STYLE ICON – STELLA TENNANT

Born into a gilded family, the Devonshires, the Tennant sisters are now creating rare and beautiful objects for the home, decorated in gold leaf. Stella says about herself: “We were the new kids on the block. Those 80’s girls knew how to do
their hair and make-up. We didn’t dress up for work. Everything was ripped and torn.”
In the 90’s there was a different kind of beauty; more angular, flat-chested and boyish. Tennant says herself that there was a whole rash of much odder looking people.

Although now 44, Stella Tennant is still modelling and was recently (2015) on the cover of British Vogue. Of all Tennant’s glamorous, edgy images I really love the pictures of her in the bucolic countryside. Particular favourites are the photographs by Bruce Weber of her and her family, ostensibly fashion editorials, but I feel really capture her spirit. I adored, too, the Vogue photo shoot by Arthur Elgort of Tennant diving fully dressed – in tweed and wearing gumboots – into a pool, and a very good dive too. Many of her editorial shoots emphasise the pastoral magazine fantasy of country life, a life Stella now lives with her four children on the Scottish borders.

As many have discovered, the British country way of life is hard to replicate elsewhere, and tweeds, jumpers, Macs and wellies worn with conviction and style is a look that doesn’t travel. It is no wonder that International Vogue has cast Stella as their archetypal lady to the manor born.

Alongside the country tweed image, I have always admired how she has managed to allow her own personality and “look” to shine through in many of her editorial photographs. Tennant always makes even the most classic piece look punk; a knack that we could all learn from. Her own quirky look is extremely chic - of it, she says, "You have got to make your own style. Nature, nurture: your environment informs your style.” She also agreed that the most convincing and stylish looks lay in believability and looking comfortable.

Now she has returned to her creative roots. She studied at art school before being discovered, so now she combines some modelling with working with her sister on their collection.

By Vanessa de Lisle - www.thefashioncupboard.com