BUY-NOW-WEAR-NOW IN L.A.: Valerj Pobega is bringing the buy-now-wear-now fashion show to Los Angeles. Actually, it’s more like order now, wear a custom handpainted piece in two weeks.
Unveiling 10 looks from her fall collection at Decades on Thursday night, Pobega is displaying some of her David Bowie-inspired capes, kimonos, dresses and super wide-leg pants on mannequins in the store’s windows. Classically trained ballet dancers are wearing the rest as costumes for an avant-garde performance in front of expected guests such as Marisa Tomei, Shirley Manson, Francesco Clemente and B. Åkerlund.
Decades plans to display the designs for two weeks following the show. Once customers place their orders for the clothes, which are priced between $1,000 and $4,000, they can anticipate wearing them two weeks later. As many of her colleagues in the fashion industry are debating how to handle the disconnect between showing fashion now and forcing consumers to wait months before donning it, Pobega is essentially extending the business model of her eight-year-old company.
“I do a lot of custom orders for musicians like Lady Gaga and Madonna,” she said. “They don’t want to wait six months. They want it right away. Now the fashion is very fast with social media. In six months, someone is pretty tired of that [style] and wants something else.”
Pobega is also tapping into the zeitgeist by channeling Bowie’s glam-rock style from his Ziggy Stardust persona and then-backup band, The Spiders from Mars. By hand, she painted spiders and song lyrics on black-and-white silk and used gold as an accent. Like many designers, she’s been deeply influenced by the musician who passed away last month after a long battle with cancer.
“He’s always been my muse,” Pobega said. “This is not the first collection inspired by him.” And she can’t shake the Seventies. “I love him in any era, but that’s the one that resonates with me.”