Tommy Nutter’s Fab Three… Plus One

The Man From The Hornet writes…


All through the month of August we’ve been looking at stylish musicians here on The Hornet. In this context it would be rude not to mention this fellow here…


Tommy Nutter

That’s Tommy Nutter, whose photo takes pride of place in the window of Hornets in Church Walk.


We’ve written about him before in our Greats of The Row series, but we’re coming back to him now because he was the Savile Row tailor to The Beatles.


And here are three of his most famous suits…



I love this sleeve. Much has been written about the so-called “clues” in the picture relating to the death of Paul McCartney – see the VW number plate which reads 28IF; taken by some to be a reference to the famous bass player who would have been 28 IF he’d lived (!). Stuff and nonsense, of course, but great fun.


But I’m much more fascinated by the suits.


John, Paul and Ringo all wear suits by Tommy Nutter. Only George is out of step sartorially.

Lennon tries his hand (or his foot, rather) at rebellion, teaming his suit with plimsoles: very 60s Lennon, this, the nervous, the tentative rebel, always pulling back at the last minute. McCartney goes barefoot: an absurdist pose learned from his (then comparatively new) love affair with the art world. Only Ringo is fully suited and booted and box-fresh; the mark of a good working class boy. George in jeans couldn’t give a flying hoot. You can almost hear Lennon seethe: George has stolen his rebel thunder.

When I was younger I used to look at this sleeve and think that George had somehow spoiled the picture in his denims.


I now know this is very far from the case.


George was always the most stylish Beatle: those cadaverous good looks of his offset the “onion bouffant” hairdos of the mid sixties beautifully…


In the picture of George Harrison on the Abbey Road sleeve we see the demob-happy Beatle; he’s been in the band since he was 14-years-old and here, at 26, he wants out. Here we see a man who knows his own mind and sets his own style; a man tired of uniform. A man not afraid to stand out from the herd.


All of which can be summed up in the Orson Welles quote at the top right hand corner of this blog: “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”


P.S. Sir Mick liked a bit of Tommy Nutter, too…



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