George asked Pobega to design costumes for the tour, more out of necessity at first. “It’s so hard to get everybody dressed when all you want to do is tune your bass and get ready,” says George. “So I called her up, and she already had some outfits made — the dresses we wore at the Troubadour.” Pobega has amassed a large collection of vintage pieces already for her line, and spent the past three years buying in London, Paris and Milan, then repurposing the pieces, mixing them into new ones. Shirts can become dresses and dresses become skirts.
“I used to get a lot of stuff from the Rose Bowl, but it’s not like it was in the beginning anymore,” says Pobega. “The best places here now are in Burbank or at the Santa Monica Vintage Expo.”
Pobega has a strong artistic eye. Her parents are ceramicists and artists — she started working with clay herself as a teenager — and, like her husband, Biagi, she was a model who left the business to explore her more creative side. She knew she had talent.
“I’d create my own dresses and wear them to castings; designers would always say, ‘That’s amazing, where did you get that?’ ”
She took their encouragement and enrolled at a fashion school in Rome.
“But it’s not really about school,” she says. “It’s about experience. What I do is more than a passion, it’s a lifestyle.”
George is loving having Pobega onboard. “It makes it fun. The music is fun and the presentation is fun. It’s kind of like World War II, when everyone just wanted to go see movies that made them feel good rather than bad.” She pauses and adds, “Maybe we are of our time?”
Kurstin laughs, and in a mocking, documentarianlike voice, he says, “The Bird and the Bee get political.” George laughs too.
“When you’re playing music that comes from a personal place, to get dressed up might seem strange,” George says. “But for us, this is part of it. Our way of joining the pop thing. But we have a sense of humor about it. It’s a little outrageous rather than just being pop people. I guess we just really went for it with this project, but it’s just a costume. It’s not the way we are in real life.”
Kurstin sort of disagrees: “Well, I think there’s a part of us that is like that, and [the clothes] allow us to bring that side out. There’s a part of me who wants to be the guy who’s dressed up all the time.”
George concedes, nodding in agreement. “It ups the ante a little bit,” she says. “The more ridiculous it gets, the more fun it gets.”
Valerj Pobega’s KG363 designs can be found at EM & Co., 7940 W. Third St., L.A., (323) 782-8155. For more info on KG363, check Pobega and husband Mattia Biagi’s Web site, kg363.com. For the Bird and the Bee tour dates and other info, check www.myspace.com/thebirdandthebee or http://thebirdandthebee.com.