It’s hard not to hide your excitement, no matter who you are, when you try on a designer gown made just for you. Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medalist, was no exception as she tried on her Reem Acra gown on Monday for the Heart Truth Red Dress fashion show.
“I think it’s beautiful. I’m so excited to be wearing Reem Acra,” said Liukin.
Acra is a Lebanese designer who has created red carpet looks for everyone from Carrie Underwood to Beyonce. Her design nods to her Fall 2012 bridal collection, which featured a wedding dress with a similar look.
“I love it. It’s like the perfect shade of red,” she said.
Liukin saw the dress in a photo before the fitting but was still surprised when she saw the gown.
“I saw a picture but I think it’s always different than what you see in person…obviously it’s better in person,” she said.
The fitting was held at the London hotel in New York City, two stylists and one seamstress prepped the gown for it’s debut at The Heart Truth Red Dress fashion show. The show brings awareness to heart disease, the number one killer of women. After the show, the dresses go on a tour around the country, in an effort to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle.
“It’s very important to live a healthy lifestyle and by healthy I don’t mean training seven hours a day, six days a week for something like the Olympics. But it’s important to do something active every single day,” said Liukin.
Stylists paired the dress with Christian Louboutin’s sold-out Epoca shoe, a clear sling-back pump with a pewter toe.
Liukin’s friend attended the fitting and had her twirl around for a 360 view of the dress.
“They’re like Cinderella shoes,” her friend said of the pumps. The heels are from the spring/summer collection and retail at $1,300. For some extra sparkle, Liukin accessorized the dress with jewerly from Hearts on Fire.
The NYU student is getting used to the adjustment between glamour and everyday real life, heading to the show after her calculus class.
“I kind of feel like a girly girl. I literally went from class straight here. It’s definitely an adjustment,” said Liukin.
Her second time in the show, the Subway spokeswoman has had some practice walking down the catwalk. She walked in the 2009 show after her Olympic win wearing a short dress designed by Max Azria for BCBG.
But even though the nine-time world medalist can do cartwheels and flips, she was still nervous about walking in her long dress. The models had a chance to practice on Tuesday but not in their gowns.
“Definitely a little nervous. It’s a little out of everybody’s element. I know I’m not used to walking on a runway…Hopefully I can pull it off,” said Liukin.
And pull it off she did, walking down the catwalk almost as effortlessly as the balance beam.