Sleet Style

How Nemo Affected Fashion Week

A little snow may have slowed down the hectic start of New York Fashion Week—but it didn’t stop the show. By Isabel Wilkinson and Misty White Sidell.

Just as fashion week rolled into New York, so too did Nemo—the white-out blizzard that brought howling winds, sheets of rain and ice, along with several inches of snow.

Late on Thursday came the news that Marc Jacobs—arguably the city’s biggest designer—had rescheduled his show from Monday to Thursday of next week, which caused everyone to fret about how the blizzard might affect the jam-packed fashion week schedule. (Turns out his samples were delayed.)

But, by Friday night, the fashion world had powered through, slightly slower and a lot more bundled up than usual. The message was clear: the shows must go on.

"If for some reason the storm takes a turn and is potentially dangerous then there will be a decision made, but that’s not going to happen—especially in New York,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “We are OK, we can get through a little bit of snow. Maybe the worst thing about the snow is that it forces people to change their outfits.”

And indeed it did. Instead of the usual peacocking in impractical attire, droves of show-goers wore duck boots and wellies, along with puffy coats, which made the tight seats feel even more cramped. More than a few fur hats obstructed views of the runway.

"This morning I was wearing my Tom Ford thigh-high boots and I was slipping and sliding and literally taxis were honking and laughing at me, so I was like, OK, I need to find myself something with height but a little bit of grip,” said Caroline Issa, an editor at Tank magazine.

“I didn’t think about [boots] this morning, but I’ll definitely think about it tomorrow morning,” the designer Tory Burch told us. Burch added that in order to finish her collection in time for her Tuesday-morning show, she’s having staffers who live outside the city stay here overnight so they don’t get stuck. “We are having a few people spend the night who would ordinarily go home outside of the city because we are just going to be working over the entire weekend, so we were worried that people weren’t going to be able to get in tomorrow,” she said.

There were, of course, a fair share of people who didn’t get the memo about the storm. Allison Williams and Jaime King looked straight out of a cocktail party on a summer night at the Jason Wu show, and Elettra Wiedemann (the daughter of Isabella Rossellini, who’s covering fashion week for New York magazine this year), wore a short leather skirt with bare legs and high heels.

An onlooker in a parka and fur-lined boots leaned forward to gawk at Wiedemann’s legs. “Wow,” she said, “she looks underdressed.”