Women I Have Dressed (and Undressed!)

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9781416575283: Women I Have Dressed (and Undressed!)

A fascinating read of personal experiences from the famed fashion designer that showcases the lives and contributions of iconic women -- from Jackie Kennedy to Elizabeth Taylor to Laura Bush to Princess Diana

Arnold Scaasi has been dressing legends for almost five decades. His enduring tenure as one of the world's premier fashion designers and tastemakers has afforded him vast stores of insider knowledge and firsthand perspectives on an array of illustrious personalities who -- in their disparate arenas of high-wattage celebrity and influence -- have defined our contemporary notions of female power and glamour. Here, for the first time, Scaasi invites readers into his glittering A-list realm as he recounts his intimate experiences and interactions with larger-than-life female icons who made their mark in spheres as varied as politics, Hollywood, the music industry, and high society.

Scaasi devotes each chapter to a specific woman or to a group of women, including "Broadway Girls," "New York Girls," and "Hollywood Girls." He shares dozens of behind-closed-doors anecdotes exploring what makes these women tick. In candid prose, he recalls what they said and how they acted, and most important, offers keen observations of who they really are underneath his creations. Using a privileged entrée into their private and public lives, Scaasi takes the measure of their impact on the world at large.

Here, readers will discover: Joan Crawford's fetish for cleanliness; the dazzling Barbra Streisand's famous Oscar night outfit and her obsession with perfection; Mamie Eisenhower's staunch refusal to wear a bra; the bountiful charms of Joan Sutherland, the opera legend; Mary Tyler Moore's and Sophia Loren's unique glamour; Rose Kennedy's prediction of a future woman president; Aretha Franklin's fear of flying; Scaasi's visits to the White House to his good friend and client Barbara Bush; his confrontations with Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe; and much more!

Scaasi dresses only women he genuinely likes, so his tales are never mean-spirited. Instead they spotlight the designer's surprising interactions and often poignant perceptions of Eleanor Roosevelt, Joan Rivers, Louise Nevelson, Natalie Wood, Hillary Clinton, and many others. The book is filled with photographs from the author's personal scrapbooks and fond recollections of some of the world's most beautiful, accomplished, and powerful women.

Women I Have Dressed (and Undressed!) is a trove of irresistible insider dish and a tender, humorous memoir of the most influential women of our time.

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From Publishers Weekly:

For five decades, Scaasi has created clothes for rich and famous women from Joan Crawford to Joan Rivers. Now he dishes on some of his famed clientele, from their measurements to their quirks. How else would we learn Mamie Eisenhower refused to wear a bra? Especially entertaining is his account of how a Jewish boy from Montreal (Scaasi is Isaacs spelled backward) came to design new habits for an order of nuns. Mostly, though, the book is a name-dropping romp through high society. Scaasi rubbed elbows with Jackie Kennedy, but demolished Kim Novak's ego by insisting her neck wouldn't accommodate a particular collar. Scaasi basks in the reflected glory of his celebrity customers and revels in fabrics, feathers and furs, sharing 66 photos and plenty of chitchat. Alas, his title is misleading: he devotes chapters to women, like Princess Diana, whom he has met but not dressed. Scaasi reserves special accolades for Barbara Bush, whom he garbs and adores, but that doesn't stop him from making cutting remarks about Laura Bush's inaugural gown. In fact, Scaasi can be viciously catty when critiquing other fashionistas. His memoir is, at heart, gossip for the celebrity-obsessed, with a caveat: it's mainly for those who worship a bygone era (e.g., Scaasi dressed Rose Kennedy, not Nicole Kidman).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Joan Rivers

Guess what -- Scaasi's a fantastic writer! Sheer entertainment!

"Publisher's Weekly"

A name-dropping romp though high society. His memoir is, at heart, gossip for the celebrity-obsessed.

"The New York Times"

A dishy recollection of [Scaasi's] experiences gussying up some of the most glamorous women on the planet.

Dominick Dunne

Arnold Scaasi, who seems to have dressed just about every famous woman in society, the jet set, the theater, the movies, etc., is also a born storyteller, and a witty one at that. He is very much a fixture in the world of people-who-go-out-every-night, and his stories of great ladies of that world are hilarious and touching. His book is a passing parade of style and social history at its best.

Liz Smith

He who must be obeyed -- designer Arnold Scaasi -- is the warmhearted, super- talented, demanding, and temperamental genius who can create a dress right on your very body and make you look like a million bucks. He has done this for me many times and he is my closest claim to personal glamour. I would trust him with my life -- and certainly with my hemline. What a treat that he has dropped the veil to tell "all" about the celebrated females he has helped to make celebrated.

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