"This gown was a huge favorite!," Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo gushes. "Although, it wasn't my favorite at the time, it was a nightmare." The designer goes on to explain she had to track down the vintage gown, tailor it a few sizes smaller to fit Kerry Washington, and completely fix a destroyed hemline!
"This look was a bit out of character for Olivia because we jumped forward in time," Lyn explains. "So I wanted to do a color we'd never done on Olivia before and also a skirt because we hardly ever do a dress or skirt. I wanted to fool the audience for a second and it worked because the fans exploded on Twitter!"
"Kerry and I fell in love with this coat but I didn't like where the sleeves hit on her arms and suggested gloves." Paolo explains. "But then we felt like it was so contrived because this was the hospital scene where she was going to see Fitz—and would she have really taken the time to put on these long gloves? And I just said, 'You know, it's a fashion moment and Olivia Pope can put herself together no matter what is going on in her life. I think we should go for it!'"
"We play with black and white a lot on the show because it represents her conflicts. 'Am I good? Am I bad? What have I done?'" Lyn says. "My job is to tell the story with the clothes." Indeed, Kerry wears a similar Michael Kors' style in another episode (inset).
"This is the thing we get the most mail about: her lounge wear, her popcorn and wine clothes," shares Lyn. "I was inspired by women in the '50 and '60s who would wear beautiful lounge wear to dinner parties and I wanted similar silk pants that you could wear out."
"Everyone thinks this coat is white, but its pink!" Lyn says. "I feel like it had such a femininity. When Kerry and I first fit it on her she didn't like it because she felt it was too big and overwhelming and it felt to robe, but she likes it now!"
"I loved the mixture of the masculine and feminine. It was at a moment when she was conflicted so we went to more tans and caramels less of our whites," says Lyn. "We play with color all the time depending on her emotional state."
"Olivia's looks are never a suit. We never buy a complete suit," explains Lyn. "We usually are mixing and matching. We're trying to create our own look."
"I'm in love with all things Christian Dior!" raves Paolo. "Truly, the Dior pieces are some of my favorite pieces on the show."
"I was literally measuring brims to try to find the right hat!" says Lyn. "Eventually, Louise Green—a local LA designer—custom made this one for us. I wanted a little bit of an '80s feel, not gangster but kind of. I think it's important to note that Olivia didn't pick this hat David did. I think Olivia would have picked something a bit more grand." Lyn goes on to share that the show's creator Shondra Rhimes has the hat in her office!
NEXT GALLERY: Kerry Washington's Best Looks