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House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  42 reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Crown Archetype
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Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 brother, p
Valerity (Val)
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
The one thing I love about reading biographies is how I am constantly introduced to individuals who I have never heard about. Tommy Nutter is a wonderful example of this. This book is about his rise to fame in the world of bespoke tailoring during the 1970s.

At the age of 26, Tommy Nutter opened up Nutters of Savile Row in central London. This would not have been a cause for great concern except for the fact that he had no formal education or experience as a fashion designer or tailor. All he had
Alysa H.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
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.
Joshua Mason
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm normally a quick study but in this case, I wanted to savour this tome. Not only a story of the legend and saviour of Savile Row, designer and icon, but a touching double-portrait of brothers Tommy and David Nutter during a time of cultural upheaval.

Tommy Nutter - an iconoclast who subverted the dusty culture of the Savile Row tailor to bring new energy to fight through waves of conservatism ...
and David Nutter - who provided a window into a revolution, a consciousness through his lens having
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Aaron Shulman
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I inhaled this book. Written with a brisk and elegant style, the story of the Nutter brothers covers so much ground in such a personal way, compelling way, offering a history of gay life in New York and London, inside looks at the Beatles and Elton John, among many other things, and of course the world of tailoring, which I knew nothing about but loved. And the end gutted me.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Very well written and entertaining. I knew nothing of Tommy and David Nutter before reading this, but found it a thoroughly fascinating insight into the world of fashion and entertainment in the 1960s and 70s. Highly recommended.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
House of Nutter is an astonishing, well-told story of the fabulous Nutter Brothers. Tommy a bespoke tailor/fashion designer and then older brother, David, an entertainment photographer who worked with and hobnobbed with Jagger, Elton and Lennon (only a single name required). Both brothers were British, gay and charismatic and the book is filled with fascinating stories about these talented brothers.

The brothers were brought up in the 50’s and 60’s in Britain in a strict, conservative household w
Sophy H
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating book about the Nutter brothers, of whom I admit I knew nothing despite their many celebrity achievements, as tailor and photographer to the stars.

Tommy and David's stories are tinged with success, despair, failure, love, loss and adversity.

A very interesting read if you're after something a little different.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews, biography
I am going to admit that I had no idea who Tommy Nutter was before opening this book. I quickly realized, however, that he has waved a hand over many of the most famous moments in pop culture history spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s. His brother David was equally as ubiquitous. Tommy dressed the likes of Elton John, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Yoko Ono, the Beatles, various members of royalty, and many other famous film and music stars of the time period. He designed the suits John, Paul, and Ri ...more
Tom Schulte
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this biog - really of the 2 Nutter brothers: tailor Tommy and photog David. There remarkable lives are more than the broad-shouldered bespoke suit trend Tommy started after first bringing in the altered style of an English horse riding jacket. Bother moved in orbits with Elton John as a focus and thats three of Tommy's creations on the cover of Abbey Road. Both gay men lived a colorful club life that was eclipsed by the specter of AIDS. The decades covered here feel like a gener ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Barred Owl Books
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 thei
Jill Meyer
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Cian O hAnnrachainn
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Jill Elizabeth
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Crystal (Goddess in the Stacks)
This biography is titled for Tommy Nutter, the tailor, but it's really a dual biography of Tommy and his older brother, David. Both gay, both influential in their own celebrity circles, both intimately affected by the AIDS crisis.

Lance Richardson is himself gay, and I think his personal connection brings a depth to the biography that a straight author wouldn't have. He writes about the persecution of gay men in Britain in the 70s, and the underground gay clubs, with a kind of underlying passion
Becky Johnston
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just a quick FYI - I read an advanced reader copy of this book that I got from my local bookstore, so the main problems I have with this might have been resolved.

This is a nonfiction account based around the life of Thomas Nutter, a famous English tailor who helped create the "look" of the 1960s and 70s. It talks a lot about his life, his work, and the culture surrounding him during this time - the advent of rock and roll, the changing economic and cultural scene in London, and the ever-moving-
John Spiller
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic read for a niche audience, namely anyone who is familiar with Tommy Nutter, or has an abiding interest in Savile Row tailoring, or simply has an insatiable appetite for Elton John stories. Though the ostensible subject of "House of Nutter" is Tommy Nutter, his brother (David) plays a prominent role as well, which is as it should be because David provided a wealth of archival materials that elevate the book from superficial to sublime. There are a number of delicious bits of c ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
---- 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. T

Bonnie Smith
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
Honestly, the excerpt I read in a magazine was really good.
But, when I read the actual book, I was rather disappointed.
Even though “House of Nutter” was run by Tommy Nutter,
the book was about Tommy and his brother, David. Huh?

I wanted more on the 1970s-1980s fashions! Creating a very
trendy store in London! Rubbing shoulders with the stars,
the parties and the gossip! Instead, it was more about how
they grew up, how they looked, and their boyfriends.

It was written well, though had too many adjecti
Amy Ingalls
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, giveaways
I won this book in a giveaway. I started reading this without any prior knowledge about Tommy or David Nutter. I found the story interesting, and enjoyed that it was ultimately the story of both brothers. I also found it heartbreaking-- it is easy to forget the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic in the 80's and how many people were lost. My one wish is that there were more pictures, especially of the wonderful clothes that Tommy designed. ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book itself not only told a fantastic story about Tommy Nutter, it also touched on a whole era, the era of my youth, and summed it up perfectly.
I remember seeing the photos in the book, in magazines and newspapers.
Studio 54 and CBGB’s, were places I dreamed of going to.
How the general public reacted to the emergence of AIDS, and the clothes.
Oh, the clothes!
I loved the clothes, and have Tommy Nutter to thank for those w i d e lapels, and the mixing/mismatching of colors, designs and patterns.
David Hallstrom
Lance Richardson looks at one of the more interesting characters from Savile Row - you know Tommy Nutter's work even if you think you do not, as all Beatles but for George wore a Nutter suit on the Abbey Rod cover - and fills out the story of the man's life. A well-written and engaging book but at the end I did not feel I knew Tommy Nutter as a person, which is what expect from a biography. ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
G Batts
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A biography with the intimacy of a memoir. The story is entertaining, camp, tragic and sad and the accompanying photos peppered throughout the book are incredible. It’s almost worth reading for the photos alone, from glorious fashion moments like Bianca Jagger arriving at Heathrow Airport in a Nutter bespoke to the innocence of a young Michael Jackson dancing in a hotel room with an umbrella.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I won this in a giveaway.

A fascinating time capsule of a very specific moment in music and fashion. A book as glamorous as the subject matter and, indeed, those who sported his entirely unique style.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of Tommy Nutter before this but it didn't stop me from enjoying this biography of him & his photographer brother, David. What fascinating lives they led! How tragic AIDS took Tommy while he was still so young.... ...more
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Lance Richardson has written for numerous publications, including The Guardian, The New Yorker (online), Slate, The Atlantic, and several international iterations of GQ. He spent years as a travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and holds a masters degree in longform journalism from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, NYU.

Originally from Australia, he now lives in New York.


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