Scaasi taffeta cocktail dress, late 1950s
Arnold Scaasi trained at Paquin in Paris before a two year stint with Charles James in New York. Although Scaasi is known as a superb colorist, he shows here that he can do the "little black dress" with equal mastery. The effect is based on his finely honed sense of shape. Each garment is soft sculpture. He was the model for today's go-to designer for understated, effortless luxury, Tomas Maier.
With the signature off-the-shoulder neckline, draped torso and sculpted skirt, the dress bespeaks the self-confidence of a woman who knows where she is going, yet enjoys her femininity. She is animated, intelligent, original. She is a stylish and captivating woman.
Made from black silk taffeta, the only adornment is a large velvet rose at the deep "V" of the front neckline. The dress, from Scaasi's high end line, is intricately constructed with features expected in high end 1950s clothing: bodice boning; interlined skirt; complete lining; stiffened hems on both dress and lining; and an inner ribbon waistband. The dress closes in back with a metal zipper.
Scaasi has made evening wear for five First Ladies, including Laura Bush's first state dinner. He proposed a scarlet gown with what passes in Washington for plunging décolletage. "She is very good-looking and has a very good figure, but she wears all of these clothes that cover her up. I said, 'We must do a low neckline.' She said, 'But I have freckles on my chest. Isn't that awful?' And I said, 'Just put some makeup on it. It's not the end of the world.'"
The condition is excellent. It is clean and ready to wear.
The size is marked 6. It measures: 36" bust, 27" waist, 38" hip, and 30 1/2" center-front length.