L.A.’s Decades does reality TV with ‘Dukes of Melrose’ on March 6


Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos, owners of the upscale vintage boutique Decades on Melrose Avenue, are set to make their reality television debut March 6 with “Dukes of Melrose,” Bravo TV announced Thursday.

The debut season of the long-gestating show (we first told you about it back in 2011), which focuses on the duo’s business of buying and selling of high-end vintage women’s apparel and accessories and covers locales from Hollywood walk-in closets to the auctions of Paris, was shot over the first five months of 2012 during the boutique’s busy run up to the 2012 Academy Awards.

We had a chance to ask some silly (and a few not so silly) questions of half the “Dukes” duo shortly after Thursday’s announcement (Silver is currently at the Paris haute couture shows).


All The Rage: Traditionally a person with the title of “duke” presides over a duchy – so what’s your duchy?

Christos Garkinos: I’ve been tweeting that I may be a duke of Melrose but I only go from Crescent Heights to Robertson [Blvd.].

ATR: In a fashion walk-off against “Downton Abbey’s” Earl of Grantham, who would win?

CG: Are you kidding? I would – he’d be destroyed.

ATR: Comparing the “Dukes of Melrose” to “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which one of you would be Bo Duke and which would be Luke Duke?

CG: I look really good in short shorts so I’d have to be Daisy Duke for sure.

ATR: You and Cameron have been in business together for, well, decades. How did you meet?

CG: We were actually set up on a blind date in 1997 – it didn’t go so well. He showed up in a fur and we had Korean barbecue. I was like: ‘We should just be friends,’ but we still ended up becoming business partners in 1999.

ATR: What do you think will be the biggest impact of the reality TV show on your business?

CG: We’re really well-known in L.A. and New York but I think this will really open us up to other markets that haven’t heard of Decades before – both in terms of finding clothes and selling … and I’m sure when spring break happens, there will be a lot of people coming in [the store] from Michigan – where I’m from.

ATR: Was there anything that surprised you over the course of making the show?

CG: It surprised me that there was a lot of work – more than I thought – especially when you’re trying to run a business and do this at the same time. I think I worked for 82 straight days without a day off, coming in on Sundays to catch up on things. I think I lost like 25 pounds -- which is great -- I call it the reality show diet.


ATR: What can the viewers expect to see?

CG: Besides the final, last-ever appearance of Phyllis Diller? They should expect some serious fashion porn. We’ve got a vintage Schiaparelli dress that Cameron bought 15 years ago, there’s some vintage Givenchy, vintage Mugler. One of the great things is you’ll learn a lot from the show – Cameron knows so much you’ll definitely learn something too – and laugh at the same time.

ATR: Given the business you’re in, you guys have got to have some seriously chic “Dukes of Melrose” T-shirts all ready to sell at the Bravo gift shop, right?

CG: That’s actually a good question. It can’t just be a cut-off T-shirt. I think we need to have something that’s Swarovski [crystal] encrusted, right? Maybe make it a collaboration with Hedi [Slimane] or someone like that. It would need to be something that interesting.

“Dukes of Melrose,” which debuts Wednesday, March 6, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, will air following a pair of returning L.A.-centric fashion-flavored reality shows, “The Rachel Zoe Project” and “It’s a Brad, Brad World.”

Although the channel is calling its new programming block “Fashion Night by Bravo,” we think they’ve missed a catchy branding opportunity.

“Must Wear Wednesday” anyone?



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