THE OTHER BOROUGH is rapidly becoming the coolest place in town (and I don’t think so just because two of my kids live there). At the Brooklyn Museum there is a “sister” exhibit to the one at the Metropolitan I wrote about recently, and is it ever worth a ride on the 2/3 train! American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection is more stately, less mixed-media than the Manhattan show; it emphasizes the designers themselves and the women who wore (and contributed) their clothes. At first the couturiers are largely French. The most amusing and avant-garde is Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973): Imagine an insect necklace (metal bugs crawl on clear plastic), a jacket with piano-shaped buttons, a dress appliquéd with silk seed packets! Gradually, homegrown designers creep in: Elizabeth Hawes (1903-31), whom I’d never heard of, did a fabulous day dress with a red arrow up the front pointing straight at the breasts (shocking). The great Charles James (1906-1978) created exquisitely simple gowns, all drape and line and not a drop of frou-frou. In the 1950s, others—such as Claire McCardell (hoodie pioneer) and Bonnie Cashin (represented by stirrup pants, to me a dubious distinction; they make legs look like logs)—virtually invented mix-’n’-match, a.k.a. American sportswear. Which reminds me that the Brooklyn Museum also celebrates independent women with its Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, where Judy Chicago’s ever-controversial The Dinner Party is permanently housed and a “herstory” gallery sports an illustrated timeline of famous dames, from fertility goddesses to Frida Kahlo. Take your daughter, take your niece, take yourself.