No matter how cliché it is to covet French-girl style and their “effortless chic” — or imagine yourself sipping coffee and people-watching en terrace — the fantasy of living the Parisian dream is irresistible. It’s a fantasy that Netflix’s Emily in Paris, now in its third immensely bingeable season, conjures perfectly.
Written by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, we follow American marketing exec Emily (Lily Collins) as she navigates life and love in the French capital. The show is unashamedly frothy, far-fetched — and with costumes by SATC’s Patricia Field, full of fabulous fashion, too.
Arguably the most stylish character is Emily’s friend-slash-frenemy Camille — the very epitome of the impossibly cool Parisian woman — played by 28-year-old French actor Camille Razat.
“I think the vision of the French girl is often just reduced to Jane Birkin’s style,” Razat muses. “Which I love, of course. It’s classic. But I think we are more rock’n’roll. For example, I love leather, latex, anything oversized. Which is why I love the fashion in Emily in Paris — it’s a little bit too much, a little OTT. And this season the fashion is even better, even more edgy.”
For the past decade, Razat has steadily built her profile as a model, appearing in campaigns for Celine and Balmain, and as an actor with roles in French films and TV series — but Emily in Paris has taken her career to another level, launching her on an international stage. While global audiences have lapped up the show (it’s clocked up hundreds of millions of viewing hours worldwide), the reaction from French audiences has been a little more divided.
“Well, the French, we love to hate; that’s our way to do things,” she says wryly. “I think it’s 50/50: half love it because it’s light and joyful, the other half are like, ‘Oh, but that’s not the real Paris.’ But that’s the whole point! It’s a heightened reality. We want people to dream.” Although, if you do find yourself in Paris IRL, Razat’s top three must-visits are “Loulou restaurant for the most delicious food, the Celine flagship for the best jeans, and the vintage market at Saint-Ouen.”
Emily in Paris is as fun to make as it is to watch, says Razat. “We’re always being told to be quiet on set and stop laughing so they can film,” she says of her co-stars Collins and Ashley Park, who plays Emily’s roommate and aspiring singer Mindy. Giving Razat’s character a run in the style stakes is Emily’s terrifyingly imperious boss, Sylvie (59-year-old French actor Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), who has become something of an icon, for both her hard-as-nails attitude and impeccable wardrobe. “Philippine is so classy,” says Razat. “She’s that kind of woman when she walks into a room, you just look at her. She has charisma.”
The male stars of the show, meanwhile, are now bona fide heart-throbs. Repping the Brits, there’s Lucien Laviscount’s cheeky chappy Alfie, who Razat readily confirms is every bit as charming in real life as he is on screen. Then there’s Gabriel, aka the Hot Chef (French actor Lucas Bravo), with whom Camille and Emily have been tangled in a tricksy love triangle — a tension that rippled through all three seasons. While the chance to kiss the Hot Chef would delight many fans of the show, it threw Razat at first.
“Before Emily in Paris, Lucas and I did a short movie together where we were playing sister and brother, so it was a bit strange to play lovers. I remember when we read the season one script, I was like, ‘Ewww, I’m kissing you! That’s weird!’”
While many of us will have spent the festive break mainlining the new season of Emily in Paris, Camille has spent Christmas at her grandparents’ house in the South of France, as she does every year. Then she and her fiancé, photographer Etienne Barat, planned to ring in the new year with friends. Her go-to formula for party dressing? “Something oversized on top and something very clingy on the bottom. I like the masculine and feminine clash.”
Camille admits she’s hoping for a more productive 2023, after several work opportunities outside of Emily in Paris didn’t come to fruition. “My wish for  is that it will be full of good projects. It’s been slightly difficult — each movie I was supposed to do was canceled or postponed,” she says. “So I hope 2023 brings some luck — and will be better.” We can raise a glass to that.
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