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Production Mode Holiday Events

 

We invite you to view our collec­tion during the holi­days at the following events …

 

 

December 1st-4th, we will be at the One of a Kind Show at Chicago’s Merchan­dise Mart. Come see us at Booth #3099, along with our sister brand, Depart­ment of Curiosities.

 

Satur­nalia will take over our shop, Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, from December 10-18th! In addi­tion to our in-house lines, Produc­tion Mode, Morua, and DOC, we will also show­case the wares of fellow independent/slow fashion designers and artisans.

In addi­tion, please join us for the following special events: 

  • Musical perfor­mance by Nick Mazzarella & Damon Locks, Saturday, December 10th 5 pm (free)
  • Saffron Vintage Trunk Show December 10th-11th during busi­ness hours
  • The Funda­men­tals of Fragrance: Resins & Woods, Sunday, December 11th, 6 pm (ticketed)
  • Lecture by fashion histo­rian Jacque­line Wayne­Guite, Monday, December 12th at 6 pm (free)
  • Midnight Kitchen Projects Tasting & Demo, Friday, December 16th, 7 pm (ticketed)

Recent Press

 

Thank you, to Bill­board Maga­zine, and stylist Whitney Middleton, for featuring our vegetable tanned leather top on the cover of the recent Grammy preview issue. 

 

Thanks to Newcity Chicago for featuring Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties and Produc­tion Mode in 2016’s Best of issue. Read more here!

 

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at one of our holiday events!

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Interview with Ethical Fashion Site Trusted Clothes (Part Two)

Trusted Clothes, an orga­ni­za­tion devoted to promoting ethical and  sustain­able fashion, recently inter­viewed me for their blog. Below is another excerpt from Part 2 of the inter­view, written by Scott Douglas Jacobsen.

What makes Produc­tion Mode unique?

The propri­etary, exclu­sive mate­rials. Also the level of transparency—I share where the mate­rials come from and who makes the garments. In fact,  you can come into our studio and see first­hand how things are made.  I would also say the quality of the fit. I consulted with a tech­nical designer with many years of expe­ri­ence working with leather to refine the fit. A lot of time and energy was spent on these patterns. The fit is very good for ready-to-wear, and then can be further refined for people that can come to Chicago for a fitting. That’s some­thing a lot of designers don’t offer.

jamie hayes trusted clothes interviewThe Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties Space

Your inau­gural collec­tion consisted of leather that was vegetable tanned from a union­ized shop, Chicago’s Horween tannery. Why the Horween tannery for the inau­gural collection?

For a couple reasons, one was a happy acci­dent. I was discussing the custom print with Paula Wilson, the designer of the print. She said, “What color should the base cloth be?” I refer­enced one of her paint­ings. She said, “Oh, a hide color.” I had a light­bulb moment. I said, “No, no, you should print it on a hide!”

The search then began for the best quality leather. Leather is touchy if you’re talking about “ethical” fashion. Some people, under­stand­ably, do not see leather as ethical since an animal must die in order to produce it. I respect and under­stand that.

That said, there are many other issues of ethics in leather produc­tion. I wanted to be as familiar with my suppliers as possible. And there is one tannery left in Chicago, Horween Leather. They use the process of vegetable tanning– an arti­sanal, tradi­tional way to tan leather that uses organic plant matter such as sticks, barks, and tree extracts. It is a 6-weeks process in contrast to chrome-tanning, which is a 6-hour process.

Chrome-tanning uses chromium, which is a heavy metal and highly carcino­genic. So the choice to use vegetable tanned leather became really clear for me. I didn’t want to use a mate­rial that is carcinogenic–especially knowing that these carcino­gens will end up in our water­ways or land­fills. Also, I learned that vegetable-tanned leather tends to age much better than chrome-tanned leather. So if you think how vintage leather goods get that great patina versus a scuffed, worn out look that is typical nowa­days, that’s the differ­ence between a vegetable tan and a chrome tan.

In terms of the quality, aesthetics, the envi­ron­ment, and workers’ rights (Horween is a union­ized factory), it was an easy deci­sion to go with Horween. In addi­tion, it is wonderful space to visit. It’s less than a mile from my studio, so I can go there when­ever I want and speak to my sales repre­sen­ta­tive. Plus the money I spend with Horween stays within the local economy.

jamie hayes interview trusted clothesJamie picking out leather at Horween tannery

All of these things were serendip­i­tous, and helped provide the direc­tion for the collec­tion. Since Chicago’s fashion industry is pretty deci­mated at this point, there really aren’t many options in the ways of mills or even fabric reps here in Chicago. Horween is the last tannery left in Chicago.

The hides were designed by Paula J. Wilson, executed by Nora Renick-Rinehart, and then stitched by Klezar. What is the impor­tance of this network of various indi­vid­uals with different skill-sets to the overall produc­tion line for the final products?

We have this cult of artist or the designer. This idea that the person does every­thing them­selves. Even if you’re amaz­ingly talented and good at everything–designing, printing, cutting, and stitching, you’re only one person. You can’t do every­thing. Art and design are always done in collab­o­ra­tion, whether people are trans­parent about that or not.

I am not a screen-printer. I am a good stitcher for a designer, but I am nothing like Klezar. I do as much as I can myself, espe­cially at first, to educate myself about a process, so that I can better commu­ni­cate with the team. For example, I did do a few screen-prints on leather. However, there’s no way I could execute anything close to as wonderful as Paula and Nora. It takes years and years of prac­tice to achieve their level of expertise.

A true collab­o­ra­tion becomes better than the sum of its parts. Everyone is pushing each other. Everyone is open to new ideas. Hope­fully, what comes out takes you to a place you wouldn’t normally go with your own art work; I like to think that’s what happened with this art collection.

If people want to look more into things, they can look at the showroom/production space, the Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties. What other work are you involved in at this point in time?

A couple of things. I am active in the Chicago Fair Trade, where we are involved in anti-sweatshop advo­cacy work here in Chicago. Also, I do tech­nical design for other ethical design companies.

At Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, the space that I share with another designer, Gerry Quinton, we recently designed and launched a line of slow fashion, ethi­cally made lingerie and night­wear under the name Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties.

jamie hayes interview trusted clothes

Jamie Hayes & Gerry Quinton; photo cour­tesy of Frank Magazine.

Also, I am going to have a pop-up shop at the theWit Hotel in Chicago in the month of August, and a fashion show on August 25th, showing both Produc­tion Mode and Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, at their rooftop space.

I’m launching the next Produc­tion Mode line in the Fall.

And I am involved with the League of Women Designers in Chicago.

You mentioned a shared value with Gerry. I suspect this for other collab­o­ra­tions as well. That leaves me to think, “What meaning or personal fulfill­ment does this work bring for you?”

So much personal fulfillment—that’s really key to me! I have worked in the fashion industry since 1999, but I actu­ally left the field for a few years because I was missing that personal fulfill­ment. I had to do some soul searching. While I loved the process of design, designing and making clothing and expressing myself though style, I really needed to check in with myself and face what was going on in the industry.

First of all, I had to find a way to work in the fashion industry while still respecting a basic ethical framework–one in which people and the earth are respected, and in which we as consumers curb our own consump­tion levels. Also, I needed to ques­tion some of the main tenets of the industry. It is common prac­tice in the industry to create and promote a culture which makes the consumer feel badly about them­selves. Then we imply that they can solve those body/self-image issues through purchasing things, espe­cially clothing, to make them­selves feel better or to distract them­selves from the ills in their lives.

I had to dig deeper and think, “What’s the social meaning of fashion? How can style be used in a posi­tive way to build self-esteem, to help a person express their iden­tity and culture – to find out who they are?”

My work post-graduate school has been guided by these ques­tions and issues. That’s been key to me finding personal fulfill­ment in my work.

For me, fabric, color, textures, line and pattern bring me great joy. I hope I bring joy to my clients as well. There’s joy in art and design. All of those things keep me going and bring me great personal satis­fac­tion. I feel lucky to do some­thing that I love that is in line with my values. Sadly, I think that’s a rare thing in our culture right now. I wish it weren’t the case, but I feel lucky to be situ­ated here.

With regard to organizations/companies, and so on, like Trusted Clothes and Produc­tion Mode, what’s the impor­tance of them to you?

It is to show an alter­na­tive to the main­stream. That it is possible to create and purchase ethically-made, well-designed clothing. Also, to get people in the industry to ques­tion how things are made, and  hope­fully, to create a sea change.

I look forward to a future where there are no more ethical clothing or aggre­gator sites like Trusted Clothing. Ethical, sustain­able manu­fac­ture should be the norm. Until it is, though, we defi­nitely need to keep spreading the word and asking for change in the larger community.


Thanks to Trusted Clothes and author Scott Douglas Jacobsen for the inter­view, and for their support of Ethical Fashion!

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Interview with Ethical Fashion Site Trusted Clothes

Trusted Clothes, an orga­ni­za­tion devoted to promoting ethical and  sustain­able fashion, recently inter­viewed me for their blog. Below is an excerpt of the inter­view, written by Scott Douglas Jacobsen.

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE HAYES (PART ONE)

Jaime Hayes interview trusted clothes

Tell us about your­self – family back­ground, personal story, educa­tion, and previous profes­sional capacities.

I started in the fashion industry in 1999 in St. Louis, working at a boutique after college, and sewing after my senior year in college because I wanted some­thing hands-on and concrete. I was studying English liter­a­ture, and while I loved to read and write, it was abstract and alien­ating for me. My person­ality type doesn’t mesh with it.

Jaime hayes interview trusted clothes

PM Studio– photo by Damon Locks

It is nice, at the end of the day, to have a pile of work, see what you’ve accom­plished, and in a concrete way. I moved to Chicago to get a second BA at Columbia College in Fashion Design. I was lucky. I got a job in the industry while I in school. It was at a handbag company called 1154 Lill Studio.

The company was a real pioneer in mass customiza­tion. As a result, we needed to make every­thing one-by-one, made-to-order, and with a quick turn­around time – three weeks. We made every­thing in-house first and then in the Chicago area. It was a lesson in produc­tion manage­ment and effi­ciency. I was seeing local manu­fac­turers first­hand, which was rare at a time when almost every­body was offshoring.

My conscious­ness was raised in working with contrac­tors and real­izing that a lot of people don’t get paid fairly, making friends with stitchers, and hearing their stories of immi­gra­tion and exploita­tion in the sewing industry. So, I started asking ques­tions and becoming conscientious.

Jaime Hayes INterview

100% Wool Felt Top and Vegetable Tanned Leather Skirt. Photo is by Jenni Hampshire.

I ended up getting a grad­uate degree, a Master’s degree at the Univer­sity Chicago in Social Work. I focused on labor rights in the garment industry. I worked as a labor orga­nizer for a few years in Chicago. Primarily, I was working with undoc­u­mented, Mexican population–frontline workers.

I was giving training on worker’s rights and helping to orga­nize campaigns in the work place. However, I missed working with my hands—the colors and textures of fashion–the more direct creativity that world affords. Following this, I joined Chicago Fair Trade and became involved in that move­ment as a volun­teer helping to pass a Sweat­free Ordi­nance at the city and county level in Chicago.

Also, I took on a lot of free­lance work with fair trade compa­nies. I worked for SERRV. They sent me to China. I did some work in Peru, in the Lima area. Also, I have done a lot of tech­nical design for local compa­nies in ethical and fair trade fashion. Finally, I launched my own line in January of 2015.

You argue for a living wage for workers. Why is it impor­tant for the sustain­able and ethical fashion industry?

It is impor­tant across the board. I’m focused on fashion because that’s what I do for a living. It is impor­tant in a more global level as well. Fashion, clothing, and sewn prod­ucts are some of the most labor inten­sive indus­tries in the whole world. It is a ‘race-to-the-bottom’ industry.

Jaime Hayes interview trusted clothes

Hand Burnished Leather Coin Purse– photo by Linda Pulik

Anyone inter­ested in women’s rights, supporting those most easily exploited, or erad­i­cating poverty, would do well to look at the fashion industry because that’s the ‘bottom.’ We can find the easily exploited people there.

If these workers can be paid well and treated fairly, we can do a lot to improve the rights of women and young girls, erad­i­cate poverty, improve health outcomes, increase literacy, and so on. It is a huge issue. We need to be aware of it. In Chicago, the labor move­ment cites $15/hour as the living wage.

So, we pay above that for our stitcher. That’s how we gauge that here, but it is different in each city and country based on the cost of living in that place.

To sepa­rate two ideas floating around in the conver­sa­tion, the phrase “ethical and sustain­able fashion,” but this belies two sepa­rate and related ideas. Ethical fashion on the one hand; sustain­able fashion on the other hand. To start, what is the impor­tance of ethical fashion to you?

For me, the impor­tance is the human factor. Nobody should be dying while making our clothes. Even so, 2013 was the dead­liest year on record in the fashion industry. If you look back histor­i­cally, it is similar to the begin­ning of the 20th century in the US with the Triangle Shirt­waist Factory fire. People die while making fashion. That’s ridiculous.

What we’re speaking of when we say ethical fashion is really base­line, sadly. People should make a living wage. A wage that allows them to live on and support a family. To be frank, $15/hour in Chicago would not be enough in Chicago, but it’s better than the minimum wage in Chicago.

Secondly, people should work in a healthy and safe envi­ron­ment. Sadly, that’s not the case in a lot of the garment industry, espe­cially that which is offshored.

What is the impor­tance of sustain­able fashion to you?

The issues are similar. There’s overlap, but sustain­ability refers to the envi­ron­ment and issues affecting the planet. I come out of the labor move­ment. So, I am less educated about those issues, but even if you just look at sustain­ability from a human perspec­tive, the health of the planet has huge rami­fi­ca­tions for everyone.

We are all connected. We should care about what is happening on the other side of the world. It is about human rights. We all deserve basic human rights, and beyond that, the ability to thrive and grow. From the human perspec­tive, the pesti­cides that are used to grow our cotton, the petro­leum that is used to create poly­ester, the dyes that are used to create the colors in the fabrics … all of these things affect the workers who are applying those pesti­cides or dyes. They go into our water supplies. It is about treating out world well. There is huge overlap between issues of sustain­ability and ethics.

jamie hayes interview trusted clothes

Hand Screen Printed Leather Jacket; photo by Damien Thompson Photography

My favorite term is slow fashion because this takes into account the quality of the product and the design. It’s coming out of and inspired by the slow food move­ment, the tenets of which are to know the prove­nance of this food or, in our case, the clothing. So, where do our clothes come from? What about the raw mate­rials like the cotton, wool, poly, or leather? To have trans­parency about that, to appre­ciate and value the item, the expe­ri­ence around it, to slow down, buy less, buy higher quality. That’s impor­tant infor­ma­tion to provide as a designer. Because, to be honest, you cannot do every­thing perfectly, espe­cially as a small company. You might not know all of the labor condi­tions in the factory that makes your zippers or buttons, but you can choose the highest quality zipper.  This can allow the garment to have as long a life as possible.

Some­times, we have to think about competing issues and balance those all out. Slow fashion is the most honest way to do that as a designer in my opinion.

What was the inspi­ra­tion for Produc­tion Mode – and its title?

(Laughs) Coming out of the labor move­ment, I have done a lot of neo-Marxist read­ings. I was thinking about means of produc­tion and the orga­ni­za­tion of work, and what brings people joy. I was thinking about that when I named the company.

But the inspi­ra­tion goes way beyond that. At the end of the day, I am a designer. I love fashion. I think we need to make a lot of changes in the industry, but I love clothing as a means of self-expression. It brings me a lot of joy. I think it brings a lot of people on this planet a lot of joy. It’s an expres­sion of who we are: our culture, iden­tity, values. It doesn’t have to be a super­fi­cial, passive consumer expe­ri­ence.  It could be tailored to fit your body exactly. That’s how it was used for generations—until recently, in fact.

Now, it is a dispos­able thing. It doesn’t have to be that way. One thing I always want to be a part of the company is the concept of artist collab­o­ra­tion. It stretches me as a designer. It makes sure there is some­thing unique about the product and timeless.

For example, for the first line that I launched, I collab­o­rated with an artist named Paula J. Wilson. She designed an all-over print for leather. Another artist, Nora Renick-Rinehart, executed the print and applied it to leather. It is not some­thing seen often with leather. It is limited edition. It is designed by a well-known artist. So, there’s a whole story. I can trace the prove­nance of the mate­rials, the print, the execu­tion of the print, etc.

For the next line, which I’ll launch in the Fall of this year, the fabric is designed in collab­o­ra­tion with an artist named Nuria Montiel. It is executed by local weavers called the Weaving Mill in Chicago. They are located about a mile from my studio. They have two indus­trial dobby looms. It is a collab­o­ra­tion between the four of us to produce the fabric for the line. It can’t be found anywhere else. It was inspired by Nuria’s art work, influ­enced by the textiles of the Bauhaus move­ment, and Peru­vian and Mexican textile traditions.

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I’ll post part two soon. Thanks to Trusted Clothes and author Scott Douglas Jacobsen for the inter­view, and for their support of Ethical Fashion!
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Production Mode Summer News

Produc­tion Mode Summer News & Events
100% Wool Felt Top & Vegetable Tanned Leather Skirt by Produc­tion Mode. Photo by Jenni Hampshire.

Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties Open House

Come join us tomorrow for an Open House at our showroom/production space, Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties! The Produc­tion Mode line will be on-hand and for sale along with our new collec­tion of luxury slow fashion lingerie and night­wear, Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, which we design in collab­o­ra­tion with Gerry Quinton of Morua. The DOC line will be avail­able for one final day of special preview pricing.

Open House
Saturday, July 30th
2–6 pm at Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties
3013 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
www.departmentofcuriosities.com

 

Produc­tion Mode vegetable tanned leather jacket featuring print designed by Paula J. Wilson. Photo by Sarah Ann Wright of model Miss Deadly Red.

Produc­tion Mode + theWit 

During the month of August, Produc­tion Mode we will be setting up shop at  theWit Hotel. TheWit Hotel is located at 201 N. State St. in Chicago’s down­town Loop. Boutique hours are W-F 2–7 pm and Sat 12–7 pm.

We end August with our first Fashion Show, at ROOF, the beau­tiful atrium space atop theWit Hotel. Sip a cock­tail and enjoy the work of Produc­tion Mode and Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties against the back­drop of Chicago’s grand skyline.Save the date: the show will be on Thursday, August 25th at 7 pm. Space is limited so we recom­mend arriving early.

Produc­tion Mode designer Jamie Hayes at Chicago’s Horween Tannery
Inter­view with Trusted Clothes
Trusted Clothes, an orga­ni­za­tion dedi­cated to linking people, brands, and orga­ni­za­tions that are ethical, envi­ron­men­tally friendly, and health conscious, recentlly published an in-depth inter­view on Produc­tion Mode designer Jamie Hayes. To learn more about our process and ethos, read the article here.
Yarn on the warp at the Weaving Mill for Produc­tion Mode’s next collection
Produc­tion Mode Fall 2016 Collec­tion Coming Soon! Stay tuned for the launch of Produc­tion Mode’s next collec­tion, made of a custom wool/cotton fabric, based on sketches by artist Nuria Montiel, as inter­preted by the Weaving Mill, a new small-scale mill down the street from Produc­tion Mode in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neigh­bor­hood. Nuria’s sketches were inspired by the weav­ings from the Bauhaus move­ment, and Peru­vian and Mexican textile tradi­tions. This month we’ll be devel­oping the line at our pop-up at theWit Hotel. Stop by and watch it come together. And stay tuned for our launch date, some­time in the Fall of 2016.
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Department of Curiosities Lingerie & Nightwear Collection Launch

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Silk Charmeuse Beach Pajamas by Depart­ment of Curiosities

 

Two years ago marked a big step forward in my career– I moved to a new produc­tion space and show­room: Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties. A collab­o­ra­tion with fashion designer Gerry Quinton and her line Morúa, our part­ner­ship has cautiously and lovingly evolved from a shared studio, to a shop, exhi­bi­tion space, and most recently a collec­tion of luxury, slow fashion lingerie.  I can’t speak enough to the power of this collaboration–Gerry and I have very compli­men­tary skill sets, and even more impor­tantly when one of us falls, the other is there to lend a hand, offering encour­aging words, tech­nical support, a loan, or a trip to “horrible Joann” to pick up a yard of inter­facing that we somehow always forget to order.  (More on our collab­o­ra­tion is here in a wonderful, in-depth article in Frank Magazine.)

It’s no surprise that our first collec­tion is inspired by the lumi­nous women of the 1920s-1940s: strong women who were entering the work force in large numbers for the first time and running facto­ries during WWII; the compli­cated, dark-yet-elegant women of film noir; and the liber­ated flap­pers of the 1920s.

We are thrilled to present this true labor of love. Created from Italian silks, the line features an exclu­sive print designed by renowned tattoo artist Esther Garcia of Butterfat Studios and is made to order in-house, in order to ensure the highest quality of produc­tion and that our pieces are ethi­cally made. The collec­tion will avail­able for preorder on June 18-19th. As a show of grat­i­tude to early supporters of local, Amer­ican made fashion, the collec­tion will be offered at special preview prices. Your support is crucial–preorders will help us to meet fabric mini­mums and to complete our e-commerce website. Thank you in advance!

Preview hours are:
Saturday, June 18th: 1–7 pm; cock­tails 7–9 pm
Sunday, June 19th: 2–5 pm
& by appointment

3013 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
www.departmentofcuriosities.com

Please follow us on face­book and insta­gram: @departmentofcuriosites

DOC_Lingerie_WebRes_017

Silk/Cotton Long­line Bra & Knickers in Dark Trop­ical, and Dressing Gown in Noir Trop­ical by Depart­ment of Curiosities

 

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Production Mode Spring 2016 Events & News

 

Vegetable tanned leather top and skirt by Produc­tion Mode. Photo by Sarah Ann Wright. Modeled by Miss Deadly Red.
 

Chicago- Sunday, March 20th, Produc­tion Mode will be at the Promon­tory as part of Hyde Park Hand­made. The show features local arti­sans and farmers, with a sound­track provided by deejay Sean Alvarez. Admis­sion is free, the bar is open, and brunch is served down­stairs. Come join us!

 

 

 

Chicago- Sunday, May 15th, Produc­tion Mode will be at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of the Dose Lake FX Market­place. The best of Chicago design will be on offer, 10 am– 4 pm.
 

The stun­ning dome of the Chicago Cultural Center. Photo by Timeout Chicago.

 

Paris- Saturday, April 9th & Sunday, April 10th, Produc­tion Mode will be in Paris at La Boutique Ephémère, Galerie Joseph 7 rue Frois­sart Paris3. Hours are noon– 8p on Saturday, and noon– 7p on Sunday. Nous espérons vous voir!
 

 

 

London- March 29-April 2– Produc­tion Mode will be in London for a photo shoot. Please contact sales@productionmodechicago.com to make an appoint­ment to view the line … And if you’re plan­ning a trip to Chicago, check out Virgin Atlantic’s neigh­bor­hood guide to Logan Square, which features Produc­tion Mode.
 

Detroit- Deep Design: Pace, Place, and Person­hood in Design for the Social Sector featuring work by Jamie Hayes, designer/owner of Produc­tion Mode, will be on view at the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State Univer­sity through March 25th. Thanks to Linda Pulik of Bao Design Lab for creating and facil­i­tating a work­shop on the expe­ri­ence of wearing uniforms as part of the Wayne State show. Book forthcoming!
 

View of the Uniform project instal­la­tion at “Deep Design” exhibit at the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery. Photo by Laura Makar.
 

 

 

Produc­tion Mode is honored to be featured in a recent Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness story on slow fashion. Read more about slow fashion here. Also featured in the article is our produc­tion space/showroom Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties. We are thrilled to announce that in May of 2016, Jamie Hayes of Produc­tion Mode and Gerry Quinton of Morua will launch a line of slow fashion lingerie under the Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties label, made in-house of silks produced by a mill in the Lake Como region of Italy, featuring a print designed by Esther Garcia of Butterfat Studios. 
 

Read Virgin Atlantic’s neigh­bor­hood guide to Logan Square, which features Produc­tion Mode and our showroom/studio, Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties. We are proud to be part of such a vibrant neighborhood!
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Production Mode F/W 2015 Events & News

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Gray’s Depart­ment Store: A Shopable Instal­la­tion of Work by the League of Women Designers

From December 4th-20th, the Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, the space co-run by Produc­tion Mode & Morua, will host a shopable instal­la­tion by members of the League of Women Designers (LWD). Eve Fineman will curate the show drawing on the golden age of depart­ment stores for visual inspi­ra­tion. Our boutique space will be trans­formed with sections for house­wares, lighting, furni­ture, clothing, jewelry, hand­bags and lingerie. Partic­i­pating designers are listed above. A link to the Gray’s Depart­ment Store exhibit cata­logue, designed by Dani Soukup, can be found here.

The show’s name refer­ences Eileen Gray, a touch­stone for LWD group. Gray was a pioneer of modernist design; an archi­tect and designer of furni­ture, textiles and inte­riors. Her influ­en­tial works in the 1920s and 30s were largely over­looked in her time and the impor­tance of her legacy remains unrec­og­nized to this day. One of her most inno­v­a­tive works, the Villa E-1027 house, for instance, was first attrib­uted to her lover, Jean Badovice, and was later defaced by the most famous archi­tect of her day, Le Corbusier.

Open hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 12–7 pm, and Sunday from 12–5 pm. Exhibiting designers will staff the shop along with Produc­tion Mode and Morua, so stop in to learn more about each line’s design and manu­fac­turing process–most of the designers in the show manu­fac­ture locally. Also on hand will be a preview of Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties’ first collec­tion, a slow fashion, ethically-made line of silk lingerie inspired by the women of the 1930s. The line is co-designed by Jamie Hayes of Produc­tion Mode and Gerry Quinton of Morua.

The opening recep­tion, spon­sored by KOVAL distillery, is on December 4th from 6–9 pm. In addi­tion, save the date for a pop-up dining event by Midnight Kitchen Projects on the evening of Saturday, December 12th.

The Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties is located at 3013 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647.

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Another chance to shop local & shop small: at Dose Market at Morgan Manu­fac­turing on Sunday, Dec. 13. More details and tickets can be found here.

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We’re honored to announce that Past Perfect: UNIFORM, designed in collab­o­ra­tion with 24 partic­i­pants, will be shown from January 15– March 25, 2016, at Wayne State Univer­sity in Detroit as part of the Deep Design Exhibit.

Deep Design: Pace, Place, and Person­hood in Design for the Social Sector.

This exhibit will focus on designers and archi­tects who are working in ways that reflect strong and enduring commit­ments to people and places and where the human rela­tion­ship between designer and design recipient/s take prece­dent over design produc­tion. This exhibit advo­cates for designers who ques­tion the tran­sient nature of how we do design work today, which can some­times result in ideal­ized impo­si­tions instead of cultur­ally and econom­i­cally sensi­tive solu­tions. This body of work will begin to exem­plify how designers can and do commit to place and people– in mind, in body, and in prac­tice– in order to enter into truly co-creative rela­tion­ships and experiences.

This exhi­bi­tion will work to bring aware­ness to the tensions and debates that exist in design prac­tice as indi­vid­uals and orga­ni­za­tions work to create real, lasting value in the social sector: the project-based engage­ment vs. versus long-term embed­ded­ness; archi­tec­ture as profes­sion­al­ized activity vs. archi­tecting as a human right; tech­nology and connec­tivity as a means for both social alien­ation and shared rebellion.

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Thanks also to the Chicagoist for naming Produc­tion Mode as one of the best new fashion lines in Chicago. Many of the lines featured are manu­fac­tured using ethical, fair trade, and slow fashion models. We are happy, for once, to be trendy! Read more here.

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We’re also honored to be named as the Best New Fashion Line in Chicago by New City. Read more here!

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Production Mode Press: Chicago Reader Feature

Thanks to the Chicago Reader for featuring Produc­tion Mode in their Space Feature, and for cham­pi­oning our brand of slow fashion: ethi­cally sourced, locally made-to-order clothing, built to last.

Take a virtual tour of the Depart­ment of Curiosi­ties, the produc­tion space/showroom co-founded and co-run by myself and Gerry Quinton of Morua, below. We are open every Friday from 12–7 pm, and by appoint­ment. Come by for a tour, consul­ta­tion, or to pick up some of our ready-made items.

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Production Mode’s St. Louis Connection & Press

This past spring I had the plea­sure of recon­necting with the fashion commu­nity in my home­town of St. Louis. Back in the 1930s and 40s, St. Louis had a thriving garment district, special­izing in junior clothing.

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image from St. Louis Magazine

 

There are still vestiges of the garment industry in St. Louis, and it was there that I learned how to sew, in the base­ment of the Winston’s Fabrics. The teacher was an extremely talented woman who ran the alter­ations room at a Sak’s Fifth Avenue for many years. She was an inspi­ra­tion– she could adapt a crappy home sewing pattern into a fash­ion­able, well-fitting garment, and shared all kinds of garment industry sewing secrets with us, and seemed to be having more fun in her retire­ment than most of my univer­sity peers.

It’s lovely now to see new designers, artists, and cura­tors reclaiming and rein­vig­o­rating the fashion world in St. Louis. I was lucky enough to connect with this commu­nity during my recent visits, thanks to artist Paula J. Wilson, with whom I was visiting during her time as Beau­mont Artist-in-Residence at Wash­ington University.

First, I met with Angela Malchionno and Carly Hilo of the Enamel, their mission, which focuses on both process and final product, was a perfect fit for show­casing the Produc­tion Mode line.  Their goal– to high­light the lineage of products—where they come from, how they were made, and their impact on envi­ron­ment and community–is a inspi­ra­tion. In a short time they’ve been able to build an engaged and educated audi­ence for conscious textiles and the creation thereof in St. Louis.

Produc­tion Mode’s first pop-up was held there at the end of March. In antic­i­pa­tion of the event, both St. Louis Maga­zine and Alive Maga­zine published inter­views with myself and Enamel co-founder, Angela Malchionno. Read more here and here. In order to high­light Enamel’s process-oriented mission, Paula Wilson brought her wood burnishing tools and demoed pyro­graphing on leather during the event, along with other artist friends visiting St. Louis at the time, Sara Velas, of the Velaslavaysay Panorama in Los Angeles, and Damon Locks of Chicago.

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Photo Montage by Weird Cult(ure). More on the event from their great article on Enamel and the Produc­tion Mode pop-up can be found here.

Atten­dees got in on the action, too, as seen in this video of pyro­graphing, also from Weird Cult(ure).

 

On my next visit to St. Louis, I was lucky enough to visit projects+gallery, a new gallery in the Central West End focusing on the inter­sec­tion of art and fashion. Their first exhibit is a stunner– a retro­spec­tive of Hideki Seo’s work.

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I’m excited to see projects+gallery develop, and to see its effects on the design commu­nity in St. Louis and the region, and to see my home­town pros­pering and nurturing the connec­tions between fashion and art.

 

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June Production Mode Events!

I’m excited to announce that Produc­tion Mode will be partic­i­pating in several great events in Chicago this June. First up:

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This Wednesday, June 3rd, please join me for the one-night only screening of the True Cost film at the Patio Theater. The film docu­ments the detri­mental effects of the fast fashion industry on consumers, producers, and our envi­ron­ment. Produc­tion Mode will be part of the panel discus­sion after the film, along with the director, producer, and other Chicago Fair Trade members. Ethical fashion brands including Produc­tion Mode will be on display and for sale before and after the film, and on hand to answer ques­tions about slow vs. fast fashion and trans­parency in sourcing.

Below is a video clip of me speaking about many of the film’s themes at last year’s Green­heart Trans­forms conference. 

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Next up, we’ll be partic­i­pating in our first Dose MarketSunday, June 14th, at Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph in the West Loop. Tickets are $8 online, $10 at the door, both include free drink ticket for 21+ … online tickets include a $15 gift certifi­cate to Pretty Quick and a chance to win a trip from Mr & Mrs Smith. Tons of talented Chicago artists, arti­sans, and purveyors of slow food and fashion will be on-hand. Meet the makers and help build the local design commu­nity here in Chicago!

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