House of Nutter
The strange, illuminative true story of Tommy Nutter, the Savile Road tailor who changed the silhouette of men's fashion – and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film. From an early age, there was something different about Tommy and David Nutter. Growing up in an austere apartment above a café catering to truck drivers, both boys seemed destined to lead rather humble lives in post-war London—Tommy as a civil servant, David as a darkroom technician. Yet the strength of their imagination (plus a little help from their friends) transformed them instead into unlikely protagonists of a swinging cultural revolution.In 1969, at the age of twenty-six, Tommy opened an unusual new boutique on the “golden mile” of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row. While shocking a haughty establishment resistant to change, “Nutters of Savile Row” became an immediate sensation among the young, rich, and beautiful, beguiling everyone from Bianca Jagger to the Beatles—who immortalized Tommy’s designs on the album cover of Abbey Road. Meanwhile, David’s innate talent with a camera vaulted him across the Atlantic to New York City, where he found himself in a parallel constellation of stars (Yoko Ono, Elton John) who enjoyed his dry wit almost as much as his photography.House of Nutter tells the stunning true story of two gay men who influenced some of the most iconic styles and pop images of the twentieth century. Drawing on interviews with more than seventy people—and taking advantage of unparalleled access to never-before-seen pictures, letters, sketches, and diaries—journalist Lance Richardson presents a dual portrait of brothers improvising their way through five decades of extraordinary events, their personal struggles playing out against vivid backdrops of the Blitz, an obscenity trial, the birth of disco, and the devastation of the AIDS crisis. A propulsive, deftly plotted narrative filled with surprising details and near-operatic twists, House of Nutter takes readers on a wild ride into the minds and times of two brilliant dreamers.

House of Nutter Details

TitleHouse of Nutter
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2018
PublisherCrown Archetype
ISBN-139780451496461
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir, Couture, Fashion

House of Nutter Review

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    January 1, 1970
    I received this advance reader copy from Crown Publishing via NetGalley.Being a lifelong Beatles fan, when I saw that this book involved Savile Row in London, England, my interest was immediately piqued. For I am well aware that the fancy tailors dominated that road. The Beatles new entertainment company Apple Corp. Ltd. set up headquarters in 1968 right in the middle of all that, at 3 Savile Road. But, little did I realize just how much celebrated bespoke tailor Thomas Nutter and his twin broth I received this advance reader copy from Crown Publishing via NetGalley.Being a lifelong Beatles fan, when I saw that this book involved Savile Row in London, England, my interest was immediately piqued. For I am well aware that the fancy tailors dominated that road. The Beatles new entertainment company Apple Corp. Ltd. set up headquarters in 1968 right in the middle of all that, at 3 Savile Road. But, little did I realize just how much celebrated bespoke tailor Thomas Nutter and his twin brother, photographer David Nutter's lives were intertwined with that of The Beatles. The three Beatles wearing suits on the album cover where they are crossing Abbey Road...were made by Thomas Nutter. Thomas Nutter also made the cream corduroy suit John Lennon was wearing when he married Yoko Ono at the Rock of Gibraltar. Not only that...David Nutter took the wedding photographs and was listed on the marriage certificate as one of the witnesses! What is bespoke tailoring? It's the opposite of off-the-rack. Garments are custom made to your specific body measurements. At the tailor shop where Thomas Nutter first apprenticed, a customer's measurements were kept on file until they saw his name in the obituary! Another very interesting factoid was that 95% of men "dressed to the left".Twin brothers Thomas and David Nutter were both gay, and each creative in their own way. Thomas became wildly successful during the late sixties designing suits and opening his own shop "The House of Nutter" on Savile Row. He was financed by lover Peter Brown, former personal assistant to Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Apple Corp. board member. Thomas made suits for Bianca and Mick Jagger, Elton John, The Beatles and other celebrities. David Nutter found his own success in photography working with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Elton John. He created that famous picture of John and Yoko which covers a ceiling in the Lennon's apartment at the Dakota, where it looks as though they are flying among the clouds over a London skyline. Thomas Nutter died of AIDS in the 90s, and the whole terror of this new unknown disease was covered as it unfolded in the eighties. David is still alive and quite happy that this book exists to document their artistic contributions, born during the sixties and lasting through the next few decades. He shared many personal documents such as diaries, letters and photos which add a great authenticity to this book. I love reading about sixties London, The Beatles and other rock bands that were around at that time, so this book was quite an interesting read for me. There were also many wonderful photos included in the book.
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  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a such an informative read about the fashion and menswear trade from the late 1960’s and through the rock and roll years when a lot of his clientele were famous rockers among many other celebrities and worldwide famous folks. The book is also about the other Nutter brother who took up a career in photography and many times orbited around many of the same celebrities oddly enough, and on odd occasions at overlapping moments and locations. The book recalls their lives and outcomes, follow This was a such an informative read about the fashion and menswear trade from the late 1960’s and through the rock and roll years when a lot of his clientele were famous rockers among many other celebrities and worldwide famous folks. The book is also about the other Nutter brother who took up a career in photography and many times orbited around many of the same celebrities oddly enough, and on odd occasions at overlapping moments and locations. The book recalls their lives and outcomes, following Tommy Nutter through his time in Savile Row learning to be a tailor working for another. Then when he’s finally able to get backing and open his first shop and breathe life into it and make his vision of fashion at last. Then he begins to dress the moneyed and famous and gains some fame of a sort for himself as he builds his business, always a walking advertisement himself and dressing his photographer brother in his fashions to advertise for him as well. Brother David was often tasked to come in to do last minute photo shoots, getting great shots of the clothes on attractive volunteer friends and acquaintances who jumped in to help out and make things happen to get sales brochures out in time. There are lots of stories of becoming friends with the rich and famous and getting pretty successful, going out to all the “in” places, seeing and being seen and doing things to excess. They see the good side of things, and later the not so great sides as well. A very well told story that goes into other areas that are also important and gives a good bit of history. Well worth the read, but I don’t want to give anything away. An advance digital copy was provided by Netgalley, author Lance Richardson, and the publisher for my honest review. Crown Publishers Publication: May 1, 2018
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  • Dana Aprigliano (TheVaguelyArticulateReader)
    January 1, 1970
    (minor spoiler alert) I haven't given a book five entire stars in a really long time, but here we are I guess because this book was PHENOMENAL.Not only was the history of the Nutter brothers meticulously researched, but the narrative had a voice to it that made the story engaging and relaxing to read. And being that the content of the narrative was so fantastical that it was almost hard to believe that the events happened in real life, having such a vivid voice was necessary.If you don't read th (minor spoiler alert) I haven't given a book five entire stars in a really long time, but here we are I guess because this book was PHENOMENAL.Not only was the history of the Nutter brothers meticulously researched, but the narrative had a voice to it that made the story engaging and relaxing to read. And being that the content of the narrative was so fantastical that it was almost hard to believe that the events happened in real life, having such a vivid voice was necessary.If you don't read this book for any other reason than to see the magnificent photographs within its pages, all of which had fascinating stories described throughout the course of the book, then that would be reason enough. There are pictures here that you would see basically nowhere else, featuring celebrities of the seventies and eighties (especially Elton John) doing incredible things that you'd never have thought they would do (getting into bed with drag queen Divine), bespoke suits that changed the way we see fashion (Tommy Nutter's various revolutionary designs), and more.And you might even learn a thing or two about LGBT history along the way (since both of the Nutter brothers were gay).Bottom line, READ THIS BOOK (immediately, if possible).
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    House of Nutter by Lance Richardson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April.A quirky, saga-like biography of the brothers Nutter, told mostly back and forth the Atlantic from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. I could say that I enjoyed Tommy's story with its decadent peaks, creative leaps, and zany nightlife bacchanals, but then I'd be slighting David's narrative in New York with his photography and steadfast loyalty to his celebrity friends.
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  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating subject matter. I thought I knew a lot about late-1960s/1970s music, art, and fashion, and yet I still learned plenty from this book. It turns out I knew next to nothing about Tommy Nutter. This book proves how much consideration Nutter's contributions are due.One thing I would mention is that the author, Lance Richardson, seems to be a bit better are writing sad and serious stories than writing about happy times -- the end sections about the AIDS crisis are deeply affecting by their Fascinating subject matter. I thought I knew a lot about late-1960s/1970s music, art, and fashion, and yet I still learned plenty from this book. It turns out I knew next to nothing about Tommy Nutter. This book proves how much consideration Nutter's contributions are due.One thing I would mention is that the author, Lance Richardson, seems to be a bit better are writing sad and serious stories than writing about happy times -- the end sections about the AIDS crisis are deeply affecting by their very nature, but in earlier sections, Richardson fails to entirely capture the joie de vivre of the Swinging '60s, for example. I mean, it's all here, but one doesn't quite feel it in the way one might wish. Richardson is clearly more journalist than painter of word-pictures. However, I suspect this may also be a consequence of how much source material (papers, interviews) came from David Nutter, Tommy's living brother, who had his own exciting adventures as a rock photographer but also had battled addiction and depression. So, throughout the book, even the happiest times seem tinged with sadness and desperation. (Though I guess this is a fairly common experience for anyone looking back at the '70s through the lens of later events.)In any case, I especially liked when the Nutter brothers' lives were put into a larger context -- WWII and its aftermath, the history of Savile Row, the rise and fall of the Beatles, etc. I had no idea, going in, how personally close the Nutters were to all this, and how much influence Tommy had. I'm happy to have had this gap in my knowledge filled. In fact, this book fills a Nutter-shaped hole in the collective memory of British and American fashion and music history. I hope it will be widely read. ** I received an ARC of this book via Penguin's First to Read program **
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley for this advanced eGalley of "House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row".On the surface, and based on its captivating cover, you'd think this was going to be a book centered around Thomas (Tommy) Nutter--one of the pioneering designers of the once ultra-conservative Savile Row.However, it is about BOTH David and Tommy Nutter, almost in equal measure.Both gay.Both ahead of their time in their respective disciplines.Tommy hoped to turn the fashion world on its head with h Thank you NetGalley for this advanced eGalley of "House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row".On the surface, and based on its captivating cover, you'd think this was going to be a book centered around Thomas (Tommy) Nutter--one of the pioneering designers of the once ultra-conservative Savile Row.However, it is about BOTH David and Tommy Nutter, almost in equal measure.Both gay.Both ahead of their time in their respective disciplines.Tommy hoped to turn the fashion world on its head with his otherworldly suit designs. Designs that would find their way onto the bodies of  the Beatles (who wore his suits for the cover of 'Abbey Road'), Elton John, Diana Ross, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Mick Jagger. And while his successes would make him, at one time, the toast of London, his desire to remain true to his vision would also alienate and eviscerate relationships he'd develop with others.One thing was frustratingly clear about Tommy, he wasn't willing to compromise under any circumstance.His is a story of ups and downs--with the downs being nearly as notable as the ups--which culminates in his life being cut short by the growing AIDS epidemic. On the other side of the pond, in New York, his older brother David's story would take place in parallel form. While younger brother Tommy was navigating the fashion waters, David's flare with a camera would bring him into contact with music and art royalty.In an almost 'Forrest Gump' like fashion, David's ability to take pictures brought him into the orbit of not only the Beatles, but Elton John, Michael Jackson (before 'Off The Wall' made him into an other-worldly success), Freddie Mercury, and Mick Jagger.Truthfully, as one who adores pop culture history--particularly where music is concerned--I was more fascinated with the world David inhabited. I couldn't believe the serendipity of his life.A life that, sadly, was also spent in the grips of depression, thanks to undiagnosed manic depression (i.e. Bipolar Disorder). David often turned to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication, to no avail. By the time he figures out how to control his moods more effectively, he's endured more than his share of emotional, and physical, turmoil.House of Nutter doesn't make it a point to dwell on David's mental health, but it was easy to see how it effected his ability to take better advantage of his opportunities--of which he certainly had many.It also highlights how devastating the AIDS epidemic truly was, at that time. So many friends would eventually be lost to the disease--including Tommy himself (who died of AIDS in 1992).That may have been the saddest part of all of this. Tommy didn't live long enough to see his influence come to fruition in many of today's most relevant designers--including Tom Ford.An entertaining read for anyone interested in a time when creativity and innovation were at the forefront of progression, and art was about making something last, rather than setting a trend.
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  • Mandy Weeks
    January 1, 1970
    The strange, illuminative true story of Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor who changed the silhouette of men’s fashion—and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film.From an early age, there was something different about Tommy and David Nutter. Growing up in an austere apartment above a café catering to truck drivers, both boys seemed destined to lead rather humble lives in post-war London—Tommy as a civil servant, David as a darkroom technician. Yet the strength of their The strange, illuminative true story of Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor who changed the silhouette of men’s fashion—and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film.From an early age, there was something different about Tommy and David Nutter. Growing up in an austere apartment above a café catering to truck drivers, both boys seemed destined to lead rather humble lives in post-war London—Tommy as a civil servant, David as a darkroom technician. Yet the strength of their imagination (plus a little help from their friends) transformed them instead into unlikely protagonists of a swinging cultural revolution. In 1969, at the age of twenty-six, Tommy opened an unusual new boutique on the “golden mile” of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row. While shocking a haughty establishment resistant to change, “Nutters of Savile Row” became an immediate sensation among the young, rich, and beautiful, beguiling everyone from Bianca Jagger to the Beatles—who immortalized Tommy’s designs on the album cover of Abbey Road. Meanwhile, David’s innate talent with a camera vaulted him across the Atlantic to New York City, where he found himself in a parallel constellation of stars (Yoko Ono, Elton John) who enjoyed his dry wit almost as much as his photography.House of Nutter tells the stunning true story of two gay men who influenced some of the most iconic styles and pop images of the twentieth century. Drawing on interviews with more than seventy people—and taking advantage of unparalleled access to never-before-seen pictures, letters, sketches, and diaries—journalist Lance Richardson presents a dual portrait of brothers improvising their way through five decades of extraordinary events, their personal struggles playing out against vivid backdrops of the Blitz, an obscenity trial, the birth of disco, and the devastation of the AIDS crisis.
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  • Jill Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    I think it's easy to forget the toll that the AIDS epidemic took on our creative communities from 1980 til the mid-1990's when medical "cocktails" helped turn the fatal disease into a chronic one. Author Lance Richardson reminds us of that toll in his biography of Tommy Nutter, "The House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row." The bio, which centers on Tommy, also features his older brother, David, who was a noted photographer and management aide to many prominent rock musicians. The Nutter I think it's easy to forget the toll that the AIDS epidemic took on our creative communities from 1980 til the mid-1990's when medical "cocktails" helped turn the fatal disease into a chronic one. Author Lance Richardson reminds us of that toll in his biography of Tommy Nutter, "The House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row." The bio, which centers on Tommy, also features his older brother, David, who was a noted photographer and management aide to many prominent rock musicians. The Nutter brothers were born before and during WW2 of lower middle-class British parents. They came of age in the 1950's and 60's and both fastened on to the burgeoning style scene in London. Tommy went to work for a bespoke tailoring shop on Savile Row and soon shook things up with his - for the time - avant garde designs of how the new, the mod man, should look. He opened his own shop, selling his own designs, but Tommy Nutter was more a designer than a businessman. David, meanwhile. was finding his way as a photographer in London and New York. They were both in the mix at fashionable parties and the club scene. Both men were gay and dabbled in drugs.As the years went by, both men were successful - David as much as he wanted to be - and lived interesting lives. But when Tommy became HIV positive in the early 1990's, his life was cut short. He joined the thousands of creatives who lost their lives. Will we know what designs could have been designed, music been composed, books been written? Lance Richardson, in his book, takes a good look at the Nutter brothers - one dead, the other alive - and written an interesting book about two men who most of us were probably not acquainted with before reading the book.
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  • Cian O hAnnrachainn
    January 1, 1970
    Fashion underwent a tremendous revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, and Tommy Nutter was one of that revolution's leaders.This biography of the noted fashion designer was fascinating. A man from humble beginnings set the men's fashion world on its head with his bold designs and use of color at a time when the world was still very much a grey place. Add to that kind of bold thinking the fact that Mr. Nutter was gay when the gay world was still in the closet, and you have the makings of an intriguin Fashion underwent a tremendous revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, and Tommy Nutter was one of that revolution's leaders.This biography of the noted fashion designer was fascinating. A man from humble beginnings set the men's fashion world on its head with his bold designs and use of color at a time when the world was still very much a grey place. Add to that kind of bold thinking the fact that Mr. Nutter was gay when the gay world was still in the closet, and you have the makings of an intriguing read.The writer brings us into the world of Savile Row tailoring and gay nightlife in swinging London, and he does it well. He places us in the disco era, among the stars in Tommy Nutter bespoke suits, all glitz and glamour and tragedy when the AIDS virus began to spread.Not to be forgotten is Tommy's brother David, the noted photographer, who also features prominently in the tale. He was a groundbreaking artist in his own right, and the story of two gay brothers in creative fields, blazing new trails, makes for a very enjoyable read.The younger generation, those who did not grow up in the bland 1950s and think the 1960s was all about protesting will find this treatment of those days interesting. There was a revolution, pushed on by the post-war babies, and the protests took on many forms, including wide lapels and colors beyond the grey/navy pallet.Thanks to Penguin Random House for access to a book that I highly recommend.
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  • Jill Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fascinating read! Despite being tragically unhip, I find stories about the fashion world delightfully dishy and entertaining - the glamour, the rise and inevitable fall, the drama of it all makes for such interesting reads... David and Tommy Nutter were a pair of true originals, and their tale was exactly as interesting, dramatic, and full of deliciously snappy gossipy bits as I'd hoped. It was very well-written, in a narrative style that kept me engaged without feeling lost in t This was such a fascinating read! Despite being tragically unhip, I find stories about the fashion world delightfully dishy and entertaining - the glamour, the rise and inevitable fall, the drama of it all makes for such interesting reads... David and Tommy Nutter were a pair of true originals, and their tale was exactly as interesting, dramatic, and full of deliciously snappy gossipy bits as I'd hoped. It was very well-written, in a narrative style that kept me engaged without feeling lost in the drama. The brothers' tale was tragic, comic, and tragicomic - sometimes in the same anecdote! - and I loved all the campy details of their run-ins with icons of their era. They lived HUGE lives, particularly for a pair of boys from such humble beginnings, and their tale was a delight to read.This was indeed a wild ride, and it sent me to Google more times than I can count to check out the people and events and styles referenced - particularly since my copy did not include the vast majority of the image files, for some reason. Since I couldn't find a lot of the pictures, I can only imagine how cool the full print book must be!My review copy was provided by the Penguin First to Read program.
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  • Aria
    January 1, 1970
    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- A nice tale about an artistic tailor, which closes in a way that makes one aware this book was really about two people; both the tailor & his brother. Tommy & David Nutter are the kind of people I find interesting, b/c they lived life on their own terms as much as possible. Mad respect for that. Moving things along were the story line happening mainly on 2 continents, as well as both the local & global ups & dow ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- A nice tale about an artistic tailor, which closes in a way that makes one aware this book was really about two people; both the tailor & his brother. Tommy & David Nutter are the kind of people I find interesting, b/c they lived life on their own terms as much as possible. Mad respect for that. Moving things along were the story line happening mainly on 2 continents, as well as both the local & global ups & downs of history. The determination of these 2 brothers to live as they saw fit led to remarkable contributions for the culture of the times, & left indelible marks on modern culture. Maybe you don't (yet) know their names, but odds are high you've come across their work. I found this book to be well-written & must thank the author for this work. The cathartic effect it must have produced for David Nutter is enough to make me grateful it was done.
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  • Argum
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from Penguin First To Read. I had never heard of the Nutter brothers, but the blurb sounded like an interesting way to view a time in history with a particular subculture. It did not disappoint. Tommy and David Nutter were born to working class family around the end of the war. They both somehow become stars in the orbit of celebrities with Tommy being a Saville Row tailor who dressed Elton John and the Beatles and many others and David being the man who photo I received a free copy of this book from Penguin First To Read. I had never heard of the Nutter brothers, but the blurb sounded like an interesting way to view a time in history with a particular subculture. It did not disappoint. Tommy and David Nutter were born to working class family around the end of the war. They both somehow become stars in the orbit of celebrities with Tommy being a Saville Row tailor who dressed Elton John and the Beatles and many others and David being the man who photographed them. Both were gay men who dealt with AIDS birth but only David survived it. There is something interesting fro everyone here -an inside look at the Beatles, fashion, gay culture, breaking down of class system in postwar Britain, AIDS. Really entertaining and many pictures to bring this to life.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing book...the glamor of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and rock stars...also great photos, loved this book...
  • Ady Grafovna
    January 1, 1970
    This was a glamorous and tragic story that will appeal to those that love Hollywood biographies.
  • Pcox
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting
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