This week in our menswear dialogue series we speak with Nutters of Savile Row made famous by former proprietor Mr. Tommy Nutter. The bespoke tailoring house has seen a revival of sorts over the years. We're happy to see them back in full swing.
Image Granted -What is your job/title/profession?
Nutters of Savile Row is under the creative control of David Mason.Originally expecting to follow a career in nuclear chemistry, David's fascination with fission gave way to a passion for fashion, and he left the world of science to be educated in the art of bespoke tailoring.Following the maverick spirit of its founder, David has controversially stepped outside the conventional boundaries of Savile Row, introducing cutting edge digital fashion technology to the company.He was an early adopter of CAD systems for made-to-measure garment production and has worked on many projects involving 3D body scanning and Virtual Try On technology. He has recently pioneered the use of digitally engineered printing to create bespoke silk linings for jackets and waistcoats.
Nutters gained quite a reputation in the 70's. How has Nutters changed since the reign of Tommy? Or has it? Do you think there is still a strong market for tailored suits?
David Mason -
Tommy introduced fashion to Savile Row, and a new breed of customer. The Mayfair backwater had never seen such flared trouser bottoms or such long hair. Tommy represented a challenge to the establishment. He was regarded as a renegade, a "Rebel on the Row". He defied convention. It is undoubtedly the maverick spirit of Nutters that still appeals to a broad audience, and of course the incredible archive, which contains images of so many colourful people in so many colourful suits.
I think many have grown tired of the dress-down movement, and as the economy has continued to prove challenging the executive order are buttoning up their shirts and reaching for ties again. There's also a young generation who typically react against their father's polo shirt and chino look and want to dress "up" rather than "down". The most interesting thing for me is the recent renaissance in bespoke and handcrafted production. The renewed interested comes not only from consumers, but also young people who are looking for a "trade" rather than a "profession". Twenty years ago, you couldn't find anyone who wanted to pick up a needle. Now we are inundated with requests for apprenticeships, internships and work experience. It's a good thing.
IG -What do you attribute to the success and longevity of Nutters over the years? How has the house maintained its reputation?
I think the planets were aligned in 69 when the first Nutters shop opened. It was a moment of significant change, not only in terms of fashion but also social attitudes with regards to class, sex, and sexuality. It was the dawn of a new age, and Tommy arrived at the right time, in the right place with the right (some considered it wrong) attitude. He was seen to be cutting against the grain, which he did, both figuratively and physically. Less than 6 months after the shop opened, Apollo 11 landed the first humans on the moon. Boundaries were being broken in orbit, and pushed to the limits in the world of fashion, and Tommy was the frontiersman.
Today we continue to push these boundaries while endeavoring to maintain the best tradition of true English craftsmanship, ensuring Nutters continues to provide the finest up-to-date clothes for movers, shakers and top dogs.
Explain the collaboration with Holland & Sherry. Why Holland & Sherry and not another mill? How did the relationship transpire?
In 1976 Tommy started to produce cloth designs for Holland and Sherry. His principle of taking scale to extreme (evident in the design of his suits) was extended to the bold checks and stripes used in the design of his cloth collections. When the Royal Mail approached me in 2011 to ask if I could provide them with a suit that could be photographed for use on a postage stamp to commemorate Post War British fashion, there was only one outfit on my mind - the black and white three-piece suit made for Beatles drummer Ringo Starr in the 70's.
It is a definitive Nutter piece comprising of a Prince of Wales checked jacket, juxtaposed with Shepherd's check vest, trousers, patch pockets and braiding. Both suit and cloth were designed by Tommy during his time at Holland & Sherry (who kindly commissioned their mill to reweave the original cloth to enable a replica suit to be made for the project). Holland & Sherry continue to supply all of the cloth used for Nutters suits.
If one is interested in patronizing your establishment, how would one go about it? When and where are your global visits scheduled?
Appointments for fittings can be made at our Savile Row premises, or during our regular trunk shows to the United States. Dates can be found on our website: www.nosr.com