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Singers work little red dresses for a good cause

From Emmylou Harris to Lindsay Lohan, stars came out to raise awareness
/ Source: The Associated Press

Sheryl Crow, Lindsay Lohan, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack and other singing stars strutted their stuff for a new crowd Friday: the fashion editors, stylists and retailers at New York Fashion Week.

They all modeled red dresses created by top designers as part of the annual Red Dress Collection, staged by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to raise awareness about women and heart disease.

Taking their turns on the catwalk between young stars such as Christina Milian and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas were Deborah Harry, Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch.

Harry, Kitt and Stritch got the biggest applause from the crowd. Stritch then sang “You’ve Got to Have Heart.”

Fashion-wise, Rimes, in Zac Posen’s spaghetti-strap gown with a tightly pleated bust and high-front slit, Crow in a scarf-style halter dress by Ralph Lauren and Milian in a flowing gown with jeweled straps by Max Azria Atelier were among the best dressed.

Lohan, with very dark hair, wore a long-sleeve Calvin Klein gown with a V-front. She flashed the peace sign at photographers when she reached the end of the runway.

Thalia, in a Vera Wang red satin coat with a darker dress underneath, played with her pouffy skirt like a flamenco dancer, and the fringe on Amerie’s Tommy Hilfiger short dress bounced with every step she took.

Singer Nelly Furtado walks the runway during the Red Dress show during Fashion Week, Friday, Feb. 3, 2006, in New York. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sponsor of The Heart Truth campaign, conceived the idea of the \"red dress\" as a symbol for women and heart disease awareness.Stephen Chernin / AP

Womack wore a strapless gown with gathering and satin strips on the bodice by Carmen Marc Valvo that fit her like a glove.

The country singer met Valvo during last season’s Fashion Week, when she watched Valvo’s show from backstage and then returned the favor by inviting him to see her perform.

When it came time to find a singer for the Red Dress Collection, Valvo said he knew Womack — who also happens to love wearing red — would be the one.

He went with a strapless dress to highlight her face and hair, he told The Associated Press Thursday as he showed Womack the gown for the first time. “Like designing for any celebrity, I had to ask myself, ‘Who is she? What’s her persona? What will work for her?”’

Valvo also said he had to consider Womack’s petite size — very different from the leggy models who usually strut the runways.

“I knew it was going to be fabulous,” Womack gushed. “It’s definitely something I would wear.”

Womack said she would have worn any color for a good cause but red is one of her favorites because it commands attention onstage.