Stars go red for New York Fashion Week

Rosie O'Donnell says she never imagined she'd be front and center at a fashion show -- let alone hosting one.

But the 52-year-old comedian, who just stepped down from "The View," did just that on Thursday night. She opened the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women fashion show, which helped kick off New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.

In August 2012, O'Donnell suffered a near-fatal heart attack and she's now trying to educate people about symptoms in women. She spoke about some of the potential signs, including a high temperature and vomiting. It could feel like the flu, she said, but in her case it was not. She wished she had called 911 sooner.

It's why O'Donnell was at the star-studded event aimed at raising awareness for the cause. The gala featured a slew of celebrities dressed in red, donning designers ranging from Monique Lhuillier and Donna Karan to Badgley Mischka.

Stars taking part included Kristin Cavallari, Jennette McCurdy, Star Jones, Alexa Ray Joel, Ciara, former "I Dream of Jeannie" star Barbara Eden, "Today" show personality Hoda Kotb, celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson, singer/actress Zendaya and "Orange is the New Black" stars Laverne Cox and Dascha Polanco. Each woman stepped out to a different song -- and many of the gals danced up and down the runway.

Girl group Fifth Harmony wrapped the show with a performance of "Sledgehammer."

New York Fashion Week continues through next week.