By now you’re probably deep into season two of Netflix’s Emily in Paris, a rom-com series from Sex and the City creator Darren Star that stars Lily Collins as a spunky millennial taking the City of Light by storm.
And if you’re a SATC fan, you’ve most likely spotted some subtle—and not so subtle—nods to the iconic show. There’s the obvious: Patricia Field is the costume designer, along with co–costume designer Marilyn Fitoussi, and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, where Carrie stayed in the series finale, makes an appearance. But there are not-so-obvious references too, so we called up Collins, Star, Field, and more to fill us in on the secrets behind the making of the series as well as all the Easter eggs you probably missed.
Here are facts about Emily in Paris that Sex and the City fans will definitely appreciate—and some that are just good to know. Prendre plaisir! (That’s “enjoy,” FYI.)
The story behind Emily’s camera phone case
Call it kismet, but the phone case that becomes a signature item for Emily Cooper—much in the way that Carrie had her namesake necklace—almost didn’t happen because it actually belonged to Field. “I kept telling Patricia I loved it,” Collins told Glamour in October 2020. “She said, ‘You do?’ I kept thinking it’s super fun, and Emily loves photography. Plus, Emily is really obvious, so wearing a big camera around her neck says it all. It’s not just another phone case. That was Emily’s ode to Carrie, in a sense of having her own version of [the Carrie necklace].”
Star wasn’t sold immediately. “Patricia showed it to me, and I wasn’t sure because I knew we’d be seeing it onscreen all the time. But she was like, ‘Trust me, just go with it.’ That ‘I’m not sure thing’ is what Patricia is a genius at because she is sure. She gets it before anyone else does.”
“It’s an eye-catching piece,” Field tells us. “So I gave it to her to use in the show. I got it initially several years ago in Korea. Since then, I’ve also seen them on Amazon. My assistant Erica says the camera case is the new Carrie necklace.”
Emily’s earrings are also a nod to Carrie Bradshaw…
In one episode Emily wears hoop earrings with her name on them, similar to the necklace with “Carrie” on it that Carrie Bradshaw wore. Field created the earrings—you can even create your own version and buy through her website.
…so was Emily’s tulle skirt.
Collins told Glamour that anytime she walked over a bridge in Paris, she felt like Carrie. The outfits certainly helped. “There’s one at the party at the Eiffel Tower where I have this black corset top and big tulle skirt,” she says. “Patricia said that’s an ode to Carrie’s tutu, so arriving to that party in that look felt very Carrie for me.”
Collins considers Emily a fan of Sex and the City.
“I feel like Emily watched Sex and the City and admired Carrie Bradshaw in a lot of ways,” she tells Glamour. “Although Carrie’s stay in Paris was a lot shorter than Emily’s, there was a huge fashion tie-in. I think she took into consideration ‘If Carrie went to France, what would she wear, what would she do?’” While Emily is her own person, and not a Carrie clone, she clearly drew inspiration from the character. “She loves what she loves, so taking into consideration the modern woman has those characters that we all love…of course we draw inspiration from them.”
How Emily and Mindy got their names
Darren Star chose Emily because he liked the simplicity and the way it sounded. Star adds that he thinks he subconsciously picked the name because of Amélie—he loved the way the French pronounce it. While that’s not a direct tie-in to Sex and the City, can’t you picture Carrie doing the same thing?