Remembering Arnold Scaasi

The legendary designer passes at the age of 85.

Arnold Scaasi

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.