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News from UC Davis Health System

News from UC Davis Health System

The 2013 additions to the UC Davis Red Dress Collection

As part of a unique partnership between the UC Davis Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program and the UC Davis Department of Design, fashion design students are creating a collection of red dresses to raise awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Each year in February, new designs are unveiled at the UC Davis Women’s Heart Care Education and Awareness Forum, which is held in Sacramento during National Heart Month. Here are the dresses unveiled during the 2013 forum held on Feb. 22.

Designer and model: Denise TiradoDenise Tirado © UC Regents

Title: Loving Mermaid

The design of my red dress was first inspired by fish, as their natural oils help prevent heart disease by slowing down the growth of plaque in the arteries and reducing inflammation in our bodies. From a fish to its imaginary figure, I created this mermaid dress. Red sateen fabric was used to mimic the sheen of wet scales on the body, and a flared train in the skirt is a reflection of its tail. By wearing the dress, I wanted the person to feel elegant, beautiful and loved. This is what I believe that every woman should be able to feel in order to be strong and overcome heart disease.


Designer and model: Jessica DuttJessica Dutt © UC Regents

Title: The Dynamic Woman

This red dress shows the dynamism of the women who battle heart disease and its complications. The short, sweetheart neckline and satin bustier dress represent the young, courageous woman. In contrast, the long sheer chiffon train and shoulder strap stand for the mature, strong female. Ruffle accents throughout the dress show the dramatic nature of heart disease while still being lively with movement and energy, much like those affected by heart health issues. Even though it is a serious matter, heart health can be looked at with optimism. My dress demonstrates that heart health is an important matter that affects women both young and mature, and celebrates the supporter, the survivor and the woman. 

Designer and model: Linda NguyenLinda Nguyen © UC Regents

Title: Little Red

At a young age, every child is taught the shape of a heart and how it symbolizes love, life and strength. The story of “Little Red Riding Hood” was my inspiration for the red dress. Little Red was an ambitious and brave young girl who defeated all of the difficulties that came her way. She symbolized strength as well as joyfulness similar to my idea of the heart. Inspired be the life of youth, I chose to create a very playful gown that would address the necessity of living a stress free and laughter filled life. Little Red’s bravery conquered her struggles, but her spirit encouraged others to never give up. Recently, my grandfather has been suffering from heart problems and I would give anything to be his Little Red. Everyone deserves a “happily ever after."


Designer and model: Mallory KloockMallory Kloock © UC Regents

Title: Flow Away With Me

Relaxation is a great way to lower blood pressure and keep the heart healthy. This dress uses lace and flowing lines to represent a healthy blood flow. The aorta near the top of the heart is represented by the shoulder strap on the left side of the body, over the torso. The strips of lace that flow over the dress characterize the veins that run throughout the body. The sweetheart neckline mimics the symbol of a heart. Since heart disease can affect women of all ages, this dress is designed to appeal to all ages with the high-low silhouette.

Designer and model: Moriah AgoustariMoriah Agoustari © UC Regents

Title: Tough at Heart

While sifting through images that might inspire my red dress, one caught my eye: a classic tattoo of a heart, bearing a scroll reading “mom." The vivid red color, leather bodice, studding and draped sash of my dress echo elements of the tattoo. The girl who wears my dress is aptly confident, feminine and edgy — an ideal women’s heart health campaign advocate. She celebrates her vibrant femininity, but also stands tough in the face of heart disease by understanding its risk factors and prevention. I hope that my design inspires other women to do the same.


Designer: Olga YaromenkaOlga Yaromenka design © UC Regents

Model: Jasmine Scott

Title: Hearty Hybrid

This dress is a hybrid. It has a classic simple silhouette; however, the sheer top with slit on the back ads controversy to it, which draws attention to admire a healthy metaphor.  The style of the dress serves women of different age groups — from those in their 20s to those in their 50s. The heart placed on the front of the dress symbolizes female awareness of the heart disease problems. It’s made to emphasize feminine strength and beauty as a statement that every woman is beautiful and sexy, and that every woman is able to survive and stay strong even after a heart surgery.

Designer and model: Rachel LawRachel Law © UC Regents

Title: Heart Art

The human heart is a complex and beautiful part of the body. The focus of my dress is the arteries of the heart as shown throughout the design. They represent the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to keep our arteries clean and maintain a healthy blood flow for a strong heart. Overall, my dress embodies the beauty of the arteries and the beauty of the woman. My dress shows women that every part of the heart is beautiful and that every heart truly is a work of art.

A unique union of health and creativity

Dr. VillablancaUC Davis cardiologist Amparo Villablanca launched the student red dress collection and the nation’s first program dedicated to women’s heart health. In her clinic and outreach, Dr. Villablanca educates women about the importance of thinking about their hearts — even in their 20s and 30s, because heart disease develops over the course of decades.

Adele ZhangThe dress designers are mentored by Adele Zhang, who teaches fashion and textile design in the UC Davis Department of Design and is the curator for the UC Davis Design Collection and Design Museum. With her multicultural background, industry and business experience, Zhang links wearable design with real-world applications.