Arnold Scaasi (American, born Montreal, Canada, 1931–2015)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Mortimer J. Solomon, 1978
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. This example, from the early period of the designer’s success, demonstrates his ability to pair a bold textile with a grand silhouette. The uniform graphic quality of the black-and-white butterfly pattern is broken up by the bright red lining of the cape. While the overall shape of the two garments show off the large-scale pattern to advantage, either piece could also be paired with other solid-colored garments to tone down the overall effect, if desired.