The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2011 Fashion Show (Exclusive with Video)
The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2011 Fashion Show kicked off Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York last evening. The celebrity-studded affair celebrated the national awareness campaign for women about heart disease. Celebrity models included Ann Curry, Audrina Patridge, Camila Alves, Denise Richards, Dita Von Teese, Eve, Gayle King, Giuliana Rancic, Julianne Hough, Laila Ali, Linda Gray, Natasha Bedingfield, Patti LaBelle (see photo above and video below), Suzanne Somers (see photo below) and several others (featured in slideshow below). Watch the full video of the show on MyDaily.
There were plenty of celebrities in the audience to watch the presentation, including actor Matthew McConaughey and Apprentice-winning Bill Rancic, who were both there to cheer on their significant others (Camila Alves and Giuliana Rancic, respectively).
Many of the participants have a personal connection to heart disease, which motivated them to become involved in the show. "It turned out to be a lot of fun---now that it is over," The Today Show's Ann Curry, who was stunning in Carmen Marc Valvo (see slideshow below), told Luxist. "It wasn't so much fun leading up to it because I was kind of nervous. I have never done anything like this before."
"As I walked out I thought that I was not going to let my fear prevent me from enjoying this moment," she told Luxist. "That is what I kept saying to myself. I thought, let me see if there is a way for me to love the audience, because that is why I am here. My dad had heart disease and he had a defibrillator and a pacemaker. So I know that this a big deal and I know that women don't pay attention to this---why, because a heart is the one thing that we can count on. We don't think of ourselves as being so vulnerable, but it is the number one killer. So this is kind of a splashy way of reminding people about the disease. I did this to honor my dad."
Actress Linda Gray, whose father died from heart disease, was beautiful in a gown designed by Pamella Roland. "The evening was so exhilarating," Gray told Luxist. "It was wonderful to be part of education for women, which is needed because so many women are only focused on breast cancer."
A very pregnant Laila Ali told Luxist she participated in the fashion show "for the same reason as everybody else." Ali, who is pregnant and due in early April, believes in the cause. "We need to put information out there about heart disease," she told Luxist. "Women need to know about this. I was here to have fun and at the same time put that message out there to take care of ourselves. It doesn't make sense in the United States for us to be dying from something that can be preventable."
Ali, who was dressed in a red A Pea in the Pod evening gown, said she had a good time on the runway. "I was trying to make fun of it," she explained to Luxist. "I am uncomfortable. I'm big and pregnant. My butt's big. But you work with what you've got. Right now I've got a bump in the front and in the back. I looked at the screen as I was walking on the runway, saw myself and thought, 'well, OK'."
Real Housewives of New York City's Countess LuAnn de Lessepps, who was in the audience, also felt strongly about the cause, especially since she used to work in the medical profession. "A lot of people don't know that I am a nurse," de Lessepps told Luxist. "What is more important than a women's heart?"
"I think all the women who were getting out there and strutting their stuff and putting on the dresses was just so much fun and such a great idea" de Lessepps added. "It was a great show. The dresses were all fabulous."
de Lessepps told Luxist she recently filmed a Law and Order episode. When asked what is in store for her fans in the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of New York City, she exclaimed, "Of course, there is always drama, but this season is going to be great for me," she told Luxist. "I am happy and in love. I sing with a major icon in the music business on the show this season. She is fabulous and the song was recorded."
The centerpiece of The Heart Truth is the Red Dress, which was introduced as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action. The Heart Truth is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
More Luxist Coverage of NY Fashion Week Fall 2011: