arnold scaasi

1960s Arnold Scaasi Couture Strapless Purple Silk Dress w Silver Thread Detailing

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 is made out of a purple silk voile that has a fine silver thread running through it. This touch of silver highlights the woven floral design that sits within a basket weave effect. The fabric is truly incredible. The textile alone on this one is incredible. The strapless bodice is cut with a high dramatic squared off shape at the front and straight across at the back. That front panel is set so that it peaks up and above the bust-line and stands out from it so that the squared off shape is kept. It has an almost flattening effect that gives it a historical feel. There is inner boning to help it stand and keep the shape. It then if fitted around the waist to cinch in your shape. The skirt is set into that in a series of soft gathers pleats. It is very full and falls to the floor in gently widening curve to the hem. The inner skirt is lined in a silk organza and finished with a wide strip of stiffened netting to hem to hold the shape.  There is also built in tulle layers to give it the fullness that you see. I did not use any additional crinolines for the photos. The sone is not perfect but presents well. Please read full description below.

The bodice is fully lined in a fine black tissue silk and skirt is interlined in back silk organza. There are two layers of tulle skirting and then an interior black silk skirt. The interior skirt and exterior skirt are finished at the hem with a band of wide stiffened netting. The fabric shows slight wear and some fading under the arms. Slight fading and grubbiness at the hem and edge of the top bodice. Some fading to the fabric down one side and a dot of yellowing on the bodice. Please see the photos after the label shot. 

Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Natural waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Interior hips: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14" from top of bodice to slightly dropped waist seam
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD2260

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.