Stars Support Heart Health at Annual Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection Fashion Show
Last night at the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection fashion show, presented by Macy's at Hammerstein Ballroom, celebrities and cardiovascular disease survivors alike came out to walk in support of women's heart health.
According to the American Heart Association, heart diseases like heart attacks and strokes kill one woman about every 80 seconds. But as Academy Award-winner and host Marisa Tomei pointed out in her opening speech, Macy's has helped raise more than $65 million for Go Red For Women over the years, helping fund women's heart research and education.
So, stars like Tomei, Law and Order's Elisabeth Röhm, ABC News Meteorologist Ginger Zee, 13 Reason Why's Kate Walsh, Tony award-winning songstress Lea Salonga, Sabrina the Teenage Witch's Melissa Joan Hart, The Bachelorette's Rachel Lindsay, Sports Illustrated swimsuit supermodel Kathy Ireland, and more came out to "go red" and celebrate what they would do with more time.
Salonga, who kicked things off with a gorgeous rendition of One Republic's "I Lived" told InStyle that meeting Macy’s employee Karen A. Hill (one of the heart disease survivors) in the fitting rooms before the show was an especially moving moment for her before the show. "It's like 'wow, you are tough' you know? There is a confidence that they have from been to hell and back and living to tell the tale."
Many of the stars, including Salonga, named close family and friends affected by heart disease as their reason for wanting to "go red for women." Walsh, who's played neonatal specialist Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice before landing her role on Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, says her interest in raising awareness didn't exactly come form her character.
"My fake TV doctor area of expertise was from the belly down basically [not the heart]." She wanted to walk in memory of her late uncle and grandfather wo both passed away from heart disease and for women who may not know female heart disease symptoms may differ from men. "There can never be too much awareness about all women's health, but particularly heart issues because [for example] a heart attack manifests completely differently in women than it does in men."
Ireland said she was inspired by actress and philanthropist Elizabeth Taylor to walk in last night's show. "Elizabeth would say, 'Excuses are so undignified and they don't absolve you anyway.'" Ireland also told InStyle, while we caught up with her in the hairspray-filled dressing room area pre-show, that she wanted to women watching and participating to start taking care of themselves first. "So often, as women, we're taking care of everyone else and we frequently forget to take care of ourselves, so if there's anything I can say to women it's please take care of yourself and you'll be able to do a lot more good for others."
Go Red For Women's music was just as uplifting as its mission, having each star walk to a different power song. Ireland, who once appeared on the cover of 13 consecutive Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit editions, walked in a gorgeous Marc Bouwer gown to Katy Perry's "Firework." And '90s group En Vogue, featuring singers Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones, closed out the show with a rousing performance of their greatest hits like "Free Your Mind." In the middle of the group's exciting set, vocalist Terry Ellis took time to let the audience know, "This is the year of the women," which garnered a rousing round of applause.
Eighty percent of cardiac disease events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. For more information on on how to get involved with Go Red For Women, visit GoRedForWomen.org.