The Vintage Showroom Ltd was formed in 2007 to house an ever growing archive of vintage showroom and accessories collected by co-founders Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett. The Vintage Showroom has become one of the leading resources for vintage menswear in the UK, with the archive covering the early mid 20th century and specialising in international work, military and sports clothing, classic English tailoring and country wear.
The business and collection is divided into two parts. An appointment only showroom situated near London’s Notting Hill and a retail outlet, with basement showroom, located on Earlham Street in Covent Garden’ Seven Dials. The showroom and studio resources are offered by appointment only and serve to inspire design teams and stylists. The collection is available to purchase or hire and the studio offers a number of bespoke services to clients for creative and concept consultation. The shop, in Covent Garden, has quietly integrated itself into Seven Dials proudly occupying the former ironmongery F.W. Collins & Sons.
Rare groove: calling all vintage fanatics
Take a trip to The Vintage Showroom, a Covent Garden treasure trove specialising in one-off and rare vintage menswear.
BY SOPHIE DE ROSEE | 24 MARCH 2012 in http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk
The Vintage Showroom in Covent Garden.
For Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett, the thrill of the chase is what life is all about. As purveyors of vintage menswear and founders of the Vintage Showroom, they travel the world searching for the holy grail of the clothing world. In Gunn's case this was a 1940s Royal Navy submarine suit called the 'Ursula Suit'. Before it was invented submariners on lookout at sea level wore wool, so Captain Phillips of HMS Ursula instigated the development of a waterproof suit. 'I spent years tracking this down and paid a sum nearing five figures for it,' he says. It turns out there are fewer than 10 in existence.
Gunn and Luckett run a vintage consultancy business out of their studio in Notting Hill that houses an extensive archive of one-off and ultra-rare vintage pieces, for example an early 20th-century motorcycle jacket collection, early 20th-century denim utility workwear and British country pursuit clothing. Design teams from around the world, including Ralph Lauren, Burberry and J.Crew, flock to the studio to study a certain type of stitching or button hole. 'If a client such as Barbour or Belstaff wants to track down an early piece, we are the guys they call,' Gunn says.
Luckily for vintage fans, they also have a shop in Covent Garden, selling a tightly edited selection of menswear from military T-shirts to heavy duty outerwear. The basement of the shop is worth investigating: 'We don't advertise the basement but it's our secret chamber that houses a small capsule collection of what's in our showroom in west London. At the moment there's a 19th-century French fireman's linen uniform and a 1940s British paratrooper's smock.' You will need to request a viewing, but it's worth the potential rejection. Trust us.
Prices from £20 for a T-shirt up to £1,200 for an Irving Jacket, a 1930s sheepskin RAF pilot's jacket. The Vintage Showroom, 14 Earlham Street, London WC2 (020-7836 3964; thevintageshowroom.com ).
by Douglas Gunn , Roy Luck, Josh Sims photography by Nic Shonfeld
Classic workwear, sports, and military apparel. Curated by connoisseurs of vintage clothing, The Vintage Showroom is a vast collection of rare 20th-century pieces that fashion designers and stylists pay to view, using the cut and detailing of individual garments as inspiration for their own work. Offering one-of-a-kind access, Vintage Menswear now makes this unique resource available in book form. Providing over 300 lavishly illustrated pages of rare, must-see designs, Vintage Menswear is the essential choice of 20th-century vintage tailoring and detailing and an inspirational resource for students and menswear fashion designers and stylists.
A Collection from the Vintage Showroom
by Josh Sims
"Looking inside" Photographs of "A Collection from the Vintage Showroom
by Josh Sims", courtesy of http://www.long-john.nl