Considering the diabolical weather that we have had in London of late, my Saturday afternoons have been filled less with the idyllic lazing in one of London’s many parks and more with a void of thinking of ways to keep myself occupied.
The silver lining to one of London’s copious clouds of this summer is that it has been a perfect opportunity to immerse myself in London’s vast array of exhibitions on offer.
Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum is the perfect way to while away a wet weekend for any London fashionista or culture buff. It tells the story of renowned Savile Row tailor, Tommy Nutter, who revolutionised the bespoke tailoring ethics of London’s cutting capital Savile Row. In 1969, together with Edward Sexton and backed by Cilla Black and her husband Bobby Willis, who was managing director of The Beatles’ Apple Corps, they opened Nutters of Savile Row, which was an instant success.
With a client list that reads like a Who’s Who of ’60s music, including Mick and Bianca Jagger and Elton John, they most famously provided the clothes for three out of four of The Beatles on the famous Abbey Road cover. Rock stars, artists and aristocrats couldn’t get enough of Nutter’s new shapes and the details that he pioneered.
This exhibition explores not just his unique style and influences, but also the influence and impact that this individual had on the reputation and ideology behind a Savile Row company. This strong link of bespoke tailoring to popular culture completely opened up the traditionally elitist Savile Row to a new audience who wanted to experience this custom fit tailoring.
The exhibition also explores Nutter’s work with reference to the social and historical context of the times showing clear parallels between his influence and his surroundings. The range of examples of his work document his entire career, taking the viewer through the gradual progression of his style from his early career in the late 1960s to his work in the early 1990s before his untimely death.
Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row is showing until 22 October 2011 at:
Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey Street
Tel: 020 7407 8664
Image by Kirstin Sinclair