Fashion designer Arnold Scaasi: Floods of colorful clothing for 1961

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1961 Spring jackets fashion

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

A garland of spring jackets

While the snow was still on the ground, some early blooming jackets made entirely of artificial flowers blossomed at New York fashion showings.

Designed by Arnold Scaasi, the jackets come in the five varieties above: (from left) field flowers, blue chrysanthemums, white daisies, black daisies and lilacs.

All are shown here over light-colored, easy-fitting silk dresses, and are intended to be worn with spring evening gowns-just as fur jackets are. worn with fall suits.

They are expensive for the flowers were made especially for Scaasi in France. The outfits [below] cost $465 each, and the jackets alone cost $200. But a patient home sewer might achieve the same effect by raiding a fake flower counter, and at a much more moderate cost, be able to wrap herself handsomely in a bright spring bouquet.

Arnold Scaasi says: Floods of color everywhere

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania) May 8, 1961

Color, color, color! Has there ever been such a season in the history of fashion when so many beautiful colors have appeared on the scene at once? Used together or separately, no wardrobe is complete today without the “little colored dress.” Fast fading from our view is the “little black dress” that supposedly was acceptable for all occasions and climates. At last, the dress of color is truly here to stay.

In my collection for spring, the dark dress practically vanishes. Instead, I use bright pastels that make a woman look devastatingly feminine and pretty. In fact, my spring collection seems full of romanee and light-hearted prettiness.

The new fashionable silhouettes

Newest of the silhouettes is the free-form — a figure suggesting, but far from clinging, shape that is both youthful and particularly easy-to-wear. (This appears in plain or checked wool for day, and chiffon for evening.) The evening version I call “illusion.” The dresses are sheer free-form shapes underlined with fitted sheaths that give a bewitching, flattering and really slimming line.

The “Metronome” skirt and fitted bodice form another silhouette that is slim at the hips, then gently flares to a full hem. I show these easy moving dresses in crepe or gayly flowered prints.

Ruffled hems, or complete dresses that are a series of ruffles from shoulder to hem abound. These are cinched at the waistline and are topped with frilled shawls of matching fabric, or worn under coats lined with ruffles.

Many of my cocktail dresses and long evening gowns have a high-rising waistline dipping to the back — with hemlines following this silhouette.

Looking as if they had been picked from a garden are the “Spring Bouquets.” Boleros are covered with massed flowers — all daisies, all violets, field flowers, or perhaps blue mums These top simple pastel silk dresses. This is but another way for a woman to look exciting this spring in color.

New shades and fabrics

Lapis, aqua, coral, crabapple green and pinky-peach are some of the newest shades this season. Among the newer fabrics — “plisse” chiffon minutely pleated, “crystal;” lace — a shiny, straw-like lace, lots of sheer lace or brilliant tartan plaid surah, combined with white organdie.

As always, I show many lovely silk prints. Some of the most exciting are from Liberty of London, and are inspired by the Art Nouveau period. Poppy or lotus designs dance across the silk combining great swirls of colors like pink, turquoise and yellow or perhaps white and fuchsia with blue.

One of the things I love most about this gay collection is the revival of the “shawl” — triangular or rectangular, edged with ruffles or silk fringe and worn with short and long dinner dresses. A marvelous spring and summer replacement for the evening coat and the fast-fashion-fading fur stole.

Yes, spring 1961 appears with a host of new ideas, so meet it straight on, wearing the most colorful clothes. For truly how dreary our lives would be without color.

Arnold Scaasi says: Floods of color everywhere

Arnold Scaasi says: Floods of color everywhere

Arnold Scaasi says: Floods of color everywhere

Arnold Scaasi says: Floods of color everywhere

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