arnold scaasi

1960s Arnold Scaasi Couture Gold Cording, Beading & Metallic Applique Dress Jacket Set

Arnold Scaasi was born Arnold Isaacs in Montreal and the name Scassi is simply his own name reversed. 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 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. His mainline was made to couture standards and I am always happy to find his work. 

This dress and jacket set combines the richness of a black velvet with an elaborate and brilliant design. The work and attention to detail is incredible. Onto the velvet base is a dense application of gold braid, sequins and beads that are all hand applied and have been set into an amazing 3D design that covers both pieces. The pattern created is a gorgeous and intricate flowering vine that trails across the dress and the jacket. The dress is a strapless, sculpted piece that hugs the bodice and then falls away from the body in an A-line shape. The jacket is cropped and sits over the dress to cover the shoulders. You can wear the jacket open and loose or close it for a more fitted silhouette. The sleeves of the jacket are cut on a curve in the traditional couture manner  and I love the bright pink lining that gives a flash of unexpected colour when you wear it open. The cording and bead work fully covers the dress and jacket except for the very top and bottom of the dress which creates a wide band of solid black to anchor the design. The two pieces are is equally stunning worn together or as separates. Scaasi dressed actresses, socialites and first ladies.  He also studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and you can see the evidence of that in work like this set. He was never an official member of the Chambre so even though this is made to couture standards it, like his other work from his main atelier, is considered demi-couture. Excellent condition with a note below.

The dress in fully interlined in a black silk through the bodice and hand finished and aslo has a second lining in the skirt. It closes with a back, hand set painted metal zipper and a second metal zipper on the interior bodice. The bodice is boned. The jacket is fully lined in a fine, high end pink silk and is hand finished. It closes with fabric covered snaps. Many of the larger paillettes are partially broken and a few maybe be missing here and there but the design is so extensive that it doesn't distract at all from the overall effect. The interior lining of the skirt was cut at some point so it now falls just past the hip and has an unfinished edge.

Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 29" from top of strapless bodice to hem

Slightly dropped sleeves: 19"
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 19" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD2762

This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.