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Stella Tennant obituary

Model who rose to fame in the 1990s, capturing the attention of Karl Lagerfeld and gracing the pages of Vogue

No one in fashion could guess what would succeed the smiling, buoyant healthfulness of the international supermodels who commanded catwalks and covers in the late 1980s and early 90s. The unexpected next big things turned out to be very particularly British: bad-waif Kate Moss, and cool aristo Stella Tennant, who arrived on the pages of British Vogue in 1993. She has died suddenly, shortly after her 50th birthday.

Tennant’s appeal had been prefigured in the release that year of Sally Potter’s film of the Virginia Woolf fantasy novel Orlando, its hero/heroine (nothing so simple as androgynous) played by Tilda Swinton; pipe-cleaner thin, tall, pale, unpainted, with a body language both male and female, and an ever-unready smile. Totally Tennant.

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