• Sep 8th, 2015

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.

Dave thinks this more than likely came from the Let It Rock shop. A legendary but short-lived McLaren Westwood venture at 430 Kings Road, opened in 1971 it morphed into Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die, in 1972.
The only discernible difference between the two jackets being that ours has an interrupted curved turn back cuff, whilst Rotten’s appears to be a full barrel cuff. The jacket is at first glance an unlikely choice for a Punk frontman, with its connotations of louche Las Vegas lounge lizard, atomic Americana, and banal game show host, but ultimately it’s inspired as it also shares some of the Edwardian Teddy Boy detailing oft referenced by the Sex Pistols. It also pre-empts the tacky glitz and phoney materialism of Rotten’s post-Pistols incarnation in Public Image Limited. In a snapshot, it shows Punk at its most surprising and creative, proving it wasn’t all just black leather, zips and safety pins.

Words by Simon McLean / John Lydon photographs © Ulf Petterson 2012 /


  • Sep 20th, 2013


Whilst it Our recent attentions have temporarily turned in favour of preparing to launch the SHOWROOM Publication Vol.II. Yep, it’s with the printers and will be in stores in the not too distant future. For those unfamiliar with this, last year we published a ‘conceptual mood and reference’ project packed full of moody style shoots, obscure scribings and curious doodlings. Such was the fantastic reception, we did it again.

Alas!, more on that later as we gather momentum by revisiting the archive of Lawrence W Dagger. Dubious 1920s New York detective/Steak House owner Larry Dagger first came to our attention when Douglas Gunn returned from a buying trip to America. In a grubby plastic bag buried at the bottom of a heap in a junk shop, he found an extensive, seemingly autobiographical, scrapbook detailing the extraordinary life and times of a quite remarkable character. Douglas’ account of the file is prominently featured in SHOWROOM Vol.II. (Vol.I is available to order here).

Here is a closer look at the mugshots and criminal identity cards that made up such an interesting part of the archive.


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  • Aug 5th, 2013


Rumour has it, when Francis Ford Coppola was looking for a new film to make back in 1982, it was his daughter Sophia who recommended S.E. Hinton’s teen classic ‘The Outsiders’. Her recommendation was a winner, the all star cast and the coming of age theme, along with a classic wardrobe made it an instant hit.

As with West Side Story, gangs and stylised youth sub-culture never looked so good, in this case it’s the privileged ‘Soc’s’ in their Sta-Prest and Madras checks, versus the white-trash ‘Greasers’ in dirty denim, hooded sweats and cut-off Mickey Mouse tees.


Click here for The Making Of The Outsiders’ photographs by Nancy Moran for Vanity Fair.

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  • Feb 15th, 2013

Blanket wool tassels make an interesting textural landscape, not a million miles away from the Komondor dog on the cover of the 1996 Beck album Odelay. These belong to a stack of Scottish wool tartan blankets currently in the Showroom, we also have a nice selection in the Earlham St. shop (look under the table!).


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  • Jan 28th, 2013


Greys, black, indigo, violet, like a good bruise.

IMG_7010l Read the rest of this entry »


  • Oct 3rd, 2012

Jacket’s, Jungle 1945. This British Army womens WWII jungle shirt is eerily reminiscent of the McLaren Westwood ‘Seditionaries‘ parachute shirt, even down to the rubber buttons. The belt looped through the epaulette, the removable sleeves, and the stamped ‘GAS FLAP’ all add to it’s Punk ‘bondage-like’ appearance. The shirt also features wrist buckles, pleated chest pockets, and reinforced shoulders. Completely mint and unissued it’s a great example of the humble origins of some of Punk’s iconic DNA.

* Vintage Seditionaries / Sex Parachute Shirt with iconic silk Karl Marx patch by Malcolm Mclaren and Vivien Westwood &  Only Ararchists Are Pretty – image sources unknown.

Words Simon/ ATP Shirt photos Nic Shonfeld


  • Sep 10th, 2012

Formally introducing our new publication SHOWROOM Vol.I. on sale now in the Earlham Street shop and other selected bookstores in London (see list below).


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  • Aug 14th, 2012



  • Jun 16th, 2012

Some accidental patterns have emerged again out of the woodwork, so to speak. Unintentional but still beautiful, strange how these patterns seem to attract each other, whether it’s the pinked leather edged heel of a work boot on the spiky pattern of an Indian runner, or 1930s geometric fair-isles, or even Adidas stripes through wire mesh.

Seek and ye shall find…

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  • May 16th, 2012

When the ‘Home Guard Manual of Camouflage’ by Roland Penrose, a lecturer to the War Office for Instructors to the Home Guard, was first published in October 1941 the prospect of a German invasion on mainland Britain was seen as a very real and probable threat. As a Quaker and staunch pacifist his influence in the development of camouflage techniques during WWII is fascinating, though in his own words “The author makes no claim to their originality, many of them are as old as warfare itself”.

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  • May 11th, 2012


  • Mar 13th, 2012

Original 501s hidden rivets all singing all dancing improvised (allegedly) for the runway back in 90s with GUCCI tags and hardware making them either worthless or priceless depending on your point of view!

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  • Jan 23rd, 2012

The title, of course refers to the change of the clocks, British summertime extra daylight and all that. But thinking of Spring, what can be better than a classic Ivy, plaid, trad, preppy windcheater, blouson, golf jacket type affair.

A staple of the Spring wardrobe, perfect with khaki chinos, madras, bucks, university sweats, you get it.

Whether it be a London Fog, McGregor, Campus or Champion, here are some details to look for…

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  • Jan 10th, 2012

The USAAF World War II-era survival radio transmitters (SCR-578 and the similar post-war AN/CRT-3)  carried by aircraft on over-water operations were given the nickname “Gibson Girl” because of their “hourglass” shape.

The Gibson Girl’ was the personification of a feminine ideal as portrayed in the satirical pen-and-ink-illustrated stories created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson during a 20-year period spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United States.


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  • Dec 2nd, 2011

Customized 1980’s MA1 Bomber from The Vintage Showroom shop archive.
£POA (Merc not included).

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Ju-Jitsu For Gents

  • Aug 8th, 2011

Two recent finds that juxtapose so well. This was going to be posted last week but we held back due to the recent trouble. Note the repaired stud marks on the truncheon. They don’t make them like that anymore…’coppers‘ that is.

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  • Jul 22nd, 2011

A plaited neck hanger, an unusual but discreet yet considered design detail. Simple. Beautiful.


  • Mar 4th, 2011

Already on the fashion radar, granted, but this new book of photographs by Karl Heinz Weinberger (Rizzoli 2011) is another chance to look at his innovative work. This unassuming part-time Swiss photographer meticulously documented the delinquent Swiss biker gangs of the early 60s. Swiss cheese this is not! The hard-edged homo-erotic portraits revel in the fetishistic detail of DIY denim and customised leather, the minutiae of a subculture that make these pictures pure fashion. Pre-dating punk and pre-empting the films of Kenneth Anger, the contradiction of the throwback 50s boys style with the 1960’s girls beehives and mohair, make this an essential and fascinating reference.

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  • Aug 11th, 2010

A little worse for wear this morning and with no appointments, I just could not face the mountain of paperwork that I should have been tackling. So instead I decided to trash the showroom. Every few months a red mist seems to come over me and when I come to I find myself surrounded by heaps of clothes that I have piled on the floor. I then get the fear that I will never be able to get things back together again. So some 8 hours later things were almost looking as good as they had when I walked in, but at least my head felt better. Some recent finds inspired the following along with archive images that we have been looking through of the Battle of Britain 70th anniversary this year…. Read the rest of this entry »


  • Jul 15th, 2010

As always around this time of year, we find ourselves in the midst of a heatwave looking longingly to the nights drawing in and the temperature cooling so we can crack open our Autumn Winter collection. This year is particularly interesting for it seems that for both us and the majority of our customers,  inspiration is coming from a snow capped landscape. From Shackleton to Scott, Mallory to Bonington. The back drop moving as the era, from the Artic to Everest to the Cresta run of St Moritz, there is a growing fascination and interest. One that we are more than happy to indulge as it has been something that we have been hooked on for a while. So with London feeling decidedly muggy, try and stay cool and enjoy!

“Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” ….. “Because it’s there” George Herbert Leigh Mallory 1886 –1924

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  • Jun 30th, 2010

This is my only nod towards the sorrow of the last few weeks. It felt like an omen when a week before the start of the World Cup we found a 1966 final program and two ticket stubs. How wrong could I have been!

New balls please… Read the rest of this entry »


  • Feb 15th, 2010

Not exactly made by Will Mossop, but by John White in 1941, these beautiful boots are somewhat of an enigma. Made from ‘rough out’ leather, they bear the War Department’s broad arrow, or ‘crows foot’, stitched into the top surface of each boot. One could speculate that these were for military prisoners, possible Officer Class? John White were the largest supplier to the War Department of military footwear during WWII, but these are the only such example we have found.

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