CRISIS MANAGER, STYLE ICON, ‘GLADITOR IN A SUIT’, the character of Olivia Pope in ABC’s drama, Scandal, portrayed impeccably by Kerry Washington, has captured the screens of millions of viewers around the globe. Not only is Olivia — or Liv, as fans have become accustomed to calling her — an empowering, strong, independent, charismatic, and generally flawless woman, but her wardrobe is dream-like for many. Her ensembles highlight her strengths, demand respect, are simultaneously subtle and invigorating, and manage to strike the perfect balance between femininity and power-dressing.
The key players in her wardrobe are pastel and neutral hues that differentiate her from Washington DC’s predominantly dark-coloured wardrobe, and come in the form of tailored coats — whether draped wrap coats with large lapels, trench coats cinched at the waist with a belt or double-breasted coats — and military or peplum jackets. Pants become a key element, as they exude confidence and power, and prove one doesn’t have to be dressed in a skirt to be ladylike.Under her coats, shirts and blouses—in exquisite silk, crepe de chine and satin—are frequently draped or worn with some decorative element like a pussy-bow. Textures, structures, silhouettes and fabrics are flawlessly calculated and weighed against each other, for she always seems to highlight her waist and long legs, whilst remaining immaculate in her overall appearance. So significant has her influence been in fashion, that a Scandal-inspired fashion line was released by The Limited (available online here) in collaboration with Kerry Washington herself. The line of “fearless fashion for ladies who lead,” stays true to the show’s aesthetic and includes 42 pieces strikingly similar to the ones Olivia Pope wears, from plaid capes and drape collar wrap coats to sheath dresses and wide-leg pants, allowing women from all over the world to feel empowered with an exquisitely elegant and feminine work wardrobe. —Victoria