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KC designer Peggy Noland creates naked Oprah dress

Updated: 2013-11-18T22:30:24Z

By LISA GUTIERREZ

The Kansas City Star

Kansas City fashion designer Peggy Noland’s creations aren’t known for being subtle, as anyone who’s ever visited her Crossroads boutique or seen her work on a local runway knows.

So a dress with Oprah’s head Photoshopped onto naked bodies? We’re not gobsmacked.

We can’t show the NSFW dress here. But Noland recently spoke with New York magazine’s The Cut blog about the dress, so you can see it and read the entire interview here.

The Cut declared that “these dresses, featuring ‘skinny,’ ‘average,’ and ‘obese’ versions of Oprah with KISS makeup and screaming faces might just be her most eye-catching collaboration yet.”

Noland’s collaborated with designer Sally Thurer. “For me, it originated as kind of the age old (red) carpet question: Who are you wearing? And this clearly is: You’re wearing Oprah instead of a designer,” Noland told The Cut.

“Sally mentioned from the onset of this collaboration that one of Oprah’s most effective qualities is that she’s a placeholder, she’s a stand-in for you with her foibles and her failures — especially with her public weight issues.

“I’m interested and sensitive to this increased access that we have to celebrities and to all of their ups and downs, for better or worse. I feel like it’s kind of my own personal exploration and exploitation of just that.”

The dress quickly caught the attention of other bloggers, and not in a good way. One writer at XOJane.com today took Noland to task for using the likeness of a black woman on the dress.

(We’ve reached out to Noland for her take on the criticism.)

“I'm not even going to touch on the ‘use-of-likeness’ laws you're violating because you should already know that as a designer,” XOJane blogger Veronica writes.

“But if it's the cult of celebrity you were so interested in, there are many other women you could have chosen to make your point. Was naked Hillary Clinton not an option? What about a de-robed Barbara Streisand? How about Photoshopping Meryl Streep's head onto a set of bare breasts ...”

Noland herself certainly knows that the dress will be a conversation-starter. And no, she doesn’t think that Oprah would place it on her Favorite Things list.

“Surely Oprah personally would not be excited about having our version of her nude body splashed on a dress for other people to wear,” Noland told The Cut, “but I think it’s an interesting conversation to have about our access and our interest in people that we don’t know.”

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