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Celebrities Come Out for a Cause: The 2011 Red Dress Collection

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Photos: Getty Images

The Red Dress Collection show—an annual event that has, since 2003, cemented The Heart Truth heart disease awareness campaign in the American pop consciousness—is not the most fashion-forward or innovative presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (after all, it’s a bunch celebrities in red evening gowns and cocktail dresses). But where it lacks in edginess or hardcore fashion cred, it makes up for in warmth of spirit and good intentions.

In its own way, the Red Dress show is very nearly the spiritual embodiment of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week—and, therefore, the perfect kick-off for the seven days ahead—which is, of all the four major international fashion weeks (the others being Paris, Milan, and London), the most star-powered, commercial, and spectacle-driven. The Red Dress Collection show is this perfect marriage of all-American old school Hollywood glamour with a demonstration of celebrity power, topped with the glaze and glitz of 1,000 audience members (including a celebrity-packed front row, hellooooo Matthew McConaughey, you are good-looking man) rooting for a wholesome, feel-good cause. It’s a real upper—makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

This year, celebrities including Natasha Bedingfield, Dita Von Teese, Eve, Patti LaBelle, and Suzanne Somers strutted the runway in gowns from top designers including Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen, Donna Karan, and Oscar de la Renta. These red gowns have been donated by their respective fashion houses for a public online auction via clothesoffourback.org ending March 4th. The proceeds from the sales will benefit the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to help support women’s heart health awareness and research.

Check out the full list of celebrities and designer dresses after the jump.

Here's our fuzzy/pixelated finale video (Yes, the runway was lighted red)

Participating celebrities and designers included:

Alison Sweeney in Tadashi Shoji
Ann Curry in Carmen Marc Valvo
Archie Panjabi in J. Mendel
Audrina Patridge in Badgley Mischka
Camila Alves in Kaufman Franco
Cat Deeley in Alberta Ferretti
Dania Ramirez in Catherine Malandrino
Denise Richards in Matthew Williamson
Dita Von Teese in Zac Posen
Eva Amurri in Chris Benz
Eve in David Meister
Garcelle Beauvais in Monique Lhuiller
Gayle King in Donna Karan
Giuliana Rancic in Notte by Marchesa
Julianne Hough in Swarovski
Katrina Bowden in Oscar de la Renta
Laila Ali in A Pea in the Pod
Linda Gray in Pamella Roland
Natasha Bedingfield in Nicole Miller
Patti LaBelle in Zang Toi
Suzanne Somers in Ina Soltani
Taraji P. Henson in Naeem Khan

· The Heart Truth [Official Site]