Last year the crew of 14 East, Depaul University’s Magazine came to visit me at Department of Curiosities. The result is this little interview and video tour of the shop and studio. I hope you enjoy learning about my process and taking a closer look at some corsets, patterns and the workshop itself.
In addition to Morúa you can also see some of the Department Of Curiosities lingerie that I design in collaboration with Jamie Hayes and in the background pieces from her brand, Production Mode.
Two years ago Morúa moved to Chicago, and to a new atelier and showroom: Department of Curiosities. A collaboration with fashion designer Jamie Hayes and her line Production Mode, this remarkable partnership has evolved from a workshop, to a shop, exhibition space, and salon and is now also lush lingerie line. Inspired by the luminous, strong women of the 1920’s and 30’s this collaboration is a labor of love.
Department of Curiosities cordially invites you to a first look at our collection of luxury lingerie & nightwear. Created from Italian silks, the line features an exclusive print designed by Esther Garcia of Butterfat Studios and is made to order in our atelier. The collection will available for preorder on June 18–19th. As a show of gratitude for your support as we launch, the collection will be offered at special preview prices. If you are far, don’t worry, the line will be available for purchase online very soon.
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
Special thanks to model Alessia Vaccar, hair and make-up artist Victoria Percival-Smith and Sarah Ann Wright Photography all who helped create the beautiful images featured in this post.
We are proud to announce the launch of Department of Curiosities, a workshop and showroom. We will be holding our first public event this Saturday January 24 at 3013 W. Armitage Ave, in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Department of Curiosities is the home of Morúa (corsetry and gowns) and Jamie Hayes of Production Mode (leather clothing and accessories). We have been working out our space for a few months, and have been busy working on new designs, orders and decorating the studio and store front. Now we are ready to open the doors and call it official!
Based in Chicago, Department of Curiosities is committed to creative, ethical fashion and quality craftsmanship. In the storefront space, work tables, tools, and patterns are in plain view. The focus is not only on delivering high-quality, designer statement pieces, made in house, but on making the design and sewing process transparent.
As a culture we’ve lost our connection to how clothing is made: cheap disposable fashion has made us forget that there is a human behind every stitch. Making garments is incredibly labor-intensive. We invite our customers into that process.
Much of the work is made by the two of us, but to keep up with demand, we have recently hired our first employee, a stitcher, through Loom, a social enterprise of the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program. We are committed to paying a living wage to all workers throughout their supply chain.
Jamie and I met a decade ago while at studying fashion at Columbia College Chicago. Ten years on, our paths have merged in the creation of Department of Curiosities.
Special thanks to Damon Locks for his beautiful logo design.
Many years ago I shared photographs, thoughts and ideas on LiveJournal. With its informal, diary-like platform, this early social network allowed me to share my explorations of corsetry and fashion and to develop great friendships along the way. Over the years, like many others, I migrated to Facebook and other outlets. These short, irregular bursts and glimpses into my work are often lost in a sea of algorithms and are neither as engaging nor as satisfying as those earlier posts. And so I return to longer form of expression with this blog.
Here, I intend to explore my little corner of the fashion world. There will be a great deal of corsetry; but other things as well. Progress photos, behind the scenes chatter, a bit of travel, and as I prepare to open my first showroom probably a lot of DIY. In the last year Morúa has experienced great deal of change; not least moving across the ocean from London to Chicago. I hope that you will join me as I embark on new journeys.