An assortment of cool and creative people, places and things from around West Michigan, including designers, makers, stylists and more.
Wardrobe & Set Stylist
Ever heard the term “farm-to-fashion?” It certainly describes Natasha Peterman, who styles shoots for film, television, fashion and big clients like Amway and Wolverine Worldwide. Styling means working with creative directors and photographers while juggling wardrobe for models and props for the set. Growing up, Peterman was at home in her parents’ photo lab, which resulted in an early love for photography that led to modeling and styling. Now, Peterman has her own alpaca farm — Woollydaisyfarm — which has been incorporated into some shoots, bringing her two passions together. Her new business endeavor, no.672, takes alpaca fiber beyond mittens and hats, adding an elegant and funky flavor. Look up natashaohlmanstyling on Instagram.
For Joseph Jeup, seating is a “very romantic thing. You sit and feel it — it feels you. Seating is mood altering.” Jeup grew up with a keen eye in an artistic family and learned how to build products at the age of 16. His favorite piece might be the Blaire Writing Desk, for its historically recognizable shape reimagined in today’s finishes. His pieces blend comfort and timeless design to help shape our lives. While his brand mostly handles casegoods, he has designed many luxury dining tables and beds as well. His clients aren’t just looking for any old desk — they’re collectors.
His latest project is the RAISE THE CALIBER Lighting Collection (with Jessica Mindich) that takes illegal guns off the streets and imbeds the serial numbers in light fixtures. The purpose isn’t to glorify violence, but to remind us of the importance of keeping our children safe. Part of the proceeds go back into amnesty programs to take guns off the streets. “We’re taking design and putting it to good work to contribute to something bigger in the community.” Another project, SHREDS (with Doug Schwartz), features sculptures showcasing confiscated and dismantled guns in clear acrylic. The guns are destroyed, never to destroy again. Visit josephjeup.com.
at CAT Footwear
When it comes to fashion mashups, Kelsey Dunneback is going to make copycats of us all. Her fashion merchandising degree has her working on photoshoots and packaging products for an edgy and urban footwear company. “My personal style is grungy glam with boho elements mixed in — think Cali grunge with some vintage finds,” Dunneback said. “I also tend to lean toward tomboy styles without looking too masculine.” Style icons include Alexa Chung and Leandra Medine, from the blog Man Repeller. Dunneback is still waiting for the 1920s flapper look to come back with all its glitz and fun, mainly because she wants the world to get fancy again. “I’d love to see people getting more dressed up to go out to dinner,” she said.
Instagram: kelseydunneback and ladyinmenswear.
Joey Ruiter is an artist and a futurist. He creates objects that push and lead us out into something new and make us wonder what’s next. “I translate that into products for the automotive industry, furniture and boating and consumer products.” He started as a child, rethinking toys, building things and later customizing. “It’s that blend between art and physical products.” Ruiter started restoring and building cars before stumbling across industrial design at college, where he sold the patent for his first office chair before he’d even graduated. He’s worked on a black, rectangular car that was the epitome of style, being “an accessory you take out on the weekend for dinner — a car not used everyday but for fun like a fancy coat or a clutch.”
He jokes that the next, newest project always feels like the best thing he’s done and gives kudos to the community he lives in. “West Michigan is filled with genius makers and builders and fabricators. The knowledge around here is really cool.” Next up for Ruiter? A shoe design and drone transportation.
Jruiter.com and on Instagram at joeyruiter.
Creative Director & Fashion Designer
Visit RC Caylan’s website and the first image is a heavily-bejeweled woman lounging in a gown, exuding loads of sophistication and excitement. It’s from his first collection (made only from red fabric) shown at the San Francisco Fashion Festival. “That plunging red evening gown embellished with red cat’s-eye gem beads and furry, small pom-poms was my take for an avant-garde evening gown,” said Caylan, who owns his own atelier in downtown Grand Rapids. The Filipino French-lace-lover is inspired by modern and classic aesthetics blended with functionality. His creations range from couture bridal, eveningwear and long gowns, cocktail dresses and chic men’s street styles. Drool over that dress at rccaylan.com or get acquainted at rc_caylan on Instagram.