It took Lord & Taylor executives Jerry Blum and Peggy Kaufman more than 8 1/2 hours to get to Washington from New York by train because of tropical storm David. And designer Donald Brooks had his third operation in 10 days just before the fashion show.

But in great "show must go on" tradition, the more than 250 guests at the benefit for the Washington Antique Show and The Thrift Shop Charities had no hint of the problems that preceded their fund-raising event last night.

With 20 models and music borrowed from "Star" and other stage and screen productions for which Brooks had done the costumes, the Brooks clothes were presented in a theatrical, choreographed show.

Brooks' theatrical experience rubs off attractively on his fall clothes for women. He likes strong colors, particularly such combinations as dark green with lacquer red, yellow with black and a deep violet with dark gray or black. And his shapes are strong, usually starting with a broadened shoulder and often having a marked waistline. A black princess-shaped coat and a black strapless evening dress reminded several of the guests of the clothes Audrey Hepburn wears.

But Washington's warm weather has curbed any thought of guests wearing fall clothes. Many of the women were in silk prints, and at least a half dozen outfits -- including that worn by Nancy Slather, former antiques show chairman -- carried the signature of Emilio Pucci.