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Was “Emily in Paris” Actually Ringarde?

By Amy Hernandez

The fashion of "Emily in Paris" was a topic of hot debate among viewers, with many claiming Emily's style is awful. From "cringe-worthy" and "tacky" to "over-the-top" and "manic," some writers did not have very kind comments for the fashion sense of the show's protagonist. Even in the show, Emily is called "ringarde" by fictional fashion designer Pierre Cadeau. However, all this hate and shade has some of us thinking: is Emily's style really that basic and appalling?

My simple answer is no. Would I necessarily wear all the outfits Emily wears? No, but fashion is personal, and it's meant to be fun! Personally, I go for less colorful hues and much less accessorizing and layering, but none of the fashion decisions Emily made stopped her from slaying. If I'm honest, Camille's style was more my preference because of her cool, edgy fashion sense, but to slam Emily's passion and excitement for fashion would be mean. Plus, there were so many items in Emily's wardrobe that I would love to have, so let's take a deeper dive into the show's fashion.

Emily's American-Paris Style

America has been in love with Paris for the longest time, so it comes as no surprise that a young American in Paris would go all out with her outfits and be excited to embrace French fashion. I'll admit that in doing so, Emily might have overdone it with some of her fashion choices, but she was just having fun!

I have to talk about Emily's first work outfit in Paris. I know a lot of people didn't like the button-up blouse with the print of the Parisian skyline because it is seen as doing too much. I suppose it would be like showing up to your first day of work at a New York office with a blouse that says, "I love New York." However, I did not find this outfit cringey at all when I first saw it. On the complete opposite, I thought the outfit was cute and original. Maybe it's because I didn't even realize her blouse's print was of the Parisian skyline, and I simply thought the blouse had a cool abstract print. The blouse's colors caught my attention because they're on the brighter side, but they all clash well together. I'm not one for colorful clothing, but this blouse is a piece I would wear, especially with the green snake print mini skirt Emily styles it with.

Another outfit I absolutely loved was Emily's fuschia dress and dark pink quilted velour jacket in episode four, "A Kiss is Just a Kiss." The jacket is what really steals the show because it is a gorgeous mix of edgy and elegant. While there was a lot of pink in this outfit, including Emily's cute Chanel bag, it all worked well to create a stunning, cohesive look.

One item I wish I had right away was the Topshot Brandy bucket bag that Emily sports in the episode "Family Affair." I've literally wanted a bucket bag since I saw a woman with a super chi black bucket bag on the train while I was on my way to school. The various bucket bags Emily wears throughout the season reminded me that I must continue my search for the perfect bucket bag.

Probably the outfit that wowed our hearts was the Audrey Hepburn inspired look in episode 6, "Ringarde." Emily looked like a princess with this look, and I just know we all wished we could have been her in that moment. Emily's black off-the-shoulder dress was so elegant and dreamy that I'm sure we all wished we had that dress in our closets for a night out at the opera.

One other outfit I think we all can agree on is the yellow and black hemlock print camisole matched with the hemlock printed silk maxi skirt. Emily's decision to match these two pieces with the black waist belt was also perfect, proving our girl does have a good fashion sense. This sunny fit was one of the show's highlights, and very few people had something bad to say about it.

Camille's Effortless French Look

Camille wows us from the moment she pops up on the screen with her oversized navy blazer matched with her high-rise cuffed jeans and red leather ankle boots. I mean, UGH. I wanted to snatch so many of Camille's pieces because they're all so chic, muted, and edgy. Camille's effortless French look is so realistic that I'm sure many of us feel like we can pull off her outfits instead of Emily's that require a more specific look and personality.

I won't go on about Camille's style because, let's face it, we all thought she was amazing, and her clothes were spectacular. I needed to defend Emily more because her character has received a lot of criticism for her sometimes eccentric fashion sense. I couldn't help but feel like a lot of critics were being 2.0 versions of Pierre Cadeau when he looks at Emily's Eiffel tower bag charm and gives her a look of sheer disgust while screaming "Ringarde!" Like past movies and shows, "Emily in Paris" does not paint fashion designers as friendly, humble people, making us wonder if all people who work in the fashion industry are mean and scary.

I loved Emily's explanation to Pierre when she tells him how much she reveres fashion designers like him and that people like him have influenced her fashion choices. However, she admits that she could never be at their level because she doesn't have the money and isn't a fashion savant. I'll admit that the money part is questionable since she has like a million Chanel bags, but maybe she means that growing up, she wasn't part of high society and will, therefore, always feel out of place. I liked that Emily educates Pierre about his fans, which are not all people who can afford his clothes but appreciate him even more than people who can because they live hoping one day they will. Even if you think Emily's style is questionable sometimes, we can't take away the effort and passion she has when picking out her clothes and accessories. Fashion is supposed to be fun and expressive; things we all can see in Emily's outfits.

Amy Hernandez is an editorial intern dedicated to researching and writing about all things skincare, film, and fashion.

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