I was younger, I was going into boardrooms of executives much older than myself to pitch talk show ideas. I was always thinking of concepts that were larger than life and had no fear in pursuing my dreams. But I was told “no” so many times.

I also lost out on tons of auditions early on in my career. If I had just accepted those “no’s,” I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. I had to find ways to pursue my passions and educate myself by getting other kinds of experience. Emily’s like that too. She sees “no” as a comma, not a period.

Lily Collins (continued): As well as relating to Emily’s resilience and determination, I’m also such a huge Darren Star fan, alongside so many women who are obsessed with the shows he has created. When I was in high school, we devoured all of SEX AND THE CITY. Darren has a sharp eye for creating fantasy worlds in which audiences love to disappear into while also tackling relatable and humorous issues. It’s also his ability to turn fashion as a concept into a central character in all of his series that is just so incredible to watch. When I wrote my book a few years ago, my dream was to be like Carrie Bradshaw and look out of a NYC apartment window and write about what I was inspired by and experienced. So cut to years later, I find myself being part of Darren’s universe and collaborating with both him and Patricia Field, and constantly having the feeling of “Is this real? This is amazing.

Lily Collins (left) as Emily Cooper and Ashley Parker (right) as Mindy Chen in Episode 106.

Question: Darren, what made you think Lily was the right person for the role of Emily?

Darren Star: Lily had so much passion for the role. She'd done so much amazing work as a dramatic actress, but when I met her in person and really spent time with her, it became clear that she was so ready to take on a romantic comedy. This role really gave her an opportunity to let her personality shine through. She's just the most genuinely wonderful human being, and has such innate likability and charm. She’s the hardest worker, and was so committed to her work on the show.

Question: Darren, how did you assemble the amazing supporting cast?

Darren Star: For the character Mindy, played by Ashley Park, I wanted Emily’s best friend in Paris to be somebody who’s also from a different country, and was experiencing Paris in a different way than Emily — Paris attracts people from many different countries. I had seen Ashley in "Mean Girls" on Broadway twice and she had blown me away. And since she had this incredible voice, casting her changed how we saw Mindy a bit, because we knew we wanted her to sing. Philippine Leroy Beaulieu, who’s a very well-known and well-respected French actress, created a very complex, intimidating, slightly mysterious French woman in Sylvie. For Gabriel, we wanted a romantic lead who would make everyone swoon — charming, gorgeous, a tall order to fill. I had seen Lucas’ tape and thought he was great, and in person he’s just as charming and winsome. He blew us away. And when he read with Lily, we knew he was our Gabriel.

Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in Episode 101.

Question: How did you work to balance making Emily a relatable fish out of water without turning her into a stereotypical American tourist?

Darren Star: Emily has a lot of really great qualities that many people associate with Americans — she’s confident, strong, and ambitious. But she is a fish out of water in Paris because, culturally, Paris is very different. She has to learn this new culture and integrate into a new way of living. But her innate sense of self stays the same — encountering and immersing yourself in different cultures always helps you grow. I didn't want to have all the scripts written before we went to Paris so we could all have that experience together, and the observations that the cast and writers were all able to bring to the show just by being there was really important.

Lily Collins: The writers were writing the show while we were all living in Paris, so collectively we were all having fish-out-of-water experiences. We all had real-life anecdotes about living in Paris as Americans that made it into the show, and there are layers to those experiences — more obvious ones like language barriers — as well as more subtle cultural differences. But it takes living and breathing a different country to see all the nuances, and we all did that alongside Emily this season.

Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in Episode 106.

Question: What was it like to get to work with Costume Designer Patricia Field?

Darren Star: Patricia and I met when we worked together on SEX AND THE CITY, and I knew she would knock this out of the park. And then she found Marylin Fitoussi, who’s a French costume designer and just a genius. With Patricia’s work, there’s a tiny bit of magical realism. She elevates everything in such a fun way, it’s all such fantastic eye candy.

Lily Collins: Working with Patricia was a dream. I was in London last year for a work trip, and I was told Patricia wanted to meet me and have an initial conversation because she wanted to know the direction in which to take Emily. She had ideas, but she really wanted my input. I flew to New York for the night just to meet with her, and it was love at first sight. She’s just this ball of energy. She told me, “If you don’t like something tell me, because we’ll never look at it again.” I felt super comfortable with her right away. She did a lot of shopping in Paris and would send me pictures and I would give feedback. She and Marylin were incredible collaborators. They found amazing vintage pieces while scouring the city and all the markets, as well as having designers make pieces that felt “Emily” inspired. I even got to wear a couple pieces from Patricia’s own closet. They weren’t afraid to mix and match colors, patterns, shapes and textures which I really appreciated. We need that inspiration and electricity now more than ever.


Patricia Field

Question: Patricia, you and Darren have worked together in the past, most famously on SEX AND THE CITY. How did you get involved in EMILY IN PARIS?

Patricia Field: Darren and I first met working on SEX AND THE CITY. I was actually introduced to him by Sarah Jessica Parker; they had made the pilot and they were not pleased with the wardrobe. Sarah Jessica told Darren to meet me, and it's been a love affair ever since. Darren is my hero in the world of film and TV. I never turn down Darren — ever. For EMILY IN PARIS, he called me up and said, "Do you want to go to Paris?” I said, "Absolutely."

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (left) as Sylvie and Lily Collins (right) as Emily Cooper in Episode 110.

Question: New York City was a huge influence on the costuming for SEX AND THE CITY. How did the city of Paris influence the costuming for EMILY IN PARIS?

Patricia Field: I love New York. I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. But Paris is Paris. It’s a dream for any young gal to find herself in Paris — first Carrie Bradshaw, now Emily Cooper. It was a dream for me, too, because I grew up with a strong Paris appreciation. Paris is a fashion dream, and I think that women who love fashion can feel that in the city. I took a lot of inspiration from the 1951 movie AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. The fashion, the women, the love of the city, the positivity of the time period.

Question: Can you talk about how you source your pieces — were they custom designed, bought, mostly vintage, mostly be designers, etc?

Marylin Fitoussi: From my previous experience, I became an Internet serial shopper. I use a lot of farfetched, Luisa via Roma and luxury second hand shops. I love accessories even more than clothes because they are able to elevate a look. I always tried to shop at little boutiques in Paris from young designers or fashion collectors, because I'm sure that I can find pieces that make the difference.

Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in Episode 102.

Question: Like Carrie Bradshaw, Emily Cooper is incredibly fashionable. She doesn’t shy away from hats, bold patterns, or high heels. Do you see any similarities between Carrie and Emily’s style?

Patricia Field: I do see similarities, because they’re both characters that are into fashion, and the actors who play them are into fashion as well. 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. I think that my signature in costume design is my optimism — the colors, the daring outfits, and the idea that women everywhere can go into their closet and reimagine, remix what’s hanging there in ways they’ve never thought of before. You don’t need to have designer clothes to mix things up — though we did go a little heavy on the designer element on this show, because she’s in Paris, after all.

Question: Can you talk about your creative collaboration with Lily Collins, who stars as Emily and is also a producer on the show?

Patricia Field: Lily is a total professional, which I really respected. I understood her energy very quickly and could respond to it. She liked colors, she liked hats, and she was very into shoes. I love her Vivienne Westwood white boots, with the wavy scallop top. I love a white boot; I was always reaching for a white boot when Darren and I worked together on YOUNGER. Lily’s just a dead ringer for Audrey Hepburn. She also has that same positive, innocent attitude. The outfit Emily wears to the opera in Episode 106 is channeling Audrey in FUNNY FACE. It all came together so naturally, and when I saw Lily in that costume I was like, “Audrey Hepburn is here."

Lily Collins (left) as Emily Cooper and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (right) as Sylvie in Episode 107.

Question: What about the costuming for other key characters in the series — especially Philippine Leroy Beaulieu (Sylvie Grateau), Ashley Park (Mindy), and Lucas Bravo (Gabriel)?

Patricia Field: Sylvie represented the older generation. For me, she was the epitome of French chic… her colors, her silhouettes. She’s the visual counterpoint to Emily. I put her in a few Rick Owen pieces, and the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. My favorite outfit that I did for Mindy is in Episode 104, when she and Emily go out for a night on the town before they deactivate her Instagram account; we deconstructed this suit and made a sexy, custom outfit for her. She was so excited about the idea she kept reminding me we had to do that look. For Gabriel, we kept everything effortless and sexy, to mirror his character. He wore his own Doc Martin shoes a lot, so that they looked authentic and worn-in.


1. The series was filmed entirely in Paris, France and the nearby Loire Valley, where the scenes at Camille’s family estate were filmed.

2. All of the famous Paris landmarks you see in the series were shot on-site.

3. Patricia Field’s costume design for EMILY IN PARIS was heavily influenced by the 1951 movie AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.

4. Lily grew up studying French but is no longer fluent. However, once she started practicing for the show, she began dreaming in it as she once did.

5. Field thinks that Lily Collins is a dead ringer for Audrey Hepburn, and shares the same “positive, innocent attitude.” The outfit Emily (Collins) wears to the opera in Episode 106 is an homage to Hepburn in FUNNY FACE.

6. The black tulle skirt that Emily wears
 in Episode 102 is an homage to Carrie Bradshaw’s tulle skirt in the series finale of SEX AND THE CITY, which is also set in Paris.

7. Emily’s earrings that say “Emily” in cursive are a sly nod to Bradshaw’s -- famous “Carrie” necklace in SEX AND THE CITY.

8. Collins believes that Emily probably grew up watching SEX AND THE CITY, and saw a lot of herself in Carrie Bradshaw 
and was inspired by her wardrobe.

9. The Pierre Cardeau dress that Emily has to unexpectedly model in Episode 109 is an Haute Couture Dress design by Stephane Rolland Haute Couture.

10. Stephane Rolland sent a clean version of the dress and shoes to Collins after filming for her to keep.


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by Netflix, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.

"Emily in Paris": Emily brings her can-do American attitude and fresh ideas to her new office in Paris, but her inability to speak French turns out to be a major faux pas.

"Masculin Féminin": Emily navigates the intricacies of French amour when her enthusiasm at a work soirée impresses a flirtatious — and married — client.

"Sexy or Sexist": Emily voices her concerns over a risqué new ad campaign while juggling plumbing problems, language lessons and disagreeable co-workers.

"A Kiss Is Just A Kiss": A sweet new acquaintance helps Emily sniff out a potentially huge new client, but a messy workplace liaison endangers the deal.

"Faux Amis": Emily discovers that her growing social media following opens doors in Paris, and a friendly night out on the town leads to a tête-à-tête with Gabriel.

"Ringarde": When a meeting with an iconic couture house unravels over a basic mistake, Emily finds comfort in the company of a seemingly charming professor.

"French Ending": After agreeing to watch over an American actress at a chic red-carpet event, Emily finds her night — and her famous charge — spinning out of control.

"Family Affair": Emily's weekend trip to a friend's château fizzles like day-old champagne. Back in Paris, Mindy's reluctant meet-up with old friends ends on a high note.

"An American Auction in Paris": A charity auction, a donated gown and an avant-garde design duo add up to trouble for Emily as she catches the eye of Pierre Cadault's heir apparent.

"Cancel Couture": With her job on the line over a Fashion Week debacle, Emily scrambles to devise a new plan while preparing to say adieu to a good friend.