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Uggs? Ugh. NY Fashion Week battles the elements

Saturday - 2/9/2013, 12:58pm  ET

Snow falls on a pedestrian as she leaves the Rag & Bone Fall 2013 fashion collection show during Fashion Week, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in New York. Snow began falling across the Northeast on Friday, ushering in what was predicted to be a huge, possibly historic blizzard and sending residents scurrying to stock up on food and gas up their cars. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
AP Fashion Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mother Nature is clearly not a fashionista.

A blizzard forced Michael Kors to arrive at New York Fashion Week's "Project Runway" show on Friday in -- gasp -- Uggs.

"I came in looking like Pam Anderson," he joked backstage, where the offending boots had been traded for tasteful black leather.

Marc Jacobs postponed his Monday night show until Thursday, citing delivery problems, but for the most part Fashion Week went on with the show. IMG Fashion said organizers remained in contact with city officials, including the mayor's office, about potential weather problems but had planned for an extra layer of tenting for the venue and more heat at Lincoln Center, along with crews to help with snow and ice.

Zac Posen said he would present his collection as usual on Sunday but he worried that out-of-town editors and retailers might not be able to make it. Other designers were considering Plan B -- adding an Internet stream -- to accommodate guests who couldn't make it to their shows.

Still, plenty of fashion fans wouldn't let a little snow get in the way. Baltimore college student Carmen Green arrived in a red cocktail dress and black high-heel booties.

"In this outfit, the blizzard did not deter me," she said. She did allow that she only had to cross the street from her hotel and would change into combat boots for the train ride home.

Alyssa Montemurro, 22, works for a website that covers models. She was wearing four-inch heels and left the boots at home. Why?

"I am 5-foot-3 on a good day," she said, "and when you're interviewing models backstage it's best to be somewhere near their face level."

The celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch offered a blizzard pro tip.

"You either come in warm and comfortable clothes and boots or you come in neon -- or sequins would be a good one -- so they see you in the drift," he said.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wraps up Feb. 14, when the industry moves on to London, Milan and Paris.

JASON WU

Wu's collection was all woman. Not girlie. Not mannish. That was by design.

"I wanted to bring back the woman to the runway," he said backstage.

The clothes were full of strength, with exaggerated shoulders and some military touches, but chiffon pleats floated down the runway. Two outfits were long -- as in floor-length -- pleated, peplum tops over tuxedo pants, the perfect yin and yang.

Red that offset the mostly black-and-white combinations was the va-va-voom. Use of the color both here and on Michelle Obama's inaugural gown last month was not a coincidence. Wu started on the collection in October and the gown -- for which he received plenty of congratulations and accolades -- was designed in November.

"Certainly red was on my mind. ... I felt it was right for right now," he said.

RAG & BONE

Outside, there was sleet, snow and slush. But inside at the Rag & Bone show, one could find at least a temporary solution to the winter storm: Hot mulled wine to ease the chill, and some fun, colorful clothes.

Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville were interested in pops of bright color -- like mineral green and grape -- and in a more overtly masculine style. "We referenced men's silhouettes a lot more than usual this time," Wainwright said.

On the other hand, the collection was full of flirty quilted miniskirts, too, giving it a feminine accent along with the structured jackets and coats. A grape-colored crochet mini was a typically fun look, as was an orange bomber skirt paired with a long coat, also in grape.

There were lots of soft sweaters, too, like a charcoal "funnel sweater" paired with a crochet skirt of the same color. A charcoal sweater-coat looked deliciously big and warm -- one envied the model who got to wear it on such a cold evening.

PROJECT RUNWAY

The rivalry stayed on the catwalk when new judge, Zac Posen, met previous judge, Michael Kors.

Kors, acting as a guest panelist, Posen, Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia were one big happy family when they took their seats to watch the collections of this season's contestants. (Kors and Klum joked they've spent so much time together over the years that they now look like brother and sister.)

"I didn't call Zac with any tips before he started. He knows what he's doing," Kors said. "I knew I was leaving it in very capable hands."

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