Last Night, was the second night of StyleWeek Northeast and the Red On The Runway StyleWeek fashion show challenge featured first responders, survivors, caregivers, and advocates of Heart Disease strutting down the runway to benefit The American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of both men and women in America, and the American Heart Association is working hard to raise awareness, and promote preventative healthy lifestyle changes to help curb that statistic. Survivors, first responders, caregivers and advocates working as models were paired with designers to walk the runway in one of a kind designs to help raise money and awareness, and to kick off Heart Month in February.
The show was set up as a design challenge and a panel of judges including John Smith the RISD museum director, Christina Robbio of Redken, Jenna Pelletier from the Providence journal, Ashley Erling of The Rhode Show, Jayne Avery from Massachusetts College of Art, Jim Hannon from the School of Fashion Design in Boston, Rachel Russell of Lola Boutique, and stylist Jill Marinelli selected the winning design by Kara Wickman.
It was great fun to see some of my husbands’ friends and colleagues strutting their stuff on the runway like Pediatric Cardiologist Sara Ford and Cardiologist Michael Gilson. Other models included Jill Andy, and Nurse Lisa Connelly. A few friends from our town who took to the catwalk were first responder Fire Fighter Mike Mernick and Tara Wood a heart attack survivor. Tara’s story highlights the need to break down stereotypes about who is at risk of heart disease. She was 44, slim, low cholesterol and blood pressure with healthy fitness, and eating habits, with no family history, yet it happened to her. Martin Ortiz walked the walk, he is not only a survivor, but also the father of StyleWeek Northeast founder Rosanna Ortiz Sinel. Also modeling were Paul Brooks, survivor, caregiver and AHA board member, and Mary Velardo who lost her husband to a heart attack in 2009 (pictured above in the winning dress). Model Louise Dinsmore lost her three year old daughter to a congenital heart defect , and went on to found the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & HopeFund , and Gabrielle’s Heart camp to provide a fun, safe summer camp experience to children with heart disease, and honor Gabrielle’s memory.
The StyleWeek Northeast Red on the Runway show was a great girls night out. We had fun shopping at the accessory showcase, ogling fun designs like the Haute Tags sold by fellow blogger Becky DiStefano, and fabulous handbags by designer Kent Stetson, taking in the fashion show, and socializing during the cocktail hour. StyleWeek Northeast runs through Saturday at the Biltmore in Providence so, check out the schedule, because there are five more fabulous, fashionable fun-filled nights ahead!