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."