Tartan and Tweed

Dressed to Kilt Brings the Highlands to Houston

The upcoming fashion show celebrates Scottish pride, honors Mattress Mack, and benefits veterans' foundations.

By Abby Ledoux April 4, 2018

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Current Mr. Scotland Tristan Cameron-Harper models Prophetik designs at last year's Dressed to Kilt fashion show.

If you're wondering why a prestigious, star-studded New York City-based fashion show of Scottish designers is happening this weekend in the Bayou City, start with this little factoid: The word Houston is itself of Scottish ancestry, derived from the 12th century clan of the same name. Dallas and Austin have Scottish roots, too; in fact, over half the counties in Texas are named for Scots.

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Further, heroes of Texas' fight for independence like Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Jim Bowie (and 30 percent of those who fought in the Alamo) were all of Scottish descent; so, too, were the hundreds of Scottish pioneers who became Texas settlers, bringing ranching (and Aberdeen Angus Highland cattle) to the new frontier, building railroads, and even financing the construction of Austin's state capitol building.

Prepare to celebrate this and more on Saturday, April 7 at Dressed to Kilt, the charity fashion show showcasing kilts, camo, and everything in between, when it comes to Houston. The event, which will also serve as the official opening of Hobby Airport's new Million Air private jet hangar, is poised to bridge Texas and Scottish fashion of the outdoors–"country cool"–and showcase designers like House of Bruar, McKennaa Quinn, and Edinburgh Castle Tweed.

The largest Scottish fashion event in the U.S., Dressed to Kilt kicked off last year's New York Fashion Week after a two-year hiatus, celebrating the 100-plus-year "special relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K. Past events have garnered A-list appearances, including runway stints by Scottish celebrities like Chris Noth (forever Mr. Big to us), Kiefer Sutherland, and Jim Gaffigan—not to mention actual Scottish royals. Last year's show saw American royalty in the form of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York cast, who filmed on location there.

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Bravo's Real Housewives of New York stars at last year's Dressed to Kilt: Ramona Singer, Carole Radziwill, Luann de Lesseps, and Tinsley Mortimer.

Here in Houston, Dressed to Kilt will honor our own A-lister as the 2018 Man of the Year: Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, who—you guessed it—can trace his roots back to Scotland, too. Fittingly, Mack will model a kilt on Saturday's runway.

He'll be joined by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, a Houston veteran (also known as the "Lone Star Survivor") who earned a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his 2005 actions against Taliban fighters in Operation Red Wings. Medal of Honor recipients and Harvey first responders will also be honored on the catwalk.

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Other notable names confirmed for the weekend include Houston rapper Trae the Truth, Olympian Carl Lewis, a NASA representative, and various Scottish and European royalty and athletes. In years past, Dressed to Kilt has raised significant funds for wounded veterans' organizations; that tradition continues Saturday as 2018 beneficiaries include the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Lone Star Survivor Foundation.

The latter, a Houston-based charity, is behind Dressed to Kilt's move: The Sean Connery co-founded Friends of Scotland charity, which produces the event, chose to bring the show from NYC to H-Town to raise funds for the foundation, which supports wounded veterans and their families.

"We are not a political organization, but we believe that we owe the young men and women who risk their lives for us an enormous debt of gratitude," Dressed to Kilt says.

The night begins with a 7 p.m. cocktail reception followed by an 8 p.m. fashion show and post-party from 9 p.m. to "the wee hours of the morning," event organizers say. Tickets begin at $100 for young professionals under 35; general admission begins at $200 and VIP tables go for $10,000.

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