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Here’s why Emily dresses *like that* in 'Emily in Paris'

There's a reason why she wears bold colors and prints.
Emily in Paris
The show's costumes have a certain je ne sais quoi.Marie Etchegoyen / Netflix

From juicy love triangles and office intrigue to scenic views and hot eye candy, there are beaucoup reasons why Netflix viewers are hooked on "Emily in Paris."

Bien sûr, the show's stunning fashion moments are another reason why fans keep coming back for more and they're in for a real sartorial treat as Season Three hits the streaming service this week.

To celebrate the show's return, caught up with "Emily in Paris" costume designer Marylin Fitoussi to break down this season's hottest fashion moments and take a look back at Emily's style evolution.

Emily in Paris
Fitoussi is especially proud of Season 3. / Netflix

On her style inspiration for Season 3

Emily (Lily Collins) cuts her own bangs in the Season Three premiere, and it was a case of life imitating art since Collins had recently made her own strand switch-up in real life. From there on out, Fitoussi was feeling particularly inspired about the show's creative direction.

“When Lily cut her bangs, for me that was a trigger because it reminded me immediately of the pop icons of the '60s in France,” she explains. “So I said, ‘OK, the ‘60s can be a very nice starting point on Lily."

Emily in Paris.
This beautiful coat was one of Fitoussi's favorite style moments of Season 3.Stéphanie Branchu / Netflix

On her favorite outfit from Season 3

During the Season Three premiere, Emily has a nightmare that she falls off the Eiffel Tower while wearing a stunning pink coat. After reading the script, Fitoussi knew she wanted something flowy that would look beautiful while the character made her descent from the top of the tower.

“I wanted her to fall like a bird of paradise,” the costume designer explains.

Alas, Fitoussi couldn’t find the perfect piece of outerwear so she decided to design it herself. She had the feathered frock dyed the same colors as the dress Emily was wearing underneath — pink and red.

“For me, it was a way to say goodbye to the color pink on Emily with the fall. It was like, ‘Ok, bye bye birdie’ and ‘Bye bye pink color,’” she said.

Emily in Paris
Lily Collins as Emily and Ashley Park as Mindy.Stéphanie Branchu / Netflix

On Emily's style evolution

Ever since moving to Paris for work, Emily has turned the city’s streets into her very own runway. We’ve seen subtle changes in her style since Season One and now, the marketing professional has really come into her own in Season Three.

“She’s evolving because she’s also growing up in her job and in her personal life,” she said.

Looking ahead, we can expect Emily's sense of style to continue to evolve, but one word Fitoussi will never use to describe her is "basic."

"We’re not watching this show to see a hoodie, a pair of jeans and sneakers," the costume designer explained.

Emily in Paris
Emily's closet is full of some incredible pieces. / Netflix

On the million dollar question: How does Emily afford her killer wardrobe?

While watching the show, it's hard not to wonder how Emily can pay for her fabulous wardrobe. And while Fitoussi certainly understands people's curiosity, she would prefer it if everyone would just sit back and enjoy the fashion show.

Luckily, most fans do enjoy the escapism. One even messaged Fitoussi and compared "Emily in Paris" to "Sex and the City," saying that she prefers the approach that "Emily in Paris" takes with fashion.

"In ‘Sex and the City,’ many times you heard Sarah Jessica Parker say, 'Oh, I’m broke, I don’t have money.' And she said at the end it was a little bit annoying because we couldn’t enjoy the fashion as it is," the costume designer explained.

"She said, 'What I really liked with ('Emily in Paris') was that money doesn’t exist in a way and we assume that completely, even if we know that we are living in very complicated times," she continued.

Emily in Paris
Emily's French coworkers, Luc (Bruno Gouery) and Julien (Samuel Arnold) are also quite stylish. Netflix

On the impact that ‘Emily in Paris’ has had on French fashion

French women are often known for dressing in neutral colors, but Fitoussi is particularly thrilled to see how receptive many of them have been to Emily’s bold color palette.

“Many people send me messages telling me how good it is to be dressed in color because we were our own jailhouse. We prohibited ourselves to be dressed in color because we are Parisian. But who decided for us that because we are Parisian we couldn’t be dressed in color?” the sartorial savant said.

Emily in Paris
Emily occasionally takes style cues from her French boss, Sylvie. / Netflix

On whether or not Emily's style has gotten more French over the seasons

Emily's wardrobe is full of bold colors, fun prints and tons of texture. We don't often see her in neutrals (a Parisian staple), but everyone's favorite marketing professional has adopted her own unique take on the French aesthetic, according to Fitoussi.

"She makes Parisian style her own and I think (her approach is) much more interesting," she said.

Emily in Paris
Bold colors are fun prints are staples in Emily's wardrobe.Netflix

The style savant loves that Emily's bold, eclectic outfits help her stand out from her French colleagues, but she has also learned a thing or two from her Parisian boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), and vice versa. At times, we see Sylvie wearing a bit more color and Emily toning down her outfits a touch depending on the situation.

"It was very fun for me to design the two of them because one becomes, at least a little bit, what the other one is," she said.

Emily in Paris
Mixing and matching prints with solids can make a powerful impact. / Netflix

Of course, Emily's bold color palette isn't going anywhere and Fitoussi is glad about that.

"She shouldn’t give it up. If she gives it up, the show doesn’t exist anymore. We’re not here to see Emily with a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans, even if they're the perfect jeans and even if she looks like a French icon," she said.

Emily in Paris
Pretty plaids are a mainstay in Emily's closet. / Netflix

On Emily’s ringard style

Early on in the series, Emily meets a French designer named Pierre Cadault (Jean-Christophe Bouvet) and he’s horrified by her ringard (corny) bag charm. Later on, Emily confronts him and owns her sense of style. After that moment, Fitoussi leaned in to the concept of being ringard and she said it’s something we can all learn from.

“I think we are all the little ringard of someone. I’m probably a ringard for many people who hate what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter,” she explained.

Emily in Paris
Emily and Mindy are two stylish pals. / Netflix

The costume designer loved that Emily was bold enough to stay true to her unique sense of style. “It allows people to not follow the rules and to find pieces that are flattering on their body, even if it’s not something trendy,” she said.

To Fitoussi, confidence is beauty and having the courage to be true to yourself is admirable. “If you like glitter at 10 a.m., do it!” she said.

Emily in Paris
Black and white and oh so chic.Marie Etchegoyen / Netflix

On this stunning style moment from Season 3

During a work event in Season 3, Emily rocks an eye-catching black and white jacket with bold, structural details on the sleeves. When Fitoussi first saw the fancy frock, she originally thought it would be perfect for the character Mindy (Ashley Park).

"When I read the script and saw there was this Pierre Cadault tribute and I knew the location, I (knew) I wanted to have something with proportion because I knew that Sylvie and Madeline (Kate Walsh) would be wearing this tremendous dress with very huge proportions," she explained. "I have always loved oversized proportion. I think it’s beautiful, it’s bold."

Emily in Paris
Lily Collins is equally stylish in real life as she is on TV. / Netflix

On Lily Collins’ style

In real life, Collins’ sense of style is pretty different from Emily’s, but she’s always game to try whatever Fitoussi has in mind and the costume designer described the actor as “fearless.”

“When you see her in real life, she likes comfy clothes like hoodies and Birkenstocks. And 10 minutes after, she can walk with confidence on chunky shoes (on set). I admire her for that because she never says never," she said.

Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris. (L to R) Ashley Park as Mindy, Lily Collins as Emily, Camille Razat as Camille in episode 301 of Emily in Paris. Cr. Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix © 2022 / Netflix

The costume designer enjoys doing fittings with Collins and said the actor is very quick to understand the concept of whatever outfit Fitoussi is envisioning for any given scene.

“She has a very clever mind,” she said.