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Burbank's vintage row keeps Hollywood rolling in period details

A cluster of vintage clothing, collectible and antique shops on West Magnolia Boulevard is a treasure trove for set decorators, costume designers and prop masters.

December 04, 2013|By Richard Verrier

When set decorator Claudette Didul needed to decorate Sally Draper's bedroom with 1960s-era clothing for an episode of "Mad Men" last season, she knew just the place.

Didul went to Playclothes, a vintage clothing and furnishing store in Burbank, to buy an assortment of blouses, dresses, sweaters, pants and shoes to decorate the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It's like a one-stop shop," Didul said. "It's really important for us to have stores like Playclothes. Their inventory is always changing, and I know I can get things I need the next day and that they will stay open for me if I have an emergency."

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Playclothes is among a cluster of vintage clothing, collectible and antique shops along Burbank's West Magnolia Boulevard that is a treasure trove for set decorators, costume designers and prop masters for shows such as AMC's "Mad Men," Showtime's "Masters of Sex," TNT's "Mob City" and other period TV dramas and movies.

Magnolia's vintage row includes about a dozen such shops with colorful names: Bearded Lady Vintage, Hubba Hubba, Toadstool Farm Vintage, Best of Times Antiques, and Scavenger's Paradise, which sells "one-of-a-kind architectural pieces" such as wrought-iron gates, stained-glass windows and carved mantels.

The vintage shops rely heavily on retail customers but also enjoy a bustling Hollywood business, suppling clothing and other items to cable TV dramas and movies filming as far away as Louisiana, New York and Vancouver, Canada.

"It's a wonderful thing when they walk in," said Pat Taylor, owner of Hubba Hubba, which specializes in clothing, costumes and jewelry from the 1930s to the 1960s. "Ray walked in and spent nearly $10,000," she said, referring to a Universal Pictures movie about Ray Charles.

"'Mad Men' was a great customer for the first five years. "They were in here constantly," said Taylor, whose customers also include the L.A. Opera and local theater productions.

Playclothes also thrives on the entertainment business.

"Vintage is hard to find," says Playclothes owner Wanda Soileau, who launched her store in Studio City nearly three decades ago. "There's a lot more in a city like L.A. than, say, in Louisiana."

The store's merchandise frequently finds its way onto the sets of "Mad Men," "Masters of Sex," "Parenthood," the HBO drama "Boardwalk Empire," "Alcatraz" and "Glee."

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