Scandal Fashion Recap: The Reason Olivia Pope Is Dressing More Regally
On last night's Scandal, Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope faces the music when President Grant (Tony Goldwyn) finds out she helped her father escape from prison. Even though she's been withholding this information from Fitz, the truth is finally revealed all thanks to Cyrus Beene (Jeff Parry) tipping off the attorney general. We thought this might mean the end of Olivia and Fitz forever (gasp!), but it looks like the two are as unbreakable as ever—unless the president has something up his sleeve?
But before this all transpires, the White House is in full holiday entertaining mode. Fun fact: this is the first time in Scandal's history that they've done a holiday episode!
Although not technically First Lady (yet!), Olivia steps in to receive guests from the nation of Bandar, who are visiting the West Wing to resolve the disarmament treaty with the president. For this scene, she needed to look the part. "Olivia is transitioning to this new role of hers," costume designer Lyn Paolo tells InStyle of Pope's Oscar de la Renta dress, Judith Leiber clutch, and Tiffany & Co jewelry. "We wanted her look to feel rich and resplendent and regal. It's more glitter and more First Lady. We rarely put her in all black, but we wanted this to feel ornate because of the holidays as well."
As for the beaded Oscar de la Renta coat she wore over the dress, Paolo chose it to contrast Olivia's father in the scene when the two meet up. "We thought it was great that she went toe to toe with Rowan in this regal and glitzy coat," Paolo says. "He's like a preacher so we thought it would be a great contrast. She's so dressed up and so obviously part of the White House."
Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) left her workwear behind for the dinner party as well, wearing a Ports 1961 dress, Armani pashmina, Alexis Bittar earrings, and a Lagos ring. "If anyone can rock a kelly green dress, it's Darby [Stanchfield] and her beautiful red hair," Paolo says. "It's a pivotal time in the White House and she is there to support Olivia and be there for her as her friend."