Fashion: Norman the Conqueror

Wearing baubles, bangles and basic black, the guests seemed a chain of paper dolls, cut out along dotted lines and attached by tabs to the proper gilt chair. Chums for an instant, they crossed their silken legs as one, juggled cigarettes and sipped champagne. Rivals in fact, the 145 department store executives, buyers and fashion journalists who jammed the salon were on hand for the showing of Norman Norell's fall collection. The last of Manhattan's month-long season, it was also, as nearly always, the best.

Outside the trade, not everyone has heard his...

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