NEW YORK (AP) _ Fashionistas climbed over snow banks and girded themselves with their purses against brutal wind and sleet as a winter storm blanketed New York City on Thursday, the final day of Fashion Week.
But neither wind nor sleet nor snow stopped most fashion fans from their appointed rounds– i.e., the high-profile shows that traditionally close out the week. Outside the Ralph Lauren show in Greenwich Village, a few women could even be seen in stiletto heels navigating the snowy entrance. Most, though, sacrificed fashionable feet for practical waterproof boots. Employees shoveled walkways around the tents at Lincoln Center, and the tents’ main sponsor, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, said in an email that “we plan to move forward with all shows as scheduled.”
Lauren, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs were the day’s big draws.
Stephanie Comfort of Lakeville, Conn., drove into New York City for Lauren’s show. “It was worth every effort,” she said afterward. The trip in, which usually takes her 90 minutes, took 21/2 hours. She didn’t care. “We’ll remember this forever,” she said. She was planning to have lunch and do some shopping, and then drive back out to Connecticut.
Ashley Kozel, from Sarasota, Fla., had flown up in her private plane, just to attend the Lauren show. She wore purple suede high-heeled pumps by Christian Louboutin and a purple suede dress with a cropped leopard print jacket, both by Lauren of course.
“It’s fashion over function,” said Kozel, who had actually hitched a ride on her boyfriend’s back for a few yards to avoid stepping in the ice and snow.
Sitting in the front row at the show was Terry Lundgren, CEO and chairman of Macy’s Inc., who was wearing a pinstriped gray suit. He was unfazed by the weather.
“Fortunately, I have a four-wheel drive. We took our time,” he said.
As for business, Lundgren said Macy’s has been selling a lot of coats.
He said Wednesday was strong but Thursday could break records.
At the Lincoln Center tents, Daiki Nagai, 20, of Tokyo, stood shivering under an awning where he had taken refuge.
The university student and two of his friends had the plaza, usually crowded with fashionistas and industry folk during the shows, pretty much to themselves as clumps of wet snow swirled around them.
“I’m waiting for models,” said the math major. “But I haven’t seen any.”
_Jocelyn Noveck, Anne D’Innocenzio and Leanne Italie.
J. MENDEL DESIGNER: NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN A BUNDLED-UP WOMAN
Some might disagree, but the man behind the J. Mendel label says he loves to see women all bundled up.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman covering herself with layers of clothes,” said Gilles Mendel, J. Mendel’s designer and CEO, whose Russian-French family began the company as furriers in the 19th century.
“This is my kind of weather,” added Mendel, a smartly dressed bespectacled man with a thick French accent. “Snow is beautiful. New York has never been so more beautiful all covered with snow. New Yorkers are resilient. They’re gonna be here and come and look at my beautiful show. Furs galore.”
Hanging on a backstage rack, waiting for a model, was a wool and leather plaid jacket with a fox fur collar.
Meanwhile, in the front row, one of the guests watched the show wearing gloves, a scarf and ski goggles perched atop her head.
_Leanne Italie, http://www.twitter.com/litalie
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