FASHION: Flair from Eire

In the grand ballroom of Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria last week, some 1,200 members of the garment industry crowded in for a look at the latest fashions from abroad. Among the 57 styles paraded across the stage were some from Europe's top designers—Dior, Fath, Balenciaga, Visconti. But the dress that brought the house down was "First Love," the product of an almost unknown Irish woman. Designed by Dublin's 32-year-old Sybil Connolly, it was a dazzling white ball gown made of gossamer-thin handkerchief linen. Sewn into 5,500 minuscule pleats and banded with five strips of...

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