Fashion X Houston is no more—well, sort of. After three years of celebrating Houston's sartorial ingenuity, the multi-night fashion event rebranded into a more charitable endeavor called Fashion For Good. FFG retains the same leadership—CEO and founder Matt Swinney—but is positioning itself to be "the leading fashion event in Texas and beyond" with a greater emphasis on social impact.
The concept debuted with two consecutive nights of runway shows at Silver Street Studios last week, each supporting a local cause: Thursday's "Haute Dogs & Fancy Cats" show, which benefited Rescued Pets Movement—which has saved the lives of nearly 40,000 pets since Hurricane Harvey—and Friday's "Celebrate Texas" display, which supported homeless services charity Direct Hope.
"Fashion is such a fun way to bring awareness to unique issues in our community," Swinney said.
FFG also prides itself on inclusivity, specifically with regards to its models. "We love professional models that are size 2 and 5'11. You'll see them on our runways," FFG's website reads. "What you'll also see are models of all shapes, sizes, ages, races, genders, and ability levels. Everyone buys clothes. Fashion is for everyone. Runway models should reflect that, too."
True to their word, FFG's runways reflected that last week, but Thursday's "Haute Dogs" show really took it to a new level sending a slew of furry, four-legged models down the (potentially misnamed) catwalk. Seven labels—Abejas, Amberleaf, Baus Noir, Láro, Miss Robinson, Mysterious by NPN, and Robert Graham—sent more than 45 looks down the runway via a mix of models and local influencers paired with RPM rescue dogs or their own pets. Among them: KPRC TV's Taniya Wright, media personality Michael Pearce, influencers Logan Lester and Staci Henderson, and pooches of all shapes and sizes, from poodles to pugs.
"Getting to watch these sweet, furry four-legged friends have a runway moment, as well as the models showing off amazing designs, was a real pinch-me moment for me personally," Swinney said.
In a jaw-dropping tuxedo gown by local designer Mysterious by NPN—an ensemble reminiscent of Billy Porter's groundbreaking Christian Siriano moment at this year's Oscars—Pearce slayed the runway alongside his two regal white Russian wolfhounds, Astor and Ivan.
"Being able to even be a small part of the work Fashion For Good is doing in Houston is an honor—especially for the Rescued Pets Movement," he said. "Fashion For Good just doesn't help emerging designers promote ethical manufacturing—they are promoting non-profits in a way no one else is doing."
The next night, 550 guests returned to Silver Street for "Celebrate Texas," a show that—mostly—put the spotlight on both established and up-and-coming Lone Star State designers. Houston, of course, was well-represented by beloved local labels like David Peck, Alantude, and the aforementioned Mysterious by NPN—all staples on Bayou City runways—and other participating designers included Zoe Annette, LORR, SuKaz Jackets, Blueprint Signature, LaLa, LaSonja Polk Design, Heidi Houston, Shehla Rena, Jen.Ley, Olivia London Swimwear, and Project Runway alums Lela Orr (Ferrah) and Korto Momolu for Women Grow.
Nashville-based Any Old Iron was the sole non-Texas label in the group, but you'd never know. "He's never met a sequin he didn't like," Swinney (half)-joked of designer Andrew Clancey. Indeed, Any Old Iron showed glittering, bedazzled suits, hot pants, and floor-length capes that felt inspired by some combination of Elvis, Dolly Parton, and Elton John. In fact, country stars have already fallen for the label, which can count Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood among its fans—the latter even wore a bejeweled blue suit (among nine—yes, nine—other outfits) while performing at the CMA Awards just two nights before the look appeared on the FFG Houston runway.
Friday's show honored Shannah Quinn of Social Graces Social Club as this year's Houston Style Setter, which allowed Quinn to choose the show's beneficiary (Direct Hope) and show a series of looks from her own closet.
Other highlights included a pint-sized kid model kicking off Olivia London's tropical swimwear display; a futuristic new collection by Alantude that featured both face masks and a Space Age-style smoking backpack; and an over-the-top, Wonderland-inspired show by Mysterious by NPN that saw designer Nicholas Phat Nguyen (in fishnets and shiny red stilettos, no less) join two models in his structural, wing-like gowns to form the center of a complete butterfly. The latter display, which closed out the evening's show, concluded in a full-on dance party, and the crowd rose from their seats to join in the fun.
As it continues its Texas takeover, FFG moves on to Austin with shows there tonight and tomorrow.