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Guess Who Relaxed Here …

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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