BABETTE TURNS FORTY: Celebrating the 40th anniversary of her apparel business, Babette Pinsky threw a party Saturday night in her SoHo store in Manhattan. Aside from the coats and sportswear, guests had something else to feast their eyes on — "Babette: Designing a Vision," the designer's self-published book. Scandinavian-inspired floor-length dresses, raincoats with shoulder pads and a skirt with a transfer print of the Mona Lisa show how the collection has evolved.

After introducing a 10-piece collection in 1968 influenced by Bonnie Cashin and Rudi Gernreich, Pinsky set out on what would prove to be an eclectic career. Aside from teaching "No More Ponchos" at a craft school in Maine, she was among the first to design pleated microfiber separates. The book details how Pinsky read that Mary McFadden was going to launch a raincoat line and decided to beat her to the punch by having 500 yards of polyurethane fabric made into raincoats. "McFadden's raincoats? Not pleated, after all. Mine were the first," Pinsky wrote. Even the Babette cologne, which launched in 2005, is dressed in a signature red pleated sleeve.

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