Magazine article Variety

A Costumer's Contemporary Challenge

Magazine article Variety

A Costumer's Contemporary Challenge

Article excerpt

FANS AND AWARDS SHOWS love focusing on period costumes in films and TV, but what about contemporary outfits? They get far less attention but can be even more challenging to create.

That's the world in which Lyn Paolo lives. She's the costume designer on three contemporary series: "Scandal,""Shameless," and "Animal Kingdom."

"Everyone dresses with the clothes in their closet every day/ Paolo says. "We all have opinions about these clothes, and there's so much nuance."

Paolo uses her designs to define the evolution of characters. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, had a wholesome innocence when ABC's "Scandal" began in 2012, dressing like "a '50s weathergirl." Now, with "Scandal" having just ended its fifth season and about to embark on season six, Pope has newfound confidence, and Paolo has donned her in leather and strong lines.

The costume designers work fast. They have eight days to pull together each episode's 200 costume changes. …

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