arnold scaasi

1986 Arnold Scaasi Couture Deep Red Lace Dress w Rhinestone Detailing & Trained Back Skirt

Arnold Scaasi was born Arnold Isaacs in Montreal and the name Scassi is simply his own surname in reverse. He studied in Montreal and in Paris, apprenticed at the house of Paquin and then worked with the legendary Charles James. In 1964 he opened own couture salon. He dressed Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Diahann Carroll and Elizabeth Taylor. He dressed several first ladies including Mamie Eisenhower, Hillary Clinton and both the Bush first ladies. He even once bragged that he refused to give Jackie clothes for free. He was the man behind the scandalous 1969 Barbra Streisand sheer trouser outfit that she collected her Oscar in, and he was presented with the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. The dress is from his main label and these were made to couture standards. It is incredible to see in person and it will really come to life once on an actual body. We found a very similar dress held at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and it lets you see just how wonderful the dress will be once on. 

The dress is a showstopper. It is made out of a deep red coloured lace that is then detailed with cording that wraps around the edges of the floral design on the lace. Then he added tiny little rhinestones that are fused to the fabric of the larger flower patterns to give the dress an subtle bit of added glitz. The bodice is cut to skim over you with an inner silk lining in the same shade of red. The sleeves and neckline at both the back and the front are not lined so you get a little glimpse of the skin underneath the lace. The waist is not seamed so there is no line to break the eye. It simply comes in to suggest shape and then flares out to the skirt underneath. The skirt skims over the hips and then widens out as it nears the floor. I love the high low effect that the skirt has. It is cut to be shorter at the front and then the hem curves back and around you where it extends out to a trained effect at the back. All of the edges are scalloped to follow the pattern and shape of the designs in the lace. The inner construction of this dress is as good as the exterior. It is fully lined in a red silk and then the back of the skirt has an added layer of stiffened net tulle to help hold the shape and volume. The inside is exquisitely constructed and it is all hand finished. This is a stunning dress. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a fine deep red silk. The skirt is finished with attached inner tulle skirting. It closes with a hand set back metal zipper. At some point a repair was done to the edge of the inner tulle of the skirt ad there is an area missing in the tulle just above the hem. This does not affect the dress in anyway. Otherwise looks to have been worn very little if at all. 

Sleeves: 24"
Shoulders: no defined seams
Bust: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 45" from neck to front hem, 64" to back hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD3813

Reference Photos: Fall 1986 Arnold Scaasi dress from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston collection.

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