Pret-a-Reporter

You Can Rent an Oscars Gown at Armarium’s LA Pop-Up Shop

Courtesy of Owen Kolasinski

The boutique was specially curated for L.A.’s fashion set — studio wives, stylists, and everyone in between.

It's always award show season in Los Angeles, but you don't need to be an Oscars nominee to enjoy A-lister styling services. Enter Armarium, a New York-based online luxury fashion rental platform that's giving nonfamous Angelenos the star treatment at its West Hollywood pop-up shop.

Holding court on Melrose Avenue through Feb. 26, the shop is a stone's throw away from star-frequented retail stretch Melrose Place — smack-dab in prime celebrity stylist territory. Step into the 2,000-square-foot space and a member of Armarium's in-house "Style Brigade" will find a gown that fits your style and silhouette, whether it's a Marchesa masterpiece that's been spotted on Kendall Jenner or a plunging red V-neck stunner by L.A.'s own Haney seen on Suki Waterhouse.

"We dress VIPs from Adriana Lima to even Susan Sarandon, but our primary business is catering to the non-celeb," co-founder and CEO Trisha Gregory tells The Hollywood Reporter via phone, whether it's a stylist-less nominee "or someone who's socially active and on the scene in Los Angeles looking to up the ante on her wardrobe." (Read: fashion's ubiquitous megabloggers.)

The boutique was specially curated for L.A.'s fashion set — studio wives, stylists, and everyone in between — offering buzzy names like rising French designer Alexis Mabille and Brandon Maxwell (known for dressing BFF Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama and, more recently, Amy Adams) mixed with Italian fashion houses like Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo, to name a few, says Gregory.

To round out the one-stop shop, Armarium teamed with Editorialist.com to offer bags and shoes from Valentino, Gianvito Rossi, and more; fine jewelry; and cosmetics by botanical beauty brand Chantecaille, which is also offering complimentary makeovers in-store or at clients' homes.

For those without fancy awards ceremony invites, "we have pieces here that can service you for date night or a trip to Mexico," Gregory says.

Before launching the luxury rental service with fellow fashion industry vet Alexandra Lind Rose last year, Gregory served as North America public relations director at Ferragamo. There, she took note of the editorial-worthy runway wonders that didn't make the cut beyond production to the store racks.

 

A photo posted by Armarium (@worldarmarium) on

"Those are the pieces that are usually only afforded to celebrities for the red carpet or bloggers or editors," she explains, and Armarium was created to fill that void in the consumer designer rental market. The startup garnered early financial and advisory support from Carmen Busquets, a founding member of Net-A-Porter, and Dee and Tommy Hilfiger, "who really believed that Armarium is a complement to traditional retail and e-commerce," she says.

Just as on the fashion startup's website and iOS app and at its Fifth Avenue showroom in New York, clients can rent couture creations and hot-off-the-runway gowns for about 10 to 20 percent of the retail price tag — so that aforementioned Haney dress worn by Waterhouse will only cost $350 (compared to $2,500), while an off-shoulder LBD by Brandon Maxwell comes in at a cool $600 (instead of $4,000).

Pieces are loaned out for four days and there's a $50 fee for each additional day; they can be returned in person at the pop-up shop or via FedEx or courier. Armarium takes care of the dry cleaning, and other services include temporary alterations and in-home personal styling.

And following investor/designer Tommy Hilfiger's second show with Gigi Hadid on Feb. 8, Armarium will offer a handful of Tommy x Gigi pieces immediately after the web-broadcasted Venice runway event — the first time items from a see-now-buy-now show will go "from the runway into rental," says Gregory.

Though the masses will have to wait until this evening's shoppable live stream to see the full Tommy x Gigi collection, Gregory reveals that there are "definitely some avant-garde editorial pieces."

Armarium, 8550 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, armarium.com

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