Department of Curiosities
The shared studio space of Gerry Quinton and Jamie Hayes is indeed a curiosity; housed in a modest storefront on Armitage Avenue, miles west of the Lincoln Park boutiques, Department of Curiosities is a sensory indulgence, where stiff leather skirts hang on a rack a few feet from wispy Italian silks…with no textures in between to be found. Quinton’s line—called Morua—of gorgeous, 1920s and thirties-inspired loungewear and magnificently detailed corsetry are absolute works of art. Hayes’ Production Mode line of leatherwear, all made from vegetable tanned leather from a union shop here in Chicago, ranges from jackets and wrist cuffs to silkscreened asymmetrical skirts. Aside from a few special events, Department of Curiosities is by appointment only, though if you catch Jamie or Gerry in the space, they’ll probably be happy to show you around—including the back-room sewing machines on which everything is made by hand.
3013 W. Armitage, departmentofcuriosities.com
Best of Chicago 2016