MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL

  • Sep 11th, 2017

If you’re not already familiar with Sam Knee’s other books, such as “The Scene In Between” or “The Bag I’m In”, you should really check his latest offering out.

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LONG LIVE THE TED’S

  • Sep 8th, 2017

In the early 1950’s an Edwardian look was being revived by young men, wearing long lean high buttoned jackets and adopting a tapered trouser. The so-called Teddy Boys was one of the first teenage subcultures, influenced by US rock’n’roll and Edwardian men’s fashion.

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NEW YORK DENIM DAYS

  • Aug 31st, 2017

On September 30th – October 1st New York will host the first annual New York Denim Days Festival at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, and we will be there!

As long term friends of the Kingpins Shows and the Amsterdam Denim Days event, we were extremely excited with the jump across the pond to New York!

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THE THREE AMIGOS

  • Aug 22nd, 2017

What we have here is not your your usual Steak & Kidney Pie, this thing oozes Latin flavour.

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JAQUARD

  • Aug 16th, 2017

With the recent nip in the air, here are a few Jacquard knits to cater for the summer chill.

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RAF

  • Jul 19th, 2017

We were lucky enough to be offered this fascinating RAF grouping recently by a family member of the original owner, and we felt that we should share.

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NEED A SHINE?

  • Jun 29th, 2017

Need a shine? Come to our Earlham Street Store in Covent Garden tomorrow Friday for a masterclass in shoe shining by world champion Yuya Hasegawa. He will be shining shoes in our store for £10 per pair. See you there!

Update:

And here are some pictures of the Brift H. trunk show in our Earlham Street store from last Friday. A big thank you to the Brift H team, hopefully we can do this again!

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H. HUNTSMAN & SONS

  • Jun 21st, 2017

With London sat at 30 degrees, Wimbledon just days away and Henley Royal Regatta around the corner, (and undoubtable inspired by messers Daniel Kearn’s and David Beckham’s recent Kent&Curwen collection), we thought we would share some recent finds:

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ONE NEVER KNOWS

  • Jun 8th, 2017

I have always seen the Pearly Kings and Queens as one of those beautiful London eccentricities. However, it should not be forgotten that they represent over a hundred years of collecting for those in need, and for helping with charitable causes.

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5374 – A DENIM ARCHIVE

  • May 23rd, 2017

Our latest book is a collaboration with Orta Anadolu. Over the last 6 years we have worked together on a number of projects with them and at the same time have helped to establish and develop their fantastic denim archive in Istanbul.  Read the rest of this entry »

WAX/ WAX CAMO/ CAMO

  • May 9th, 2017

This is the sequence from left to right and somewhere along the chain a little alchemy happens in the form of the wax DPM camo NATO Barbour jacket.

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KINGPINS: AMSTERDAM

  • Apr 14th, 2017

The truck is loaded and we are super excited to be joining our friends at Kingpins for this weeks Amsterdam show!

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DIVING SUIT

  • Apr 4th, 2017

The painting above first triggered an interest in The Royal Navy’s open submersibles. Painted by George Horace Davis (1881-1963), these two charioteers in an open submersible or ‘Human Torepedo’ inspired a new search for these extremely hard to find suits. Our fascination with all thing submersible which saw years of hunting down elusive “Ursula Suits” and other related clothing used by submariners found a new direction in our quest for these fascinating suits.

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MR FISH

  • Mar 28th, 2017

Michael Fish, the man behind the brand Mr Fish, set a new standard for men’s tailoring in the 1960’s. His designs were colorful, controversial and were as much referencing to historical tailoring as they were forward thinking. It quickly established a cult following consisting of the rock and pop aristocracy of London.

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COCKTAIL RINGS

  • Mar 20th, 2017

Men’s ‘Cocktail rings’ are typical of the 1960s/70’s and classically feature a stone such as a Cornelian, Onyx or a Tigers eye.

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RECOMMENDED READING: SPAIN 1969

  • Mar 10th, 2017

“In the spring of 1969 on the outskirts of Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol in Spain, a young photographer, Paul Carter, came across a small blue van. It was home to the Whitfield family who were passing through on their journey around Europe. Over a few days he took photos of the family, the local people living and working around  them, the tourists and the new high rise apartments.”
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HUNG ON YOU

  • Feb 15th, 2017

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Hung On You was one of the go-to places for the rich and fashionable youth in London in the 1960’s.

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IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR CHARLIE SHEEN

  • Feb 3rd, 2017

Don’t know what you lot are thinking of, but we’re talking of course about his black leather La Rocka ‘pirate’ jacket worn by Mr Sheen in the seminal 1986 John Hughes high school truancy flick ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’.

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RETURN OF THE HALF-BELT

  • Jan 23rd, 2017

A neat row of half-belt back jackets, definitely due a revival, as archaic menswear details go.

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EXHIBITION: ISETAN

  • Nov 16th, 2016

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We started 2016 with a research trip to Japan which really blew us away! It was therefore a great honour to be asked to loan pieces from our Archive for a special Isetan event this month in their amazing Tokyo store.

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FUTURE HUNTER GATHERER PT 2

  • Oct 19th, 2016

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We have been working with Orta Anadolu on various projects over the last six years, and this tale of Intergalactic space tribes and denim clad nomads has been our favourite so far. Usually our projects for Orta have had more of a heritage, historic feel about them, so it has been fun to place our latest collection into Outer Space. In design terms if you are either the Flintstones or the Jetsons then usually we are firmly planted in Bedrock, but for this concept we are the Jetsons!

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WORN 2

  • Sep 16th, 2016

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You can now pre-order Worn 2 in our online store.  Read the rest of this entry »

BEEP BEEP YOUR ASS SNOOPY…

  • Sep 13th, 2016

VICTORIAN ORNATE WATCH FOB

  • Sep 6th, 2016

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This is a great example of a Victorian ornate watch fob. Traditionally these decorative pieces would hang from the short section at the centre of an Albert chain.

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BERET GENO

  • Aug 31st, 2016

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A French beret with Kevin Rowlands face embroidered inside. Too good to be true? It does exist, believe.

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MOSQUITO BOOTS

  • Aug 23rd, 2016

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Also known as Boots, ‘Mosquito’, Tropical, but more commonly referred to as just Mosquito boots, not in reference to the Mosquito plane of 633 Squadron fame, but the pesky little critters responsible for spreading the Zika virus.

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SILVER INGOTS

  • Aug 17th, 2016

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Solid silver ingots were produced to commentate historical events such as jubeliee years as well as more personal dates and occasions.

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WINDAK TAYLORSUIT

  • Aug 2nd, 2016

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Definitely one of the most photogenic of our recent finds, the Windak Taylor suit continues our obsession with aviation clothing.

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PINK CAMO

  • Jun 29th, 2016

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Still somewhat of an enigma, in terms of how useful can pink camouflage be in wartime, is this WWII British Army gas cape. Designed to be worn over the uniform and webbing in the event of a gas attack, it features a shaped backpack ‘hump’ for want of a better word.

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CALIGRAPHY

  • Jun 12th, 2016

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Nicely hand painted personalised bag belonging to : N. Liebert, 22 Acacia Avenue, Hayes, Middx.

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MOD

  • Jun 8th, 2016

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Nice early 60s English, cape buck suede, Modernist slip on shoes. Something ‘the Dean’ or even a young George Skeggs would’ve been happy to be seen sporting on the corner of Frith St and Old Compton St.

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LIFE SAVING WAISTCOAT

  • May 31st, 2016

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James Watson Gieve took over the already flourishing Portsmouth based tailoring business in 1888 following the death of his father James Gieve. Over the next ten years the company became the primary supplier to Royal Navy officers of uniforms and accoutrements. One of the most interesting items we have come across in a while is this seemingly simple at first glance Royal Navy officers waistcoat. However J.W. Gieve infact first patented the design for this innovative invention in 1915. May we present “The Life Saving Waistcoat”.

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SWEETHEART BRACELET

  • May 25th, 2016

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This is a WW2 US Air Force sweetheart bracelet. Made from a solid silver 3″ US navigation badge and a stamped link Albert chain this piece is a great example of the kind of customised military jewellery surrounding the conflict.

 

Words James Tanner

SOMEWHERE IN TIME

  • May 18th, 2016

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Take a stroll in the clouds in the First Class luxury that was air travel in the 1960s with this BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) in-flight travel bag, complete with the original menus and holiday guide to Hong Kong.

Step into Wicker’s World, a world of glamorous stewardesses, Martini’s and duty free cigarettes, back to the nicotine stained golden age of Trans-Continental flying from London to Hong Kong, via Tehran.

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MARCELLO!

  • May 5th, 2016

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This Aeronautica Militaire flight jacket displays all the pomp, flair and panache you would come to expect from an Italian Air Force pilot.

With it’s heavy Prada spec nylon body, a removable blue grey bomber jacket liner with real fur mouton collar and B-15 styling, Riri paper clip zips throughout, could this be more fashion?

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FUTURE HUNTER GATHERER

  • Apr 24th, 2016

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Future-hunter-gatherers, these deconstructed denim-clad nomads and intergalactic tribes are from our latest capsule collection for Orta which will be shown in full at the Barcelona Denim Premiervision show on the 18th-19th of May.

The collection was designed by Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett, taking reference from the extensive archive at The Vintage Showroom. Rare utilitarian and military garments were reinterpreted using Orta fabrics in Istanbul. The garments were then washed and treated at Everest Textile Technologies in Italy.

Photo shoot starring: Assa, Eloise, Adam and Noah (NII agency)
Photographer – Nic Shonfeld, assistant – Lovisa Ranta, stylist – Harris Elliot, styling assistant – Mimi Fresh, hair – Johnny Russell, MUA – Riona O’Sullivan, Headreses – Polly Playford, Creative Direction – The Vintage Showroom.

With special thanks to Alberto Solito and all the team from Everest for all their help and support in realising our ideas in their beautiful treatments and washes for the collection.

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AMSTERDAM DENIM DAYS

  • Apr 21st, 2016

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Amsterdam Denim Days were busy last week with Kingpins and Blueprint both pumping with an increase in traffic over previous seasons. The show is gaining momentum and expanding as a B2b hub for seminars and industry insights. This season we had stands at both Kingpins and Blueprint events, plus our one and only Mr Gunn did a talk about how the Vintage Showroom book “changed humanity”, nonetheless.

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KWISATZ HADERACH

  • Apr 15th, 2016

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One of the pieces from our last book which we found fascinating was this (relatively contemporary compared to much of our collection) divers shirt. We felt it channeled the stillsuits worn by Frank Herberts fictional Fremen from his epic Dune novels. Worn below by Kyle MacLachlan playing Paul Atreides in David Lynch’s much derided film Dune.

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BLUEPRINT AMSTERDAM

  • Apr 15th, 2016


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If you are in Amsterdam today and tomorrow come and see us at Blueprint show part of this years amazing Denim Days!

 

SMITHS EVEREST

  • Apr 10th, 2016

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It is most unlikely that the British Mount Everest Expedition members of 1953 gave much thought to the impact that their choice of watch would (still) have over 60 years later. That vintage Rolex Explorers regularly appear on the must-have lists for the Modern Man and the fact that Smiths closed down in 1980 pretty much tells the story of the two watch manufacturers most closely linked to the Expedition.

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KINGPINS SHOW / AMSTERDAM

  • Nov 2nd, 2015

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Just back from an amazing week in Amsterdam at the ever Impressive Kingpins show in Westergasfabriek. As we get to just 24 hours from the Kingpins New York show doors opening, we wanted to share looks from our Amsterdam offering. As always an amazing show and one not to be missed by any in the denim industry. Read the rest of this entry »

DEAR JOHNNY-LETTERS HOME FROM SWEDEN 1977

  • Sep 8th, 2015

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Credit where credit is due, it’s down to the beady eyes of Dave Carroll from La Rocka, who spotted the striking similarity of this mid-century American tux with one worn by John Lydon on the Sex Pistols 1977 Swedish tour. Both jackets are cut from a yellow silk damask fabric with black silk revers, and turn back cuffs. Lydon’s undoubtedly an original 50s one also, has been modified by being crudely cropped in half, turning it into an almost razored bolero.

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WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN

  • May 28th, 2015

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Interesting bespoke traveling suit, previously owned by DR. Henry Reginald Hall a well known early 20th century English Egyptologist and Historian.

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WORN

  • Apr 2nd, 2015

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Welcome to Worn our new collaboration with trend forecasters and denim gurus Sue Barrett and Katy Rutherford. Exploring global street style-trends and the vintage garments that inspire them.

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A SCENE IN BETWEEN – KURSAAL SHOES

  • Mar 15th, 2015

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A book charting the intricacies of 1980s Indie fashions and a German word with roots in Southend-on-Sea, sounds strange, intriguing, even obscure, but there is a connection. The book, A Scene In Between by Sam Knee, sheds light on the often overlooked scene in-between scenes, that bridged the gap between post-Punk and the acid house of the late 80s, and whose style reverberations are still felt today, and constantly referenced by the style cognoscenti.

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DENIM DUDES DROPS

  • Feb 6th, 2015

Denim Dudes_3D‘DENIM DUDES – Street Style. Vintage. Workwear. Obsession’ by Amy Leverton unzips the global obsession with denim through the eyes of the men that shape, style, sell and design it. It is a bold statement to say that “denim is the most important fabric of the twenty-first century” but one that surely must resonate with a world in which half of its population, at any one time, is wearing a pair of jeans.

Denim Dudes leaves no sartorial stone unturned in the quest to hunt down the perfect pair of jeans and discover the most desirable denim, asking what exactly makes this once working-men’s fabric just so appealing?

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EMPEROR OF WYOMING

  • Jan 20th, 2015

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20.01.2015

It was a privilege and honour to have known Billy Murphy who kick started me off, as like many others, into a vintage existence that is still going strong today. An innovator and forward-thinker that put American vintage clothing on the map in Britain. A more charismatic man you will never meet; it was a pleasure to know and spend time with him.

Rest in peace Billy.

Words from the heart, Roy Luckett.
(co-founder The Vintage Showroom)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Murphy by Sean Moorman. Courtesy of Paul Gorman 

  • Dec 24th, 2014

Peace and love from all of us to all of you!
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H A P P Y    C H R I S T M A S!!

 

PARKA

  • Dec 22nd, 2014

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Though the preferred cold weather option for RAF ground crew since the 1950’s which often sees them described as such, these parkas were originally intended for pilots rather than those on the ground in vital maintenance roles. The 22C prefix on the labels was used by the Air Ministry from the 1920’s to 1960’s under the general heading of “Clothing and Accoutrements”. Though some codes cross over, generally speaking the 22C prefix referred specifically to RAF flying clothing.

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‘AROLD’S CHRISTMAS ‘ARRIS.

  • Dec 15th, 2014

HANDS ACROSS THE SEA ­ – AT LAST

  • Nov 17th, 2014

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We are very pleased to announce we are now stocking Japanese brand Timeworn Clothing. Established in 2010 by Kei Hemmi, Timeworn encompasses several labels under the same umbrella. At Last & Co. represents the classic workwear pieces and denim, whilst Butcher products covers military and sportswear inspired pieces.

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‘POSTURE FOUNDATION’ – P.F. FLYERS by B.F. GOODRICH, 1956.

  • Oct 27th, 2014

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PF Flyers gained popularity in the 1930s and early 1940s and whilst ‘Center Hi’s’ (pictured) never quite making out of the Converse shadow, the ‘P.F.’ (Posture Foundation) patented insole technology set new benchmarks in sneaker comfort.  The insole technology was first used in BF Goodrich shoes. It involves a wedge-like insert (promoted as the “magic wedge”) that moves weight to the outside of the foot, evenly distributing weight, reducing leg strain. As the success of the sneakers with the Posture Foundation insole technology grew in 1937 it became the basis for the brand name, “PF Flyers.”  Sport styles by PF were very popular in the 1950s, renowned for helping you “run faster and jump higher” courtesy of the “action wedge.” This ability would be a result of the improved fit of the foundation, but similar foundations were finding their way into competing brands, countering the PF advantage.

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WOVEN TIES

  • Oct 27th, 2014

FRINGE BENEFITS / EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’.

  • Oct 1st, 2014

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It would seem that there as been a lot of channeling of inner Midnight Cowboy’s of late, but as these original b&w stills from the 1969 John Schlesinger directed classic show, Jon Voight takes some beating for rocking the look. Script written by Waldo Salt from the original novel of the same name stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, and if you haven’t seen for a while it is strongly recommended for another look. The film won three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and is often in the shortlist of greatest American movie. Worth watching again for the soundtrack alone, (especially the Jean Toots Thielemans harmonica intro on the John Barry title track), and the late night 1960’s street shots of NYC.

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Texan Joe and Ratso we salute you and the soundtrack is playing outing the showroom for the rest of the day on repeat!

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CUSTOM CARDI’S ARE STRANGE, WHEN YOU’RE A ‘STRANGER’.

  • Sep 29th, 2014

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Albion Kinitting Mills Wool produced these over-length custom letterman cardigans throughout the 1940s/50s and 60s. For personalization, one could have their surname chain stitch embroidered onto a neck label add-on, and full name applied to colour contrasted inner pockets. Ball trinkets an optional extra. Knee-length and extra heavy, these make for great autumn cheerleading outerwear!

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VINTAGE JP’s

  • Sep 11th, 2014

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Vintage military athletic, or PT shoes are virtually impossible to find. These are a particularly nice US Navy example, and date from the 1940s. The model is virtually the same as the classic Jack Purcell badminton shoe, but with a black rubber sole and trim.

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1937 BIG TOE.

  • Aug 28th, 2014

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Acquired from an old Kent cobblers (est 1908 and now sadly closed down), these bespoke ‘big toes’ where made for a customer of whom never returned to collect. If you’re out there, get in touch!

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MR HOBBS OF END STREET

  • Aug 8th, 2014

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This charming illustrated childrens book from 1979 by Virginia Parsons is a thinly veiled commentary on the development of the Covent Garden market, and Seven Dials area of London by big greedy property developers in the 1970s.

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For ‘End Street’ you should really read Earlham St., and the hero of the book Mr Hobbs is the proprietor of a hardware shop which is none other than the former F.W. Collins, now The Vintage Showroom, at 14 Earlham Street. Even Mr Hobbs’ unique invention of elastic glue, which he uses to foil the wicked developers, is borrowed from F. W. Collins the original hardware shop owners.

This modern day parable is a halcyon view of days gone by and the innocence of childhood, made all the more pleasant because it was a gift from the Collins family. Thank you!

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LEWIS

  • Aug 7th, 2014

06.08.2013

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GO GREEK IN ’66

  • Jul 25th, 2014

FOUND (VIETNAM)

  • Jul 14th, 2014

14.07.2014

Found photographs always make for fascinating viewing in a socio-political fashion context, these piqued our interest because some date to a pre-Vietnam war Indochina of the 1950s. Beautiful people, great styles. Think Scent Of The Green Papaya and Graham Greene’s The Quiet American and you get the picture…

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LIBERTY & CO

  • Jul 1st, 2014

01.06.2014

Not the world famous Tudor-clad retailer famous for it’s paisley prints and Arts and Crafts pedigree, but another kind of liberty. The naval souvenir kind, like this dragon embroidered souvenir jacket from the late 1940s.

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DULUTH PACK – PATENTED BY C.POIRIER (1882)

  • Jun 25th, 2014

25.06.2014

This beautiful piece of camping/hiking/outdoorsman history was first patented in 1882 by C.Poirier. In context, the Duluth “Poirier Pack Sack” can be seen as the Great-Great-Granddaddy of modern day backpacks…

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Camille Poirier a French Canadian, first moved to Duluth Minnesota in 1870. A location that should be familiar to all Fargo fans. Initially setting up a small leather workshop making straps, shoes and boots. In 1911 Camille Poirier sold off his company to the Duluth Tent & Awning Co., after which time the bags were called Duluth Packs.

The Duluth pack was designed in order to carry maximum capacity. According to the original patent filed by Poirier – patent no 268,932, he “invented a new and improved Pack-Strap for holding and packing articles of clothing, provisions, and other articles which are to be carried in a package on the back. The invention consists in a bag formed with a flap and provided with shoulder straps and head-strap for supporting and carrying the bag on the back.”

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The invention of the “tumpline” strap, a strap that attached at both ends to a backpack which wrapped around the wearers forehead (see illustration), greatly reduced the weight to the wearers back. Unfortunately not found with this pack.

Monsieur Camille Poirier we salute you c’est formidable!

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TVS for ORTA ANADOLU (ARCTIC WHITES/REBEL BLUES)

  • Jun 11th, 2014

11.06.2014

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This year we collaborated on two projects with our good friends at Orta; Rebel Blues and Arctic Whites, which were showcased at Denim by PV in Barcelona last month to an amazing reaction!

From the initial concept meetings with Orta we wanted to showcase some of the huge range of fabrics that they offer their customers by developing two separate collections.

Rebel Blues showcased some of the heritage fabrics in Orta’s collection with their roots in the 1950’s and its sense of rebellion epitomised by James Dean, Brando, Kerouac et al. Part Beat Generation part Wild One mixed of course with a London flavour and a cafe racer/ace cafe feel.

Arctic Whites was a 1920’s inspired collection based on the first women to take to the skies. Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart and Jacqueline Cochran to name but a few, and the Ice woman herself Louise Arner Boyd whose love of the Arctic inspired the name for the collection. Recreating a wardrobe suitable for these queens of the skies was amazing, playing with early flying jackets and sporting pieces from our archive.

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Vintage pieces were selected from our collection and lovingly reinterpreted by Orta at their Istanbul atelier. Once finished we had the pleasure of working with Claudio Toson who developed and recreated the amazing washes seen across both collections at northern Italy’s Castelfranco Veneto laundry Everest.

The final and most enjoyable stage was shooting the images for both collections in London with an amazing team. Nic Shonfeld photographed Charlotte de Carle (Profile Models) who was the perfect pilot for Arctic Whites and Zoe Basia Brown (Profile Models) and James Alexander Adair (AMCK Models) were our fasntastic couple for Rebel Blues.

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CHALK WHITE

  • Jun 9th, 2014

09.06.2014

IMG_5647_low_resOff white, not stark or bright, not ivory or buttermilk, just off white, not milk nor cream, the best way to describe it is Chalk White. The pristine colour of those brittle sticks of schooldays that came in card packets reminiscent of cigarette packs. The colour also implies a certain dustiness that chalk gives off, a soft washed texture, pale and powdery. As part of a Summer palette don’t forget to include chalk white, much as Lucien Freud’s colour of choice for painting flesh was Cremnitz White, Chalk White is the perfect accompaniment to washed out blues and dusty yellows.

Words Simon/photo Nic

“THE BLUES AIN’T NOTHING BUT A PAIR OF PANTS”

  • Jun 9th, 2014

24.04.2014

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So Dylan said apparently, so here are some blue (muted in this set) pants, jeans, overalls, bleu de travail etc etc. The de rigeur colour of choice for workwear all around the globe.

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SHIRTS, WOMANS, LICHEN GREEN

  • Apr 29th, 2014

29.04.2014

1951 dated Sealed Pattern woman’s P.T. top in the imaginatively named lichen green ‘aertex’ breathable cotton fabric. Let’s face it even Farrow & Ball would have a hard time trying to re-name this particular shade of green. All is as should be, the sample is replete with Standard Pattern tags, specification label, stores refs., wax seal etc.

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THE VINTAGE HABERDASHER

  • Apr 20th, 2014

20.04.2014

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Not content with a glut of ex MOD Royal Navy belt buckles, we have also obtained a quantity of surplus British Army brace buttons, and ringbacked change buttons for work jackets and overalls, of varying sizes and colours. These can be purchased from the Covent Garden shop.

WHITE LINE FEVER

  • Apr 17th, 2014

17.04.2014

British Army denim ‘overall’ or battledress trousers from the 1950s. All deadstock, and even better all in the distinctive green denim with white selvedge seams.

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CANARY YELLOW

  • Apr 15th, 2014

15.04.2014

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The only way to describe it is a paler, subtler, more soft on the eye yellow. Such is the colour of this Rockall ‘souwester’ and matching hat, and is only enhanced by the honey coloured corduroy collar and slightly golden transparency of the rubber moulded stud buttons. One of several pieces from this little known English nautical brand that produces fishing, sailing attire, and that continue to inspire us with their simplicity of design and functionality.

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JEAN CLAUDE VANNIER / YVES SAINT LAURENT

  • Apr 4th, 2014

07.04.2014

To coincide with the release of the new Yves Saint Laurent bio-pic, we thought we’d give an illustration of just one of many of Saint Laurent’s creative collaborations. In 1971 Jean-Claude Vannier made an instrumental album to accompany the Autumn/Winter collection of Yves Saint Laurent. Vannier was also a close collaborator of Serge Gainsbourg, he composed Melody Nelson, and he composed several soundtracks for director Philippe Garrel. But we will talk about that later! Here we take at a look at this extract from Roland Petit’s show where a special live version of L’Enfant, La Mouche Et Les Allumettes accompanies YSL’s creations. Stunning, non?

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EIGHT PIECES OF EIGHT

  • Mar 20th, 2014

20.03.2014
Here are some new jewellery pieces we are currently holding at the showroom, a strange brew of Mexican, Navajo and WWII. Please email for more details – info@thevintageshowroom.com

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SILVER FACTORY

  • Mar 14th, 2014

14.03.2014

Industrial factory glitter glamour baroque pop underground Andy Edie Gerard silver balloons Campbell’s soup Elvis space-age safety protective plastic people crackle tin foil Velvet fire proof fabric. All in one amazing piece is such a thing possible?

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THE LOOK

  • Mar 7th, 2014

07.03.2014

Jeremy Brett, quintessentially.

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  • Mar 6th, 2014

06.03.2014

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BIBENDUM Vs STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN

  • Feb 28th, 2014

28.02.2014

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A cross between the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (RIP Harold Ramis) and Michelin’s Bibendum, the much scarier of the two to those familiar with William Gibson’s pattern recognition. These are in fact Air Ministry survival suits for British pilots, and are kapok filled for both warmth and buoyancy.

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ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY BELT

  • Feb 28th, 2014

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MASLAND REVISITED

  • Feb 13th, 2014

13.02.2014

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As a follow on to our piece about American carpet manufacturer turned hunting apparel makers C. H. Masland of Pennsylvania, we’d like to share some recent additions. Unlike other outdoor clothing companies, Masland came to it relatively late, and almost by accident. They had a wartime contract for canvases, clothing and tent awnings, but their main business had always been carpet manufacturing.

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It is perhaps this difference that makes their hunting clothes so unique, and so unlike the typical brands of the era. You can almost see in the garments that they were testing and creating new design features, zipped pockets, press stud fastenings, suede and leather patches, quite often using up their surplus stock of military grade zips and hardware. Unfortunately their foray into the world of outdoor clothing was short-lived, and production soon turned back to carpets, perhaps due to the bigger competition of such greats as Sears & Roebucks, L L Bean, Penneys etc, or perhaps as a result of some of those off the wall design details! Read the rest of this entry »

THE LOOK

  • Jan 28th, 2014

10.02.2014

Part sailor, part fisherman, part debonair film star, all Dirk Bogarde.

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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL #3

  • Jan 23rd, 2014

21.01.2014

Collection of hunting buttons ‘up close’ and personal depicting foxes, boars heads, deer, horses et al

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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL : TWEED MOONSCAPES

  • Jan 16th, 2014

18.01.2014

Again exploiting the microscopic detail that is revealed by a macro lens, tweed cloth starts to look like the surface of the moon. Tiny flecks of colour are revealed that make up the bigger palette, almost like a Sigmar Polke spot painting in miniature.

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SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL #1

  • Jan 16th, 2014

16.01.2014

Small is beautiful, but it’s also a good excuse to try out our new macro lens, hoping to pick up the minutiae of detail otherwise lost to the human eye. First up is a collection of crowns, all bullion hand embroidered in wire thread and velvet, on military broadcloth backings. These all happen to be Queen’s crowns, not the more angular King’s crown found for instance on the Air Ministry stamps of WWII when King George VI was on the throne.

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The fineness of stitch and complexity of the design can only be fully appreciated ‘up close’ and makes you realise the skill involved, especially when considering they were hand-sewn probably in a dark basement somewhere just off Savile Row.

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THE ‘BEACH BOYS’ – 1st BEACH BATTALION

  • Dec 27th, 2013

27.12.2013

This US Navy Mackinaw coat has ‘1st Beach Battalion’ stencil stamped on it’s lining – The Beach Battalions being the crack-units which stormed the beaches first, and then controlled the traffic of their ‘pop-up ports’ making it possible for the allies to advance inland – most notably on the beaches of Southern France in 1944. Oddly, there is virtually no official documentation recording the activity and accomplishments of the WWII Beach Battalions. A website, created and maintained by a few surviving members of the battalion, aims at it’s least, to make sure a semi-documented account of activities and achievements reserves it’s place in history. – www.1stbeachbattalion.org

“…but the landings were made and the beachheads established because the men of the “Immortal First” refused to accept temporary setbacks or defeat. When the first wave roared ashore and the boat ramps dropped our battalion was there. And got the job done. Not always according to the book. But done and done well.”

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The following text is taken from ‘THE BEACH BOYS – A Narrative History of The First Naval Beach Battalion – Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet WWII’ by W.D. Vey and O.J. Elliot (2001). (click here for pdf version of the book).

‘Beach Battalions were a product of World War II. After Dunkirk, Crete and Corregidor, when it was determined that territory lost to the enemy could be regained only by storming the coasts of Europe and Africa, and the island beaches of the Pacific, concepts of modern warfare changed dramatically. High level planners concluded that they could put assault troops ashore from ships and planes, and that, landed in sufficient force, the infantry could fight its way inland. To stay there however, the infantry had to be supplied with food, weapons, clothing, ammunition, artillery, and tank support. Someone had to control the gigantic flow of material across the beaches while and after they had been assaulted, and to that end the concept of Naval Beach Battalions was born. Shore Parties were nothing new to the Navy. They had been around for years. Most were composed of members of the ship’s company, picked to go ashore to put down revolts, fight fires, give aid in time of disaster, etc., but, during a conflict such as the sea-to-land assaults of World War I, ship’s captains simply could not spare men from the crew for such duties. Accordingly, separate organizations, skilled in jobs related to amphibious warfare, were needed. And so, the Naval Beach Battalions were conceived…’

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‘Headed by a Beachmaster and his Assistant, each platoon of a Beach Battalion was assigned signalmen, radiomen, medical personnel, hydrographic specialists, and boat repair experts. In a typical beach assault, the personnel of the beach battalion went ashore in one or more of the first three or four assault waves, scattering their equipment over the beach so that a single bomb or artillery shell would not destroy all of it. Digging their own slit trenches and foxholes on the beach, the men prepared as best they could for possible enemy counterattack while still setting up the beach as a simulated port for the onslaught of supplies, equipment and men soon to be landed in support of the initial assault troops already headed inland to their assigned objectives.’

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  • Dec 25th, 2013

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MERRY CHRISTMAS 1954

  • Dec 19th, 2013

19.12.2013

Trying to get our heads round the craze for ugly Christmas jumpers, the best we could come up with are these more tasteful 1950s designs, featuring classic Nordic and festive motifs, such as snowflakes, reindeer and pine trees. If one must wear a Christmas jumper to the office party PLEASE make it a good one!

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TIMELY GIFTS…

  • Dec 16th, 2013

16.11.2013

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H.G. THE DUKE OF BEANFORT

  • Dec 11th, 2013

11.12.2013

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A new addition to our growing collection of Peal and Co footwear, this amazing pair of early 20th riding boots have taken pride of place. The Peal family had been shoemakers for 8 generations before sadly closing the family business in 1965. The trading name was picked up by Brooks Brothers who still produce a classic English line under that  name. Beautifully made riding boots.

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SIEBE GORMAN & Co SUBMARINE ENGINEERS

  • Dec 11th, 2013

06.12.2013

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In 1837 Augustus Siebe, German born but living in England, developed a Diving Helmet which sealed airtight to a rubber suit. The closed suit connected to an air pump on the surface and thus became the first effective standard diving wear of its time. Rewarding Siebe with the moniker “father of deep sea diving”.

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Founded by Augustus Siebe and his son in law Gorman, Siebe Gorman and Co. were a British company that developed diving and breathing equipment designed for commercial diving and marine salvage projects. The Augustus Siebe helmet gained a reputation for safety during its use on the wreck of the Royal George in 1840. The combination of safety and design features became the standard for helmet construction throughout the world, some of which were incorporated into the design of modern-day space suits.

Slightly obsessed with these first generation of deep sea divers – in our minds every bit as courageous as those later men and women that would take on the challenge of Space Travel. It was with great pleasure that a recent buying trip to France uncovered this fine collection of diving wear. Dealing with the bends, poor visibility, restricted movement and the fear of unknown sea monsters and giant squid – the experience of the sheer claustrophobia of a 19th century diving suit was in some small way improved by the matching Submariner knit, scarf, long johns and sea socks – all bearing the Siebe Gorman helmet logo.

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RON’S REGENCY REMNANT – NOBLE JONES of BURLINGTON ARCADE

  • Dec 5th, 2013

05.12.2013

A cream silk evening scarf, presumably 1920’s deco era, from glover, hosier and shirtmaker Frederick Noble Jones of Burlington Arcade. We think the centered embroidered monogram spells out RON, but it could be the initials ‘R.N’ with an non-functional embroidered hole in the middle.

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The Burlington Arcade is a fantastic relic of regency London. Built in 1819, the arcade is lined with tiny shops under a high glass ceiling/roof and connects Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens. Still to this day patrolled by THE BEADLES (commissioned by Lord Cavendish as the smallest recognised police force) in full Edwardian costume whom are responsible for enforcing the ancient by-laws of the arcade – No whistling, no singing, no hurrying, no carrying large parcel or packages and certainly no opening of umbrellas.

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CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES

  • Nov 29th, 2013

29.11.2013

The term ‘California styling’ refers to a certain aesthetic, and conjurs up iconic, hip images from the history of the golden state. Starting in the post-War boom of the affluent and secure 1950s it seems California developed it’s own distinctive style, part Hollywood part pioneer, perhaps in some way due to it’s own unique weather or geography, or it’s proud independent history. Advertisers were quick to realise the mere word ‘California’ had connotations of space, freedom, sunshine and modernity. Add to this the element of cool, the California of Big Sur Beats, West Coast Monterey Jazz, and The Beach Boys and you have era defining style.

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Towns like Anaheim, Tracy, and Glendale are instantly imbued with a faraway Romanticism, American Graffiti and E.T. capture on celluloid some of it’s golden glow, and the folklore of Laurel canyon provides a soundtrack, a synthesis of music, style and sunshine that has created a Universal sun-kissed style still felt today, and seen in everything from Van Dorens, early Stussy and Dogtown and the Z Boys.

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NOW STOCKING – SAINT JAMES COLLECTION

  • Nov 27th, 2013

27.11.2013

We are pleased to announce that we are now stocking a selection of the SAINT JAMES collection in our Earlham Street shop.

“Around 1850, Saint-James, a commune in Lower Normandy, located 20 kilometers from Mont Saint-Michel experienced a real industrial adventure.  The Legallais family started to spin and dye locally produced wool. This was then resold as skeins and balls of wool to the haberdasheries of Brittany and Normandy, later as underwear : real woolen shirts which gave birth to the fisherman’s sweater. In 1950, Julien-BONTE, from Roubaix (France), took control of the Company and gave up the traditional activity to concentrate on the manufacture of cardigans, sweaters, including the famous “Real Breton Fisherman’s Sweater” knitted in Pure Wool. With such thick and tight knitwear, they are considered almost waterproof… Knitted very close to the body, this sweater becomes “the seafarers’ second skin”.

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GEORGE CLEVERLEY – ‘GRECIANS’

  • Nov 25th, 2013

25.11.2013

To be brutally honest, we were ever-so just slightly stumped when it came to these. They look like slippers, but hard leather heel and soles didn’t seem right – who would wear hard leather soles around the house? Well, having consulted our historical shoe oracle and stylist phenomenonata David Nolan, it would appear the Greeks are who wear their hard-soled slippers around the σπίτι (house). These are indeed house shoes, also known as a ‘Grecian’ slipper, and a nice example in tan too. £poa.

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BOOK DONE GOOD

  • Nov 7th, 2013

07.11.2013

Our first publication ‘Vintage Menswear – A Collection By The Vintage Showroom’ just won the Lifestyle Illustrated Award at the recent British Book Design and Production Awards for 2013. We are more than thrilled to receive such an accolade for something that was essentially a project of passion which gives an insight into what we do, and a team effort by like minded individuals. The fact it has been so well received Internationally is beyond our original expectations, and has inspired us to contemplate taking up the pen again…

Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy and helped make it such a success.

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14 EARLHAM STREET, LONDON

  • Oct 28th, 2013

28.10.2013

The Earlham Street shop recently underwent somewhat of a refurbishment. Here are some snaps…

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SAMPLE SPREADS FROM SHOWROOM Vol.II

  • Oct 28th, 2013

28.10.2013

We launched the second volume of our annual publication SHOWROOM on Thursday. Here are some sample spreads from within.

Place an order here – http://www.thevintageshowroom.com/online-store/

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ANTIQUE LEATHER GAME BAG

  • Oct 28th, 2013

SHOWROOM VOL.II – OUT TODAY

  • Oct 24th, 2013

24.10.2013

The second installment of our limited edition annual publication is out today. You can order a copy here… http://www.thevintageshowroom.com/online-store/

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Photo by Nic Shonfeld.

SHOWROOM II – PRE-ORDER

  • Oct 11th, 2013

11.10.2013

OK, so here we are. Showroom volume II has just been delivered and is now available to pre-order HERE.

The official launch date is 24th October.

You can find out more info about the publication on the newly re-vamped website – www.showroom-publication.com

Please take a moment to head over to the FB page and help spread the word by ‘liking’ us, if you don’t already. We are really proud of this new volume, we hope we inspire you.

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AUTUMNALS : HARRIS

  • Oct 10th, 2013

10.10.2013

What can be more appropriate at this time of year than the autumnal shades of a Harris Tweed two-piece gamekeeper suit. A traditional Scottish design it features distinctive styling such as the cut away front, a shorter body length and the scalloped and glove stitched pocket flaps. Partnered with a kilt and sporran it conjures up images from the film Mrs. Brown or The Shooting Party.

Interestingly the jacket shape is not too dissimilar to some of Vivienne Westwoods House of Mud designs, even some of Christopher Nemeth’s creations. Very Buffalo!

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THE POP UP FLEA COMES TO LONDON (AND WE’RE ‘POPPING UP’)

  • Oct 7th, 2013

07.10.2013

The Pop Up Flea, the one-weekend-at-a-time menswear shopping event based in New York is heading to London for the first time ever this October. The Vintage Showroom will be en présence for this event so please come down and say hello. We will have a good selection of archive pieces with us. Read on for more details…

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‘The Pop Up Flea’ is the creation of New Yorkers Michael Williams and Randy Goldberg. Each year Michael and Randy invite their favorite brands to participate in the event, creating a dream store of handsome and diverse products (see below for the list of contributors). The event is open to the public, and will take place on Piccadilly in Central London over the weekend of 10th and 11th October, and will include a mix of US and UK brands not often seen together under one roof.

For more information visit: www.thepopupflea.com.

Event Address:
211/214 Piccadilly
St James’s, London, W1

Event Hours:
Friday, Oct 11th: 3pm to 8pm
Saturday, Oct 12th: 11am to 7pm
Sunday Oct 13th: 12pm to 6pm

Vendors for this year’s event include : Aether, Field Notes, Filson, General Knot & Co.,Levi’s Made & Crafted, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, London Undercover, Man of the World, Marwood, North Sea Clothing, Red Wing Heritage, Shinola, Tanner Goods, Tellason, The Bread Collective, The Good Flock and Todd Snyder.

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