For anyone who has ever spent extensive time in Paris, however, the Merry Christmas I Am A Disney Princess Unless Hogwarts Needs Me Harry Potter Shirt and I will buy this styling on the new Netflix series Emily in Paris is bound to be the most cringe-worthy trigger of them all. In the three years that I lived in France, I never once witnessed sartorial amalgamations like Emily’s on the streets of Paris, let alone French offices (Paris Fashion Week being the sole exception). In fact, my own prework routine often included the tried-and-trusted (and Coco Chanel–coined) adage “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off,” if for no other reason than to ward off commentary from my colleagues. Emily never takes anything off. Instead, she layers on accessories by the truckload, sending our eyes darting around the screen, absorbing fragments of her looks (The beret! The gloves! The white go-go booties!) without ever getting a sense of the full picture. As I gobble down the series with the greed I normally reserve for Haribo candy, the only thing running through my mind is this: I wish I could hear some French commentary on these looks. And so I reach out to a few Parisiennes to get their take.
“Hum…allergic? Epidemic?” quips Stéphanie Delpon, the Merry Christmas I Am A Disney Princess Unless Hogwarts Needs Me Harry Potter Shirt and I will buy this cofounder of Parisian creative agency Pictoresq, before cutting back on the sarcasm in favor of more objective analysis. “To put it simply, Emily is not my style. It’s not the items she wears per se that I don’t like. It’s the accumulation—the pink foulard, the pink and violet hats, the curled hair, the superimposing of patterns and layers of flashy colors.” She adds that she would happily adopt some of the individual pieces that constitute Emily’s wardrobe, such as her collection of brightly colored Chanel bags (financed by the same clandestine trust fund of every other Darren Star–produced protagonist, presumably). However, like most Parisiennes, she would wear them as the key piece of an otherwise pared-down outfit, rather than as part of a kaleidoscopic jumbo puzzle. “The French style is all about creating space to breathe, carving out empty zones where beauty and character can emanate naturally.”