Stella Tennant will always be remembered as one of the most iconic British supermodels to grace the runway. Burberry and Tennant were very closely connected all throughout her 25-year-long career, and now, in their first womenswear collection since Tennant’s death, Burberry has announced that they would be using the collection as a means of celebrating her life and style.
Riccardo Tisci is the designer who spoke to the media before the collections show, which was broadcasted on Burberry’s website this week. He claimed “Tennant was elegant and punk in a way that is very British, and completely authentic in a way that was her own.”
Beyond just being the highlight to numerous Burberry runway shows and advertising campaigns, Tennant also served as a consultant for the brand, and would often bring her country roots into the stylings she consulted on. Burberry’s tribute to the fashion icon follows Chanel, another house who Tennant had a long relationship with.
This Burberry collection is full of pencil skirts, polo necks, sleeveless shift dresses, and high heels worn with bare legs and flat-ironed hair to really “channel Tennant’s minimalist 90s style.”
“She invented an era. She looked incredible but it wasn’t about being outrageous. It might be about putting a beautiful diamond brooch on a man’s suit.”
The Burberry show was filmed during the last UK lockdown inside one of the brand’s flagship stores with no audience present. Initially the show was meant to premier last week, however, Prince Philip’s funeral caused them to postpone.
Burberry is typically known for its gender fluidity in its fashion lines, so this pure focus on womenswear works to show just how loyal the brand was to Tennant. Tisci discussed on Wednesday that “fluidity and not being exclusive about gender is still part of who I am. My intention was not to resurrect barriers but rather to redress what I see as a gender imbalance at the house. When I arrived here, most of the business was about selling to women, but the icons of the brand – the trench, the car coat, the story of Thomas Burberry – were all male. So I want to make Burberry more feminine.”
“I like that now I can show a collection when it’s ready and when the consumer is ready to see it. There is more respect for creativity, instead of everything being run on a kind of industrial schedule. I actually really like working like this. And I love that everybody watches the show the same way, on the same level, with the same access – journalists, consumers, everybody.”
“My dream would be that when we go back to doing shows, we can be in an open space with everyone invited,” Tisci explained.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.