Vintage lover and connoisseur Stephen Hodkin was kind enough to sit down with us and share his vintage fashion inspirations, his interest in vintage fashion and his vintage staple pieces he couldn't have his wardrobe without!
What are some of your ultimate staple pieces that you couldn't imagine your wardrobe without and why?
An original 40s utility three-piece suit, 1950s American double-breasted suit and hats! Lots of hats! Oh, and great shoes - well polished. Helene and her team always stock a super selection of ties, scarves and cravats from the 40s to the 70s, which I think really finish off an outfit. The hat section is also well stocked particularly with high quality Fedoras.
How did you get into vintage in the first place - a pure love for the look of the clothing or something a bit more personal?
My background is in photography, antiques and music - but I've always had a keen interest in clothes and style. I got sent home from school aged sixteen in 1970 for wearing some Levis 501 jeans which I had customized with an Old union Jack flag – aka, The Who. Mod/Suedehead was my daily style - two tone staprest, Harrington jackets, Ben Sherman shirts, etc. Gore Vidal said great style is an attitude - about knowing who you are and what you want. In other words: not giving a damn!
What has been your favourite vintage trend so far, whether it is an entire era or a one-off piece of clothing?
Everything goes back to the early 20th century - particularly the 1920s to the 1950s. It set the template for modern trends in men's clothing. Music and film played a huge part in my appreciation and fascination of the way style was used.
Do you have a vintage icon that you look to for either inspiration or just a love of how they dress?
Beau Brummell, Beaudelaire (19th century poet), Oscar Wilde, Edward Windsor, Coco Chanel and her lover ("Boy" Capel), Al Capone, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Buddy Holly, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford and Miles Davis. Plus, all the 60s groups – Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, The Who and obscure garage/psych groups - Music Machine, etc. Through the 1970s - Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Roxy music (1972 to 1974), David Bowie, New York Dolls, Iggy Pop (though he rarely wore clothes) and John Lyndon.
What defines 'vintage' for you?
The term "vintage" seems to have evolved over the last 20 years with the internet and social media. When I first bought clothes, you knew they were just second hand - as they still are.
As John Lennon sang: “All we are saying is give a three-piece a chance”
Big thanks to Stephen, we bow down to your style that you rock so well!
You can check out Stephen's Instagram here to check out his classic vintage style.