Emily In Paris: What we can learn from French style icon Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu

In a world where photoshop and airbrushing sets beauty standards, where botox, plastic surgery and other forms of cosmetic treatments are ubiquitous with celebrity culture, where women are made to feel ashamed of their age and shunned from society, told to cover up after the age of 30; it is refreshing to see Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu at the forefront of the cultural spotlight, a woman who is standing up against these crushing forces. 

Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu has an intimidating air, unreachable levels of grace and remains impeccably chic at all times. She smoulders on the streets of Paris, seen in near transparent blouses and well tailored jackets, and looks radiant in a French manner. Beautiful but not in an overly manufactured “Hollywood” sense, but in a seemingly natural manner. 

Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu's natural beauty
Philippine Leroy–Beaulieu’s natural beauty

She is equally well put together in the hit Netflix show Emily in Paris, as Sylvie; where at one point she walks out of the water looking like an aquatic temptress that you’d hear about in Pirates tales. Looking stunning but in a sophisticated and elegant manner, without desperately trying to hide her age or dressed up in a six figure outfit. 

Sylvie in her string bikini
Sylvie in her string bikini

An honest conversation about ageing

In a recent interview, Leroy-Beaulieu spoke of the worries she had for her daughter and the world we live in. “A world where people cannot age is a dangerous world,” according to her, and this is why she has tried to own the ageing process, taking pride in her body and the way it has changed overtime. Of course she does look good for her age, but the point stands without that fact and the main thing is that she isn’t trying to hide from her age.

This holds with her acerbic character, Sylvie, as well. She cherishes her experiences and age, in comparison to other hit shows with a cast centred on women, like And Just Like That where they try to cling to their youth and hide themselves from mother time with the power of cosmetics.

What can we learn from her sense of style?

Philippine's sense of style
Philippine’s sense of style

Sylvie, the character she embodies, has got a brilliant sense of style. She is constantly seen in a combination of highly impractical heels and stunning pencil skirts, and looks inspired by “Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Ava Gardner”. 

Within both the character, and the stylish woman who portrays her, there is a lot about fashion that you can take to heart. 

Philippine’s Five Fashion Commandments

Throw caution to the wind

Philippine’s stunning bra-less outfit at the Paris Fashion Show
Philippine’s stunning bra-less outfit at the Paris Fashion Show

Philippine might be 58, but she is fearless in what she wears. She caught many eyes at Paris Fashion Week by going braless and wearing this stunning green sheer dress. Within the current fashion, freeing yourself from a bra is becoming a trend that empowers you to feel confident about yourself, and also raises questions about the inherent sexualisation of the female form; but it’s largely isolated to “vibrant, young women”. 

But Philippine shows that you can ignore those boundaries about what age it is okay to wear a daring outfit. There are no constraints based on how you should dress based on how old you are. You should be able to dress in something that makes you proud of your body, no matter the number of candles on a birthday cake. 

Sylvie in a Rick Owen's dress
Sylvie in a Rick Owen’s dress

Within the show, Sylvie is not afraid to show a little skin either. Whether it’s via the mesh neckline of a Rick Owens dress, or a skirt with a daring thigh split.

Sylvie wearing a dramatic thigh split skirt, and alluring gold jacket
Sylvie wearing a dramatic thigh split skirt, and alluring gold jacket

Invest in classics 

It is one thing to look good at a single event, it is another to maintain a constant air of style and grace. Sylvie does just that through her armoury of classic items that she can wear on any occasion, and that aren’t tied to any particular trends. Her wardrobe of low cut silk shirts, wrap dresses and tailored dresses are all timeless pieces that won’t go out of fashion.

Focus on timeless items, rather than trendy fashion fads

Price Tag isn’t everything

Whilst Sylvie does have some designer garments she treasures, the items in her wardrobe are decided by their utility, not their label or price tag. She wears an altered Topshop dress and Zara skirts, so you can shop on the highstreet and still achieve an effortlessly stylish look. 

Designer labels and price tags aren't everything
Designer labels and price tags aren’t everything

Dramatic coats

Whilst most of Sylvie’s wardrobe is made up of classy dresses and under the radar skirts, there is also a more dramatic side to her choice of clothes. Her coats, worn across the shoulders like a cape, are part of what makes Sylvie standout. You can’t go wrong with a signature coat and being as confident in it as Sylvie is.

Sylvie's iconic "shrobing"
Sylvie’s iconic “shrobing”

Accessorise like a pro

Philippine’s and Sylvie become one when it comes to jewellery. Within the show, Sylvie wears some of the accessories that that Philippine’s mother designed whilst she worked at Dior. Not everyone has a jewellery designer for a mother, but there are plenty of other places where you can find incredible items to complete your outfits. 

Sylvie, Queen of acessories

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