In my post of January 30, 2014, I referred briefly to a book that has some pretty wonderful photography, “Vintage Menswear: A Collection from the Vintage Showroom“. FIT has been smart enough to purchase this book which was put together by Douglas Gunn, Roy Luckett, and Josh Sims. A friend showed it to me, and I had to share it with you, dear readers.
The Vintage Showroom, 14 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden in London, was opened by Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett. The two had collected vintage menswear for years, and by 2007 they needed a space to put it all. Their specialties are military and civilian utilitarian pieces, and classic English tailoring.
What makes this book remarkable, I think, is the way the photographer, Nic Shonfeld, lavishes such loving attention on the the worn spots and functional details of each garment. It’s the anti-glamor of utility that has made the worn nature of these garments the most sensual thing about them.
Many of the book’s images highlight such details. The authors are enamored of pockets, top-stitching, special closures, flaps, and the tears of hard usage. This book is a lovesong written to the details: special tabs to close collars, contrasting linings, darning repairs, and the softened surface of worn canvas and leather.
I decided to do some searching on the internet, and found that this company has a web site (of course they do!): http://www.thevintageshowroom.com/blog/?page_id=2874
This is awesome because the blog has a lot more opportunities for the gentleman owners to show off their quirky but wonderful collection. Like them, I am also fascinated by the details.
The bloggers have their own “Hey, check this out” list:
Gunn and Luckett frequently post images of jackets with their collars turned up, to highlight construction details. Some of the outerwear have this buckle that pulls the collar up, close around the wearer’s neck for warmth. Others have felt under-collars for shaping. (Oooh, and Cary Grant!)
Many details are highlighted and there is a secondary focus on labels from more traditional garment and accessory makers, particularly the English producers.
This well-worn Belstaff “Trailmaster” jacket was once the height of motorcycle-driving fashion. The British company that made them was famous for its performance-wear in the 1950s and ’60s. This waxed-cotton jacket was once bright green, but developed a patina as it was worn. The matching-plaid-cotton lining is carefully centered over the center-front closure.
The book has another recurring feature, called “Small is Beautiful” http://www.thevintageshowroom.com/blog/?p=8959
Apparently other people found the book lovely as well, because it won an award for its design:
FIT’s library has the second book they published, which you can find down on the 5th floor Main Stacks, GT1710 .G85 2012