As Annalise Keating on “How To Get Away With Murder,” Viola Davis is as passionate about clothes as she is about her court cases.
Whether it is her impeccably tailored pencil skirts or her bejeweled statement necklaces, “HTGAWM” costume designer Linda Bass makes sure Davis is impeccable from head to toe, whether she is in the classroom or the courtroom, and season two will be no different.
“It is her armor, it’s what she uses to protect herself against the world,” Bass told StyleBlazer exclusively of Keating’s wardrobe. “This season, we’re just adding a little bit more color. It’s sort of a dark story, but she wears it so beautifully, so unless it gets in the way of the story, I just started putting her in more colors, and she looks good in almost everything.”
Clothing plays a pivotal role in “HTGAWM” and it is the details that reveal the nuances of a character, like Bonnie Winterbottom’s pearls or Wes Gibbins’ bygone plaid shirts. Remember THE scene from season one? There was a reason Keating wore a silk robe.
Confident, powerful and sexual is how Bass describes Keating’s wardrobe and with one season under her belt, Davis is taking a more pivotal role in telling Keating’s story one article of clothing at a time.
“When we first started, I don’t think she was as aware of her wardrobe and fashion,” Bass said. “She just sort of was my mannequin and I dressed her, but she has learned a lot. She’s much more knowledgeable this season about fashion than she was last season. I am a tutor to the perfect student.”
However, there is one item we will never see in Keating’s closet.
Keep reading for more from our exclusive interview with “HTGAWM” costume designer Linda Bass:
On Annalise Keating’s go-to designers: “I started realizing that Jason Wu is really good on her, and I started doing as much Jason Wu as I can get my hands on. She’s great in Alexander McQueen, she’s great in Victoria Beckham, MaxMara is always a staple and now Jason Wu has entered into the closet.”
On Keating’s statement outerwear: “Coats are a huge part of wardrobe, but in all wardrobe I love detail. I love coats with a lot of detail because she can be wearing the most fabulous dress in the world, but if she wears a coat three scenes out of four the dress becomes less important. I usually look for coats that are styled with a noticeable details.”
On what women can learn from Davis’ wardrobe: “For someone with Viola’s really wonderfully curvy figure, I think the mistake most women make is to wear their clothes too big. I think that it’s really beautiful when you do it really fitted; a feminine, sexy silhouette.”
On THAT scene: “I always say, my whole approach to her wardrobe is her clothes are her armor. Underneath that tough exterior is a really sensitive, broken woman. So that scene sort of said it all as she took off her makeup, as she took off her wig. I didn’t want to put her in just the typical terry robe. I wanted her to start off perfectly armored and perfectly manicured and with each step more of her was revealed. That is why I went with the silk robe.”
Keep reading to find out what Keating will never wear, and whose wardrobe is inspired by Princess Kate: