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Parsons the New School for Design

Vintage Menswear: A Collection From the Vintage Showroom

Vintage Menswear: A Collection From the Vintage Showroom
By Douglas Gunn, Roy Luckett and Josh Sims
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
280 x 240 mm; 304 pp; Hardback
Release date: September 2012
ISBN 9781856698832
$50.00

Filson. Herschel Supply Co. Lee. Belstaff. These are just a handful of legacy clothing companies that are a driving force in the great American hiking and camping aesthetic. These brands, which have been experiencing a large resurgence of popularity as of late, are also the inspiration for many new vintage-aspirational outfits with names like Need Supply Co. or collaborations with contemporary houses like APC with a legacy brand like Carhartt. But come to think of it, did such men’s garbs ever really go “out” of style? No, not really. There is a classic line and sensible design that perfectly marries function and form in menswear, and the vintage stuff is where all the minimalist and good-design-is-inevitable-type of foundation lies.

Two vintage clothing enthusiasts, Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett, became obsessed with finding timeless and authentic items, and now run the Vintage Showroom in London, which opened in 2007. Existing as a museum-like impeccably curated collection of classic menswear, the two owners along with a third co-author, Josh Sims, put together a wonderful new book released by Laurence King Publishing called Vintage Menswear: A Collection From the Vintage Showroom.

The book, one that is sure to be a reference manual to stylists, designers and fashion enthusiasts, includes over 130 featured menswear pieces, mostly from Europe and America, with a handful from Asia. The pieces are grouped into three sections: Sportswear, Workwear and Military Clothing, and what’s interesting is that while the categories of course matter—as each piece had a specific form for its function—looking through the book today, it’s fascinating to how many pieces can be easily just re-created (and are all the time), without any drastic edits and sold as classic piece for one’s wardrobe, which is of course not necessarily used for as it was when it was initially created. Like, no one will actually wear a paratrooper jacket with large pocket covers so that they won’t get tangled with the parachute lines when they eject from a military jet, but it sure looks good as a fall jacket. Explaining features like these is what Vintage Menswear and its authors provide, and that historical insight is what makes these clothes compelling, in addition to the aesthetically clean design.

 

 

—Janet Kim

 

Photo courtesy of Laurence King Publishing