Born in Barmouth, Merioneth, he was raised in Edgware, Middlesex, where his father owned a local High Street Cafe. After the family moved to Kilburn, Nutter and his brother David attended Willesden Technical College. Nutter initially studied plumbing, and then architecture, but he abandoned both aged 19 to study tailoring at the Tailor and Cutter Academy.
In the early 1960s he joined traditional tailors Donaldson, Williamson & Ward. After seven years, in 1969, he joined up with Edward Sexton, to open Nutters of Savile Row at No 35a Savile Row. They were financially backed by Cilla Black and her husband Bobby Willis, Managing Director of the Beatles' Apple Corps Peter Brown, and lawyer James Vallance-White.
The business was an immediate success, as Nutter combined traditional tailoring skills with innovative design. He designed for the Hardy Amies range, and then for the man himself. His clients included his investors, plus Sir Roy Strong, Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger and Elton John. Nutter himself was most proud of the fact that, for the cover of The Beatles' album Abbey Road in 1969, he dressed three out of the four: George Harrison elected to be photographed on the road-crossing in denims.
1969, Trouser suit. Jill Ritblat,who was already devoted to Yves Saint Laurent's unisex style and 'le smoking' discovered that Tommy Nutter would provide her with man's-style tailored suits with dandified overtones. She wore this adventurous three-piece only in the evenings, with navy patent moccasins by Charles Jourdan. An interplay of checked and plain worsted,the suit has a single-breasted jacket,straight-cut trousers and a fitted waistcoat. Yves Saint Laurent's silk blouse with stock-like neck tie provided the final flourish. Given by Mrs Jill Ritblat. Exhibition: Sixties Fashion (V&A 06/06/2006-25/02/2007); The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997 (V&A 06/03/1997-27/07/1997)
1969, Suit. In the late 1960s Tommy Nutter revolutionised menswear tailoring by introducing high fashion to Savile Row. Nutter was known for his wildly broad lapels and unusual interpretations of traditional suiting fabrics. He combines both in this bespoke suit from 1969, designed in his first year of business. Given by Mrs Jane Annakin.
1973, Suit. Cream wool three-piece suit comprising jacket, waistcoat and trousers. Given by Mr R.W. Webb.
1983, Single-breasted suit. This suit was worn by the theatrical designer Anthony Powell. It is a good example of innovative design by Tommy Nutter. By placing the pinstripes horizontally rather than vertically, he has used classic tailoring methods and fabrics in new and imaginative ways. The tie and shirt, also by Tommy Nutter, are reminiscent of 19th- and early 20th-century styles. Given by the designer. Exhibition: The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997 (V&A 01/01/1997-31/12/1997
In the 1970s his bespoke business became less successful, but he branched out into ready to wear clothing, marketed through Austin Reed. He also successfully expanded into East Asia, establishing the Savile Row brand in Japan. In 1976 Sexton bought Nutter out of the Business. Nutter went to work for Kilgour French and Stanbury, managing his own workroom. Sexton continued to run Nutters of Savile Row until 1983, when Nutter returned to the row with a ready to wear shop: "Tommy Nutter, Savile Row". (This new venture, which traded at No 19 Savile Row until Tommy's death, was backed by J&J Crombie Limited, who continue to own the "Tommy Nutter" trademark.) At this time, Sexton set up a business in his own name.
In the 1980s, he described his suits as a "cross between the big-shouldered Miami Vice look and the authentic Savile Row." He created the clothing of The Joker worn by Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film Batman.
Nutter died in 1992 at the Cromwell Hospital in London of complications from AIDS.
Boutique London: King's Road to Carnaby Street by Richard Lester
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Antique Collectors Club Dist (October 16, 2010)
Amazon: Boutique London: King's Road to Carnaby Street
Follows the developing fashions and boutiques of King's Road and Carnaby Street in the 1960s, profiling more than 30 retailers.
Fab Gear: The Beatles and Fashion by Paolo Hewitt
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Prestel Publishing (October 24, 2011)
Amazon: Fab Gear: The Beatles and Fashion
The Beatles' incomparable fashion sense takes center stage in this unique look at how the world's most popular band influenced the fashion of the times. The Beatles knew how much image mattered in the 1960s, and whether it was Nehru jackets, skinny ties, granny glasses, or the Cuban heel boot--if John, Paul, George, or Ringo wore it, the rest of their millions of fans followed. Renowned music and fashion author Paolo Hewitt takes readers on a fashion tour of the Beatles' career and the trends they co-opted. From their Hamburg debut in sunglasses, leather, and black sweaters to the conservative suits they were ordered to wear by their manager Brian Epstein; from their infatuation with Pierre Cardin's collarless jackets to their more casual corduroy; from their Mod madness to psychedelic spaciness to faux-military attire to hippy-chic--each style is revealed as a reflection of the music they made and the world views they embraced. Filled with fabulous photographs and with an appealing retro feel, the book features numerous images, many of which have never been published before. It offers insights into how the band's meteoric rise and enduring success shaped their fashion choices. There's even a chapter devoted to their hairstyles. Fans of all ages, as well as anyone interested in fashion, will be enthralled with this first ever Beatles stylebook that proves the Fab Four were as timely as they were timeless.
Tailored Fashion Design by Pamela Powell
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Fairchild Pubns; 1 edition (June 23, 2010)
Amazon: Tailored Fashion Design
Tailoring books typically focus on the construction of tailored garments, beginning with the selection of ready-made patterns and concluding with the assembly of the various pieces. Tailored Fashion Design will begin a few steps ahead in the design process providing students with inspiration and guidance to make their own patterns for tailored jackets, which they will then execute using contemporary tailoring techniques that the book will also outline. Fashion illustrations will show students the many silhouettes that the tailored jacket can take-from formal and elegant to causal and sporty-for both men and women. Basic jacket blocks will be included with instructions on how to manipulate details within the patterns to achieve a whole new look. Profiles of professional designers who incorporate tailoring into their collections will further highlight the important place that the technique of tailoring continues to hold in today's fashion industry. Students will learn to consider tailoring as a design element, rather than just a method of garment assembly. As a result, they'll begin to appreciate tailoring as a viable skill that not only displays their ability to put garments together, but also showcases their creativity as designers.
More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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