A wildly entertaining biography of the British fashion designer who set the trends for rock royalty from the Beatles to Mick Jagger to Elton John.
Tommy Nutter was a visionary tailor in the bespoke tradition who dressed everybody from Lord Montagu of Beaulieu to Twiggy, who outfitteds three of the Beatles for the cover of Abbey Road (George Harrison preferred jeans), who put Mick Jagger in a white suit for his wedding to Bianca and who dressed Elton John for years, using the singer as his muse for his signature outrageous style. Nutter was alluring for his ambiguity -- a chameleon who could rub shoulders with Princess Margaret and then dance with the drag queens at Last Resort -- and his clothes were the physical expression of a sharp, audacious wit.
House of Nutter charts Tommy Nutter’s dramatic career that spanned barely 23 years, ending in 1992 with his untimely death. It is a history of London during an era of economic and cultural upheaval, a celebration of the methods and traditions of Savile Row; and an elegy for what was lost during the worst days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
With archival access to photos, letters and interviews from Tommy Nutter's sole living relative, his brother, David, Lance Richardson takes us behind the '70s glamour to explore the public face and private life of one of Britain's most respected yet rule-breaking bespoke clothiers and the celebrities he dressed.
"Richardson has created a pattern-perfect double-breasted biography of two gay brothers, who, in an unlikely rags to riches story, were brought up in north London and went on to shape the social and sartorial side of life in the 1960s"
"Captivating ... an engaging analysis of the British class system and the fashion industry, gay liberation and the Aids crisis, which plays out like a binge-worthy Netflix series"
"Splendidly readable and gossipy ... a gripping read that is as much social history as it is biography ... House of Nutter, Richardson's first book, is a fine match of author and subject. He writes with flair and erudition, making extensive use of interviews with David, and bringing something new to the evocation of an era that might seem overfamiliar ... it's hard to find fault with this thoroughly enjoyably glimpse into high fashion and low life"
"What makes Lance Richardson's biography so much more than a humdrum story of rags to riches -- or rather rags to bespoke -- is its illuminating and vividly drawn account of the milieu, both social and sartorial, in which Nutter moved, and the intriguing parallel history of his elder brother, David"
"Lance Richardson’s lively, affectionate, occasionally breathless book is a double narrative, the story of two brothers who rose from modest north London origins to the fringes of international stardom ... Compelling"