Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day

Today is the 45th anniversary of the release of the last Beatles studio album Abbey Road.

Here we re-blog a piece from the men's style blog The Hornet. The Hornet is the blog of the Kensington gents outfitter Hornets – London Walkers who have joined us on the Kensington walk on Thursdays will be very familiar with Hornets, particularly if Adam or David have been leading the walk!

Thanks to The Man From The Hornet for his permission to reblog this post…

So how’s this for a procession of deeply un-stylish words? Edgware, Kilburn, Willesden, plumber. Hardly the pedigree of a Savile Row tailor.
Yet it is the story of one of the modern greats.
Tommy Nutter was born in Wales, raised in Edgware, moved to Kilburn and trained to be a plumber at Willesden Technical College.

Mercifully, at the age of 19, he threw in the spanner and took up the study of tailoring.

Here's Tommy, whose photo takes pride of place in the window of Hornets in Church Walk.

Tommy Nutter

Tommy Nutter 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 offsetting 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, one of our blog mottoes: “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…

You can read The Hornet HERE.

And heres our own RocknRoll London video


Join the Rock’n'Roll London Walk on Friday at 2pm, meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station (Exit 3) – to book a Private Walk call 020 7642 3978 or email

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment