M.I.A.: “I made it to where that actions begins”
Maya, would you call yourself a rebel?
I’ve never really registered it as rebellion, but I got fucked up very young. Looking back, I was just like, “That is quite an intense thing,” but I didn’t give it a name when I was young.
Growing up, your father was a political activist and a revolutionary — is that sense of rebellion something he instilled in you?
It wasn't instilled by my dad because he wasn't around to instill anything. I just generally thought that rebellion was a bad thing because it brought so much hassle and pain to my mom's life, you know? I think it came because I just reached my limit in terms of how restricted certain things were in Sri Lanka.
Gareth Pugh: “I like that I feel out of place”
Gareth, would you call yourself an outsider in today’s fashion industry?
I certainly don’t feel like at home! I feel very much part of the actual thing, but not of the circus around it. Specifically in environments like the Met Ball. It’s such a foreign space. I come from a small town in north east of England, and I just find it very odd and sometimes comical that I find myself in these situations. It’s like an out of body experience I guess, and it’s not an experience I enjoy at all. But I do like the idea that I definitely feel out of place there.
I feel it’s important to maintain that notion of feeling on the edge of something, on the periphery. It’s a choice with regards to the work that I do — it’s not a crowd pleaser, it’s not meant to please everybody. It’s quite a niche thing and I know that, and I’m very comfortable with the space that my work inhabits. I embrace the idea of an outsider society because while the establishment keeps very much to itself, the peripheral around it, these amazing people and ideas that don’t necessarily fit with the mainstream notion of how things should be — that’s where the energy is. That’s where the ideas lie.