“Scandal” star Kerry Washington, beaming in a sexy floral dress, shared the spotlight with some very good clothes at the launch party for her new “Scandal” collection for The Limited on Monday night at the downtown IAC building. These, displayed on a loooong line of models standing on a raised platform, definitively conjured Olivia Pope. And it’s Pope, the ABC-TV hit show’s popular character, whose uber-chic yet professional high-end attire (brands like Gucci, Armani, Donna Karan) has the fashion-loving masses drooling.
But unlike the clothes on the show, which cost thousands of dollars, this 79-piece collection -- touted as the first-ever collaboration between a major hit television show, a national retailer, a star and the show’s costume designer -- runs from $49 - $248. And, oh goody, the collection hits The Limited stores Tuesday.
“She’s a modern day power dresser,” explained Washington of her character at the event. “She’s re-envisioned power clothes and she clearly wears the pants -- literally and figuratively.”
To that end, the collection offers several trouser silos including the “Liv flare” -- looser, longer and yes slightly flared pant -- and a sleeker, neat, slightly cropped variety … the Livvy Slim.
The show’s costume designer, Lyn Paolo, was definitive about her own favorite pieces in the collection. “I love the coats. I’m obsessed with them.” In soft colors, these include cushy wrap coats some with Dolman sleeves, all evocative of Olivia Pope’s swanky “gladiator” armor. A smart cape with windowpane checks seemed to be one of the few items in the collection that could work for business and weekend, but after all, when is Olivia not working? “That cape would look gorgeous with jeans,” Washington said.
Oddly enough, Paolo said that wardrobing the fictional Washington, D.C., fixer on the show is not necessarily, “About the clothes. I get the script first,” she said. “And then we talk. It’s always just the two of us in a room,” she said referring to Washington. “We go through every single scene, talk about what her character is feeling, doing, thinking. Everything has a meaning.”
Apparently there’s a lot of “meaning” in the new collection. Paolo says you can expect to see 20-pieces from the “Scandal” collection for The Limited interspersed through the first five episodes. She added that Washington was thrilled to wear them on the set. “She really was so proud.”