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Remembering Arnold Scaasi
Arnold Scaasi with Lauren Bacall, 1959.

Remembering Arnold Scaasi

The legendary designer passes at the age of 85.

Long before the “Valli Girls,” or Instagram It girls, Post-It girls and bad girls, there were the “Scaasi Girls,” which included some of the world’s most stylish women, including Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, and a host of first ladies. Their fabulous leader, fashion designer Arnold Scaasi, passed this Tuesday at the age of 85. Here, a look back at some of his best moments in W magazine.

“The funny thing is that I hate gossip. But everything I reveal is true.” — Robert Haskell, “Ladies’ Man,” October 2004.

“My fantasy about women is like this”—Scaasi waves his arms in the air—“I want everybody to be bigger than life.” — Robert Haskell, “Ladies’ Man,” October 2004.

“I don’t know,” he says finally. “I think Zac Posen does a lot of good stuff. Name some other ones for me.” Marc Jacobs? No response. Michael Kors? Silence. Alexander Wang? Phillip Lim? Rodarte? “Those are the two girls, right? Well, I don’t think they do anything extraordinary.…Clothes are not as exciting now as they were in the Fifties and Sixties.” — Sarah Taylor, September 2010.

“Arnold Scaasi, the Canadian-born couturier whose inauguration gown for Barbara Bush is on display in the Smithsonian, put his foot in his mouth when he revealed in his 2004 book Women I Have Dressed (and Undressed!) that the former first lady is the proud owner of only eight toes.” — Horacio Silva, “Fashion Scandals!” November 2012.

Who’s Who in Fashion,” November 2012.

“Someone just said to me, ‘Oh, you’re so lucky,’ and I said, ‘It has nothing to do with luck. I worked my ass off—day and night.’” — Sarah Taylor, September 2010.

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