Stylesight’s editors have long been dedicated fans of The Vintage Showroom in London. This appointment only space is an incredible source for inspiration and historical reference when it comes to vintage wares, and now owners Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett have teamed up with writer Josh Sims to release Vintage Menswear: A Collection From the Vintage Showroom (Laurence King).
This 300-page book was several years in the making and it is a treasure trove – Gunn and Luckett dove into their massive archive to pick 130 of their favorite examples of 20th-century design from around the world. The book is divided into three sections: Sportswear, Military, and Workwear; each rare piece is given special attention with detail shots, historical references and personal stories. It is a perfect resource for fashion students, designers, stylists, and hardcore menswear fanatics. And the current fascination with utilitarian and military themes in men’s design makes this book all the more fitting.
Gunn and Luckett picked an excellent cross section from their collection – see inside a Burberry walking coat from the 50s, view Royal Air Force boots that could be cut down to Oxford shoes so airmen could pass unnoticed through enemy territory, or check out a 40s fisherman’s sweater that was worn forward or backward so it could be put on in a hurry.
It is quickly apparent that these vintage connoisseurs have plenty of stories to share, and that many of these items have two things in common: functionality and timelessness. Says Gunn about their military selection, “the functionality of it makes it such a strong [theme] for designers to keep referencing and going back to for concept.”
Loyal enthusiasts keep returning to The Vintage Showroom because there is always something to be gleaned from the product on display. And readers can take home a bit of that special history in this book. Check out the promotional video below for a sneak peek inside the Showroom, and find a copy of the book on their website. This first edition run was only 500 copies, so hurry up and get yours fast! – Sarah Moore