TV’s ‘Scandal’ closet holds many outfits

  • Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 12:01 a.m.
In this Nov. 11, 2013 image released by ABC, costume designer Lyn Paolo holds a Christian Dior coat worn by actress Kerry Washington for the ABC drama series, "Scandal," in the show's wardrobe closet on the Sunset Gower lot in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The series, about a Washington fixer, airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/ABC, Danny Feld)

Notice anything different about Olivia Pope’s look this season on television’s “Scandal”?

It’s still full of the best designer labels, and her suits — a good chunk of her wardrobe — blend an aggressive edge with a sexy shape while staying professional.

But in Season Three, there’s a hint more color, and many of the silhouettes are asymmetrical, showing her just a bit off-kilter. “Hopefully, viewers will see the emotional reason to make these changes, and we’ve amped up the fashion, too, because we needed it for the story,” explains costume designer Lyn Paolo.

Olivia has a full life and, just like everyone else, needs the right clothes for it, says Paolo, who talks about her favorite character on ABC’s hit inside-the-Beltway show (Thursdays at 10 p.m.) as if she were real.

Kerry Washington, a fashion It Girl in her own right, plays Olivia, described by the network as a “professional fixer.”

The show has to buy the clothes and keep them because Paola is unsure if creator Shonda Rhimes will want to revisit a particular scene in a flashback.

As a result, Olivia’s closet is as big as the Manhattan Starbucks where Paola met a reporter.

Paola shops from the runway, at department stores, from windows and online. When she was on vacation this past summer on a cruise, she fell in love with a fellow passenger’s outfit. She told the passenger the clothing tag was showing (it wasn’t) so she could “fix it” and steal a peek at the label.

Is there anything in that bulging “Scandal” closet that Paola would like to borrow? “I’m a uniform girl. I dislike dressing myself. It’s all black and white in my closet — I wear whatever is easiest to get me through the day.”

She is, after all, dressing up to 80 people per episode. “We should call it ‘Scramble’ not ‘Scandal.’ ”

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