Designer Arnold Scaasi dead at 85

124

NEW YORK | 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.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2002 file photo, fashion designer Arnold Scaasi talks about his designs at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Scaasi, whose flamboyant creations adorned first ladies, movie stars and socialites, died Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of cardiac arrest. He was 85. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)
FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2002 file photo, fashion designer Arnold Scaasi talks about his designs at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Scaasi, whose flamboyant creations adorned first ladies, movie stars and socialites, died Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of cardiac arrest. He was 85. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)

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.