Coffee with Jamie Hayes and Gerry Quinton of Production Mode/Department of Curiosities

10 . 17 . 2016

On a beautiful October afternoon, the One a Kind team trekked out to Logan Square to visit fashion designers Jamie Hayes and Gerry Quinton in their studio.  First stop--Bang Bang Pie Shop to pick up coffee (and a yummy slice of apple carmel pie!).

The Production Mode/Department of Curiosities studio is a charming storefront with a showroom/event space in the front and a serious workplace in the back.  A large cutting/drafting table is positioned in the showroom space so that clients and people passing by can see Jamie and Gerry in action creating their meticulously designed and constructed apparel and lingerie.  

"We know that many people are so disconnected from  how things are made, which definitely contributes to the sense of disposability of fashion.  Keeping the tables in plain sight helps make the process more visible, more transparent." Jamie

Jamie Hayes' Production Mode line is centered around rich leather jackets, skirts, tops and accessories.  For several of her current pieces, she collaborated with artist Paula Wilson to design  an all-over hand-screened print on leather.  Jamie sources leather from Chicago's Horween tannery that is vegetable tanned--an old, artisanal manner which is non-toxic and results in beautifully variegated hides that only get better with age.

"With materials in hand, I then think of silhouettes which will make best use of the materials, showcasing their beauty and the beauty of the bodies that will wear the clothes.  I draft patterns, cut, sew and fit samples, and repeat until satisfied with the results."  Jamie

Jamie partners with Gerry Quinton on the Department of Curiosities line-- a collection of luxury silk lingerie and nightwear inspired by the 1930s.  The line beautifully resurrects and modernizes the glamorous lounge fashion of that era and includes bras, tap pants, silk jumpsuits, gowns and even contemporary corsets.  The silks, which include a custom-designed, hand-drawn print, are sourced from Italy and every garment is painstakingly handcrafted including the boning for the corsets. 

"We were inspired by the women of the 1930s, a time of great social change in our country.  You see complex identities being expressed in the fashions of women like Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford."  Gerry and Jamie

Jamie and Gerry were such gracious hosts!  We are so inspired by them, the wearable art they create and their devotion to a growing movement of people value how their clothing is made.  We can't wait to see them again in December.  (Shopping list is ready!)

Find more details about Production Mode and Department of Curiosities in the meantime.