Celebrities, big money, big personalities and some extraordinary fashion collide in two new Los Angeles-based reality shows that delve deep into the world of vintage fashion from v-e-r-y different perspectives.
Tonight, at 10:30, Bravo will debut “Dukes of Melrose" (an add-on to their already fashion- heavy Wednesday lineup, “The Rachel Zoe Project," and “It’s a Brad, Brad World") and, Thursday night at 8, “L.A. Frock Stars" bows on the Smithsonian Channel.
On Bravo, it’s all about Decades, a glam boutique located on tony Melrose Avenue owned by two business partners, renowned vintage expert Cameron Silver, and Christos Garkinos, touted as “The Robin Hood of fashion," who “consigns from the really rich and sells to the less rich."
It’s 12-episodes of true-to-form Bravo glitz. The central struggle is the conflict between the partners — Silver wants to spend big, Garkinos wants to save. An early scene depicts Silver negotiating for two stunning vintage gowns that originally cost about $55,000 each — Garkinos is apoplectic.
“Dukes" is beautifully shot, snarky, sassy and peppered with sexy little zingers.
On “L.A. Frock Stars," the real star is vintage clothing guru Doris Raymond. Raymond takes a librarian’s approach — albeit a passionate one — to vintage at her La Brea Avenue store, The Way We Wore. If the boys at Decades are brazen — and they are — Raymond, supported by a quirky young staff, is refined, charming and somewhat professorial. What the show lacks in Bravo’s pizzazz and production values is made up by Raymond’s knowledge about and obsession with all things vintage, and glimpses of her estimated $20 million vintage collection.