Shonda Rhimes’ hit television show “How to Get Away With Murder” returned for its third season this month with quite the costume change. Lyn Paolo has taken over to help outfit the scheming lawyer Annalise Keating (played by Viola Davis) and the rest of the cast.
You might recognize Paolo’s name from another famous Rhimes show called “Scandal.” Paolo offered up some juicy shoe scoop for fans from the set of both shows.
How have the character’s costumes changed this season?
The Keating kids aren’t the sweet and innocent kids that arrived at the first lecture. They’re more grown up and have seen things that would impact your psyche, so we wanted to reflect that in the clothing. I think the audience will see a slightly more precise and darker palette than they saw before.
How has Alfred Enoch’s character, Wes Gibbins, changed?
For Wes, he came to the university, and his whole storyline revolved around the fact he didn’t have money and he was a struggling student. He’s not the boy on his bike arriving in plaid shirts. He’s slick and has moved on, and he makes a little bit more money now, so we do a lot of J.Crew and jackets for him.
Annalise Keating saw a lot of trauma last season. How did that affect her costumes?
As she deals with her demons and the death that has surrounded her, I dressed her in layers. You rarely see her arms, and she’s really closed off. She has her armor on.
What shoes do you turn to?
We’re still loyal to our friends at Manolo [Blahnik]. We loved the BB shoes; it’s one of our go-to styles. I think I buy it in every single color in the world between the two shows. We’re doing a lot with Fiorenti and Baker for characters, especially Laurel [played by Karla Souza]. I’m a big fan of Jessica Simpson, too. We do quite a few of her shoes on both shows. We’ve been using Escada because last season they did this really cool range of kitten heels that just work so well and offer a good range of color and tone.
How do you shop for shoes?
It’s not that we’re not loyal to certain brands, but depending on the character, we need certain shoes from every walk of brands, no pun intended. We’ll go shopping at Target and then Neiman Marcus the same day. I look at the style and not at the name. For actors, the shoe can be the most important choice in a costume fitting. Once they step on the shoes, now they’re Olivia Pope or Annalise Keating. It’s the talisman to transport them to the other world.
What was the biggest challenge coming into the show?
I’m not used to come into a show in the middle. I’ve been used to doing a pilot and getting to stay. It is tricky coming in in the middle because we want to be respectful of what was before but want to bring your personal point of view. I think it helped me to learn and use muscles I haven’t used in a while. I love a challenge.
What is the best part of working on “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder”?
Shondaland is a lovely place to work, and you always feel a part of a bigger family. I feel like I’m on a college campus. I’ll be walking down the street, and I’ll see Katie Lowes talking to Matt McGorry, and I’ll see the group together, and it feels like a bigger party.