Saturday, November 30, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: Scandal

Scandal has quickly become a media phenomenon. Created by Grey's Anatomy's Shonda Rhimes, the show originally was going to be cancelled after only one season. Fortunately, between large social media campaigns and addictive writing, the show was able to skyrocket its ratings and is now one of the most watched shows in its jaw dropping third season. Main character Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, plays a proud and independent political fixer in Washington, D.C. 

One of the greatest parts of the television show is the way fashion plays as an important role to the characters in the story. Even when doing a Google Image search for "Olivia Pope", the first suggestion to come up are her outfits. Olivia Pope is decked out episode by episode in polished, sophisticated outfits that display how important it is for her clients to take her seriously. In an interview for Cosmopolitain, costume designer Lyn Paolo reveals just how important outfits play for the character, even down to the hues. 

When she doesn't know what she's doing, she wears grey. If she's in a lot of trouble, and she's conflicted, she's in black and white. At Saks this week, they were showing me all of these dresses and I was like, ‘Olivia doesn't wear dresses. She only wears dresses in the past. That was when she was happy and in love with Fitz [married POTUS]. Now she wears the pants because that's who she has to be now.’

Besides center lady Olivia, there are also other characters whose outfits are important to their character. Viewers share a "love to hate" attitude towards First Lady "Mellie" Grant, who stops at nothing to make sure that her husband (and world leader) doesn't go back into the arms of Olivia. Even with this, watchers can agree that her outfits are always on point. She has a polished look that is the epitome of a politician's wife: quaffed hair, classic silhouettes, a toothy smile. All of it is used to put on a mask to the world that her life is perfect, when in reality it's anything but.


The show's deliberate intent on making fashion an internal part of the show is something I enjoy seeing unfold every week. Not only am I excited to see what crazy drama Olivia has to clean up or what desperate schemes Mellie has planned, but I am also excited to see what subliminal messages Lyn Paolo tries to display with the characters.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: The Mindy Project

I decided that if this is a fashion blog, it's not only important to post about new and emerging trends, but also seeing how those trends are seen through media like film and television. Since the ever fashionable teen show Gossip Girl has gone off air, I've been more apt at finding shows where fashion takes a central role in understanding the characters and setting. 

An unexpected contender: The Mindy Project. Going on it's second season this year on Fox, character Dr. Mindy Lahari (played by The Office star, writer, producer, and all-around girl genius Mindy Kaling) is constantly decked out in quirky clothes that show off her young, vibrant personality. Her outfits are always in good taste, showing that she's serious at her job as an OB/GYN, but still manages to find time to gossip about her celeb crush on her breaks. Kaling, who takes many roles behind the scenes of her show, has influence on her character's wardrobe. In an interview with Huffington Post and The Mindy Project costume designer Salvador Perez, Jr., it's revealed that Perez and Kaling work together on creating the great ensembles that are featured on the show, through  emailed ideas and sharing prospective materials. Whether it be a cardigan/printed blouse combo, or a simple, well-tailored dress with striking colors, the collaboration is definitely working. 

The show has been looked upon so much for its fashion that websites have even worked to find out where exactly the outfit pieces come from Worn On TV has an entire section devoted to the show and finding pieces that are exact or near matches to what's worn on the show. 

Personally, I like the fact that most all of these  outfits are seemingly daring and go against the usual fashion rules, but most always work. Mixed prints, clashing colors, and even 80s waist belts can all be seen in one outfit, which would typically make it look like an outfit is just doing too much. But when watching the show, it seems that Kaling is able to pull these looks off for her character. It reminds me that taking risks in fashion that go against the grain can payoff. 

You can catch the great outfits on The Mindy Project on Fox Tuesday nights at 9:30 EST and catch up to the season on Hulu.