How 'Scandal' Picked Olivia Pope's 'Iconic' Look for the Series' Final Scene

By
ABC

The final scene of Scandal had an iconic fashion moment.

Last night's series finale ended with a powerful lasting image of two young black girls walking through the halls of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and stopping at a new portrait of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) hanging on the wall.

Though it wasn't implicitly stated during the finale, it's implied that Olivia may have eventually become president of the United States. (Only presidents and first ladies have official portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, though it could be feasible for Olivia to have become a first lady.) While creator Shonda Rhimes said the ending was intentionally left ambiguous, one thing that wasn't was Olivia's stunning final look. So how did they pick it?

On Friday morning, the design house of Carolina Herrera revealed that the crisp white shirt and the belted light blue floor-length ball skirt that Olivia wears in the portrait -- a signature look Herrera made famous -- was theirs. 

"It's handled. @kerrywashington wears #CarolinaHerrera in the final scene of @ScandalABC. Honored to be part of that iconic moment. Here's to the Gladiators," the design house tweeted alongside Olivia's portrait.

Washington shared some behind-the-scenes nuggets about how she and the Scandal costume designer, Lyn Paolo, decided on that particular ensemble as the lasting image for the show. Before Washington found the Carolina Herrera runway look (while watching the fall 2018 runway show), the 41-year-old actress revealed that she and Paolo were having difficulty searching for the perfect series-defining outfit for the political fixer.

"Thank you for the honor! And for sending it straight from the runway show 😍 We were struggling a bit with Olivia’s look for the portrait because we knew it had to ICONIC, but then When @LynPaolo & I watched the @HouseofHerrera show online... we just KNEW," she wrote.

Rhimes also found herself reminiscing about the striking final scene, sharing a screenshot of the two young girls staring up at Olivia's portrait. (One of those girls is Rhimes' daughter, Harper.)

❤️

A post shared by Shonda Rhimes (@shondarhimes) on

Following the series finale on Thursday night, Rhimes and the Scandal cast appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!to dish on the swan song.

"No [I won't tell people how to interpret it]," Rhimes said of the National Portrait Gallery scene. "I know [how it ends]. I'm not going to say!" 

"It's written that we're not sure exactly why [Olivia's portrait is hanging in the gallery]," Washington admitted.

"I get one last thing to say as a spoiler that I'm not going to reveal," Rhimes coyly added. 

For more on Scandal, watch the video below.

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