If Twitter is to be believed, Parisians were insulted en masse by the cliche-riddled depiction of their city in the polarising Netflix series, Emily in Paris. There was, however, one doyenne of French style who didn’t feel that way. In fact, the inimitable stylist Carine Roitfeld says she loved the show, and that its cliches about life in the French capital were actually pretty spot on.
Speaking to New York Magazine’s The Cut, Roitfeld revealed she powered through the first season of Emily in Paris in one afternoon. “It’s fun to see the way Americans see Paris—maybe in a nicer way than it really is,” she said. “Some clichés… but of course, there’s some reality to it. We’re not so nice when people meet us for the first time.”
Roitfeld had previously taken to Instagram to suggest that the character of Sylvie was inspired by her. In a carousel of spliced side-by-sides, we see actress Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, who plays Emily’s boss in the series, wearing remarkably similar outfits to those worn by Roitfeld over the last few years. “I had a bit of déjà vu while watching Sylvie…” she wrote.
Roitfeld, who edited Vogue Paris from 2001 until 2011, said that many of the cliches about French workplaces rang true. For example, in the series, Emily’s French colleagues are seen to be increasingly negative—counteracting her earnest American optimism.
“That’s totally true,” says Roitfeld. “The first thing that French people say is pas possible. It’s always something negative. It’s just a way of talking.”
Likewise, Sylvie’s proclivity for six-inch heels and biting comebacks: “She’s very French in the way she talks to people. She has a strong sense of humour and she can be very picky and very edgy with the conversation, and I like that too. French women, we’re not shy.”
The parts of the series she disagreed with? Same as you, she found Emily’s outfits questionable (“I hope that Emily’s fashion taste improves…”), and thought the show presented a particularly rose-tinted view of Paris as a city (“I think that if all the people at bars were looking this way, I would have coffee and dinner outside each time!”), but otherwise, she found the series delightful.
So to all the naysayers, it seems Emily in Paris has a big tick of approval by the ultimate Parisian style icon. Bring on season two.