Fashion: Fall Preview

Up and down Manhattan's Seventh Avenue and in and out of 35 design houses last week hiked Mrs. Opal Ligon, the "better dress" buyer for Goudchaux's, the best department store in Baton Rouge, La. Mrs. Ligon's pilgrimage was duplicated about 4,000 other buyers who crowded into the fashion shows and showrooms to buy the clothes that U.S. women will wear this fall. Like most of her colleagues, she cut through the razzmatazz and made swift, sharp decisions.

"I think you're through, honey," she mapped to one salesman who meandered over his...

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