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The six-episode series includes visits to The Way We Wore by celebrities including burlesque artist Dita von Teese and actress Debi Mazar (“Entourage”). A singer-songwriter, Alexandra Starlight, preparing for a showcase performance at South by Southwest, is tickled to learn that one of glittery outfits she’s trying is by Fabrice Simon, who costumed Tina Turner.

On-screen pop-ups give viewers a bit of history about the Haitian-born Simon and other designers mentioned on the show, part of Raymond’s mission to enlighten as well as buy and sell (she scours estate sales, vintage auctions and more for potential finds).

At her insistence, “L.A. Frock Stars” is minus the trumped-up drama tailored for many reality shows. But Raymond’s drive and a sassy workplace “family” including Sarah, Shelly Lyn, Jascmeen and Kyle keep it lively.

Raymond, who discovered second-hand clothes as a teenager when her family fell on hard times, is part of a vintage mini-wave on TV that includes Bravo’s new “Dukes of Melrose,” featuring the owners of LA’s Melrose Avenue boutique Decades.

For the Smithsonian Channel, owned by a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution, Raymond and her shop were the right way to expand the channel’s attention to style, according to David Royle, its executive vice president for programming and production.

Even as “a guy not heavily into fashion,” Raymond’s enthusiasm and knowledge makes that world engaging, Royle said. “We are an entertainment channel and want to be fun and entertaining, but at the same time provide something substantial.”




Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber(at) and on Twitter (at)lynnelber.