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Guess Who Relaxed Here


This pioneering fashion designer spent her workdays on Seventh Avenue and her weekends at this Long Island getaway. The building was a feat of reinvention: A hurricane destroyed the house on the bayside site, leaving only the top floor intact. That structure was repurposed into a home all its own.
She purchased the property in 1954, while still in her 30s, when she was the creative force behind the label Junior Sophisticates. One of her assistants there was a designer named Bill Blass; later, she’d work closely with another young talent named Donna Karan.
The designer hosted the wedding of the actor Sydney Chaplin, son of Charlie, here; guests included the Tony Award–winning actress Phyllis Newman and Lauren Bacall.
Though not extravagant (her niece recalls mismatched dishes, and tables set unfussily with red or blue bandanas), the designer splurged on this unheard-of-at-the-time heated saltwater pool. She purchased the adjacent lot, hoping to ensure the house’s survival by preserving the dunes.

Photo: Beadle/House & Garden/Condé Nast


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