2020’s Emily in Paris starring Lily Collins depicts the dream life of many fashion enthusiasts — especially those who are keen on writing stories about their favorite pieces and would love to work in a marketing executive firm like Savoir in the glamorous French capital. Although the series features a couple of clichés and unrealistic standards — including a highly romanticized work ethic and just the right amount of pretentious American demeanor — some agree that it is also a light and bubbly watch.
To celebrate the world of couture in film, there is a wide range of flicks that are perfect picks for those who are into the series to check out, from dramatic biopics like Coco Before Chanel to rom-coms like 13 Going on 30.
‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (2006)
The Devil Wears Prada is undoubtedly a classic when it comes to fashion flicks. Like Emily in Paris, it explores Anne Hathaway‘s Andy, a recent college graduate, as she navigates through life after landing a job at a prestigious magazine. Fun and entertaining, the 2006 movie endures as one of Hollywood’s most iconic rom-coms.
Much like the Netflix series, this engaging film also features a big bad boss — the iconic editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), who reminds us of Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) at the beginning of the show. With wonderful transitions and a great soundtrack, The Devil Wears Prada is an essential watch for fashion lovers.
‘Coco Before Chanel’ (2009)
Audrey Tautou steps into the shoes of French fashion designer and businesswoman Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in this Anne Fontaine drama that explores the early life of the prestigious couture icon, including her rise from obscure backgrounds to the heights of the fashion industry.
Half fact, half fiction, Coco Before Chanel (French: Coco avant Chanel) is a beautiful, elegant, well-executed movie with some great performances (particularly from its lead). Although hardly a perfect feature, it serves as a great outlook into the life of one of the most beloved personalities in the fashion industry.
‘Saint Laurent’ (2014)
Much like the previously mentioned film, Saint Laurent is a biographical drama that serves as a sneak peek into the life of acclaimed, influential French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent (Gaspard Ulliel) from 1967 to 1976, the time in which his career peaked.
Saint Laurent provides a tribute to one of the most famous personalities in the fashion world, capturing the struggles and anxieties he went through at the time. A beautifully shot feature with rich, vibrant cinematography and good performances, this unique 2014 film is, despite its flaws, worth a watch.
2001’s American comedy film Zoolander revolves around Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), VH1’s three-time male model of the year, who is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia by fashion guru Mugatu (Will Ferrell), who he initially thought hired him to model for his new ‘Derelicte’ collection.
If you’re into Emily in Paris for the comedy and fashion, this Ben Stiller film is undoubtedly a good pick. Filled with absurd, hilarious humor, the feel-good film provides viewers with a good time as it pokes a bit of fun at the fashion industry.
‘Phantom Thread’ (2019)
Critically-acclaimed drama featuring the superbly talented Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps is perhaps one of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s best pieces of work, and it tells the twisted love story between renowned fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock and his muse Alma.
Depicting dressmaker Reynold’s day-to-day operations as he creates beautiful, elegant pieces for members of the high society, Phantom Thread provides stunning couture content while also delivering a highly captivating dynamic between the two characters.
’13 Going on 30′ (2004)
When a girl makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday after undergoing major embarrassment at her birthday party, Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) wakes up as a thirty-year-old who seemingly has a perfect life, including an amazing wardrobe, an impeccable boyfriend, and a dream job.
One of the most beloved rom-coms out there, 30 Going on 30 is for those who love Emily in Paris’ fun-loving vibes and engaging romances storylines. Featuring lots of eye-catching outfits, 13 Going on 30 is a treasured film that stands the test of time as one of the most memorable chick flicks.
‘Funny Face’ (1957)
Audrey Hepburn brings Jo Stockton to life in this film that follows the events after an impromptu shoot in a “sinister” bookstore. When fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) photographs Jo by accident, he’s instantly struck by her beauty and gets Jo to go with him to France to become a model.
Funny Face is a charming musical that features good performances, namely from the main leads including the ever-elegant Hepburn. Extremely stylish and widely considered one of the best films of its genre, this 1956 remains a classic that explores the fashion industry.
‘Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?’ (1966)
This 1966 ahead-of-its-time gem is a pseudo-portrait of a 20-year-old Brooklyn-born fashion supermodel named Polly Maggoo (Dorothy McGowan) who tells a television crew about her dreams of life while backing off from the lustful advances of a crowd of men.
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (French: Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?) is a French New-Wave satire of the fashion industry. Depicting the industry’s pretensions as well as the malicious intent in media, this film counts on gorgeous photography and an enthralling plot.
‘Personal Shopper’ (2016)
Starring Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper is the perfect watch for those who are into both fashion and psychological thrillers. This Olivier Assayas film focuses on Maureen, a personal shopper for a renowned supermodel who’s grieving the death of her brother and trying to contact him in the after-life.
Offering an intriguing plot that mixes fashion elements with a dark and mysterious storyline, Personal Shopper is a character study of loss and grief featuring an unsettling atmosphere that combines traditional ghost stories and their tropes with a more modern setting.
‘The Neon Demon’ (2016)
The Neon Demon follows Elle Fanning‘s sixteen-year-old Jesse, a gorgeous Los Angeles newcomer and aspiring model with tremendous potential who plays to make her way through the gigantic world of fashion. However, this doesn’t really end up well, as her looks incite a lot of jealousy in others.
Visually alluring, this psychological horror film is equal parts stylish as it is absolutely hypnotic. Reflecting on consumer culture in L.A.’s problematic fashion scene, this grotesque, disturbing satire contemplates beauty and innocence.