Friday, March 18, 2011

Scaasi: American Couturier

Dear readers, it's been months since we've dished about fashion! Well, unless you include those amazing pictures of Top Chef's Carla Hall as a '90s model. But with Project Runway on a between-season break (Season 9 details coming soon), there's been a severe lack of fashion on these pages.

Let's fix that with some pre-weekend couture, shall we?

Yesterday, I found myself wandering the halls of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Somewhere between the Japanese Buddhist Temple Room and Ancient Egyptian tombs, I stumbled into the Loring Gallery, current home of the "Scaasi: American Couturier" exhibit.

Now, I will admit that prior to this discovery I had no idea who Arnold Scaasi (born Arnold Isaacs) was, so assuming that at least some of you are in a similar predicament, I'll let the MFA's website give you a little background:
Arnold Scaasi, who began his business in New York in the mid-1950s was one of the few New York designers to concentrate on custom-made clothing rather than ready-to-wear. He has designed for the 20th century’s most celebrated artists and most fashionable socialites, including Broadway, TV, and movie stars, such as Arlene Francis, Mitzi Gaynor, Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, Mary Tyler Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor; Palm Beach and New York socialites including Mary Sanford, Ivana Trump, Joetta Norban, Gayfryd Steinberg, and Edna Morris; and First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Barbara and Laura Bush. His work has always been synonymous with luxurious materials, exuberant color, and refined silhouettes.
Bam. Did you enjoy that little history lesson? Turns out Mr. Scaasi is responsible for a lot of the iconic looks of some of pop culture's legends.

The exhibit focused on his pieces for television actress Arlene Francis, socialites Joetta Norban and Gayfryd Steinberg, and... *gasp*... icon Barbra Streisand. Take a look at these gorgeous, made-to-wear pieces:

 Scaasi for Arlene Francis

  Scaasi for Arlene Francis

  Scaasi for Joetta Norban

Scaasi for Barbra Streisand

Scaasi for Gayfryd Steinberg

Scaasi for Gayfryd Steinberg

Scaasi for Gayfryd Steinberg

Now that is some serious fashion. And in case you were wondering, that is the legendary black pant suit worn by Babs when she won her Oscar in 1969 for Funny Girl (see below). She wore the pink dress next to it the next year when presenting John Wayne his Oscar for True Grit.

Image courtesy of Nancy Girl

"Scaasi: American Couturier" runs at the MFA through June 19, 2011. Click here for more information.
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