Both Emily in Paris and Sex and the City Rely on This Fun Fashion Trick
InStyle spoke to costume designer Patricia Field about the new Netflix show's dreamy outfits.
If you've been spending your days doom-scrolling and spiraling about 2020, it's possible you're in need of a mental break and something fun to watch. Enter, Emily in Paris, a new rom-com-ish series that hit Netflix on Oct. 2 and stars the newly-engaged Lily Collins.
Aside from silly scenarios (ex: water shutting off mid-shower and having to rinse in a bidet), a healthy dose of drama (that seems to work out in the end), and a dreamy backdrop of, well, Paris, the costumes are a real treat for the eyes — especially since they're designed by the iconic Patricia Field.
As a refresher, Field was also the mastermind behind your favorite looks from Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. So, if your wardrobe is feeling a bit stale, the show is bound to provide plenty of fashion inspiration.
"My thing is just to make my actors happy, and for them to be interesting and original instead of trendy," Field tells InStyle, explaining her approach for the 10-episode season. "I have a tendency of making up these outfits that are not necessarily something you've seen before, but still hold some interest. Because that's what lasts in a wardrobe, it really does."
That unique fashion sense definitely comes across on screen. Whether it's a playful hat or scarf, bright colors, or a mix of prints, everything Emily wears is unexpected and slightly strange — yet, somehow, still works.
"With camouflage, I think 'OK, I'm going to take a top that doesn't go with a camouflage bottom,'" Field tells us, referencing a skirt Emily wears in an early episode. "Maybe it's plaid, you know what I mean? Give it dimension, not just some look of now."
In fact, those wondering how to create memorable, Emily- or Carrie-Bradshaw-like outfits should give the costume designer's best tip a try: experiment.
"Look in your closet and pull out different pieces, and wear them in a way you've never worn them before," she says, adding that she'll keep things oversized or look for items that don't necessarily 'go' together. "You'd be surprised. It's just about opening up your mind to new things and closing your mind off to old habits, particularly what's trendy. The point is to look uniquely yourself. But, you must know who you are. You have to have the confidence in your taste and how you feel. Otherwise, go to a chain store."
Another trick that Field loves is adding a jacket to any look, something we see Emily do quite often.
"What I love about jackets is that they have a shape, definition. If your shoulders are a little long and you've got a jacket with a little pad, it's got a look. So, I use jackets a lot. And, I like to use belts a lot because they define the waist."
A few episodes in, you may be wondering how Emily managed to fit so many cute purses into her luggage (including a hand-painted yellow option from Field's own ARTFASHION gallery). The jury's still out on that one, but Field does have some advice for those in the market for a new bag.
"There's nothing wrong with whoever — Balmain, Balenciaga," she says. "But if something is different and catches the eye, it makes an impression. It also has to look good and work with the outfit. But if I've never seen it before, I would prefer to see it than not."
Clearly, Field loves the element of surprise, and being different instead of blending in, but at the same time, she also isn't afraid of the occasional reference. So, if Emily's look from the ballet feels eerily familiar, that's because it was meant to.
"With Lily, you see Audrey Hepburn — I'm telling you, she's like a doppelgänger," says Field. "So, for that scene, I did an homage to Audrey Hepburn."
Emily in Paris can be binge-watched on Netflix now.