Belfast Telegraph

M.I.A. on Donatella bond

M.I.A. and Donatella Versace clicked over their defiant natures during their collaboration.

The English-Sri Lankan musician has teamed up with the fashion designer to create a Versus line for the fashion house Versace.

During the creative process M.I.A. found they had similar personalities.

"I think Donatella gets me because I'm from the school of what she likes about people. [She's a bit of a rebel] yeah," M.I.A. told Style magazine. "And it's a crazy life she's had. She told me the whole story about her brother [designer Gianni's] death the first time we sat down."

Pieces in the line include maxi dresses with bright patterns, with the menswear section featuring T-shirts printed with M.I.A. Versus Versace.

The rapper feels a connection to this range and was reminded of how her family first became involved in fashion. It was her uncle who moved her relatives out of Sri Lanka in 1983, paving the way for where she is today.

"My uncle was the first brown person to have a market stall on Petticoat Lane [in London, UK] in the 1960s," she explained.

"He worked his way up from the street. He was homeless, but eventually he got a car so he could sell from the boot, and by the 1980s he was a millionaire, wholesaling to companies like Topshop... So, in a way, fashion put me in England."

She also wanted her collaboration to reflect her mother's work as a seamstress for 30 years. M.I.A. is proud of what her parent has accomplished after moving to the UK knowing so little.

"When we came to the UK, she went for the only job in the paper that said 'No English required'. She probably made medals that were pinned on people like Mugabe before we knew what a dictator he was," she added. "She also made Michael Jackson's outfit with all the medals when he came to England, and Prince William's sash for his wedding."

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