Scaasi sequined velvet evening dress, 1980s
Savvy fashionistas have discovered they can have the high end designer look at a great price by buying vintage. You will make a memorable entrance in this magnificent evening dress by Scaasi, who trained at Paquin in Paris before a two-year stint with Charles James in New York. The sculptural design and the elaborate construction show the influence of James.
The dress is fashioned from claret hued velvet with a wide, scalloped hem border of embroidery and sequins. The wide open neckline of the bodice is framed with a cape collar that forms faux sleeves. They are elasticized across the tops and can be worn on the shoulders or dropped below. The dress is totally lined and closes in back with an invisible zipper.
The shape is totally built into the dress, which could stand on its own as a piece of sculpture. The built-in crinoline is a tour de force of layers of stiffened tulle. The hems of the skirt and lining skirt are both stiffened.
Arnold Scaasi has made evening wear for five First Ladies. He suggested to Laura Bush a scarlet gown with what passes in D.C. for plunging décolletage. "She has a good figure, but she wears 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?' I said, 'Just put makeup on it. It is not the end of the world."
In addition to the Scaasi label, the dress has a Bergdorf Goodman label.
The condition is almost excellent. The zipper sticks a little but is not broken. The dress is clean and ready to wear.
It measures: 38" bust, 32" waist, 44" hip, and 55" from shoulder to hem.