Venus Williams debuts sportswear collection

Venus Williams presents her spring collection of activewear Venus Williams presents her spring collection of activewear -- called EleVen -- Wednesday night at a West 34th Street space with a gym floor. (Sept. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

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Only Venus Williams could turn a fashion show into an athletic event.

The tennis superstar presented her spring collection of activewear -- called EleVen -- Wednesday night at a West 34th Street space with a gym floor.

Part Cirque du Soleil, part cabaret, the show featured all kinds of athletes, among them a trio of bikers, karate experts, a pair of gymnasts, some tennis players (though, sadly, not Williams). Performers included Mitchell Kelly of "So You Think You Can Dance" (barely dressed in a pair of black EleVen shorts), and former middleweight boxing champ Michael Olajide.

So why all the sports hoopla? "My line is all about moving, and I wanted to show the true life of the clothes. I did not want to talk about it. I wanted show it," said Williams, wearing a floral top from the collection and high platforms that had her towering over the room.

Oh, and she wasn't the only gold medalist in the house. Ryan Lochte was there, too. "I loved it," he said. Would he wear it? "Sure. I'm an athlete and it looked really good." It did. Dress to impress

"Gossip Girl" Michelle Trachtenberg says Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig "know exactly how to dress a woman."

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Oodles of celebs turned out for the show at Grand Central Terminal -- including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (who very nearly started a paparazzi riot).

Trachtenberg, in a slim black-and-white dress from the brand, said she calls on Marchesa "whenever I have a red carpet need."

Does she have a style crush? "Kate Middleton, I think she's really elegant."

As for her own style? "I'm more a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. I probably should wear high heels more, but I don't. I'm getting old."

Yeah, right.

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