There were so many OMG moments on last night's Scandal—where do we begin? First, the despicable Hollis Doyle returns and steals Mellie Grant's thunder (and reminds us of a certain real-life presidential candidate). Then, Cyrus Beene gets caught running Frankie Vargas's campaign, Abby Whelan becomes the new chief of staff, Jake Ballard is up to something fishy with his fiancée, and Quinn Perkins calls out Olivia Pope for abandoning OPA (Olivia Pope & Associates). Ever since her kidnapping, Kerry Washington's character has distanced herself from the firm and Perkins finally confronts her about it.
Even so, Olivia spends most of this episode with her OPA team and her outfits reflect that. "This is her new gladiator look," the show's costume designer, Lyn Paolo, tells InStyle of Olivia's orange Max Mara coat (above). "It's a newer version of her. It's brighter and bolder." Under the brightly-hued wrap coat, she wears a Pucci top, Ralph Lauren pants, and Manolo Blahnik pumps. She carries her trusty Prada handbag, of course—except this time, it's in red!
Where's the white hat? It's been replaced by a rainbow of new colors. Next up? A royal blue mesh Derek Lam dress with a black Emporio Armani jacket over it (below). "Olivia's in 'Mellie' blue here," Paolo explains. "We did the reverse look on Mellie because the two ladies have been working together so much."
We're so used to seeing Olivia in gray and black tones—typical "gladiator in a suit" fare—so these new working looks have been such an unexpected change visually. "It's all about her transition now," Paolo says. "She's so much stronger this year and she's trying to present herself differently to the world."