SPOTLIGHT ON: Arnold Scaasi, “Scaasi: American Couturier”

In 2009, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston acquired a major coup — more than 100 couture designs by Arnold Scaasi, in addition to press clippings and sketchbooks from his late-1950s-to-early-1990s collections. “Scaasi: American Couturier,’’ now showing at the MFA through June 2011, is our first look at 28 of the cocktail dresses, gowns, and costumes he custom-created throughout the years. The designs on display highlight his relationships with four members of his select clientele: singer / actress Barbara Streisand, New York socialites Joetta Norban and Gayfryd Steinberg, and Broadway / television star Arlene Francis.

Bringing to light Scaasi’s touch for event-ready panache, the collection includes the famous sequined pants outfit that was worn by Streisand during her 1969 Oscar win, along with stage costumes worn in her early concerts, a fur ensemble worn on a trip to Canada in 1970, and costumes worn in On a Clear Day. In addition to these theatrical pieces, cocktail dresses and gala gowns from yesteryear are brought forward to showcase the design detail that helped earn Scaasi his status as an elite designer.

Born Arnold Isaacs in 1935, the son of a Montreal furrier, Scaasi moved to NYC in the early 1950s where he worked as an apprentice for the elaborate couturier, Charles James. Influenced by James’ idea of building an evening dress as you would a piece of sculpture, this early training led Scaasi to approach clothing design as a three-dimensional construction project.

Changing his name in the mid-1950s to Scaasi (Isaacs spelled backwards), he became one of the few designers capable of sustaining a made-to-order business in the burgeoning age of ready-to-wear. His designs breathed new life into the elite world of evening apparel, re-energizing the American fashion industry. With bold colors, luxurious fabrics, and dramatic shapes, he quickly rose to fame. By the end of 1958, he had won the Coty American Fashion Critics Award for best designer of the year and had seen his clothing featured on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar… all before reaching age of 30. Finally, he realized he preferred designing privately for the women he adored, his devoted and exclusive clientele. Stars and socialites such as Joan Crawford, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte Ford, Blaine Trump and Brooke Astor were all a part of his client list, which also included First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Barbara and Laura Bush.

Scaasi was noted for his tailored suits and glamorous dresses trimmed with feathers, fur, sequins, and fine embroidery. “I create clothes that are pretty, usually with an interesting mix of fabrics,” he has said. “I like luxurious fabrics — great quality for day, and opulence for the evening. I am definitely not a minimalist designer! Clothes with some adornment are more interesting to look at and are more fun to wear.”

Head on over to the MFA to check out this fashionable exhibition, which is included with general admission — it’s not often you get to stand side-by-side with such creations! While there, pop into fashion photographer Richard Avedon’s exhibit, which we fashioniSTAs blogged about back in August! Together with the MFA, we’re here to help you keep the pulse on the styles of yesterday and today.

~Kim, FashioniSTA, Second Time Around

Fun Fashion Risks for Winter

While we all make the shift from fall ensembles into winter outfits, this is a great time to try out some of the riskier trends that are popping up in stores. If you happen to be someone who genuinely enjoys dressing up for Halloween, then take that enthusiasm and apply it to your everyday wardrobe with a couple key fall risks. Drab to fab is just one key piece away.

Multi-Colored/Patterned Tights
This is one trend that can be universally applied, no matter what your style might be. I’m not suggesting wearing anything striped or patterned, but a pair of raspberry-colored tights against an all-black ensemble makes a great and easy statement. If you happen to be slightly more adventurous than that, go with a pair of argyle tights for a preppy statement, or you can try out the textured tights that are making their way into every high-end store. I wouldn’t suggest going with anything that you feel borders on a wicked witch motif, but trying a diamond-stamped pair would modernize a traditional shift dress.

Leg Warmers
Are you a Dancing with the Stars fan? Of course you are. They wear leg warmers on the show like their legs would fall off without them. Since I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a body like a DWTS dancer, I feel like wearing leg warmers might make me look a little more like them, and then I’m one step closer. Go with a pair from Alexander Wang or Rag and Bone, and whether you choose to scrunch them down or wear them straight, the possibilities are endless. Wear them scrunched and pair them with leggings and a jersey top for a fitness fantastic ensemble, or pull them straight and pair with a knit dress for a modern - and warm - look.
Not into the whole 80s vibe? Try a pair of heavy knit knee socks under Hunter rain boots – or brown leather knee boots or those rare sunny days – and pair them with leggings or a knit dress for a cozy, autumn look.

Pea Coat Vest
Tommy Hilfiger has put out what I think is the latest and greatest in fall outerwear. Basically taking an army-green pea coat and cutting off the sleeves, he managed to create a great vest that looks like it’s straight off of the Onassis yacht (only truly fabulous people yacht in the fall). This soon-to-be staple is the perfect combination of preppy and innovation, and I’m personally dying to own one. Pair it with a turtleneck, jeans and riding boots for an equestrian-friendly ensemble. Or try it with a long-sleeved dress and knee-high, heeled suede boots for a more urban-chic look.

Tommy Hifiger Icon Sleeveless Trench

I know that there are a lot of simple and subtle ways to introduce the military look into your wardrobe, so this should not be shocking. But instead of sticking with just an army-green piece or a jacket with “military-inspired” gold buttons, go for a real military risk. Check out a runway-worthy military jacket from Juicy Couture or Of Two Minds, or go all out and find one with military detailing on the shoulders.
If all of this is a little extreme for your risk factor, try one statement piece in a subtle camo print, like LaRok’s sequin camo skirt or Manolo Blahnik’s camo flats, sure to make you army-chic in no time.

There’s nothing that Rachel Zoe loves more than a fur vest, so if you happen to live to watch her die over everything vintage she finds, this might be a good place to start. Try a vest from her own QVC line for something moderately-priced. This season there are also some great fur boot options that are sure to be your new best friends once the temperature dips below freezing.
While it seems like a fashion risk, the right faux-fur (or real fur) jacket in a winter white color can be a classic piece for fancy events. The off-white option from Juicy Couture this season is a great example, and is sure to keep you warm when wearing a cocktail dress as well as make sure you’re cold-weather chic.

Pattern Knits
Whenever I think of wintertime, I always think of those Jan Brett picture books from when I was younger, and pretty much all of them involve a little girl wearing a Swedish-inspired knit sweater, usually with large snowflakes knitted into it. Although I’m sure no one else would think that’s a basis for a current trend, these sweaters are popping up all over the place (and not just in the children’s section). Go for a Fair Isle sweater for a low-key risk, or pump up the risk factor with an all-over print like the ones this season from Rag and Bone and Marc Jacobs. Should you want to exude Christmas spirit early, go with See by Chloé’s reindeer pattern sweater (right), it’s like it was ripped straight from the pages of my favorite childhood books. Or if you happen to be feeling a little saucy lately, try Ralph Lauren Blue Label’s off-the-shoulder snowflake sweater.
For the over-achiever, Juicy Couture’s Faux Fur-Trimmed Cardigan covers two fashion risks at once, but if you’re only feeling up for one, the fur collar is detachable. With all of these options, you’ll be all set for anything, from the apple orchard to the ski slope.

Remember fashioniSTAs, you’ll never know your true style potential until you take a risk!

~Ashley, fashioniSTA, Second Time Around

SNOW DAY SAVINGS! Up to 50% Off!!

We are ending 2010 with a BANG!

RIGHT NOW through Saturday, January 1st
EVERYTHING IS 30%-50% OFF!* Jewelry, Handbags, Boots, Sweaters, & more!

Come find the hottest winter fashions at unbelievable prices. All winter merchandise is 40% - 50% off!! All new arrivals are 30% off.
Click here for a list of STA locations

* Cannot be combined with other offers. Excludes furs.


We are ending 2010 with a BANG!

On Sunday, December 26 put that holiday cash to good use with our
50% OFF BLOWOUT at all STA locations for the first two hours we are open*!

Need your beauty rest on Sunday? Don’t worry, you can still get in on the
savings. After the first two hours we are open on Sunday, everything in the stores will be between
30%-50% OFF!

Come out and shop!
Burlington Mall location opens at 8 AM
Atrium Mall location opens at 9 AM
Georgetown and Greenwich locations open at 11 AM
Newbury Street and Charles Street locations open at 12 PM

All other locations open at 10 AM!
Click here for a list of all locations

* Cannot be combined with other offers. Excludes furs and new arrivals. Newton location closed Sunday.

The FashioniSTAs Bring You a Haute Holiday Event!

Last Thursday night, STA took over the Liberty Hotel, creating a truly FashioniSTA-fabulous event: our “Haute Holiday” Fashionably Late show. The FashioniSTAs were on-hand to witness as Second Time Around and the Liberty transformed a normal Thursday night into a fashionable evening of glitz and holiday glamour. With 5 models donning a total of 15 different looks, the show featured the just some of the fantastic holiday looks that STA has to offer. Starting at 10pm, DJ Michael Savant got the fashion fabulous crowd in the party mood, keeping the party going – along with the best show in town, of course – until 2am. Check out the pictures below of some of the fashions that hit the runway!

Stay tuned for the next fashion-fabulous event that that FashioniSTAs bring you!

SPOTLIGHT ON: The Independent Designer’s Market

Ah, the holiday season. If you’re anything like most people, the next few weeks are always tinged with a little doom — what are you going to get everyone? Even the most creative FashioniSTA can fall prey to the pressures of being thoughtful. How to avoid the big no-no’s of candles, bath soaps, and gift cards? You can start by, of course, heading to your nearest STA to scour the racks for a wallet-friendly fashion find… but sometimes a gal needs to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the marketplace and seek out a little something we like to refer to as a “stylish sanctuary.”

And that’s exactly what The Independent Designer’s Market in Boston’s South End feels like. Located in the lobby of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, a weekly exhibit of local artisans set up camp amongst the marble pillars and wrought-iron gates to showcase their handmade high-end goods. The market, which runs Sundays through 12/19 from 11a - 5p (picking up again in February), is in place to help fill a void for local independent designers. Besides SoWA and seasonal neighborhood block parties, there aren’t many venues in the Boston area for artists to rely on. Enter the IDM, created to offer a year-round marketplace for both merchants and shoppers.

The focus is on one-of-a-kind designs ranging from clothing and accessories to home goods and fine art. A wide array of styles and influences are on display, with goods priced anywhere from $20 - $1000. The venue, though regal, is on the small side, but the size of the market helps to keep the experience intimate rather than intimidating. On any given Sunday one can expect to see anywhere from fifteen to thirty booths on display, and the collection rotates regularly.

So now’s the time to take a break from the throngs of list-carrying well-wishers and head on down to the South End for a little refuge. You can still spend your time looking for that special something for a certain someone — thoughtfulness intact, frenzy excluded. A productive sojourn, indeed! For detailed information, visit

~Kim, fashioniSTA, STA Harvard Square Manager

The FashioniSTAs Invite You…

To STA’s fashion show at the Liberty Hotel this Thursday! Come soak in all the fashioniSTA fabulousness courtesy of the Liberty’s Fashionably Late Thursday night. Couture and cocktails, what more do you need? Consider this your official invitation…

Our FashioniSTA Revolution Starts Now!

Want more discounts, style tips and tricks, and insider events?

The FashioniSTA season of advent has begun! Holidays mean holiday shopping, and there’s nothing a FashioniSTA likes more than that. To celebrate this joyous season, we are unveiling our latest style step into what we would like to call the FashioniSTA revolution. We are giving you an inside look at Second Time Around and all of our style resources, which means more events, discounts, and insider tips, all for our loyal readers.

During this FAS (FashioniSTA Advent Season), we will be unveiling new additions to our FashioniSTA Revolution, all you have to do is keep checking in. Start by checking out our latest page at the top of the blog, here you’ll meet the Boston girls behind the FashioniSTA name. Outside of your style jurisdiction? Keep checking back as we continue with our search for new additions from other cities!

Every time we reveal something new, you will be given the opportunity to win gift cards to STA, and of course we will have a larger prize as our grand finale. Let the countdown to a fabulous, FashioniSTA holiday begin!

Stylish Things to be Thankful For

In addition to the fact that I can stuff myself and not look like a fatty, there are a lot of things that I love about Thanksgiving. The fact that I can usually come up with a good list of things I’m thankful for is also a plus. In addition to the fact that I haven’t been hit by a bus and I’ve once again avoided contracting swine flu, I have a list of fashion favorites to which I’m grateful.   

Here are the things that fashioniSTAs everywhere can be thankful for:   

Black Friday Sales   

To fashioniSTAs, Black Friday is like Christmas came early. This is the day where shopping becomes an Olympic sport, and some of us train all year for this portion of the holiday games. Yes, I’m aware that you’re supposed to be buying gifts for your friends and family, but nothing says that you can’t browse for yourself while you’re at it and take advantage of the great deals out there. And where’s the best place to do that? At Second Time Around, of course! (Shop 7-9am for 50% off all merchandise! See details here.)  

Holiday Sparkles   

Unless you live under a fashion rock during the holiday season, you know that this is the time to break out your sparkly outfits and bring on the holiday cheer. It’s the time of the year when dressing in head-to-toe sequins is considered “festive” rather than psychotic. Personally, I’m all for dressing like this year round. From Alice + Olivia to Ann Taylor, you have a million options from sequin tanks to sparkly miniskirts to glitter pumps. And as a holiday staple, there’s always the full-sequin dress, perfect for New Years as well. All the sparkly clothing during this time of the year just makes everything a little more cheerful, no one ever got into an argument over glitter.



Don’t pretend that you’re not part of the We Love Leggings Fan Club. I haven’t met a single girl, when pushed, who won’t admit to having this obsession. Dress them up or down, daytime or night; there are few occasions where you cannot wear them. They’re perfect if you’re petite or plus-size, and you can now wear them with a variety of tunics and dresses so you can look put together without putting in almost any effort. And they are a Thanksgiving staple for those of you that actually partake in the food festivities and eat until wearing denim feels like a straightjacket for your legs. 


Designer Electronic Cases   

I choose not to remember when cell phones and laptops got stuffed into bags, exposed to the elements. The technology industry finally wised up and fused fashion with function when they introduced accessories to hold all of our electronics. Think about shoving your iPhone – or iPad, for those of you ahead of the techno-curve – into your purse without a case. Horrifying. Now designers are chomping at the bit to protect our electronic valuables, with cases fromYSL (right), Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Juicy Couture. Now your personal style can be expressed through your technological necessities, what’s better than that?   

That Jersey Style Never Caught On 

I’m as big of a fan of Jersey shows as the next person. Ask anyone, if I could make a living watching Real Housewives of NJ, I would do it. But even I can admit that I’m glad Jersey style didn’t sweep the nation the way the television shows did. While I’m a fan of some of the fashion I see on the shows – depending on who’s wearing it – the bright pink lipstick, over-the-top animal prints and excessive bronzer are a little much. And when I say the bronzer is too much, that’s saying something, since I’ve been known to paint on the stuff like my skin was an easel.  

Here’s hoping you all have a stylish and happy Thanksgiving!   

~Ashley, fashioniSTA, Second Time Around

Black Friday Hits STA Stores!


We’re serving up major rewards this shopping season, and extra savings if you hit the racks early!

Shop any STA location Friday, November 26th, 7am – 9am, and ALL MERCHANDISE* will be 50% OFF! Two hours only!

Not an early bird? Don’t worry! For the rest of the weekend, Friday, November 26th – Sunday, November 28th we will offer 30% off all merchandise.*

*Discount not applicable to furs. Not to be combined with other offers.  Atrium Mall opens at 9am so 50% Off sale on Black Friday will be from 9am-11am.