Erica Ehm Exposed!


Gimme This Dress

Backstage at The Heart Truth Fashion Show

by: Erica Ehm

When I saw myself in the mirror in my Stephan Caras gown, minutes before walking the runway for the Heart Truth Fashion Show, all I could think was, "Gimme this dress!" 

I know it's not the most appropriate thing to say when you're helping out Heart & Stroke Foundation by being a part of their yearly fashion show. But the dress was stunning. Like every other dress in the show, it was bright red, but mine had a sparkly touch of black. It fit me like a glove and was totally my style. But once I strutted it down the catwalk, I had to give it back.

This was the 6th Annual Heart Truth Fashion Show, a powerful combination of amazing female personalities and talented Canadian designers who team up and donate their time and expertise to be a part of the show and remind women to take care of their heart. Heart disease and stroke are a leading cause of death for Canadian women, but most don’t know it.

I've been in the audience every year, and am always blown away by the caliber of celebrities and fabulous red dresses that take part in the show. 

This year, it was such an honour to actually be invited to walk the runway in red along with the likes of guitarist Liona Boyd, Actress Sonia Smits, Gold Medal Skater Jamie Sale (who showed up her pregnant belly), CBC's Suhanna Meharchand, and Hockey Star Hailey Wickenheiser.

Extra fun for me was having my two buddies, Breakfast TV host Jennifer Valentyne and Traci Melchor from ETalk to hang out with backstage.

Jennifer Valentyle Traci Melchor Erica Ehm

As much as I loved the dress, I was not as comfortable in my shoes (although they looked stunning). I'm not good walking in high heels, especially walking down a runway with a few hundred fashionistas with iPhone cameras and fifty paparazzis capturing your every move. 

My song to hit the stage was Adele's Skyfall. The music started and I made my way onto the stage, praying to the gods of shaky models to keep my balance along the runway. The adrenaline and music hit me at the same time. I conjured up all my attitude and confidence and started my strut. 

I couldn't have been on stage for more than three minutes, but holding my gut in for that amount of time was intense. 

And then my moment in the spotlight was over. Unscathed.

The real star of the night was 91-year-old Gladys Wenger who rocked her way down the runway dressed in red to a standing ovation from a usually jaded audience — a great role model of good health and real beauty.

And that's when I (reluctantly) had to gave my Stephan Caras dress back. The folks producing the The Heart Truth production have been keeping all the red dresses for a travelling show — as the official symbol of  women’s courage, passion and power for change. The truth is women too often put their family’s health before their own, but it’s critical for women to prioritize their own heart health — that is, slip on their own oxygen mask first. Ah, the sacrifices I make so you'll take care of your heart :)

Thanks to YMC Fashion Blogger Liis Windischmann for letting me enjoy my time in the spotlight by taking over hosting duties for this awesome webisode with highlights of The Heart Truth Fashion Show. I hope you will be as inspired as I was.