Gladiators in Suits: The Enviable Wardrobe of “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope
TV stylist Lyn Paolo explains how she chooses the luxe ensembles of TV’s fiercest fixer.
It was during the feminist movement of the 1970s that brave women—perhaps influenced by Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic “le smoking” ensemble, which debuted just a few years earlier—first began trading their dresses for pants. Nowadays in Washington, the power suit abounds—and arguably limits the wardrobe choices of working women. As you may have gathered from our Friday recaps (stay tuned for tomorrow’s, to relive the first new episode after weeks of hiatus), we’re big fans of Olivia Pope, the Judy Smith-inspired protagonist on ABC’s Scandal—and the most fashionable power dresser we can think of.
Scandal’s behind-the-scenes stylist, Lyn Paolo—who has put together looks for The West Wing and ER—told CNN that when you think of Washington fashion, “you think of dark gray and navy blue. Look at a picture of Congress. Everyone pretty much looks the same.” So she made it her goal to have Olivia stand out through her wardrobe, opting for chic pastels over lackluster blacks and grays, for example, proving that a woman can be respected while wearing pink pants and Louboutins—if that’s what she wants.
But more than anything, Olivia’s stylish outfits reveal to us viewers that behind the tough, all-business front is a person—one who enjoys shopping and sometimes just wants to kick it in silk PJs with some popcorn. Who can’t relate to that?
Here are some looks we’d like to steal from the fixer’s closet.