Jason Wu shines in midst of New York blizzard

The snowstorm walloping New England also gatecrashed New York Fashion Week on Friday, although First Lady Michelle Obama's much favored designer Jason Wu did his best to lift the gloom.

With a major blizzard gathering over Manhattan, forcing cancellation of thousands of flights and threatening crippling snowfalls further north, it was not the day for sexy high heels.

Black limousines pulled as close as possible to show venues, leaving precious fashion editors, starlets and other beautiful people to brave the last yards on their own.

Photographers and bloggers working outside had only one fashion sense -- large coats and boots -- as they covered the keenly awaited collection of Jason Wu on fashion week's second day.

"It's been really difficult because of the freezing rain. You can't even wear heels if you want to be safe and you stand outside," said Mary O' Regan, a blogger for Nordstrom department store. "It feels like you are dying."

The armies of PR people accompanying Fashion Week's stars had their own reasons to worry about the plight of journalists in such weather.

"A lot of the European press isn't even here, not even Suzy Menkes," said Virginie Trapenard, a publicist working on Jason Wu's collection, referring to the International Herald Tribune's celebrity fashion editor.

"They haven't been able to take their planes," she said.

The storm was also partly blamed for messing up the schedule of two hotly awaited Marc Jacobs shows next week -- one moved from Monday to Thursday and the other from Tuesday to Monday.

But neither airport delays nor storm could stop hot model of the moment Cara Delevingne from turning up for Jason Wu's catwalk.

"I got here from Paris last night somehow," she said. "Actually, I have to run. I've got a fitting and other things.... It's stressful, but it's my job so I love it."

Melvin Chua, over from Beijing to attend Fashion Week, was wrapped in furs and said bad weather should not mean bad fashion sense. "

"When the weather is like that, people have to use it. They remain stylish not matter what," she said. "The show still goes on."

Inside on the runways, Jason Wu's collection shrugged off the chill with chic and sexy capes and fur coats, black belts, embroidered shirts, bare shoulders and pleated silk dresses and skirts.

"The collection is about a powerful woman: feminine, beautiful, strong, and just beautiful clothes," Wu said.

The pleats signaled softness but "controlled and structured," he told AFP. "There is some fluidity and femininity."

As models plucked up coverage after shows to run back out into the storm, Russian fashionista Miroslava Duma, wearing vertiginous heels, was happy to stick around for photos inside or outside.

"I am from Russia, so I get used to looking good, even if the weather looks awful."

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