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Celebrities raise money for research into heart disease at NY fashion show

NEW YORK -- Celebrities have burst onto New York Fashion Week, donning couture red dresses made by some of America's top designers and strutting the catwalk to raise money for heart disease.

Actresses, TV personalities, sports celebrities and musicians were dressed in custom-made red evening gowns to raise money for what is the number one killer of women in the United States.

The Red Dress Campaign is a charity gala that takes place each year during New York Fashion Week when organizers rely on the pulling power of popular names to rake in the cash.

U.S. singer and rock guitarist Joan Jett, who lost her mother to congenital heart failure, said Thursday's event was very personal.

“You got no heart, you got no life, so I think it's important for women to recognize that,” said Jett, dressed in a scarlet jumpsuit.

Anika Noni Rose, a singer and actress who appeared in Hollywood film “Dreamgirls” and is currently in rehearsals on Broadway, said New York came alive during Fashion Week.

“New York is such a stylish city,” she told AFP.

“It fits New York but it becomes more exciting. I feel like you see more people on the streets dressed for Fashion Week, whether they're going to a show or not, because they know it's here. And it's pretty fantastic.”

Rose said she was honored to be taking to the runway in memory of a friend's mother who died of heart disease.

Singer Colbie Caillat, who performed in support of Russian protest group Pussy Riot on Wednesday, wore a plunging gown by her red carpet favorite Nicole Miller.

“I'm excited. It's something girls always dream of doing and I'm also nervous because there's all these cameras,” she said while having her hair primped for the runway.

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Victoria Justice, left, and AnnaSophia Robb attend the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York on Thursday, Feb. 6. (AP)

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