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2006 Year In Review: Models Flaunt Political Messages

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As we wind down 2006, NY1 continues to look back on the year that was. Models not only flaunted the latest fashions at the 2006 fashion shows, but also some political messages. NY1's Annika Pergament takes a look back at what the designers had to say both on and off the runway and who made the biggest impressions on the year gone by.

The Big Apple, fashion's place to see and be seen, plays host every February and September to New York Fashion Week. Fashion editors, journalists, photographers, buyers, and of course celebrities make their biannual pilgrimage to the heart of the city to watch top designers send their latest collections down the runways.

This year, some designers shared their spotlight for a good cause. Carmen Marc Valvo left one seat open at his show in honor of missing and exploited children.

While Jay McCarrol of Project Runway fame teamed up with the humane society to promote an anti-fur campaign.

The Heart Truth show brought women in music and 23 designers together to belt out awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women.

And with tongue firmly in check, Kenneth Cole launched his fall '06, message to "Fight the 'F' Word" in support of the "Obsessive Fabulous Disorder" Fund. And after consistently opening fashion week, Cole decided to skip the tents in September in lieu of a more intimate presentation.

Meanwhile, Marc Jacobs has made it his tradition to skip the tents, making himself at home at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Gramercy Park.

And this year's shows were certainly bigger, and some may say, better than ever.

But at Heatherette it was celebs like Paris Hilton who ruled the roost.

Gottex was also looking to make a big splash, as the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Celebrating her second season at fashion week, J.Lo's "Sweetface" hit the catwalk in early February.

LL Cool J, who collaborated on a song with Lopez-, may have taken his fashion cue from the entrepreneur, introducing his Todd Smith line.

The multi-Grammy nominated, Mary J. Blige, took to the stage at Catherine Malandrino's show.

And 'king of bling' Chris Aire had a surprise for his audience with performances by Gnarls Barkley and Mos Def.

Meanwhile, Kimora Lee Simmon's Baby Phat girls showed off a different type of bling with grills. Kimora's little ones along with 50 Cent’s son smiled for the cameras at the Child Magazine show.

And it was a bundle of joy for new grandma Betsey Johnson at her Babycakes Bash.

More timeless and classic designs-- Carolina Herrera, Oscar De La Renta, Diane von Furtsenberg, Badgley Mischka, and of course, Vera Wang always impress.

On a sad note, just hours before her spring Î07 show, Wang lost her father. And in his honor, the show went on.

Another loss was 21-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, who died from complications of anorexia. And just two months before her death, Madrid fashion week banned super-skinny models from the runways.

John Paul Gaultier responded to the fashion police at Paris Fashion Week as a plus-size model confidently strutted her stuff down the catwalk.

And finally, the tents will be pitched in Bryant Park in February for the fall 07 shows. Months ago, there was buzz that the shows held in the park since 1993 would have to be re-located, so that the park can keep the ice-skating rink open through March. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg said for now the shows will continue right where they are.

-Annika Pergament
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