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NY Fashion Week ends as snow wreaks fashion havoc

Friday - 2/14/2014, 9:20am  ET

A man walks to the tents at Lincoln Center during Fashion Week in New York on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. A storm spread heavy snow and sleet along the Northeast corridor, while power was out to hundreds of thousands in the ice-encrusted South. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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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. Actress Lupita Nyong'o was among those seen Thursday, sitting in a front row with Vogue editor Anna Wintour and actress Naomi Watts at a Calvin Klein show.

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."

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 2½ hours. She didn't care. "We'll remember this forever," she said. She planned to have lunch and do some shopping, then drive home.

Ashley Kozel, from Sarasota, Fla., flew 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., wearing a pinstriped gray suit. "Fortunately, I have a four-wheel drive. We took our time," he said, adding that Macy's has been selling a lot of coats.

At the Lincoln Center tents, Daiki Nagai, 20, of Tokyo, stood shivering under an awning. 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.

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LUPITA NYONG'O ATTENDS HER FIRST FASHION WEEK SHOW: CALVIN KLEIN

Oscar-nominated actress Lupita Nyong'o is a breakout fashion star as much as she's a breakout movie star. If anyone didn't know that already, they knew it after she made her first appearance at New York Fashion Week on Thursday.

Arriving at the Calvin Klein runway show, dressed in pale pink, she was pursued by a crush of photographers, and she looked as stunning as she has all awards season.

The "12 Years a Slave" actress has established a strong relationship with Calvin Klein, said the label's designer, Francisco Costa, adding he was thrilled that she wore one of his dresses to accept her Critics' Choice award.

"We were very, very thrilled that she wore that amazing dress," he said. "Seeing that picture with her award it was just magnificent, because she is a very urban woman. She's very intelligent, extremely talented and very cool, very today. And I think that dress made a very iconic moment for us."

On the runway, Costa presented a series of minimalist but inviting outfits, mostly knits. When a soft, fuzzy coat in ivory mohair came out, you could almost hear the crowd sigh, so perfect was it for the day's wintry weather. (Come to think of it, though, perhaps not for the huge puddles of brown slush that surrounded the entire block of the downtown venue.)

Costa said his collection was inspired by the idea of "downtown meets uptown in a sense, you know where the sensibility is really expensive, luxurious, very Calvin, but also with a fun, of coziness of... (wanting) to stay at home. And the whole exploration of sewing techniques. I would say 80 percent of the collection was knitwear-based."

--Jocelyn Noveck and Nicole Evatt

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RALPH LAUREN IN TEAM USA BOOTS

Ralph Lauren's runway show happened to come around the height of Thursday's winter snowstorm, with a fierce wind whipping down the snowy Greenwich Village streets near his showroom. Pity -- or admire? -- those who still felt they should arrive in fashionable heels.

Most people made the more practical choice, wearing chunky snow boots or at least rubber rain boots. While Lauren's runway show didn't include any of the U.S. Olympic team uniforms he designed, he did come out at the end wearing his Team USA boots.

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