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Imagine a fashion show with a crowd made up of real people having fun, not fashion industry insiders looking jaded. Where famous non-models walk the runway like models and famous models walk the runway like real people—all wearing red gowns designed by some of the world's top designers. And best of all, imagine the show's proceeds going to a great charity. What you'd end up with would probably be a lot like last night's Red Dress Collection fashion show. The annual event is part of the NIH's The Heart Truth campaign, whose goal is to bring national awareness to women about the risks of getting heart disease.
Kicking things off were a couple of former models—not that you could tell by their walks. Rebecca Romijn vamped her way down the runway in Marchesa, smiling and having fun with the crowd. She was followed by one of the world's first super models, the Pamela Roland clad Christie Brinkley, who—get ready for it—tripped. Yes, you read right. The Uptown Girl immediately stumbled when she came out on the runway. But she did it with aplomb. Christie caught herself from falling, then confidently commandeered her way down the rest of the catwalk with a big smile on her face, a dramatic swagger and much support from the crowd. We really felt for her, until we came home and spotted a pre-show interview in which Christie shared that she'd told the newbie models that if any of them accidentally tripped on the runway, it would just bring more attention to the cause. It made us start to wonder...but hey, anything for a good cause.
Attempting to pull off more of a traditional catwalk strut were singer Gloria Estefan in Narciso Rodreguez and a Hairspray-worthy bouffant, and The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger in Marc Bouwer. And yes, we have to go there—Patti's obvious plastic surgery, diet and weave were really working for her. Much to our surprise, she looked stunning and totally rocked her dress. We also enjoyed seeing the real-woman figures of Dynasty icon Linda Evans in Tadashi Shoji and swim mom Debbie Phelps in Adrianna Papell. Debbie stopped mid-runway to kiss her Olympic Gold Medal winning son, Michael.
But the absolute highlight of the show, even better than spotting legendary producer Nile Rodgers front row-ing, was watching Chaka Khan sashay down the runway to "I'm Every Woman." The inimitable Chaka's masses of red hair set off her Red Riding Hood-like ensemble, created for her by the equally inimitable Chris March.