Peggy Noland is so cool. She makes incredible, bright, patterned, bizarre onesies that evoke a sort of mutant alien baby from a more glamorous planet who came down here to cut a demo and hang put with fabulous earthlings who get her baby alien style. Lovefoxxx from CSS lived up to her name wearing one of Peggy’s less bonkers/more sexy fully sequined numbers on the cover of Dazed and Confused, and avant-guardians like Chicks on Speed, Fischerspooner and The Ssion sport her mind-blowing ensembles as well. Plus Peggy just styled Gossip’s Men in Love video, which was directed by Justin Kelly and Cody Critchloe and features Beth Ditto driving a disco schoolbus full of partying queirdos. In Kansas City, where she is from, she sells her wares from a boutique smothered in stuffed animals, Peggy Noland Kansas City. I can’t wait to talk to her!
IRONING BOARD COLLECTIVE: What were you for Halloween this year?
PEGGY NOLAND: Hahah, nothing! Whoops. Total party pooper. I think I was just working that night, passing out candy to tha kiddies!
IBC: Have you ever been beaten up in Kansas City for looking too awesome?
PEGGY NOLAND: No! But I may have been close! My style isn’t always the most well received in KC, surprise, surprise – but that just means maybe KC is the one that needs it most!
IBC: What is the first piece of clothing you remember making?
PEGGY NOLAND: My first memory, other than customizing store bought clothes when I was a kid, was a store bought pattern in high school. The first thing I ever pattern-made was for my shop when I first opened. Super dorky clothes, but it’s sweet how your aesthetic changes from year to year and month to month.
IBC: I think it’s really cool that you’ve stayed in your hometown rather than book it to NYC like so many fashion people do. Why have you decided to stay?
PEGGY NOLAND: Hmmm, it’s a constant thought. But I will keep it real. It’s cheap. Of course! But that’s not enough to keep someone’s ambitions settled. It’s not that the rent is a quarter of what I would pay in NY, it’s what comes after that. I have money to travel more frequently that allows me to be in more places at once. Which is obviously important for any business. But there are sacrifices to being in KC, also. Most of which are probably obvious. However, Kansas City is an incredible fostering place. It’s an incubator. Like I said, it’s cheap – giving you time to work on your projects. There is space – giving you the ability to see your projects come to life. There is support – giving artists a chance. There is a sense of humor – people can’t and don’t take themselves too seriously. Someone once told me Kansas City ‘feels like college’ as they were commenting on how everyone is excited and willing to support each others’ projects. I consider moving all the time – how could I not. I think I won’t always live in KC – a rolling stone gathers no moss!
IBC: How has your aesthetic evolved over the year, and how would you sum it up right now?
PEGGY NOLAND: Today. Right now. At 2:17 central time I’m into Letterman’s jackets. I’m sitting here with my web designer trying to talk him into a letterman/university font for a website makeover. He’s not so into it – but I think it’s corny in the best kind of way!
PEGGY NOLAND: I still have an Abercrombie shirt I wore on the first day of 7th grade. I was soooooo into Abercrombie! I’m not afraid to admit it. I think I’ve always been influenced by what was going on around me, and in 7th grade, ya know, your vision is sometimes shallow. I dropped my mascara wand on it that day and was mortified!
IBC: How did you go about settling up your shop and your line? Do you have any tips for baby designers who want to make crazy clothes and set up a boutique?
PEGGY NOLAND: Omg, I have a ton of advice! I teach at the Art Institute here, so I am very into helping those who are interested in branching out on their own, so being a teacher in any format is important to me. The first piece of advice and the hardest one is just to do it! There is no rule book – there is a ton of business advice out there, but typically for a more creative than business-minded person it’s going to be such an individual journey, and should be. I think the biggest hurdle is feeling confident enough to put yourself out there.
IBC: What is your astrological makeup?
PEGGY NOLAND: Leo-Virgo cusp! Everyone says I’m more of a Virgo, but I think I’m a Leo. They seem less emotional.
IBC: What are you obsessed with right now?
PEGGY NOLAND: MAKEUP!!!!!!!!!!!
IBC: Will you talk about the project that you have going on in Berlin?
PEGGY NOLAND: I did a pop-up shop there in 2009 that I will be back to revisit in the near future. What a great place to experiment.
IBC: What’s your favorite city and why?
PEGGY NOLAND: That’s a hard one! Every place has its perks. I’m happily obligated to love KC, but I feel at home in many places. I love Tokyo for its energy, Berlin for adopting me as its own, New York for its opportunities, LA for, well, its LA-ness, Mumbai for its beaches, Branson for its classiness!
IBC: What was it like being Fasion Director of the new Gossip video?
PEGGY NOLAND: AH! I loved it! I was so happy to work on a project of that scale and mostly to work with the band. They were so fun on set. We shot in one frantic day in LA, and Cody and Justin’s vision for the video was so tight, and it was a fantastic experience. The job of sewing two custom pieces for Beth in a tiny RV with a sewing machine bought (and returned) from Walmart is one that I will never forget. Into it!
IBC: What are you doing for New Years?
PEGGY NOLAND: I will be in North Carolina becoming an Aunt for the first time! My brother is in the army and him and his wife live close to a base. My parents and I will go down there to shower the babe with gifts!
IBC: What are you reading right now?
PEGGY NOLAND: A script! A friend has written a part for me in a movie he is producing. It stars me and Brad Pitt! Just kidding. Tom Cruise.
And so concludes my interview with Peggy Noland, who is clearly like the greatest person ever. I don’t want it to end! I think I’ll post a bunch more pictures of her stuff so we can just linger with her excellent artsy vibes a bit longer.