The Career Woman and the Princess
Fashioning Black-American Female identity in ‘Scandal’ (2012-17).
Fashioning is critical to explorations of television identities and American melodrama-thriller series Scandal (2012-17) provides opportunities to explore representations of ethnicity together with depictions of interracial romance and intercourse. Utilising semiotics I explore the contribution of costume designer Lyn Paolo to the construction of the Black-American heroine of the series, Olivia Pope, successful career woman and lover of a white, male President. Arguing for the potential of female spectacle and soft-core pornography as progressive I consider Paolo’s influences, suggesting that Olivia’s fashioning transformations illustrate her as dandy-flâneuse, one controlling the visualisation of her identity.