By  on May 25, 2007

Arnold Scaasi wants American women to know he's back in the ready-to-wear business — so he turned to Martha Stewart to get the message out there.

Aside from showing viewers how to embroider T-shirts with a newfangled Singer sewing machine, the designer will reveal his return to rtw during Monday's airing of "The Martha Stewart Show." Longtime friends, Scaasi said he gladly obliged her request to appear on the nationally syndicated show and then decided to spread the word about his venture. The fact that an estimated two million viewers tune in on average to see what Stewart is up to only sweetened the opportunity for Scaasi.

"Everything just fell into place. I've been working on this for a few weeks," said Scaasi.

Fashion designers have appeared regularly on Stewart's show — this week alone had guest spots by Tom Ford and Donna Karan. After Wednesday's taping with Scaasi, Stewart noted how Valentino, Ralph Rucci, Karl Lagerfeld, Cynthia Rowley and Michael Kors are among the designers who have made cameos. "The audience loves it," Stewart said. "It doesn't seem as though designers are that prevalent on TV."

Those who catch the Memorial Day show will get a glimpse of Scaasi's new creations, including a hot pink biased-cut gown and a red strapless sparkly cocktail dress. The latter caught Stewart's eye. "They match my ruby Scaasi earrings," she said, motioning toward her left earlobe.

"Not real," Scaasi offered.

Not one to pull any punches, the designer looked at the model wearing the red dress and asked Stewart teasingly, "Are you a size 4?"

Though Stewart admitted that was the closest she had ever come to a Scaasi dress, her white shirt's cuffs indicated otherwise. Stewart proudly displayed the "Me and My Scaasi" — the title of his autobiography — that she had embroidered on them. During the taping, Scassi also dished about some of the well-known women he has dressed over the years and later wrote about in that book.

After admiring a photo of a youthful Jackie Kennedy in a satin gown, he recalled how he sought to dress her as first lady but requested that she pay wholesale for the 20 dresses she requested. Scaasi said he was a kid just starting out then and couldn't swing the expense pro bono. But years later, when Elizabeth Taylor tried to make a similar arrangement for one dress, she melted him with her violet eyes and he said he obliged. He also showed off the translucent polkadot pantsuit Barbra Streisand wore to the 1969 Academy Awards.

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