Nudie the Rodeo Tailor

nudie_portrait_sm.jpg

This photo-driven book documents the life and work of legendary tailor Nudie Cohn, whose eccentric pieces of wearable art were worn by countless country, rock and pop musicians, everyone from Elvis to Elton John. The free-for-all that is Japanese street fashion is undeniably more outlandish, but if you keep in mind how Nudie made everyone look like Liberace (even macho country boys in the conservative ’50s!), his work becomes all the more inspiring. There are numerous, thicker retrospectives with glossy snapshots of flashy rodeo wear, but this is the only book that focuses entirely on Nudie.

His story is so enticing I don’t know why no one’s written a comprehensive, narrative non-fiction biography about him: After immigrating from Russia, he became an amateur boxer, spent time hitchhiking coast to coast and eventually started fashioning clothes and costumes out of his garage in the ’40s. If you’re a serious seamster or occasional stitch ‘n bitcher, his embroidery will get your juices flowing. If you’re a home crafter or tinkerer with big aspirations, here’s another fine example of what’s possible.

Nudie the Rodeo Tailor
Mary Lynn Cabrall & Jamie Lee Nudie
2004, 160 pages
$10

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:
Nudie001_sm.jpg
Nudie002_sm.jpg
Nudie004_sm.jpg
Nudie005_sm.jpg

Related items previously reviewed in Cool Tools:

brother_sewing_sm.jpg

Brother Sewing Machine

Fruits

tiedye_sm.jpg

Tie-Dye!