2020 has been the worst year for the golden mile of tailoring since the 2008 financial crash. It makes it hard to elicit why, Edward Sexton, the creative force behind the pioneering Nutters of Savile Row who reinvented the Savile Row suit in the late Sixties and Seventies is back on the famed street - after a near 30-year absence.
Sexton has a habit of popping up at the right time. Along with his former business partner Tommy Nutter, they caught the attention of a likeminded avant-garde population, who were emerging out of the youth-driven cultural revolution of the swinging sixties. Bold clashing patterns, architectural shoulders and elongated trouser silhouettes were exactly the tailoring eccentricities that the young rock ‘n’ roll stars such as Mick Jagger, Clapton and of course the Beatles hankered after.
In many ways Sexton is retracing his steps. He’s taken today’s simmering rancour, mainly amongst the youth as an opportunity to delve further into the changing patterns of dress by opening up a pop-up shop and exhibition at 36 Savile Row. History has a habit of repeating itself and so it is not really by chance that Sexton is back in the same premises, 50 years on from when he opened his first shop with Tommy Nutter. Sexton says: “Back then it was a graveyard, with heavy curtains over windows, big heavy doors. You would walk down it and have no idea what was being sold”. Savile Row due to the unforeseen pandemic is in grave danger again. It is why Sexton has been ushered by Pollen Estates, who own swathes of Savile Row to return to the area on a reduced rate to help safeguard the area's iconic tailoring legacy. It is only fitting that the pop-up shop is in part an exhibition, featuring never-before-seen portraits of old customers including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, shot by Tommy’s brother, David Nutter. It exemplifies Sexton’s extraordinary contribution to British style.