On Valentine’s Day, 1969, the stuffy world of British tailoring was “upended”, says Penelope Green in The New York Times. A new shop opened on Savile Row: Nutters, named after its “charismatic frontman” Tommy Nutter. In contrast to the frosted glass of its neighbours, Nutters’s windows were filled with “purple and hot pink ostrich feathers”, and “taxidermied rats outfitted in tiny tuxedos and diamanté chokers”. But the real star was Edward Sexton, the co-founder and tailor. Known as the “wizard with the scissors”, Sexton, who recently died aged 80, developed an unmistakable style of suiting: “wide lapels and sharp shoulders”, nipped in waists and waistcoats, and “sweeping trousers”.
His clients were a who’s who of rock’n’roll. Mick Jagger and John Lennon wore his suits at their weddings, as did three of the Beatles on the cover of Abbey Road (George Harrison stuck to jeans). Others included Twiggy, Joan Collins, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, David Hockney, and Nancy Reagan when she was the First Lady of California. But perhaps his most prolific customer was Elton John, who would order his suits 20 at a time. “It was quite an event going into Nutters,” John’s manager once said. “You’d write the whole day off.”