Thursday, March 6, 2008

Liza Minnelli steals Red Dress show at Fashion Week

The event, which features singers, actresses and supermodels in red designer dresses, is held to raise awareness about heart disease -- a leading killer of women.

The Oscar winner, who wore a Halston original spangled red tunic over black velvet pants, turned the runway into a cabaret stage and was rewarded with a standing ovation.

"That was our surprise finale for the audience," said Jennifer Hudman James, who handled media relations for the event.

The show uses the glamour of fashion to highlight risk factors such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels, and lack of exercise which are leading causes of heart disease.

"Know your own risk factors. That's the No. 1 message," Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, said in an interview before the show.

Actress Ana Ortiz, who stars in the television show "Ugly Betty," said she was nervous but thrilled to take part.

"I had no idea that heart disease was so prevalent among Latinas, so if this helps to put a face on that, then I'm glad," Ortiz said.

The shows was also a dream come true for the actress.

"It's my first Fashion Week. I grew up in New York but I never got to go before. I was always outside the tents."

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