Arnold Scaasi (American, born Montreal, Canada, 1931–2015)
Length at CB: 66 in. (167.6 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arnold Scaasi, 1997
Not on view
Arnold Scaasi, the designer of this ball gown, is best known for his evening wear designs, worn by a long list of celebrity clients primarily during the 1960s through the 1980s. Scaasi's work incorporates lavish surface decoration, often in the form of floral trimming, bright colors and full silhouettes that extend the proportions of the body. Scaasi creations are rarely easy to ignore; their ostentatious quality has become a signature of the designer's work. In this example, the interweaving of gingham and plain ribbons is a masterwork of innovation fabrication. The creation of a secondary houndstooth check motif via the interwoven ribbons, adds surface interest and visual complexity to the dress. The use of a humble gingham check for a ball gown shows the designer's sense of whimsy and gives the design a uniquely American sensibility.