MICHIGAN

November 22, 2016 |

Iris Van Herpen in Grand Rapids

New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016

Not too long ago we packed up our sweaters and jackets and spent a four day weekend in Grand Rapids. We hadn’t been there since last fall for ArtPrize, so we were excited to visit again this time of year and see what was making the city buzz.  We found it at the Grand Rapids’ Art Museum (GRAM) with Iris van Herpen’s Transforming Fashion exhibit, which was our first stop while we were in town.

New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016

If you follow along with us on snapchat, you might have seen a bit of our museum tour, featuring Iris van Herpen’s work. It was the first fashion exhibit for the museum, which was really exciting because the pieces have such an incredible range with architectural elements.  The collections range from 2008 to 2015, made up metal gauze, faux leather, foil, cotton, and various 3-D printed materials. The museum highlighted 18 pieces from van Herpen’s most recent lines, along with some of her shoe designs, and 27 pieces from a solo exhibition she did in the Netherlands. Each piece was truly remarkable to see in person. The amount of detail that went into each look blew us away. The way she pulls inspiration from her surrounding environment and plays with soft vs hard elements really drew us in. New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016-04Urban Outfitters sweater | Yellow 108 hatNew Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016

Can you believe the piece above was made from the ribs of children’s umbrellas and industrial boat yarns?! The museum has a hands-on “touch material” section where visitors are able explore to some of the more untraditional materials she used in her work. We really loved this addition of the exhibit because we felt like kids in a candy shop while walking through each collection.  Every piece is so visually appealing, intricate, and pleasantly unusual that you can’t help but want to get up close and touch each dress, to further experience her craft. During our visit we learned that the exhibit would be making it’s way to Phoenix pretty soon. We can’t wait!

New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016 New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016Urban Outfitters shirt | Bridge and Burn jacket | ONA bagNew Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016J.Crew trenchcoat | Madewell bag | Everlane scarf | Shwood sunglassesNew Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016Urban Outfitters jacket and shirt | ASOS jeans | Nisolo boots | Timex watchNew Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016 New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016 New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016Zara coat (similar) | Free People overalls | Forever 21 turtleneck | Sézane bag (similar)
New Darlings-Grand Rapids 2016

We of course made some time to stop into some favorite coffee shops: Madcap and Rowster Coffee. We spent a few good hours at Rowster one afternoon, catching up some work and people watching out the window.  It was the perfect cozy afternoon, with leaves swirling around outside the coffeeshop, warm drinks, and a few sweet treats. We were befriended by a sweet old man who shared with us how he only uses Facebook to spred positivity, and does so by sharing pictures of burgers and Russian roses on his feed. He happily showed us a few. 😉

We were so glad we were able to grab a bite with Tieka from Selective Potential, and her husband Eric one night at Donkey Taqueria.  It was so nice meeting in person after following each other on social media for quite some time and what better way to get to know each other than over guacamole and quesadillas?! 😉 They were both so sweet and we’re always down for hanging with another married couple! We can’t wait to show them around Phoenix one of these days!

Dinner at Sovengard our last night in town was simply incredible! If you ever find yourself in Grand Rapids definitely check it out. It is such a beautiful place with as equally well-crafted food. We spent the whole dinner “oohing and ahhing” over the decor and flatware, in between declaring our love for their tempura fried squash and apple butter. So good! We caught a movie after dinner and then headed back to the hotel for a quiet evening. It was nice taking it easy for a few days, just the two of us. Now we’re back home and ready for the holidays! Well, sort of. 😉

…`till next time!

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October 22, 2015 |

Grand Rapids with Michigan House

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganWe recently had the opportunity to attend ArtPrize Seven in Grand Rapids, Michigan hosted by Michigan House and CAT Footwear. We were super excited to attend and see the city of Grand Rapids. We had never been to Michigan before and were eager to explore.  Michigan House is a new pop-up run by three of the most fun, yet hardworking people around: Jamie, Ted and Peter.  Together they host and curate events with unique Michigan based companies, artists, and musicians. They showed us all over Grand Rapids, along with a handful of other bloggers and creatives from across the U.S.  For three days we explored the city with strangers, who quickly became friends, joked over coffee and some of the best food around, and climbed a tree house located on a woodsy property dating back to 1866.

Here are some of the places we visited, along with many, many photos. 🙂

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganJW MARRIOTT
JW Marriott graciously hosted our stay while we were in Grand Rapids. It’s located in the heart of downtown, which was pretty perfect because we were in walking distance to so many of the great places listed below, including Michigan House.  We had an awesome view of the river and might have taken way too many photos of the sunsets, but they were truly something else.

New Darlings - Michigan HouseNew Darlings - Art Prize   New Darlings - Michigan House
New Darlings - Michigan

ARTPRIZE
It was pretty amazing getting to experience this art competition first hand.  After speaking with some of the locals we quickly learned ArtPrize is a pretty big deal in the Grand Rapids community each year. People from all over the world come for this unique experience.  We had a blast being thrown in the mix, exploring downtown, and feeling the energy of the city.  We saw many installations that centered around the theme of loss. One that particularly stood out to us was “State of Exception” (pictured above), which consisted of hundreds of backpacks and objects that were left behind from migrants crossing the U.S. border.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MINew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganHUNT AND GATHER ANTIQUES
On our first day in Grand Rapids, we all headed to Hunt and Gather, which for any interior lover is a must.  The place is full of amazing furniture and eclectic accent pieces.  The owners share the space with a local artist, making the creativity in the space that much more infectious.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids Art MuseumNew Darlings - Grand Rapids Art Museum New Darlings - Grand Rapids Art Museum  New Darlings - Grand Rapids Art Museum
GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM
The Nature/Nurture exhibition was moving.  We were lucky enough to have a tour guide with knowledge on how the art was created for this very special event and what the selection process is like for the Art Prize exhibit.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan
FOUNDERS BEWERING CO.

We took a tour through Founders Brewing Company and learned about their process. It was fun getting a behind the scenes look, not to mention a tasting as well.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan
CHEEKY STRUT
One of the highlights of our trip was getting a little pampering at Cheeky Strut Salon.  With all the traveling we had been doing, it was nice to just sit back, and let the professionals take over. We left with some fresh cuts and styles, which was perfect because our hair was definitely not used to the humidity after all the dry desert heat.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan New Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan LE BON MACARON
Macarons and vanilla lattes, with a large tea selection…Need we say more? 😉 It seems macarons have been a common theme while we’ve been traveling lately.  We can’t seem to stay away from the sweet goodness.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Michigan House
DOWNTOWN MARKET
Man! Did we get spoiled at this beautiful rooftop greenhouse.  Incredible spread and creative cocktails.  After filling our bellies, we headed down to the market where we drooled over the various food and drink options.  Fresh fish, soup, popcorn, ice cream, a bakery and so much more.  We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!

New Darlings - MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan
New Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan
ROWSTER COFFEE
Such a great vibe in this cozy, coffee shop.  Not sure if we needed the caffeine kick, but it was gladly welcomed!  We fueled up, took a breath, and hit the town a little more.

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Michigan
CAKABAKERY
+ DIRECT TRADE COFFEE CLUB
Our sugar high didn’t stop at Le Bon Macaron.  One afternoon we stopped at Cakabakery, which is partially owned by one of the Michigan House founders. It was a cute little spot with amazing cupcakes.  While we were there we had the chance to learn a bit about the Direct Trade Coffee Club, through a presentation accompanied by a rep from Kitchen Aid.  Since moving to Phoenix, we have enjoyed learning about the local coffee culture, so it was a real treat to hear about the latest brewing methods and fun new machines like the siphon brewer and the precision french press design.


New Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganDONKEY TAQUERIA
On our last day we all headed to a Mexican brunch at Donkey Taqueria and bonded over chips, guacamole, and burritos.  We discovered pretty quickly that it’s never too early for some guac!

New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan New Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, MichiganNew Darlings - Grand Rapids, Michigan FARMHAUS CIDER CO.
On our last day in Michigan, just a few hours before heading to the airport, we visted Farmhaus Cider Co.  We were treated with some of their quality ciders and then wandered the historic grounds.  We couldn’t have picked a better place to end our trip.  The trees were tall and the air was crisp.  I think we tried to not glance at our watches, but the time eventually came for us to head back to Phoenix.

New Darlings - Michigan House
Thanks again to Michigan House and to all the amazing new friends we made, for an unforgettable weekend.  We have a feeling there will be another Michigan trip in our future real soon!

His: Jacket and gingham shirt c/o Bridge & Burn | jeans c/o Dstld Denim | Urban Outfitters chambray shirt (similar) | Levi’s denim jacket (similar) | boots styles 1, 2 and 3 c/o Cat Footwear | Garrett Leight sunglasses c/o Framed Ewe
Hers: Free People jeans | chambray, black plaid shirt, mustard sweater, plaid scarf c/o Madewell | Sisters of Nature striped sweater (similar) | black scarf c/o Everlane | Nordstrom army jacket (similar here and here) | boots styles 1 and 2 c/o Cat Footwear

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