Rock Out Legging Like Maya Arulpragasam From M.I.A
M.I.A. – XXXO
M.I.A From Wiki
M.I.A. cites guerrilla art and fashion as major influences. Her mother works as a seamstress in London. An early interest in fashion and textiles —designing confections of “bright fluorescent fishnet fabrics”— was a hallmark of her time at Central St. Martins. M.I.A. was a roommate of fashion designer Luella Bartley and is a long-time friend of designer Carri Mundane. Clothes from her limited-edition “Okley Run” line—Mexican and Afrika jackets and leggings, Islamic-inspired and water melon-print hoodies, and tour-inspired designs were sold in 2008 during New York fashion week. She commented, “I wanted to tie all my work together. When I make an album, I make a number of artworks that go with it, and now I make some clothes that go with it too. So this Okley run was an extension of my Kala album and artwork.”
Contrary to her present style, M.I.A.’s Arular era style has been described as “tattered hand me downs and patched T-shirts of indigence”, embodying the “uniform of the refugee” but modified with cuts, alterations and colors to fashion a distinctly new style and apparel line. Building on this during the Kala era with “such a playful combination of baggy t-shirts, leggings and short-shorts, incorporating eccentric accessories all bedazzled in bold patterns, sparkle and over-saturated neon color” fashioned her signature style that has inspired flocks of “garishly-clothed all-too-sassy new-rave girls…[with] bright red tights, cheetah-skin smock and [a] faded ‘80s T- shirt.” Her commodifying and performance of this refugee image has been noted to “reposition the “refugee” marker from a site of ostensible disarticulation to one of synthesis and possibility. Hailed as presenting a challenge to the mainstream with her ironic style, M.I.A. has been praised for dictating such a subcultural trend worldwide, “combining adolescent frustrations of race and class with a strong desire to dance.”
M.I.A. was once denied entry into a Marc Jacobs party, but subsequently DJ’ed at the designer’s 2008 fashion show after party, and modeled for “Marc by Marc Jacobs” in Spring/Summer 2008. She turned down her inclusion on People magazine’s list of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” the same year. M.I.A.’s status as a style icon, trendsetter and trailblazer is globally affirmed, with her distinct identity, style, and music illuminating social issues of gender, the third world, and popular music generating considerable acclaim. Critics point out such facets of her public persona underline the importance of authenticity, challenging the globalized popular music market, and demonstrating music’s strive to be political. Her albums have been met with considerable acclaim, often heralded as “eclectic” for possessing a genre all their own, “packaging inherent politics in the form of pleasurable dance music.” M.I.A.’s artistic efforts to connect this “extreme eclecticism” with issues of exile, war, violence and terrorism are both commended and criticized. Commentators laud M.I.A.’s use and subversion of her refugee and migrant experiences, through the weaving of musical creativity, artwork and fashion with her personal life as having dispelled stereotypical notions of the immigrant experience; affording her a unique place in popular music, while demanding new responses within popular music, media and fashion culture.