Party Reports

Jenny McCarthy, Danica Patrick make early call for 10th annual Gridiron Glamour

It isn't easy to hit an early morning red carpet after a late-night of party hopping, but in the pursuit of top-notch celebrity journalism, it's a sacrifice reporters are willing to make. The handful of media who gathered at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort for the 10th annual Gridiron Glamour celebrity fashion show were a highly caffeinated bunch who chatted with event host Holly Robinson Peete, actress Gabrielle Union and race car driver Danica Patrick before the fashion event.

Mark C. Austin

Who needs sleep? Not party planner Holly Robinson Peete. Watch a slideshow from the red carpet.

Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete pulled out all the stops for their fourth of five Super Bowl parties held around Phoenix. A down-to-earth couple, the Peete's casually chatted with the press in between making last-minute show arrangements. Holly Robinson Peete floated down press row in a long gown, looking fresh despite her lack of sleep.

"Who needs sleep? We have four children so we know what it's like not to get sleep. These parties are like our babies who don't sleep through the night," she said. "But we may wind up going back home and watching the game with our kids at home after this weekend."

Their children are clearly top priorities in their lives. The fashion show benefited the couple's HollyRod charity organization as well as the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Autism is a cause close to their hearts, as their son RJ lives with the disorder.

"He is extraordinary. He plays the piano beautifully and we encourage those parts of him," she said.

Despite the serious cause, the celebrities were a talkative bunch even if their voices were lacking, such as actress Union. Her mini-sheath dress with rhinestone trim was one of her fashion show looks and likely one she would wear to a party.

"I have been everywhere this week. I lost my voice during the Journey mix at a party. It's been rockin'" Union said of her party spree.

Newlyweds Laila Ali and Curtis Conway chose to spend Super Bowl week with family, including her famous father Muhammad Ali, who lives in the Scottsdale area.

"We don't go out to parties. We would rather stay at home or go to dinner and a movie," Ali said. "That's our thing."

Ali and friend Regina King were both modeling Tadashi in the show and gushed about their friend Robinson Peete.

"I don’t know how she does it, but she is all over the place," King said. "I have three friends who have children with autism and I am just here to help out."

"First of all, Holly and I are friends and when a friend calls, I am there for her," Ali said.

Race car driver Patrick stepped out her racing suit and into a little black dress. The charity event was a perfect time to show her softer side.

"A lot of people don't know this about me, but I love very girlie things. I love getting my hair and makeup done and I tell the makeup artists to take all the time they want. I don't mind sitting there," Patrick confessed.

What she doesn't like, however, is driving the streets in a regular car.

"It is so frustrating to me. I am convinced nobody else knows how to drive," Patrick said.

Mark C. Austin

Note to Phoenix drivers: Stop getting in Danica Patrick's way. Watch a slideshow from the red carpet.

Show honoree Jenny McCarthy slipped on the red carpet for a slew of pictures and then disappeared into the ballroom for the show. The show was running behind, but guests had plenty of time to rummage through their swag bags. A quick peek revealed a bottle of wine, candles, magazines and gift certificates for spa services and teeth whitening.

Mark C. Austin

Jenny McCarthy's look has come a long way since her MTV days. Watch a slideshow from the red carpet.

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Heather Staible