Fashion designers here and in Europe are starting to feel the heat.

The fall collections kick off here this Friday, and many designers are struggling with what they perceive is the earliest-ever start to the runway season — Feb. 3, which is proving to be particularly early for American designers. Many of them have expressed the difficulties they've been having getting fabrics in on time from Italy to be able put together their collections. In the case of Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the late fabric deliveries forced them to reschedule their show to the Thursday of fashion week to allow for some extra time.

Perhaps the most vocal critic to emerge is Marc Jacobs.

"Whoever moved those shows dates up in New York should be executed," he said last Thursday night at a dinner to celebrate his new collection store in Paris, less than 24 hours before his Louis Vuitton men's wear show. "I'm stressed and exhausted."

Jacobs, who juggles multiple men's and women's runway and pre-collections for his signature house and Louis Vuitton, said the time crunch ultimately impedes a designer from doing his best work.

"It's depressing to look at something that's done and know that it's not your best, and think of how good it could have been but you didn't have the time," he said. "Because then it's too late and it's out there forever."

After his Vuitton men's show, Jacobs was slated to rush back to New York to prepare for his Feb. 6 signature show. However, a snag in Vuitton shoe deliveries threatened to delay his Paris departure.

"We are waiting, waiting, waiting for clothes, and because of the dates being so early, everyone will get fabrics and samples at the last minute," Michael Kors said. "Fall collections are always a push, much more so than spring. If you look at the calendar, the timing with Christmas thrown in the middle, it's always a real crush. On top of it, there was a major snowstorm in Milan [on Friday], and the city is at a standstill. There are no planes flying, you can't get bags, shoes, clothes out. I think there will be a lot of late nights."

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