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MAPLE LEAF FOREVER: Even though Arnold Scaasi has been on the fashion radar for more than four decades, outfitting First Ladies, socialites and Hollywood types, the Montreal-born designer doesn’t harbor any bad feelings toward his home and native land for waiting so long to pat him on the back.
At a cocktail party Tuesday night at the Park Avenue apartment of Pamela Wallin, the Consul General of Canada in New York, Scaasi was presented with a plaque from the Canadian government honoring his “lifetime of creativity.” The intimate affair was attended by a disparate group, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Joan Rivers, Town & Country magazine’s Pamela Fiore and Jeanne Beker of “Fashion Television.”
“I think it’s very nice,” Scaasi said of the honor, “and [Wallin] is a wonderful, wonderful woman.”
Wallin told the champagne-sipping crowd: “He is a son of Canada. He has carved out — really designed — a very special place in the fashion world. This is part of telling our story: the story of a young man from Montreal who takes Paris and New York by storm.”
But Scaasi didn’t miss a beat to tease Wallin. “It only took 40 years to get me,” he said. “Certainly, my roots are in Canada. All of my training was there, but no one would offer me a job in Montreal.”
To that, an equally sharp Wallin, formerly a journalist for 25 years, responded: “That’s not the part you’re supposed to say!” Oh, Canada.
This story first appeared in the December 19, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.