With runway models starving themselves to fit into the coveted size two, it’s no wonder the fashion world has a bad rap for giving in to superficial standards. That’s why we were delighted to be on hand for an exclusive runway show at Neiman Marcus Houston, where Recipe for Success kicked off the first of their annual Dress for Dinner spring events chaired by Carrie Colbert, and with special guest designer Rubin Singer. The night celebrated the love of food and fashion. Guests were treated to a lavish evening filled with champagne and cocktails, couture fashions and tasty vegetable munchies by chef Kevin Naderi from Roost.
The Recipe for Success foundation is the brainchild of Houston author and fashionista Gracie Cavnar. What began as a grassroots effort to get vending machines out of elementary schools has turned into the largest nutrition education program in the country, started right here in Houston. The foundation's programs connect children to their food via the trademarked Seed-To-Plate nutrition education, not only in Houston schools, but coast to coast with affiliate partners from California to Washington, D.C.
“Everything we do to raise money for Recipe for Success is tied to food in some way. It’s also tied to something everyone loves—which is fashion,” Cavnar says. “We started this event seven years ago. It’s just a fun and engaging way to get designers involved in our program.” Cavnar notes that many designers are committed to healthy eating themselves, and many that work with Recipe For Success either promote or support healthy eating, and love to cook.
Best known for outfitting Beyoncé at the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show, Russian fashion designer Rubin Singer was on hand to debut his fall 2016 collection, Homomophirsm. Singer notes that his latest couture line is based on a mathematical equation in which a set of numbers is transposed through multiple functions to create the same value at the end of its function.
“I have taken my core concepts, like my draping and my fabrics, and I have transposed them and really elevated them to create a new sort of look for my collection,” he said. “I like to dress women and make them feel strong, beautiful and revered. My clothes have a very different point of view, I think, and that’s why I’ve been successful.”
When asked if he had any fun anecdotes about our beloved Beyoncé, Singer remained politely coy. “She’s just amazing to work with. I’ve had an incredible time working with her.”
A topic that Singer felt strongly about answering was the evening’s theme: combating childhood obesity. He noted how the first 10 years in a child’s life are critical in setting the stage for future problems—even allergies—if one is not getting the proper nutrients. “I believe if kids aren’t eating properly, they’re not developing properly. There’s obviously a lot of problems with obesity and with development that this creates,” Singer says. “It’s a hugely important cause and I’m excited to be a part of tonight’s event.”
The Dress for Dinner event was the launch of a busy spring program for Recipe for Success. The March VegOut! Challenge, a contest to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days that's sponsored by Neiman Marcus, is already going strong. You can start or join a team online at vegoutwithrfs.org, and track your veggie comsumption (and get ideas) from the new Recipe for Success smartphone app. On April 12, Recipe for Success holds the "It's Raining Men" fashion show and dinner at M Penner and Añejo, followed by the Fashion Gene Awards dinner May 4 at Tootsies and "Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet" on May 19 at The Dunlavy.