The schools closed early, flights are being cancelled, and Mayor Bloomberg has suggested that everyone “cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie, take it easy.” But for all those involved with Fashion Week, there remains a healthy spirit of optimism (or perhaps denial) that the shows will go on as expected. Among the models backstage at the Tess Giberson presentation at Pier 59 earlier this morning, it was all still smiling faces and some fearless attitudes about what forecasters are saying could be the largest blizzard in a century for some cities.
Not chauffeured to their jobs like you may think, most of the young women have to rely on public transportation and their own two dainty feet to go from casting calls to runway shows that, when not at Lincoln Center, can be in some hard-to-reach areas on the west side.
Lanky German model Julia Zimmer said she doesn’t have much to protect her from the elements: “I just have my umbrella, and I just hold it to the wind. It was that way when I was coming here. My umbrella was freaking out because the wind sometimes comes from this side, and then it comes from that side. I have to change the position. And everyone’s looking at me like, What is she doing? What is wrong with her?”
Though not daunted by the predictions yet, Zimmer conceded that New York has had some worrisome storms recently. “In Germany, we have just normal blizzards. But here, every time I’m in New York, the weather is much worse than in Germany. When I was here the first time, it was during Hurricane Irene, and I was so scared because we never had that in Germany. But this blizzard? No. I’m more scared about the hurricanes.”
Casually sipping fruit punch from a juice box, Kelly Mayhugh, who just arrived in town from Kentucky, where she said snow and ice storms are the norm, rolled her eyes at all the troubling news reports. “I’ve lived in Germany and so snow was not that big a deal. I know how to get around in snow. I actually hope that people in New York know how to get around in snow.” She laughed defiantly. “As long as the trains are running, I’m pretty sure it will go smoothly.
Looking out the window at the mixture of ice and rain coming down, Alek Naviciute, who is here from Lithuania, also agreed that the weather didn’t seem that bad. “I left my country three weeks ago, and it was very cold and very snowy. For me, right now, this is not cold. It is not impossible to get around in this. But if it’s something like a hurricane, I would never put my job in front of myself. If it is very bad, then, of course, you don’t go out. But this, now, is manageable.”