PhilaU Fashion Design Students’ Red Dresses Promote Heart Health


Winning red dress designs by fashion design students (left to right) Katherine Voigt, Mellisa Ristine and Kirsten Skillman were on display in the Macy’s Center City window last summer.

The winning red dresses designed by PhilaU fashion design students for the American Heart Assocation’s red dress competition were recently showcased as part of an AHA exhibit for National Wear Red Day in collaboration with Temple University Hospital.

Mellisa Ristine’s long red gown won first place and Kirsten Skillman and Katherine Voigt, respectively, placed second and third in the May 2013 red dress competition. The three winning designs also were showcased at the AHA’s annual Go Red For Women luncheon last spring.

“The event was a smash hit and everyone who saw the dresses was greatly impressed,” said  Deborah Crabbe, M.D., of Temple Heart and Vascular Institute, who is also a member of the 2014 Go Red for Women executive leadership team.

Go Red For Women is an AHA initiative to raise awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death in women. The red dress competition, which is open only to PhilaU fashion design students, gives students the opportunity to apply their creative talents while supporting a worthy cause: the red dress has become an iconic symbol of the AHA’s battle against heart disease in women. February is American Heart Month.

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