The American-English actress’ style makes her look as though she could very well be a native Parisian sitting in a café en plein air eating a pastry. Maybe living in two different countries is what helps her to emulate that French girl style, but with her own spin on it of course.
Lily Collins just got engaged to her beau Charlie McDowell. Collins described it as “the purest joy [she’s] ever felt.” The actress and director pairing make a beautiful couple and are excited to be spending the rest of their lives together.
As rough as 2020 has been, Collins seems to be managing to actually have a good year after getting engaged and starring in a brand new TV Show, Emily in Paris, that comes out on Netflix on October 2.
The show, created by Darren Starr, is set up to be the modern Sex in the City, only this time set in Paris instead of NYC. Collins will be playing Emily, a stylish young lady who is sent to Paris for her marketing job. Cue scenes in the trailer of her working (and flirting), relying on the advice of her girlfriends to get her by.
Starr did a great job with the casting because Collins emulates Parisian style seemingly effortlessly. Based on the trailer alone, Emily in Paris looks to be a fashion lover’s dream with lots of more modern Carrie Bradshaw level style, only with a French twist.
A French Twist with a Twist
While doing press for Emily in Paris, Collins had a gorgeous French twist done by Mara Rosack (who also works with the likes of Natalie Portman and Emma Stone). Rosack left it loose with some hairs pulled out at the front and allowed for some natural frizz to exist in peace for a more relaxed take on the French twist a Parisian woman would surely embrace.
With a little bit of practice and a mirror that lets you see the back of your head, this is a hairstyle you too can master for the kind of effortless elegance so synonymous with Parisian style.
Bonus points if you opt for a lavender shade of eyeshadow to go with your effortless hairstyle. The pop of color makes an overall simple look a bit more fun and eyecatching. Her makeup artist Fiona Stiles doesn’t typically share information about where the makeup is from, but she was kind enough to share what she did with me. She very fittingly went to Lancôme for the look as Collins is the face of the brand, alongside Amanda Seyfried. She used Color Design Eyeshadow in “Lavender Girl” all over the lid and then deepened it with the darker purple shade “Drama.”
I asked if there was anything she keeps in mind when she does Collins’s face that readers should know if they want to achieve makeup like hers. She said to “just remember that makeup doesn’t have to be a million products or colors. You can do a single color eye shadow or bump up the drama a little with just one other shade. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just elegant.” Love this advice! Keep this in mind while trying to create your own Parisian chic look.
Chic Ensembles, but with an Edge
One thing Collins does really masterfully with her style is she never fails to look very chic, while also involving elements that are a bit edgier as a part of her look. The reason it works so well for her (and can for you too) is that the edgy elements give her outfits more intrigue, but the combination with more feminine details means that it still looks chic.
The perfect example of blending the edgy with the feminine in this look is in her blouse. The big bow counteracts her leather pants perfectly. Her twist, again done by Mara Rosack, has a lot of texture and contributes to the edginess, but it’s balanced out by the feminine light blue color, her red lip, and the black pumps.
The style lesson here is that if you want to play with edgier pieces in your wardrobe, it’s better to go a little on the formal side because that will let you use the ultra-feminine accessories you have, like a pair of heels or a beautiful blouse, to help create that perfect balance that makes Collins look so chic. Pro tip: Add a red lip to create, as Stiles puts it, “boss lady makeup.”
An element of Collins’ style that works really well for her is color-blocking. She really isn’t a celebrity you see in a monochromatic outfit. While more monochromatic or neutral looks can be very chic, having color in your look makes it more playful. I had no idea Collins was already 31! Not because she doesn’t look mature, but because that element of her style is very youthful.
Color-blocking is definitely a skill, but it’s something that can be done in a lot of different ways. If a look like what she has on or mixing a lot of colors in your outfit feels too daunting at first, try buying a sweater that has color-blocking on it already. The job has been done for you!
One rule to keep in mind, though, is something that Collins does in both of these looks, and it involves the shoes. The first look could have easily fallen flat without the orange heels because while a black pump would have been a more obvious choice, it was already the predominant color in the dress, and it could have easily overwhelmed the blue and orange. And the second look was just the opposite — the black heels worked perfectly because they matched her bag and didn’t leave her outfit feeling too busy, which is an easy mistake to make with color-blocking.
Femininity Is in the Details
Collins’ style is typically very feminine, but that doesn’t mean that she’s always wearing pink or even that she’s always in a dress. Feminine style can be implemented with detailing. Collins demonstrates this perfectly with the ruffles on her top and the tailoring at the cuffs. A trip to the department store should yield blouses with feminine detailing perfect for achieving this.
Here the puff sleeve and the floral print are examples of other details to look for on clothing that can make your outfit feel more feminine. You can find floral patterns on just about anything. A puff sleeve obviously works on a dress, but it’s also a great option on a blouse or even a knit top (perfect for fall and winter).
A Sweater and Curls
A sweater and curls is a perfect casual look for fall that Collins wears a lot. (She was wearing this kind of look when she got engaged!) You’ll likely be wearing sweaters all throughout fall and winter to feel cute while keeping warm. An easy way to dress it up without sacrificing warmth is with your hair. Bring out the curling iron, and the sweater you’ve already worn twice is bound to feel a bit more special.
Depending on the weather, you could layer a blazer or coat over it as Collins did. A small purse with chain detailing is a typical pick for Collins and will go with the look, as well as with just about anything else you might wear. Sneakers and jeans work well for the daytime; at night, you could change out your sneakers for booties.
Berets are often seen as a bit of a stereotype, but they’re so stylish and certainly something that a Parisian woman might wear. Collins wore both a red one and a bright pink one for Emily in Paris. And hey, if you don’t have the confidence to wear it out of the house, maybe just throw it on for an Emily in Paris watch party. In my book that sounds like too much of a good time to be a waste. You could even get a croissant as a treat.
You may have already picked up on this, but Collins’ style usually incorporates a lot of bright colors. You can either do this with accessories or, as you get more comfortable, wear outfits with a lot of color like Collins did for this Seventeen shoot. And, in an age of fashion that’s been heavy on neutrals, color can be a really fun way to stand out in the crowd. It’s also bound to boost your mood, which is perfect for the seasonal blues people can get as the weather gets colder!
A Classy Dress Is Never a Bad Choice
Collins had this amazing Audrey Hepburn moment for shooting Emily in Paris. It’s very fitting considering she has been called a young Audrey Hepburn. What a style compliment! She often posts photos of Audrey on her Instagram, so you can bet that she’s definitely a style inspiration for Collins. It just goes to show you that a classic dress and heels never goes out of style. And it’s always in season! As the weather cools down, just add a coat and tights.
Lily Collins is a modern-day Audrey Hepburn with a Parisian-inspired style worthy of that title. You’ll definitely see me watching Emily in Paris on the premiere date with croissant in hand (and probably multitasking, as I pin all the of the dreamy outfits to my boards). If your style is in need of a revamp, this is just the inspiration you need to give it a Parisian-inspired update.