STAMPED WITH A '60s STYLE
Tommy Nutter and Granny Takes a Trip are two famous fashion names from the past chosen by the Royal Mail to represent British tailoring on a new set of stamps celebrating British style. The set features just three menswear styles out of the ten included, with the third one from designer Paul Smith.
It might seem strange to pick Tommy, who died 20 years ago this summer, but his design talent has on-going appeal (as in the picture right) and his name also lives on in Nutters, a present-day Savile Row firm. Granny Takes a Trip was the zeitgeist boutique in the 60s guided by Savile Row-trained tailor, John Pearse (see style p2).
The Royal Mail panel that decided on those to be featured had in mind a typically extrovert suit that had been made by Tommy for Ringo Starr in the 1960s. The plan was to photograph all the original designs when this programme was first underway last Summer, but a Tommy Nutter exhibition was being staged in which the Ringo Starr suit was a highlight and it could not be released. A replica had to be made. Into the breach stepped David Mason, director of Nutters.
“We approached Holland & Sherry, who had supplied the cloth for the original,” he explains. “It’s a large Prince of Wales type check for the jacket, with a shepherd check for the trousers and vest and on the patch pockets and lapel braiding. They had it woven especially for us and we had an exact copy made by our tailor.”
David Mason's son, Elliot, seen here, was the centre of attention wearing it at the recent Burlington Arcade party (see style p4), photographed by many of the international press present. "I just love the suit," he said. It is a stunning example of bespoke craftsmanship as well as Tommy’s talent.
“The picture of Ringo wearing it, which was used for a Holland & Sherry ad in the 60s, shows what a great suit is was for him, I don’t think he has ever looked as good!”commented Mason
Mick Jagger was the original wearer of another outfit chosen from the 60s, created for him at Swinging London’s top boutique, Granny Takes A Trip. John Pearse was the man responsible, who had his tailoring training at Hawes & Curtis under Teddy Watson.
“ What is remarkable is that the styling is now so fashionable,” he points out, with the jacket’s bold print and the shirt ruffles currently in favour for both men and women. The photograph for the stamp is featured in the window of his Soho tailoring shop, a tribute to the 60s era and his design prescience.
The third menswear inclusion on the stamps is by Paul Smith, a designer who has achieved world-wide success, especially in Japan. It is interesting to note that of the three, his is the classic blue suit, while the two bespoke tailors created avantgarde outfits.
The women’s fashion designers include Hardy Amies, Hartnell, Ossie Clarke, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, with just Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood still very much alive and designing.