Hipster a cut above the rest
The 1970s tailor Tommy Nutter made suits that, to the sceptic, looked as certifiable as his name. Lapels as broad as billboards. Trouser legs like tents. Shoulders as wide as a mantelpiece.
And as for the fabrics. A green velvet jacket with brocade lapels. A tweed coat with candyorange trim. A grey-and-gold shooting suit.
The photographs strewn throughout Lance Richardson’s House of Nutter show tailoring not so much loud as deafening.
If these suits were the opposite of stealth, then so were the men who wore them. Mick Jagger sported an eau-de-nil three-piece for his wedding to Bianca in 1971. He was in another Nutter job days later on his honeymoon in Venice, fitted so snug around his nether regions it left no doubt as to which way he “dressed”.
This was just one of the more intimate pieces of information that a “cutter” would know of his client. “They used to say that the relationship of a man to his tailor was like a woman and her gynaecologist,” Playboy magazine observed. “All private.”
Tom Jones, an unusually circumspect Nutter regular, “declined to have his waist measured, insisting he was a perennial 32 inches”.
Nutter could cut, but didn’t have the brilliance of his sidekick Edward Sexton. What he had, 188cm streak of matinee idol that he was, was star quality. In his pomp in the late 1960s and 70s, he was “the coolest man you have ever seen”, said his friend the actress Carol Drinkwater. And he could conjure. The designer Hardy Amies named him “the most exciting tailor on Savile Row in decades”.
House of Nutter is a tale that is quintessentially of its era, told by a biographer who combines pace and exhaustiveness. Tommy and his brother David, a photographer who snapped his way through the same worlds of fashion and celebrity, were a pair of blue-collar-boys-made- Tony Nutter dressed both Bianca and Mick Jagger, who are seen here at their 1971 wedding in the French resort of St Tropez