Heart-warming Red Dress Collection takes the runway at the Graves

Categories: Fashion

Tony Nelson
Davee Ek in Mary Pranica, Jamie Yuccas in Laura Fulk, and Kelsey Soby in Christopher Straub
The third-annual Minnesota Red Dress Collection returned to the Graves 601 Hotel's ballroom for the second year in a row. Hosted by the CW's Carly Aplin, the event aimed to raise awareness about heart disease in women -- the number one killer of women, according to the American Heart Association -- while showing off the talents of more than a dozen local designers on the runway.

The chilly Sunday evening didn't stop anyone from looking their most fab, and the ballroom was packed to the brim with fashionistas looking to make a difference in the lives of those with heart disease. All proceeds from the show and silent auction benefited the AHA's Go Red for Women program.

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Gorgeous gowns at Red Dress Collection 2014

The evening began with messages about heart health, including a fun fact about how the human heart pumps blood so vigorously that each beat has the power to shoot blood 30 feet into the air.

Heart-disease survivor Elizabeth Smith, who wore a scarlet Thom Navarro dress Sunday night, told her difficult story about how she found out about her condition. After more than a year of being misdiagnosed, she finally received the news that the fatigue and asthma-like symptoms she had weren't asthma at all -- it was heart disease.

After words of wisdom about heart health, it was time for the folks to see some action on the catwalk -- it is called the Red Dress Collection, after all.

Tony Nelson
Jana Shortal (left) and Valerie Carpender (right)
KARE 11's Jana Shortal wowed the crowd in a red-and-cream dress by Kerri Townsend. The modern look had depth but didn't look weighed down -- not a small feat for a dress made with both leather details and silk.

Valerie Carpender wore a velvet Tessa Louise stunner with a slit that was actually never-ending, snaking up her leg and across her chest before the dress gathered at the shoulder.

Tony Nelson
Allison Kaplan (left) and Nicole Curtis (right)
Nicole Curtis put down her hammer for the night and put on a gown of her own design. The ever-popular Rehab Addict host looked marvelous in a dress that featured a red lace overlay on the bodice, a sheer skirt, and a stand-out floral belt that cinched at the waist.

Allison Kaplan walked the runway again this year -- this time in a garnet-hued, strapless dress from Tara LaTour that combined the best parts of Victorian and mid-century style with buttons, lace, and a fitted bodice that flowed to a full, mid-length skirt.

In all, the event featured 20 local designers and celebrity models -- including Idle Child, Emma Berg, Stacie Clark, and Julie Nelson -- supporting the Go Red for Women cause.

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