Resurrection Vintage: Dresses by Jacques Cassia


AUGUST 30, 2010


Mark Haddawy is the co-owner of Resurrection Vintage, which he founded in 1996 with Katy Rodriguez. Los Angeles-based Haddawy also works on the restoration of mid-century homes by architects such as John Lautner and Richard Neutra. Resurrection, which has boutiques in LA and New York, has collaborated with Christie’s on an “avant-garde fashion” auction, as well as designers such as Betsey Johnson, Jeremy Scott, Vivienne Westwood, and Norma Kamali. In February 2010, the company exhibited 20 Years of Margiela in New York. Haddawy and Rodriguez recently acquired an extensive collection of dresses from the archives of iconic 1970s designer Jacques Cassia, whose luxurious dresses defined a now lost era. Here, Mark Haddawy discusses his collection and how he came to acquire it.

Why did you look into acquiring Jacques Cassia dresses?

We discovered his work though a private auction. We were intrigued by the special piece we acquired – a gown constructed from a brown woven material with metal plates at the neckline, and chains that connected to the waist. The gown was reminiscent of Loris Azzaro, or Paco Rabanne, yet we had no idea who the designer was. After some research, we got in touch with a relative of Jacques Cassia. We got to talking, and found out Cassia was still alive and in possession of most of his archives. When he had moved back to Beirut from Monte Carlo, he’d packed them away and stopped designing. Eventually, we decided to travel to Beirut to meet him and acquire his archives.

How extensive is your collection?

Approximately 60 pieces, including armour bustier tops, bikinis, and his signature metal-and-jersey gowns.

Do you sell them all on or are you tempted to keep any?

We will be selling the entire collection at Resurrection Vintage New York.

Is it a business move or more of a labour of love?

Resurrection is both a business and a labour of love.

What do you like about the designer?

His vision: while being futuristic it is still rooted in Middle Eastern tradition. This is really the first time his designs will be shown in a historical context.

Is there a particular era of fashion you enjoy collecting more than others?

I like all eras of fashion. It really is about the piece.

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