Tag Archives: Costume Design. Lyn Paolo

Scandal 3.13 “No Sun on the Horizon” Review: Through the Looking Glass/Behind the Curtain

14 Mar

Absolution is sought by many on Scandal and everyone is guilty of something – David Rosen might be the only exception. The theme of this week is light and dark (timely after the True Detective finale), with confession topping the agenda for many. This includes wanting to confess in publicly for wrong doings, as well as sharing truths that might destroy relationships and yet some are made stronger from the truth.

As always I will be looking at the episode through the prism of costume and Olivia Pope’s wardrobe is forever drenched in the battle between black and white.

Scandal 3.13 Olivia in D&G“No Sun on the Horizon” opens with Olivia learning the truth about Daniel Douglas’ murder and who all the players are in both the cover up and subsequent plan to reveal the whole thing to the world. Olivia is incredulous at first and she doesn’t believe that Cyrus would have done such a thing without calling her first. This Dolce & Gabbana floral embroidered top is pure Olivia Pope and while I’d like to see the whole thing, I know that certain camera angles and prop placement is necessary to avoid Kerry Washington’s bump. They’re doing a good job of this so far, even if it is a tad distracting at times and it means that we miss out on full costume shots, but hey I get it.

Scandal 3.13 D&G coatMore Dolce & Gabbana and another coat to add to the covet list as Olivia confronts Cyrus, finding out that David was telling the truth about Cyrus’ level of involvement. In terms of lighting Olivia is bathed in it in this shot as she rails against Cyrus and tells him that she will not help him; she wants to walk in the light. This comes after a hysterical laughing fit as she realizes they have a “Murders’ Row” of presidential candidates and really there are very few people on this show who haven’t killed someone. Olivia has lived in the moral ambiguity for so long that this desire to be free of this lifestyle is understandable, but I’m not sure how much I buy her longing for the normal life.

Scandal 3.13 wine cardiganOlivia puts on her best TSE wine cardigan and heads to Jake with a bottle of wine (all for her) and burgers (that don’t get eaten, shaking my head at the waste of good food). The question of a normal life and wanting to be free from this one is raised once again, with Jake role playing as the paper seller that is B613’s cover and all I can think about is Michael Scott’s screenplay in The Office and how Jake is the Agent Michael Scarn that Micheal Scott dreamed he could be. Scranton this isn’t and Jake points out that this is a pretty dull conversation. Then he asks Olivia to run away with him as he doesn’t really love what’s through the looking glass.

Scandal 3.13 all the wineRunning away isn’t really an option, instead drinking all the wine and sleeping with Jake is the conclusion Olivia comes to. Once again taking a quick look at the lighting of this scene and while all the kitchen lights are on Jake and Olivia are both shrouded in darkness, just like they are in life. Quick note – Jake’s wine glasses are nice, but they are nowhere near as impressive as the one in the next shot.

Scandal 3.13 confession callMore wine and Olivia is bathed in blue light as she rings Fitz to tell him the sordid details about Cyrus and Daniel Douglas’ murder. Olivia wants to lift the curtain and make this election an honest one, but they are way beyond that point now. Olivia asks Fitz to throw the debate, something he initially refuses to do. This is an act of dishonesty, but it’s one that serves the greater good of getting Fitz re-elected in a sorta clean election. Everything is a big blurry moral mess behind the curtain. Olivia’s pajamas are even spelling out the whole black and white thing; what you can’t see here is that the bottoms are black. Olivia also shows her superior wine drinking skills by not spilling a drop.

Scandal 3.13 Jake blue lightJake tells his family story to an unseen person and I’m guessing whoever it is, is instrumental in the events that occur at the end of the episode. We learn that Jake had a pretty shitty upbringing – abusive father, dead sister, mother who was emotionally absent – and he views B613 as family. He can’t imagine another life, which contradicts his earlier running away suggestion. So who is Jake spinning his origin story to? The obvious choice is Quinn as he’s brought her back into the B613 fold and Quinn has already mentioned Olivia’s family speechifying, but it could it be someone else. The lighting used here is reminiscent of the previous scene I discussed as Olivia tells Fitz everything and Jake is also making a confession of sorts as he justifies who he works for; spilling your secrets should always come with a blue or green tint.

Scandal 3.13 pink pradaNow I’m sure Olivia has worn this baby soft pink before, but it’s rare and this Prada coat is ultra feminine and really stunning. This is Olivia telling Fitz that she’s not going to say sorry for what they have done to keep him in office. Fitz mentions that he is the only adult around here, which has to be a joke considering his whisky glass throwing tantrum a couple of weeks ago. They’re all culpable in this as “There is no clean. Just like there is no Vermont.”

Scandal 3.13 window kissThere is still smooching and doing it in front of window is probably not the best idea. The cuffs on this coat are amazing.

Scandal 3.13 secret meetingsAlso not so subtle is all the open locations that everyone on this show holds their secret meetings in, has no one watched All the Presidents Men? Here Cyrus and Jake are illuminated by the Washington Monument (light and dark again) and while I enjoy a good Cyrus monologue, I also admire Jake’s quick mouse on a wheel analogy followed by his dismissive “I don’t have the time and you wouldn’t understand.”

Scandal 3.13 jake shootingJake’s got crazy/sad eyes going on here as the episode closes with the mystery of who Jake shoots. My prediction is that it is someone behind David and James; Jake is here to save them and someone else called the meeting. He’s wearing the perfect all black spy/assassin outfit, available at all good spy stores.

Other moments of note that you can see in the gallery below include Mellie in regal purple as she plays Sally in debate prep, complete with a southern accent. As with Josie Marcus, Sally’s flag pin gets a feminine spin as it’s been made into a bow and Kate Burton delivers yet another excellent performance as Sally mental state is less than stable (“Yum yum crispy piggy. Yum yum”). Quinn unhappily plays receptionist and then remembers that she probably shouldn’t sass off the boss, not always the smartest are we Quinn?! Oh and David comes up with a side business idea while in bed with Abby – a range of What Would Olivia Pope Do bracelets – right before he pisses Abby off by making jokes about his current situation. David definitely doesn’t end the episode laughing as his glasses have been sprayed with someone else’s blood and now he has a gun pointed at him.

Scandal 3.05 Costume Review: Gowns, Sweats and Uniforms

1 Nov

It is the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Scandal and yet another stunning gown from Olivia Pope. Olivia is caught between not only her father and her sanity, but between two different campaigns as both the Republicans and Democrats vie for her services. As opposed to the huge nine costume changes last week “More Cattle, Less Bull” focuses on fewer looks and we get to see all the sides of Olivia’s style with work wear, fancy gowns and at home attire.

Scandal 3.05 white diorFirst up is Olivia in a white Dior jacket as Olivia interviews for the role of Josie’s (guest star Lisa Kudrow) campaign manager. This is pretty much standard Olivia Pope and it keeps with the image and color palette of Olivia at work; it is essentially Olivia’s uniform.

Scandal 3.05 Olivia and Jake WHCDIt’s easy to see why this Rubin Singer dress has been talked about all week as it’s a show stopper. It’s a really interesting looking gown and the geometric shapes in black and white aid the swagger walk that Kerry Washington has nailed for Olivia. This is Olivia’s entrance to the WHCD and she looks incredible. Jake doesn’t look too bad either in his tux and you can see why she asked him to be her date, even if she does run off to have a secret rendezvous.

Scandal 3.05 hands on hipsIt’s not who Olivia is expecting and she is greeted by Mellie instead, who after getting off one cheap shot asks Olivia to rejoin the Fitz campaign. Olivia is hostile to Mellie at first and the cut of this dress provides a striking visual with Olivia’s long black gloved hands on hips. There’s something a little superhero couture about this pose and hairstyle. It contrasts with Mellie’s J. Mendel burgundy gown  and for once despite her usual manipulations this feels like an honest Mellie.

Scandal 3.05 Mellie and FitzMellie is very good at faking happiness as demonstrated in the photo above and she is every inch the perfect First Lady at this event even with the many jokes about Fitz and his keeping it in his pants problem. Fitz like Jake also suits this look, but Jake wins the prize thanks to his tux having military flourishes.

Scandal 3.05 big hair MellieThe volume of Mellie’s hair might be an indicator of how unhappy she is and how much she is faking it. In this scene it is at an all new high as is the forced smile.

Scandal 3.05 star pinThey’re feeling the heat thanks to the very likable Josie Marcus who manages to sidestep her very own scandal thanks to Olivia – they need to make “We Got Poped” buttons, tees and bumper stickers. At the debate Josie is wearing an American flag pin but with a twist as hers is shaped like a star instead of the standard flag. So who is Olivia going to chose? It seemed like an easy answer thanks to Mellie’s pleas but the news that Jake and Huck have uncovered will make Fitz the less favorable choice. Oh and Huck is totally Team Olake.

Scandal 3.05 basketballThis basketball scene gives both Jake and Fitz fans something to cheer about and gives Fitz something other than a suits to wear (he also gets some pj time later in the episode).

Scandal 3.05 power clashingYou know who loves to wear something fancy? Yep it’s Harrison who gets to lead the team in Montana and he questions Olivia’s judgement later as she hesitates to take Josie’s offer. It feels like conflict could be brewing between Olivia and Harrison. The tie/shirt power clashing is the standard Harrison work attire and we also get a glimpse at his supper snazzy polka dot suspenders too. Abby is once again rocking the leopard print Diane von Furstenberg blouse that she wore last week and I like it when shows like this includes repeat outfits.

Scandal 3.05 SuspendersLooking a little more casual without a tie, Harrison wears another pattern clashing shirt and suspenders combo all while not looking freaked out by the ram skull on the wall behind him. Instead he is giving Abby grief telling her that she’s “got issues.”

Scandal 3.05 Abby old HollywoodThese issues are to do with Abby’s renewed romance with David and it hits a slight bump thanks to Abby lying to David about why she can’t go to the WHCD; it turns out her ex-husband is also attending. They’re still in the early stages of being a couple again and after all the deception it’s easy to see why it causes this issue. It’s ok as Abby turns up to David’s apartment looking very Old Hollywood in this Ralph Lauren gown (with a hint of Julianne Moore) and the pair smooth things over. This mention of Abby’s ex suggests that there is more to come about Abby’s past soon.

Scandal 3.05 Grant for PrezOne of the things I love about dressing up is when you get home and can change into all the comfy clothes. Olivia does this too and thanks to Mellie’s chat she’s totally into the idea of a Fitz re-election campaign and this leads this old campaign tee and digging out a box of memories. This shot is also a hint of what we can expect in terms of the careful placement of objects if they don’t write Kerry Washington’s real life pregnancy into the show.

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