Scandal 3.07 Costume Review: The Making of Mellie

15 Nov

It’s a big episode for Mellie as we find out what she was like long before the “Grant for President” campaign and we learn just how much she has sacrificed to become First Lady, a role that she pretty much despises. It’s a hard episode to watch because of what happens to Mellie and I’m still feeling uneasy about how this incident has been used as a plot device, particularly with the super soapy twist.

Scandal 3.07 Mellie docStarting with the present and the role we are used to seeing Mellie in as she puts her First Lady host hat on. This is the aspect of being in the White House that Mellie detests but she’s good at fake smiling her way through it all. The royal blue Michael Kors ensemble is a typically Mellie and denotes power. She’s wearing one of her many pearl necklaces and this is pretty much her standard First Lady uniform. Mellie’s hair is showing of the volume we have come to expect.

Scandal 3.07 no lipstick MellieFlip back 15 years (flashback filter alert) and it’s a very different look and I’m in agreement with this tweet from Libby Hill “Sorry Scandal, I don’t believe Mellie was ever the kind of woman to not wear lipstick.” Mellie is all fresh faced and in love and it looks like Fitz is confused by Cyrus’ beard – Cyrus also has another beard as he mentions his wife. It’s all idealistic at this point and this doesn’t last for long as Fitz’s dad is a big booming voice of derision (and much worse later on).

Scandal 3.07 turtleneck FitzThe neutral color scheme here is pure Olivia Pope and there’s a unity between Fitz and Mellie in this shot that we barely see in the present. Fitz is wearing a turtleneck and jeans and it’s a very waspy look.

Scandal 3.07 Mellie flowersThere are no pearls and this haircut screams mid to late 90s – they mentioned the Boston bombing a few weeks ago so this makes Scandal world in the same year as us; making these flashbacks are 1998. The floral dress is pretty and I could even see Mellie in something similar to this now (not paired with that cardigan and in a darker color), it also happens to be what Mellie is wearing when Fitz’s father rapes her. Yep, this happens and it’s awful and while I think that it is a step too far this review from Sonia Saraiya provides a good argument as to why this moment is important in the construction of who Mellie is now.

Scandal 3.07 Mellie turtleneckThe day after, Gerry tries to bring it up and apologize that ‘things got out of hand’ and Mellie doesn’t want to hear any of it as she has an entirely different plan. The only real acknowledgment is when she enters the room and wraps her cardigan around herself. The turtleneck is the most covered you can make your neck look and this is a sign that she doesn’t want any part of herself exposed to this vile man who just takes what he wants. Mellie is pragmatic and this is the first in a long line of moments that she fake smiles her way through. Bellamy Young is exceptional in this episode and Mellie makes my heart ache with her post-assault reaction and then this brushing it under the carpet decision.

Scandal 3.07 drunk MellieThe rape scene is followed by this incredible and slightly disorientating shot in the Oval Office as Mellie walks around bare foot drinking whiskey. It’s here that she hints at what she has been through, but Fitz is as clueless as ever when it comes to fathers (he later finds out that Rowan is Eli Pope). Mellie lays it all out here, she knows that there’s no longer any romantic love but can’t Fitz have her back the way she has his? This is the second pleading speech that Mellie has given recently and for all of Mellie’s schemes she does it all for Fitz (and to be part of a power couple) but she’s the one taking shit for his keeping his pants on problems.

Scandal 3.07 Baby TeddyPart of this plan to make her more likable to the general public involves parading baby Teddy around who is super adorable as he plays with his mother’s pearls.

Scandal 3.07 Mellie and CyrusMore pearls (as with last week they are vintage Chanel) and an amazing purple dress as Mellie gets her scheme on with Cyrus. It’s all back to normal, except this time Mellie and Fitz aren’t declaring war on each other and they seem to be on the same page. I’m looking forward to a Mellie/Fitz united front because the ‘I hate you, no I hate you more’ saga has become a little repetitive.

Scandal 3.07 flashbackOne final moment from the flashback scenes and Mellie looks happy as they start Fitz’s campaign for governor. She also tells him that she is pregnant and it’s this moment that made me throw my hands up as do we really need a “Who is the daddy?” story, especially one like this? This is probably the first time that Mellie did the faking it in public thing and it’s something she has become the master of. This is when Mellie developed the hard exterior and she barely lets the mask slip now.

Scandal 3.07 AMAZING Dior CoatMoving on to Olivia and this black Dior coat with big white lapels and cuffs is everything. Olivia has a lot of AMAZING coats and this one is up there with the Burberry trench from the season 3 premiere. The full skirt with a white lining on this coat makes it perfect for swishing purposes.

Scandal 3.07 spy shotHere is a better look thanks to Fitz’s surveillance guy. Olivia looks sad and with the reveal that her mother is alive (WHAT?! Yeah the only surprise is that this reveal came this early) I’m sure she’s not going to get any less conflicted soon. I want to see the more defiant Olivia and I know this will be hard considering the shit that is piling up, but there’s been a lot of semi crying Olivia recently.

Scandal Olivia in blueIt’s a rare sight, but Olivia is wearing something in blue and maybe her recent state of mind is throwing her off her usual wardrobe patterns. It’s a color that softens her and it complements the lighter shade of blue that Jake is wearing.

Scandal 3.07 Harrison's pink suspendersThere are two things you can guarantee with Harrison; that he won’t say no to a request from Olivia and that he will be wearing snazzy suspenders. This time in hot pink.

Scandal 3.07 watch chainAbby’s new look involves a lot of accessories including this amazing necklace and costume designer Lyn Paolo revealed that it is made from a vintage Movado watch. Darby Stanchfield also features on this week’s TV Ate My Wardrobe “Out of the Box.”

Scandal 3.07 braggart QuinnQuinn’s top is pretty hypnotic and maybe she stared at it for too long as Quinn did something incredibly dumb this week; not only did she smooch Charlie, but she’s now another pawn in the B613 parade. Oh Quinn, when will you learn? I think the answer is probably never. Pro tip – don’t brag about how awesomely perceptive you are and then go and kill an innocent person.

Scandal 3.07 JakeAlso hanging around is Jake and Olivia ignores Fitz’s warning to a) not hang out with Jake and b) not look into the reasons behind the plane crash. Jake’s wearing a leather jacket so he might be bad news for Fitz but he looks pretty great on protection duty.

Scandal 3.07 Say WhatOne final shot of Harrison wearing three different patterns and both Abby and Harrison are pulling their best “You what?” faces. There is no reference to Harrison’s troubled past and we don’t even get a David Rosen mention, let alone an appearance.

3 Responses to “Scandal 3.07 Costume Review: The Making of Mellie”


  1. Scandal 3.08 “Vermont is for Lovers, Too” Costume Review : Fantasy and Reality | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 22, 2013

    […] of the situation is not lost on her. Mellie has been through a lot to get to where she is now, as last week’s episode revealed and it makes everything all the more tragic that this role isn’t anything like she […]

  2. Scandal 3.10 “A Door Marked Exit” Costume Review | TV Ate My Wardrobe - December 13, 2013

    […] he’s lying on the floor dead at this point). It reminds of Mellie’s barefoot drunken Oval Office hangout and as someone who lasts about an hour in heels before I take them off, it makes sense to ditch […]

  3. Scandal 3.12 “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies” Review | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 7, 2014

    […] is the star of this week and this is a sequel of sorts to “Everything’s Coming up Mellie” as we find out what happened after Fitz’s father raped her. In the present Mellie is […]

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