Designer Arnold Scaasi dead at 85

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — Designer Arnold Scaasi, whose flamboyant creations adorned first ladies, movie stars and socialites, has died.

Scaasi died early Tuesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of cardiac arrest, said his longtime friend, Michael Selleck, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Simon & Schuster. The designer was 85.

Scaasi — which was his given name, Isaacs, spelled backward — specialized in made-to-order clothes, often in ornate, brilliantly colored fabrics and trimmings like beads and ostrich feathers.

However, one of his most famous designs was a flimsy lace pantsuit designed for Barbra Streisand's Oscar appearance in 1969, when she won for "Funny Girl" in a tie with Katharine Hepburn. It featured bell-bottom pants and matching top in spangly black lace, and the thin fabric used created the impression of nudity.