- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A touch of nerves over a terrorist alert permeated Day 2 of Fashion Week as the industry ran to and fro Friday through stepped-up security on road and rail.

“It’s kind of scary,” Christian Siriano said as he madly put the finishing touches on his Saturday show. “We’re just kind of pumping through it.”

National Guard troops and transit police with assault rifles watched crowds at Penn Station and stopped vehicles at the 59th Street bridge in Manhattan after counterterrorism officials received a tip of a possible al-Qaida car bombing in New York City or Washington around the Sept. 11 anniversary Sunday.

“We’re taking the threat seriously and are in constant contact with city and police officials,” said Zach Eichman, a spokesman for IMG, which runs the eight-day series of spring previews at Lincoln Center.

A London student, 20-year-old Jessica Anuna, who also edits an online fashion magazine, is staying in a Times Square hotel during her first turn at Fashion Week.

“I was a bit worried to be honest, but I’m confident that New York has it under control,” she said after attending shows for Project Runway contestants and the Luca Luca brand.

“I’m not doing anything different really, just being more aware of my surroundings, more alert,” Anuna added. “It’s not really at the forefront of my mind.”

Ashley Tisdale, on the front row at Luca Luca and Rebecca Taylor, was also mindful. “I think we’re always on alert, but I feel safe,” she said.

Meanwhile, optimism prevailed on the runways for next season’s style on the second day of shows for editors, retailers and stylists. After the New York catwalks close down, shows shift to London, then Milan and Paris.

Jason Wu debuted a collection fit for modern sophisticates who aren’t fussy or stuffy. Inspired by pop art, he went with “electrified embroideries” that mixed sequins, beads and pearls, and flashes of bright yellow, pink and blue. But he didn’t stray from his classic, ladylike look so fitting for first lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown.

Peter Som’s favorite tropical colors, clean shapes, rich textures and occasional quirky prints were everywhere on his runway. For next season, he also loves flowers and feathers.


Wu took risks playing with proportion for spring.

“The graphic contrast of the opposing concepts is a strong theme of the collection,” he said in his notes. He said he likes taking things “out of their usual context.”

A shocking-pink, coated-nylon trench _ sporty with its hood and drawstring _ somehow complemented dressy pleated pants, as did a sparkly sequined collar on a workday shirtdress.

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