Spring fashion shows with a nod toward origami don't come along every day. Hit that and the new soap deli store and consider your life charmed.
Cruise your closet for a LBD and something red because two themed parties hit Grand Rapids, and clothing is key. On Feb. 7, Cygnus (187 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids) hosts the 2nd Annual Red Party. The event partners with Valentine Vodka out of Detroit for a night of specialty cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dancing in a sea of red. "It's a fun, high-spirited night. We encourage people to wear their best red or Valentine-inspired outfits," Andrew Bowen, Associate Director of Food and Beverage at Amway Hotel Corporation said. Also this month, the JW Marriott (235 Louis Campau Promenade NW, Grand Rapids) hosts the Little Black Dress Party for those that are in love or looking for love. General Manager George Aquino's mid-winter recipe for rejuvenation involves a, "little black dress, drinking and dancing" among sharp-dressed partygoers in cocktail attire. Just a little bit of style for those long winter nights.
Grand Rapids has a soap deli and if you ask owner Russ Crawford, his first business idea was a cheese shop. Working as an intelligence contractor for the U.S. military, Crawford stumbled upon some soap-related information in Afghanistan and his cheese shop dream turned into a soap store. Pause and let that sink in. The Soap Deli (1600 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) offers organic, handcrafted soaps for the discerning—oh, and they're out there. Here's the concept: visit the store's deli wall and glass front deli case for an introduction to the more than 60 varieties of soap in natural, organic or goat's milk selections. It's cut to order right there for the size you desire. Other accoutrements include bath bombs and loofah soaps. The store wants to feed your skin naturally with sweet selections of crème brulee, mint chocolate, lavender choices and, for the guys, a burnt orange patchouli.
Fashion and paper collide at Kendall College of Art and Design's 1001 Sheets: Bodies of Art 2013 Spring Fashion Show. Held at The Goei Center (818 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids) on March 1 at 8 p.m., this show features student designers from all different departments at Kendall collaborating for a show comprised completely of paper. We're talking artist-grade paper, watercolor paper, children's graph paper, even industrial paper (meat-packing paper). "Pretty much anything that falls under the category of paper that stays within the color palette so people don't lose sight that it is paper [is fair game]," said Katie Wright, president of the Bodies of Art Fashion Alliance. The origami-inspired show puts focus on paper's abilities and the many ways it can be folded and cut. "Contemporary, minimal and geometric," is how Wright describes this fine arts fashion show. In conjunction with the show will be a gallery displaying the works of photographer Claire Lea. Lea's high-fashion photo shoot inspired the Bodies of Art theme. Visit kcad.edu for more information.
Urban Exchange (926 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids), the fetching urban consignment boutique in Grand Rapids will be offering a Consigner Appreciation promotion in February with consigners receiving exclusive discounts. The shop will be accepting spring goods starting Feb. 1. Ever drop off your clothing? You earn 40 percent from consigned goods and are put onto an e-mail list to be the first to hear about privileged information others wait their whole lives for. I tease, but February might be the month to become a regular.
i heart ipanema (115 West Lovell St., Kalamazoo) has your back when it comes to getting your Valentine's Day look set. The fashion and record store is offering a LOVE Yourself Ladies' Night event on Feb. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Wardrobe stylists are at the ready, as well as a makeup artist/hair stylists from Folio Salon to give you pointers on what's hot. KZOO Bra Ladies will be doing bra fittings as another fun prep for Valentine's that night. Dream come true? Believe it or not, but a massage therapist will pamper guests so you can shop after a massage—all blissed out and relaxed. "Ladies can take some time for themselves, feel good about themselves and love themselves," says Owner Nicole Angelo. What you get: wine, snacks, swag bags and the chance to prep and primp for the most romantic night of the year all while listening to fabulous music. Check out the store's Facebook page or ring them up at (269) 382-4423 to RSVP. Make it a girl's night out and party at the store while perfecting your Valentine va va voom.