FASHIONS: Nellie's Big Night

Into the ballroom of Kansas City's Hotel President, one night last week, swept a trim, greying woman in a ruby red satin dress, with a U.S. Senator on one arm and a retired judge on the other. In the room was just about everybody who was anybody in Kansas City, and they gave a five-minute ovation to 59-year-old Dressmaker Nellie Donnelly.

Nellie, whose famed "Nellie Don" dresses last year rang up $12 million in sales in U.S. department stores, ordinarily wears them (retail price: $8.50 to $19.95) herself. But this time she wore a Hattie Carnegie creation ("I'll have to...

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