by FAWNIA SOO HOO
April 18, 2018
Lyn Paolo pours one out, figuratively, by sharing the heartfelt stories behind her favorite Olivia Pope costumes.
Throughout seven seasons of ABC's "Scandal," the much-discussed costumes by Lyn Paolo helped impart "IT'S HANDLED" through Olivia Pope's plush designer outerwear and a comprehensive collection of black and white dresses suitable for all types of swampy Washington, D.C. occasions. Plus, those sumptuous and roomy Pradabags pulled double-duty for holding incriminating photos, various iterations of smartphones and, apparently, mints and camouflaging Kerry Washington's IRL baby bump.
But the "Scandal" costumes sent a deeper message by showing that killer — see what I did there? — fashion is a tool for both inspiring and equipping smart, successful and ambitious women in a professional setting — whether high, low or both. Paolo intentionally mixed high-end fashion (that designers literally ripped off mannequins in the hopes of dressing Kerry Washington) with accessible brands. The costume designer was also on the forefront of tweeting directly with ultra-engaged fans about where to find Olivia and co.'s exact wardrobe, or comparable (and affordable) alternatives.
But during a free moment, the costume designer was more than happy to get nostalgic over her favorite of Olivia's costumes on "Scandal," and reflect on why the moments means so much to her and the fans. Paolo hopes the show's legacy through costume will live on long after Olivia presumably leaves the White House and her fixer days for an idyllic life in Vermont spent with President Fitzgerald Grant [Tony Goldwyn] and an artisanal jam-making business.
"I would want women to look at Olivia and, in fact, all of the cast, as inspirations," says Paolo. "I hope the show has shown women how to be themselves in the workplace and how we can all find our own strut with fashion as our inspiration."
"WHITE HAT'S BACK ON," SEASON 2, EPISODE 22
Photo: ABC/Richard Cartwright
"I love 'The White Hat' — mostly because it was from David [Rosen, played by Josh Molina], but also because it embodies the Olivia who is on the right path. I also love that it was made here in Los Angeles by Louise Green, a milliner who does amazing work."
The "Scandal" series finale airs at 10 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.
FAWNIA SOO HOO
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