XLR8R: Were you born and raised in Kansas City? If not, why did you move there?
Peggy Noland: I was raised on a farm not far from Kansas City, Missouri and I moved here my senior year of high school for LOVE! (Ewww! lame, I know) I met Cody Cricheloe from SSION in a chat room at my library (hahah, Do you remember chat rooms?!) Ask me what it's like to have your boyfriend be the gay king of Kansas City–that's a whole 'nother story!
When did you open your Peggy Noland store?
A little over a year ago, and only after I was rejected from the Peace Corps. My major in college was Religious Studies, so this was never really on my radar.
Who are some of the people you've outfitted?
Lovefoxxx and I's love affair started with that sequin bodysuit... since then we've been in collaboration heaven. SSION is a group whose look goes beyond their clothing. Their visual/aesthetic history (music videos, movies, graphics, collaborations) is as important to keep in mind as any newness factor. Kianna from Tilly and the Wall and I have worked together for sometime now, too. That is such an outlet for me! Can't you just imagine them riding about in a tour bus making friendship bracelets for each other? I CAN! (p.s. Good Gossip Alert! Tilly and the Wall are playing on the debut episode of the new 90210 and Sesame Street!) And the craziest, dangerously fun turn of events–CSS, Tilly and the Wall, and SSION will be touring together in September! OMG! Peggy Noland Tour!
What is your favorite thing that you do every day?
I love Donkey, the weird cat (my muse!), and my daily guilty pleasures definitely revolve around candy and soda. NO PARENTS, NO RULES!
What are some current obsessions of yours?
CUTE! And the idea–dare I say, philosophy–behind it. “Cute,” and its marketability and commercialism, have a history that I have been obsessed with researching. There are some strange things, specifically in American culture (that are rather pedomorphic) that are very attractive to a large portion of our society. All kinds steaming from the idea of “cute.” I've taught classes on the subject, and it's sinking in to my designs! Help me! (There is a good critical inquiry piece on “cute.” Also, Stephen Jay Gould made some wonderful observations on the idea. I'll stop now or I’ll go on forever).
What is Kansas City like? Why is it a perfect place to do what you do? Do you ever think about moving?
Kansas City is a wonderful weird place to be. I'll be honest, depending what I'm wearing, I have been treated like I was some sort of neutered beast–but I ask for it, I suppose. I get mad when people stare, and even more mad if they don’t stare! In KC I stay focused. And there is a community here that supports its artists–that is hard to find, and harder to leave. I try and travel extensively, and used to live in New Delhi, but something here peaks my interest; there is this smaller community of larger things happening. If you can get here, and if you can tap into this energy once you are here, you are looking for something unusual, and you will see an incredible ambition–perhaps spiraling from an angry, even jealous, boredom that attracts and demands attention. My peers here are jumping leaps and bounds at a time, and it is my opinion that we inspire each other. When you find yourself in a city who's planned energy isn't particularly invested in its youth culture, you find your source of creativity is completely unique and, perhaps more importantly, unaffected.