REBEL TAILOR TOMMY NUTTER | THE LEGENDARY SAVILE ROW STRUTTER

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The flamboyantly natty Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter with his dogs. “Although tailoring was quite distinct from fashion then, Tommy Nutter changed the way men dressed,” says Dennis Nothdruft, who co-curated the 2011 retrospective (Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row) at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London along with tailor Timothy Everest. “And he changed the way Savile Row was seen. Before Nutters it was an exclusive, closed-off world. They didn’t even have window displays. Though, of course, the rest of the row looked upon him as an upstart whose shop was on the wrong side of the street.” (The huge purple candles in the shape of phalluses can’t exactly have endeared him to his neighbors… Another legend, Simon Doonan, was Nutter’s window dresser back in those days.) via

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Tommy Nutter will always be known as the flamboyant bee in Savile Row’s stuffy bonnet. Trained as a traditional tailor, the sexy and innovative Nutter was not happy following the status quo of stuffy Savile Row and literally took matters into his own hands. He created a sensation with his bold, signature look– wide shoulders, unapologetic lapels, bold fabrics & patterns. Nutter soon became the darling of the celebrity and rock ‘n’ roll scene– clothing the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bianca Jagger, Elton John, Eric Clapton, The Beatles,  Vidal Sassoon, Twiggy, David Hockney, and many others. His influence can still be seen today, through the apprentices who worked under him (John Galliano for one), and in the young new designers of today (E. Tautz) who are rediscovering his work. Tommy Nutter has forever left a mark on Savile Row, and defined a moment in time when bigger truly was better.

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Designers like Tom Ford (who favors strong lapels and chunky neckwear) have famously cited Tommy Nutter as an influence. Bianca on Mick Jagger’s arm as he struts in his Tommy Nutter duds– from the book Day of the Peacock by Geoffrey Aquilina Ross that is an incredible visual chronicle of the flashy and flamboyant menswear style from 1963-1973.

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Tommy Nutter famously dressed some of the biggest rock stars of his day. 1971– Mick & Bianca Jagger were married in original Tommy Nutter creations, and were nutty over Tommy’s sharply tailored suits. At the time, the Stones were in exile in the south of France and were newly camped at Cote d’Azur for the recording of their Exile on Main Street album when Mick announced that he was getting married next week. It didn’t go over well with the band– particularly Keith Richards.

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Mick & Bianca Jagger in 1970′s high style– sporting Tommy Nutter’s sartorial splendor. “Bianca really wanted a man’s suit and not a suit cut for a woman. She asked for the darts to be taken out of her first pistachio green suit to make it sexier.” –Timothy Everest, renowned tailor who trained under Nutter

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Tommy Nutter dressed three out of the four Beatles for the Abbey Road album cover. True to his non-conformist roots, George Harrison opted to dress in denim. Tommy Nutter opened shop in 1969 with the master cutter Edward Sexton, and was financially backed by British pop singer Cilla Black and Beatles’ executive Peter Brown.

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Ringo Starr, a good friend of Tommy Nutter, openly advertised for his favorite tailor– despite the fact that The Beatles band policy firmly frowned on product endorsements, advertisements, etc.

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1969 — Tailor Tommy Nutter in his Savile Row shop. –Photo by Jones/Evening Standard/Getty Images

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1971 — Tommy Nutter (1943 – 1992). –Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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6 thoughts on “REBEL TAILOR TOMMY NUTTER | THE LEGENDARY SAVILE ROW STRUTTER

  1. My problem, and of course I recognise Nutter’s influence and impact, is that I loathe huge lapels and flared trousers.-always have, always will.
    It got to the point where my pal Nigel and I had to find tailors that would cut narrow lapeled, suit jackets with straight-legged trousers without pleats as we were unable to find them off the peg. This was the mid-80′s the era of fat lapels and mostly double-breasted jackets and kipper ties (f*cking Ralph Lauren!) and all the good vintage clothes were exhausted (we loved Hollywood Legend on Spring Street) and besides we were tired of 2nd hand.
    At this time too I wore only 501′s ( they were well under 50 bucks) with Loake tassel loafers and Fred Perry polo shirts.

  2. Take a look at the side by side shots of Mick and Bianca with Mick in the dark pinstripe jacket and Bianca in the white with black collar, now take a look at their faces, quite a like I’d say…. I read somewhere, it was joked that Mick married Bianca because she looked quite like him and he wanted to marry himself and make love to himself. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit…The Stones “gimme shelter” still one of my faves…

    • Mick marrying himself by marrying Bianca was pretty much the common popular thought back in the day . You’d of been hard pressed to find anyone , press or music folks , who thought otherwise

      Best of the Stones IMHO ?

      “Sticky Fingers” &” Exiles on Main Street ” . Mick Taylor and the songs are the reasons why .

      • You are correct on the common thought of Mick marrying himself, that was the thought of the day. I was just thinking of a quote I had read when looking at their pictures. I agree with you on the albums of your choice especially “Exile….. ” and Yes it was because they had Mick Taylor on guitar, he was a great asset to them.

    • They’re going for a similar style in that photo and although they are the same size their features are markedly different. I think they are trying to look like one another more than they do. That concept seems common today – the older gay couples I see in my neighborhood tend to dress like one another, develop the same shape and the same hairstyles.

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