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Culture > Entertainment

Between Blair and the City of Love: ‘Gossip Girl’s’ Upper East Side vs. Parisian Glam in ‘Emily in Paris’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Spotted: A girl torn between the Upper East Side and the City of Love, ready to spill all the tea on her fashion obsessions, so let’s talk TV – and Blair Waldorf. As someone who channels her inner Queen B every time a minor inconvenience takes place, it’s no secret where my loyalty lies. But I’m all about giving every show a fair shot. So how does Gossip Girl stack up against Emily in Paris

drama divas

My life stems from turning each mishap into a full-blown dramatic moment, thanks to Blair Waldorf. She didn’t just bring the drama, she owned it. From her iconic one-liners to her extensively planned schemes, she set the standard for television drama. 

Now, let’s talk Emily. Sure, she’s got her fair share of romantic mishaps, and she’s cute, but she’s no Blair. Emily’s character felt to me like more of a playful journey than cutthroat scheming, and that’s okay. But when it comes to intense anxiety-inducing drama, Queen B takes the crown.

Glamour Girls

Countless articles and discussions have drawn parallels between Emily’s wardrobe choices and Blair’s iconic style. Blair’s taste in fashion? Flawless. From her perfectly coordinated headbands to her designer couture collection, she’s the ultimate epitome of fashion royalty. And don’t even get me started on that classic coat and bag collection. I was, and still am obsessed. 

On the other hand, Emily Cooper’s Parisian chic has its own allure. While it may not precisely mirror the luxurious glamor of the Upper East Side, it certainly holds its own charm. Emily’s style carries an appealing flair, blending elements of sophistication with a touch of modernity. It isn’t a perfect match for Blair’s timeless elegance, but it certainly captures attention and admiration in its own class. I sure can imagine myself strolling down the streets of Paris in those particular dresses she often adorns.

Couture Culture

Talking legacy, Gossip Girl was more than just a show we watched on TV; it was a lifestyle. It influenced fashion trends. I find myself still drawn to the sophisticated elegance captured by Blair’s tailored blazers and statement accessories, music playlists with “Paparazzi” on repeat, and even my vocabulary (you know you love me). 
Through its depiction of social media, self-discovery, and Parisian culture, Emily in Paris could spark new dialogues and redefine perceptions of modern aspirations.  Now, Emily in Paris is making an impression, but can it reach Gossip Girl status? Only time will tell, but I do believe it could carve out its place in pop culture history with a more modern take to it.

Blair vs. Emily

Blair Waldorf. Her name speaks volumes, and not much is left to say about her. She’s smart, classy, forward, and always gets what she wants. She’s everything I admire and love rolled into one iconic package.

Emily, in contrast, is more of an unconstrained girl, relying on her amusing humor and charm to thrive and prove herself. While I adore Emily’s Parisian escapades and drama, when it comes down to it, Blair, the epitome of elegance, effortlessly outshines Emily.

Crushes, Conflict, & Confusion

Blair’s love life, from her most complicated, confusing, and ride-or-die relationship with Chuck Bass, to her surprising and most hated connection with lonely boy Dan Humphrey (it was so unnecessary), her relationships brought depth to her character and only strengthened her relationship with Chuck through the years. Not to mention her wedding with Louis and her unexpected pregnancy. All of this truly added spice to the gossip in the drama of Manhattan’s elite.

In contrast, Emily’s romantic adventures, from her flirtatious and nail-biting moments with Gabriel to her charming encounters with Alfie, all against the romantic backdrop of Paris, leave us wondering: is there a more alluring setting for an affair? Both characters’ romantic journeys play a huge role in their overall story throughout the series.

In the game of love, one thing’s for sure: these two certainly know how to keep their hearts – and us entertained and wondering if we should take notes or just enjoy the show. It’s like every time a guy offers me flowers, I’m torn between hoping he’s my Chuck or fearing he’s just another Dan in disguise with a “Lonely Boy” bombshell.

Chic clique

In the world of television friendships, Serena and Blair “they do besties better than anyone.” Serena Van Der Woodsen set the bar high with their rollercoaster, prototypical bond. It was full of ups and downs and was one toxic tie, but through it all, they remained each other’s constants, proving how real friendship can withstand any scandal or secret. 

Cut to Emily’s friendship with Mindy Chen. It feels like finding a designer handbag on sale — a rare gem that’s worth celebrating. Their bond is tighter than Emily’s grip on her last macaron, or the waistband on her chicest skirt, and their time spent together in the City of Lights is more entertaining than a fashion show on the Champs-Élysées. Whether they’re exploring the boutiques of Le Marais or indulging in macarons at Ladurée, these two delivered the sophistication of Parisian (and slightly American) friendship.

So while S and B’s friendship channels the timeless elegance of a Chanel suit, Emily and Mindy’s bond is more similar to slipping into a pair of sleek and trendy Balenciaga sneakers – contemporary, modern, and effortlessly chic. Whether they’re sipping champagne in Manhattan or indulging in croissants in Paris, having a best friend by your side supporting all your dumb decisions is like finding that quintessential piece worn by your favorite celebrity. And hey, until my Chuck Bass arrives fashionably late, I’m happily stuck with my Serena.

Well, there’s all the tea spilled. As a certified Blair Waldorf girl, my bias is as obvious as her eye rolls. Gossip Girl holds a special place in my heart, courtesy of all those scandalous misbehaviors. But that doesn’t mean we GG lovers can’t indulge in a French fling with Emily every now and then. After all, a little French sophistication and déjà vu adds some style to life, also making that green owl on my phone chirp with pride. 

Now, are you Team Blair all the way, or do you have a soft spot for Emily’s French flair? Be it whatever, keep in mind, that whether you’re storming the Upper East Side or strolling down the streets of Paris, one thing’s for sure: it’s always more fun with a little drama.

Meet Aashna – a Communication and Media Studies major with an unparalleled flair for fashion and an eye for making campus life anything but ordinary. When she's not hitting the books and acing her classes, you can find her strolling across campus, effortlessly blending style with ease. She's an overachiever craving for academic validation with minors in Fashion, Special Events Marketing, and Criminal Justice, and she's as ambitious as they come. But don't let her academic achievements fool you – Aashna's got a wicked sense of humor to match! Whether she's dishing out sarcasm with friends or organizing the next big event, she does it all with charm and a smile.When she's feeling the weight of handling such occasions, you can often find her seeking solace on Fifth Avenue, using retail therapy as her form of stress relief. And when the weekend rolls around, you'll find her slipping into her comfiest satin PJs with a glass of Coke in hand, ready to unwind with her favorite comfort show (or screaming at her TV as she's getting hyped for El Clásico, ready to see Barça send Madrid packing, or gracefully embracing City's Premier League dominance, or some days just rolling her eyes at Ferrari's Formula 1 fails) and perhaps indulging in a little gossip. For a touch of chic and a hint of sass, Aashna is your campus connoisseur – guaranteed to leave you inspired and entertained, just like a front-row seat at Fashion Week.