Castoffs are a big business in Hollywood — the finer the duds, the higher their resale price. And if there’s a star attached, as in gently worn on screen, the price goes up further. But yesterday’s hand-me-downs are also a sure way to create a signature look, especially if each garment comes with its own backstory.
8214½ Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
What you’ll find: Pricey Edwardian era to “good ’80s” haute couture women’s clothes and accessories collected from the closets of well-heeled and well-dressed women worldwide.
Prized artifact: From classic Audrey Hepburn-style black dresses to bias-cut silk gowns suitable for Jean Harlow, to Lucille Ball’s fave designer Don Loper’s palm-print cocktail dress — vintage clothes that look modern, in sizes that will fit only the thinnest fashion icons. “We appeal to the fashion leader, not follower,” says Decades owner Cameron Silver.
Off the shelf: Silver doesn’t preserve stock for posterity. She recently sold most of Marilyn Lewis’ Cardinali collection, including super-mod ensembles worn by Marlo Thomas in “That Girl.” Quickly disappearing: collectible and wearable vintage Chanel costume jewelry pieces.
THE WAY WE WORE
334 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles
What you’ll find: Jam-packed boutique storefront offering femme accessories and clothes representing modern vintage eras, with 1960-80s period currently in vogue. Owner Doris Raymond combs auctions and employs a cadre of experienced “pickers” to find “good garments that appeal to women with a strong sense of personal style and individual panache.” Stylists, actresses and designers thumb through the racks for inspiration. Raymond once rented to costumers, but shop is now strictly retail.
Prized artifact: Acknowledging the value of star power and celeb provenance, Raymond keeps some select outfits off the rack. In her private stash: Kate Hudson’s peasant top and skirt from “Almost Famous,” a sheared swimsuit worn by Gretchen Mol in “The Notorious Bettie Page” and Jennifer Connelly’s tweed suit from her Oscar-winning perf in “A Beautiful Mind.”
Off the shelf: Raymond bought numerous purses and accessories from vet hoofer and thesp Ann Miller’s estate auction. Many were sold, but she’s put aside several pieces of museum-quality Native American turquoise jewelry previously owned by the actress.
IT’S A WRAP!
3315 W. Magnolia, Burbank
1164 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles
What you’ll find: Constantly changing inventory of film and TV leftovers: custom-made props and costumes, vintage pieces and contemporary wear. The more popular the show, the more intense the fan base: “Sex and the City” castoffs caused a near-riot, while Lucy Lawless’ “Xena” costume fetched $16,000.
Prized artifacts: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leather jacket from James Cameron’s “The Terminator” first sold here for $500. In 2005, same jacket garnered $41,000 at auction. Hot items, including a recent batch of props from TV’s “Charmed,” now go straight to the shop’s eBay site.
Off the shelf: Under Plexiglas, the store has James Cagney’s boxing shorts from 1940’s “City for Conquest,” tagged with Cagney’s name. Owner Tiara Nappi’s personal archive also holds John Travolta’s leather jacket from “Staying Alive” and Drew Barrymore’s outfit from opening murder scene in “Scream,” complete with faux blood stain and knife slash.