Fashion: Understated Elegance

Fashion designers—like the fashions they design—go in and out of style with the irregular cadence of the female whim.

Very much in this year is slight, soft-spoken Donald Brooks, 34, who has given to middle-income womanhood the understated elegance hitherto associated with high-price high fashion. Last April the New York Drama Critics presented him with their annual award for his costumes for Richard Rodgers' No Strings. This week the Coty American Fashion Critics (75 top fashion editors) gave him their Winnie award (like an Oscar, only chic) for his fall collection.

Brooks's...

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