TOMMY NUTTER

One can’t talk about Tommy Nutter without mentioning two London streets : Savile Row and Abbey Road.

Nutter and Edward Sexton’s shop, « Nutters of Savile Row » is, in 1969, the first new shop to open in over a century on this historic street of English tailoring. In the shop were displayed, among other things, a Punch and Judy puppet theatre, a mural of Egyptian ruins, colourful ostrich feathers and empty bottles of champagne hanging at the door in place of bells.

The place reflects the stylistic revolution carried by Tommy Nutter. He designs a double-breasted jacket featuring oversized lapels — that even protrude out over the sleeve caps — tightens the waist and the chest, adds length and emphasises the shoulders. Fabrics and colours are bolder and more vivid.

If he plays with the cut, Nutter remains nonetheless truly respectful of English tailoring tradition. He firmly believes in the power of the suit and conciliated it with the revolutionary fashion trend of the sixties. He declares, in an interview given in the early nineties : « Although this is a far cry from today’s philosophy where jeans, T-shirt and sneakers are de rigueur, a young man would be hard pushed to find a better investment than a handmade suit, to give himself a lift up the ladder of success ».

Clients, wether they belong to British high nobility or the press, are dandy teenagers from the East End or artists, all flock to Nutters. Among them are Mick Jagger and his wife Bianca, Cher, George Harrison, Twiggy and David Hockney. To Elton John, « Tommy Nutter glamorised Savile Row and made it accessible ».

His success is crystallised on the Beatles’ « Abbey Road » album cover, on which 3 out of the 4 members are wearing a suit made by Tommy.

JAGGER, Mick. JAGGER, Bianca. Saint-Tropez, France. 12 mai 1971. 

STARR, Ringo, mod. Holland and Sherry advertising. 1970. 

MCCARTNEY, Linda. The Beatlles on Abbey Road. London, United-Kingdom. 1969.

NUTTER, David, pho. NUTTER, Tommy, tail. London, United-Kingdom. 1970.

DE VILLENEUVE, Justin, phot. NUTTER, Tommy. After Dark Magazine, September 1973. 

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