Your Gladiator Glam Guide
Posted On May 16, 2016
Each and every Thursday night, Gladiators are privy to the sleek yet chic looks of Olivia Pope the onscreen fictional character portrayed by actress Kerry Washington. As she dominates the Whitehouse and our personal catwalks, Liv not only fixes the biggest political scandals within the emotionally charged thriller but she also handles our major fashion dilemmas.
With a wide range of laurels ranging from being named as a Style Influencer by the Accessories Council and a specially curated Saks Fifth Avenue installation inspired from Olivia’s closet. As well as a collection with clothing company, The Limited which was coveted as “the first design collaboration between a national retailer and a top-rated network TV show, its costume designer, and star,” women from all walks of life are vying for the coveted style secrets of Olivia Pope to Elizabeth North.
However, who exactly is the fashion force behind the creative lens of ABC’s political thriller, Scandal? It is none other than award-winning costume stylist Lyn Paolo. Lyn’s eye for fashion paralleled with her style acumen has garnered worldwide recognition and helped redefine the typical business attire for the modern day working woman.
With season five of Scandal recently coming to an end doesn’t our #TGIT lineup seem incomplete? To cure all of your Scandal withdrawals, we chatted with fashion trailblazer Lyn Paolo, as she spilled all the tea on how to style and profile just as if you were a member of the cast within the wonderful world of ShondaLand. Gladiators get ready to tap into your inner Olivia Pope with Lyn’s style secrets.
New You: In terms of wardrobe/styling selection, what are your top dos and don’ts to make a killer first impression?
Lyn Paolo: Although it may seem silly to say I believe it is still worth mentioning. The worst thing to do is to show up for an interview, a first day on the job or whatever the case may be, disheveled or unkempt. Everything from head-to-toe should be crisp, clean, and tidy. Something else to always keep in mind is to remember that confidence is key. Being confident in your skin and the clothes that you wear is the icing on the cake of making a killer first impression.
NY: A staple piece that should be in every woman’s closet?
LP: Although, I believe it definitely depends on the woman, I will say a staple piece that should be in every woman’s closet is to have one go-to jacket, skirt, or dress that you know you will always have the ability to fit into. These are the items that if thrown on without a second thought, you are suddenly, appropriately dressed for any occasion.
Personally speaking, it is all about my jackets. That is my secret shame because I buy coats like crazy! My reasoning for this is because I grew up in England where it is cold and rainy. I most likely own more coats than any normal person does who lives in Los Angeles (laughs). On a serious note, you can wear a pair of pajamas and throw an amazing coat on top. In the blink of an eye, you are dressed up. Additionally, I personally feel that if you have the right shoe, it can definitely make every other fashion mistake acceptable. NY: What’s worth splurging on when it comes to a working woman’s wardrobe? LP: They don’t have to be fancy heels or anything but without a doubt, shoes! I love looking down at my feet and seeing a great pair of shoes because it can always cheer you up.
NY: And the other side to that, what’s worth purging in your closet? LP: Anything that you have not worn in two years, it is time to get rid of it because you are never going to wear it again. That is the one thing that I do for my friends is go to their houses and clean their closets. Maybe I can go into business doing this? (laughs). NY: Earlier you mentioned your jackets as being one of your staple, go-to pieces. Being that Olivia Pope is known for her chic on the go style, what type of coat is good for all seasons? LP: That is a good question! I genuinely believe that everyone should own at least one Burberry coat. You don’t have to limit yourself to their classic trenches because they make the most amazing outerwear. To further add to that, if you are able to purchase one of Max Mara’s classic lightweight cashmere coats, that is also a must-have. Although it is pricier than several other options that are available to purchase it is truly worth the investment, trust me on this! I have quite a few lightweight trenches in every color, shape, and size that are roughly 16 years old that I still wear today. I assure you they are never going of style.
Max Mara and Burberry are my go-to places especially if you live on the East Coast and experience real weather because both companies create timeless, fashion forward pieces. Of course, this only applies to those who have an interest in purchasing quality over quantity in this current world of disposable trendy fashions. If you buy a quality garment with a classic silhouette, it will last you forever. My daughter loves my closet and steals all of my clothes, but I sure wish she didn’t! (laughs). NY: What trends will Elizabeth North never fall victim to? LP: I truly cannot see Elizabeth North being casual and wearing a pair of boyfriend jeans because I don’t think that she is that type of person. I am not insisting that she would never wear a pair of jeans because she has definitely worn a pair or two on the show. To that extent, I relate Lizzie to the British Royal family meaning that if she were to wear jeans, they would be paired with a short hacking jacket. In my mind, she is very town and country and never out of that type of world. There is always a tremendous amount of thought put into her wardrobe attire. As a result, Lizzie North will never dress in a messy manner or with boyfriend jeans and a baggy shirt which are items that I normally wear. That is not going to happen to her, at least I hope not!
NY: For women in media, what are the essentials needed in order to re-create Abby’s sophisticated yet classic, chic look?
LP: Something that people fail to realize is that Abby surprisingly unlike Olivia never wears a suit. I believe women should coordinate their entire closets and encompass pieces that can be mixed and matched to work together. Abby not only has a range of chic dresses but also pant suits which you have recently seen that were introduced into her closet. All her jackets work well with either a dress or a blouse, and I believe that is very important for any woman’s wardrobe.
I know this from first-hand experience through my travels and working on the surreal campaigns of the show. When you are in the media business it is really hard to keep your clothes fresh and camera ready at all times. When I am consulting, I emphasize this point because it is not about having just one outfit after the next. All of the pieces in your suitcase should mix and match to integrate and create options of varied looks.
NY: That’s actually great advice because I know personally speaking from a traveling standpoint I am usually over packed. It is because I always only pack one outfit for each day/event as opposed to integrating various pieces. Long story short I usually end up checking a bag while traveling.
LP: That’s my issue when I travel too because for me it is always about the shoes. I try to keep it down to three pairs of shoes and if I can do that I can usually manage it to where I don’t have to take two suitcases.
Be sure to stay up-to date with Lyn’s style secrets!
ABC Television NetworkBurberryKerry WashingtonLyn PaoloMax MaraOlivia PopeScandalShonda Rhimes