Kerry Washington's Scandal style is inspired by a "bunch of iconic images of really strong women".
The actress stars as Olivia Pope in Scandal - a dedicated woman who runs a crisis management firm.
The show's costume designer-and-stylist Lyn Paolo had a distinct look in mind when it came to dressing Kerry for the small screen.
"Because Olivia Pope was a different kind of character than we’ve seen on TV before – an exceptionally powerful woman – I drew my references from fashion. I looked at images of Lauren Hutton from the ’70s and I had Kate Hepburn on the board – she always wore pants. Even silly things like I had Queen Elizabeth I. I just got a bunch of iconic images of really strong women through history and it was more fashion-based then it was based on any previous [political] administration," she explained to fashionista.com.
"At the same time, when you’re a strong woman in any business, I think a lot of people can find that intimidating and so I wanted to soften Olivia Pope’s edge a bit."
Kerry mostly wears white as her character. Lyn and Kerry discussed the use of femininity in the clothing without it becoming too obvious.
"It started out as being just a visual thing and evolved into being something about femininity. You can be strong and amazing at your job – but why do we have to dress like men? Kerry and I talked a lot about that in our fittings," she explained.
"We didn’t want her to dress like a man, but we also wanted her to wear the pants – she wears pants. She doesn’t wear a skirt unless it’s in a flashback because I just thought that was too on the nose and kind of boring. You want a girl to be feminine so you put her in a skirt? So really what we played with was the colour, the palette, and the softness of the fabrics. She wears structure but the fabrics always have an amazing drape to them, which is why we used a lot of Armani in the beginning, because you can’t really beat those Italian fabrics for movement."
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