Wednesday, May 25, 2011

THE CULT OF TAILORING – The Tommy Nutter Look in expo at the Fashion Textile Museum

Tommy Nutter – Rebel on the Row 

If you ever end up close to the London Bridge underground station and you have some spare time I recommend you go and see this exhibition.
I have always wanted some insight on the british tailoring and suit making and this was the perfect opportunity to get some. 

Starting with the 1960’s Savile Row experienced a revolution and was hit by the ‘youthquake generation’ as it was called. The new wave designers started opening their boutiques and provided men a range of more extrovert , colourful suites and accessories.


In the year 1969 Tommy Nutter opened his store on Savile Row on Valentine’s Day. Nutters of Savile Row it was called and that marked the beginning of a New Era in Tailoring.

‘Tommy Nutter’s personable and stylich attitude to the styling and selling of clothes would link with the exquisite tailoring and sculptural cutting of Sexton in a completely new way. With Sexton cutting to Nutter’s ideas the nascent Nutter style was born. The team were soon joined by the tailors Joe Morgan and Roy Chittleborough who were young and enthusiastic and excited by the new styles coming out of 35a Savile Row ' (Tommy Nutter – Rebel on the Row exhibition booklet at the FTM).

The 70's: cuts , fabrics, details and features

Dressing the Famous – On and Off Stage

Suites worn by Mick Jagger
Two Piece Suits worn by Mick Jagger
In the picture above : Green jacket and trousers/Wool 1974, Yellow double breasted jacket and trousers/Silk 1974, Checked flannel double breasted jacket and trousers/Wool 1973 - all worn by Mick Jagger
'Tommy completely glamorised Savile Row and made it accessible' - Sir Elton John

Show costumes worn by Sir Elton John in his tours

Jacket with trousers,shirt,braces and bowtie/ Silk Moire

 This lilac and black suit is another stage costume designed by Tommy Nutter for Elton John's tour. Multiple coulourways were produced, each with a matching set of accessories.

Two tone suit with shirt, bowtie and braces Cotton

This distinctive half black, half white ensemble was the key look of the 'I'm Still Standing' tour. A whole array of suits were produced , including the reverse of the black and white, all accessorised with matching shoes and straw boaters

Tailcoated jumpsuit with tartan sleeves and tails / Cotton , wool and gold braid

This jumpsuit is one of a series of costumes commissioned by Elton John from Tommy Nutter for his tour of 1984. Jumpsuits were a special request from the singer. This featured a Scots bonnet and red shoes. In Nutter's workrooms, the top balves of the jumpsuit were made by the coatmakers whilst the bottom halves were made by the trouser makers. Note the join at the waist.

Jumpsuit with buttoned chest panel and belt/ Cotton 1984

Suites worn by Ringo Starr

Coat, Jacket and Three Piece Suit worn by Ringo Starr of the Beatles

Black frock coat with original badge / Wool 1969  and Jacket/Wool 1974
A black wool frock coat tips its hat to the Edwardian gentlemen of St. James and Piccadilly, here accessorised with an original 'I Love Dogs' badge as worn by Ringo Starr of the Beatles.

The jacket on the right is a classic Nutter with contrast trim and pockets. This jacket also features the well defined shoulder developed by the house in the early 1970's.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yohji Yamamoto at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Soooo... I  went to the main desk , bought a ticket and got in. :) Duuuuh - well suprisingly enough this was the moment when I felt really sad that I missed out on deciding what I want to do with my life and that I didn't attend any Fashion Design courses. It was heaven for whomever did that - the patterns , cuts and lines of all the costumes were absolutely amazing. Even I say that and I mostly don't know what I am talking about.

I got very sad when I was told by one of the girls at the entrance that I am not allowed to take any pictures or draw any sketches. I did however buy all the postcards from the exhibition so that you can get a little idea of everything I was able to see.  The Museum's blog where can provide some pictures and some information on the team's work in getting the whole exhibition together (lighting, mannequin dressing and everything else) at this link

And here are the pictures I could take at the entrance of the gift shop

Lots of sense of humour, unusual pattern cutting and fabric combinations are the keywords which best describe this event. I must say it was a whole adventure taking part at this event - also because walking from one mannequin to another you had to read the little guide of the collection and all exhibited looks were tagged with W1,W2 for women's designs and M1,M2 for the men's. In the guide you could read exactly what type of fabrics and prints Yamamoto used. There were also lots of videos and from all the catwalk shows , starting with the early 90's and finishing up with the latest ones.

Like for instance these two pieces : Suit Nr.1 Black suit jacket with back made from lace, white shirt and black trousers Spring/Summer 2009 Cotton and cotton lace and Suit Nr.2 : Black jacket with white embroidery and white shirt Spring/Summer 2009 Cotton and wool gabardine

When I started the men's line in Paris, my message was very simple: let's be outside of this. Let's be far from our suits and ties. Let's be far from businessmen. Let's be vagabonds. Yohji Yamamoto
What made me smile was the Autumn/Winter collection from 1999 named Ziganes - which was as the name calls it - inspired by the gypsy culture - the whole collection was presented on stage alongside the Taraf de Haidouks which played live music for the invites.

Goodies from the V&A Shop!!!

Of course I couldn't resist the temptation of buying something to remember this occasion so I stopped and shopped for little bibs and bobs - like the official exhibition poster , all the postcards and 4 little pins signed by Yohji which one of my bags will win. :) The catalogue runs for 25 £ so if you do decide to get it it's worth it!

Here are some of the pictures I found on the internet - a few of the pieces which were exposed and I wasn't allowed to capture

Yellow strapless silk dress and oversized coolie hat covered with draped silk Spring/Summer 1997

Long black silk coat with exaggerated bishop sleeves and black silk short skirt in homage to Cristobal Balenciaga Autumn/Winter 2003-04
White cashmere off-the-shoulder dress and heavy knit white hat Autumn/Winter 1998-99 
On the left side of the same picture you can see the following pieces
W29: Red and black boiled wool jacket with gathered front and long skirt Autumn/Winter 2009-10
W28: Red and black tartan fringed jacket and hound's-tooth check fringed skirr with black and red cap in the style of a Scottish tam o'shanter Autumn/Winter 2003-04
W27: Red sleeveless pleated dress in homage to Madame Gres Spring/Summer 2005 Silk
W26: Black long-sleeved jumper and red and black knitted skirt Autumn/Winter 1998-99
W25: Red asymmetric dress with crinoline Autumn/Winter 1990-91 Light wool felt

Long, wide-necked , blue, grey and yellow padded and embroidered paisley top and tapered trousers with purple fake fur hat Autumn/Winter 2000-01 and on the right side Beige and paisley padded hooded bolero jacket with fake fur trim and long padded skirt Autumn/Winter 2000-01