IN THE MOVIES AND ON TV, FEW celebs ever wear the same outfit twice, leaving one to ponder that all-important question: Where do the castoffs go? One answer: Reel Clothes, a Studio City, Calif., shop specializing in such Hollywood hand-me-downs as the loungewear worn by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, Heather Locklear‘s faux-lizard booties from her recent TV movie Shattered Mind ($110) and a size-42 wool vest straight from the manly torso of Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves ($750). “It’s about stocking what’s recognizable,” says Elaine Vollmer, 59, who co-owns the shop with daughter Holly Haber, 38. “We look at the market and the box office returns. Right now, anything worn by Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise is very hot.”
Vollmer, a former secretary at CBS, and Haber, an actress who worked as a stand-in for both Ricky Schroder on Silver Spoons and TV’s Alf (a physical resemblance isn’t required), gathered their 40,000-piece inventory on consignment from studios and production companies. “It’s one less thing for the studios to worry about,” says Haber. The 15-year-old shop succeeds, says Lynn Bernay, a costume designer, because it “makes everyone feel like a star,” whether the purchase is simple ($25 stockings meant for Jennifer Aniston in a failed TV pilot) or snazzy (a $7000 TV-movie replica of Princess Di’s wedding gown, the store’s most expensive item).
Despite their success, Vollmer, who lives in Studio City with her third husband, Jimmy, a retired maître d’, and Haber, who resides in Sherman Oaks with husband Lennard Billin, a media analyst, still enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Their latest find? Several toupees worn by John Wayne in 1967’s The War Wagon. “They’ll fly out the door,” says Vollmer. Figuratively speaking, of course.