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Stuffed paradise


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Peggy Noland Kansas City, three years and running, now hosts 4,500 stuffed animals and air-brushed clothing in a tiny space in the Crossroads at 124 West 18th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  On a block of mom and pop stores, Peggy Noland Kansas City offers wild style garments and over-the-top installation pieces.

“I’m in business with me, myself and I!” Noland says, “Although I am constantly collaborating, and informally rely on the zany cast of characters that I surround myself with - and the clothes to dress them in!”  Noland caters to the unique and not the trendy shopper.

“When you find yourself in a city whose planned energy isn't particularly invested in its youth culture,” Noland says, “you find your source of creativity is completely unique and unaffected.”  Instead, she is particularly inspired by her friends.  “Kansas City is a wonderful weird place to be,” Noland says.  “It's no secret that it's not a fashion capitol.” 

K.C. is known for jazz, blues, and barbeque, but has a burgeoning artistic community.  “There is a community here that supports its artists–that is hard to find, and harder to leave.”  The Crossroads is a major artistic neighborhood with gallery crawls that attract thousands of visitors a month.  Beyond K.C., Noland is now international.  “This summer we opened a Peggy Noland store in Berlin, Germany,” Noland says, “through the funding of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program.”

Walking into PNKC, expect a jaw to drop.  “Two summers ago PNKC’s walls were painted to look like the insides of a psychedelic cheeseburger, complete with a French fry cash register,” Noland explains.  “Soon after, the walls, floor and lowered ceiling were padded with billowy bales of cotton resembling ethereal puffy clouds.”  Dropping in on a First Friday after a glass of wine, you might not want to leave, but rather move in.

Currently, the racks hold hand-airbrushed leotards and tank tops.  Noland collaborates with a New York City-based artist named Malcolm Stuart.  “It may help to understand those prices to know that Malcolm has spent up to one month on a single garment,” Noland describes.  “They become much more than a dress on a rack in a shop - they are true, one of a kind, works of art.”  Their price range is from $100-$1000.

Noland got her start as a Religious Studies major in New Delhi, India, as an employee for a clothing manufacturer.  “It was in New Delhi that I took the turn from my more conservative, small-town background to being a self-taught and eager participant in the installation and avant-garde fashion world.”

 “Both speak to an ongoing social construction of high and low culture and gently step between the art and commerce world. We change our spaces, but our spaces also change us.”  Noland says it best.  You have to see PNKC to believe it.

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