Magnificent 1980s Arnold Scaasi Couture Strapless Tiered Black French Lace Dress
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.
This might be one of my favorite dresses I have had in the shop, The photos do not do it full justice and it is only when you see it in person that you realize just how beautiful it is. It is made out of a black French lace and this is the only fabric used on the exterior. The lace completely covers the dress and I would be astounded to know how many yards of lace went into making this dress. The bodice is strapless and meant to be fitted. It is lined in a fine tissue silk and boned for support. The lace covers the exterior completely and I love that he set it so that the scalloped and curved edge peaks above the top edge of the bodice and also does the same at the waist seam. The skirt is extremely full under that and I did not add an additional crinoline under it for these photos. You definitely could if you wanted to though and if you wanted a true full grand ballgown skirt feel. The volume that you see was all created by the sheer amount of fabric, the cut and the lace tiers that run over the skirt. It is cut to be full over the hips and then widens out even more as it nears the floor. I love the tiers of lace that cover the skirt. Each is set to slightly overlap the next one down and each gets slightly wider and longer as they near the hem. No expense was spared on the lace. Even the area between the tiers are finished with lace despite that fact that you can’t see them. Each tier's lace is set to that the edges are scalloped to follow the pattern and shape of the designs in the lace. I took a photo where I hold the skirt up on one side and this will give you an idea of the amount of yardage the skirt is made from. It is incredible. The inner construction of this dress is as good as the exterior and it is made close to a demi-couture level. The skirt is fully lined with a black silk inner skirt and then there are three more layers of a black silk net tulle under the top lace layer to help hold the shape and volume. This is a truly stunning dress. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition
Fully lined in a fine black silk as described above. The skirt has three additional layers of attached inner black tulle skirting. It closes with a hand set back metal zipper. Boned through the bodice. Hand finishes throughout. The dress looks to have been worn very little if at all.
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam with room for an A-B cup
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: to 22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 45" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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