If it hasn’t already, Peggy Noland’s 18th Street studio-storefront will soon change completely. Every so often it undergoes a complete transformation from its previous iteration; consistently discrete and singular from its surroundings. This summer, a giant green hand pointed visitors toward the door. The door was painted with four words (Peggy Noland, Call Me!) and a telephone number. That’s it.

I asked Peggy how, from looking at her storefront, people are to know that she is responsible for designing wild, experimental, “one-night-only” fashion for musicians, artists, performers, celebrities, and professional party-goers. The facade is provocative and bewildering, but I just couldn’t imagine having the moxie to call without understanding who—or what—I was calling. “That’s a great question,” she said, thoughtfully pausing to smile and find the right words, “a lot of people must walk by having no idea what’s going on here, but it turns out the people who decide to call are just the people I need to reach.”

Her answer made perfect sense, and it describes the self possession that is at the heart of her practice. As the images of her space clearly demonstrate, Peggy challenges the conventional wisdom that constraints must be acknowledged and worked within. As a result of her defiance, some will be mystified and others will be enchanted. The same high-contrast relationship exists between the general population and avant-garde fashion. Those who delight in such deviations from convention should schedule a go-see.

Peggy is a 2011 Charlotte Street Award Winnner, and her work is currently on display in the Charlotte Street Visual Award Fellows Exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

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