MIA at Coachella 2009

Enlighted was commissioned to create illuminated costumes for M.I.A.'s performance on the main stage at the Coachella Music Festival on April 18, 2009. We installed EL wire on a variety of pieces of clothing for lead singer Maya Arulpragasam and five backup dancers, as well as accessories for several other members of the band.

Maya's first outfit included a military-style hat, sash, epaulets, and glowing "medals", all created with EL wire. Then she changed into a more casual t-shirt and sunglasses with EL wire accents. Both outfits included EL-outlined acid wash jeans, wristbands, and shoes.

front view of shirt and hat in medium and dark ambient lighting, closer view of top

front and top views of Maya's hat, detail view of "medal" on the front

multiple views of Maya's custom lighted shoes

other shots of the military-inspired outfit, worn for "World Town" and "Bang" (with Rye Rye)

additional views of Maya's second outfit


The dancers' suits were outlined in multiple colors of EL, with an intentionally "loose" aesthetic that made them appear to be live dancing versions of a sketch.

trying the suits on for the first time

more photos from rehearsal

Sample video from rehearsal (watch here or on youtube).


our view from the side of the stage during the performance

Video from the performance (watch here or on youtube):

More photos of the dancers' outfits and accessories:

many of the outfits included sunglasses with EL wire trim (see other lighted glasses on this page)

lighted hats continued the "sketchy" aesthetic

bandana scarves with EL wire were worn on some performer's wrists

lighted scarves with EL wire, shown in dim and bright lighting

basic outlines on the shoes were decorated with EL (note that EL wire does NOT function mechanically as a shoelace - it is added in a separate panel above the real laces)

closer view of the pink and purple lighted shoes

vintage North Face jacket and t-shirt combo

pink vest with cargo pockets, t-shirt

vintage jacket with striped t-shirt

denim vest with long sleeve shirt

vintage shirt with Coca Cola logo

front and back view of pants and belt in dark and moderate lighting

front and back view of cargo pants in dark and moderate lighting

white pants with lime green EL wire


how to order

We can install EL wire on clothing using a variety of techniques that achieve the best durability possible, although please note that EL wire is relatively fragile and many designs will not be suitable for extended everyday use (especially pants or other garments that have regions that must flex repeatedly when worn).

Pricing is based on the length of wire and the type of installation; designs that cover the entire body with a high density of lighting typically cost several thousand dollars.

Please see our other pages describing the limitations of EL wire, our process for custom orders, or contact us for more information.


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