arnold scaasi

Stunning 1980s Arnold Scaasi Couture Black Silk Strapless Dress w Shocking Pink Ruffle

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 extremely well made pieces. It is so dramatic and in being so also so very Scaasi.  He himself once said 'I am not a minimalist designer! Clothes with some adornment are more interesting to look at and more fun to wear.'

You can easily see the influence of Arnold having worked for Charles James in this piece. The lines are dramatic and yet elegant. The silk is that incredibly rich feeling silk that drapes and sits beautifully. The dress is strapless and is gathered from there to just past the hip. The gathers are all held in place along the side and this brings in the cut so that it follows and highlights your curves. The skirt is set under that and the seam is done on a slight angle to add visual length to the dress. On the opposite side that seam extends down and into a deep point to give the body length there as well. The skirt is quite full and the shape and volume that you see is held by the inner construction which is quite amazing. The innermost layer closest to you is a fine black silk that is finished at the hem with a broad inset band of stiffened netting so that the shape is kept. Over this lay four full layers of tulle netting and then the outermost layers sits over all of that and even that top layer is self-lined in a black silk organza. The final perfect touch is that extraordinary ruffle that is set along the side and runs down the front all the way to the bottom of the gathered bodice. The ruffle is black on one side and then the other is finished in a shocking pink silk. This unexpected shock of color is fantastic. I have placed it to one side but the dress is so well made that you could wear it almost anyway around and just change where the zipper sits and the back or sides.Excellent condition.

Fully lined in a fine black tissue silk. The bodice is lightly boned on the ruffle side and it closes with a back metal zipper on the opposite side. The inner skirt construction is described above. Hand finished throughout.

Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: approx 18" from top of bodice to dropped seam
Skirt: 39" from dropped seam to hem with 4" turned under the top layer

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4305

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