Holland & Holland, a traditional British brand founded in 1835 with an exceptional heritage, has been re-invented by creative duo Stella Tennant and Isabella Cawdor. Here they shares anecdotes and observations…
On Holland & Holland:
Cawdor: I see Holland & Holland as a heritage house, creating clothes that are made for adventures on the Scottish Moors, but which also have the presence and sophistication to work in town.
Tennant: Every detail counts: these clothes must be fit for purpose. We hope to protect you from the elements.
Tennant: The textures and colours we use can be found on the hill or in the woods. It’s very much inspired by the countryside.
Cawdor: I am always inspired by art that I have not seen before – an exhibition can really set my mind on fire.
On each other:
Tennant: We are making the clothes we want to wear, that suit our lifestyles. It has been a very natural process. We’ve known each other for 20 years and this working relationship is another aspect of our friendship. Stylistically, the collection is neither ‘myself’ or ‘Isabella’ but somewhere between the two. Added to that is the expertise of all the incredible craftspeople we work with.
Cawdor: It’s a big job but there is a language that has developed and it is present in a collar, in a cuff, in a fur lining and even in the waistline of a trouser. Stella is a brilliant colourist and has a real depth of fashion knowledge. The ambition? It should be fun being in it, around and wearing it. Otherwise what’s the point?
Tennant: It is so inspiring to work with the experts from the cashmere mills at Barrie, to the milliners at Maison Michel, to the tweed weavers on the River Teviot in Hawick. All these people have a depth of knowledge that we can tap into.
Cawdor: To have an idea and be able to see it come to life is the most exciting thing. We have been able to work with incredible factories who produce to the highest standard. A real privilege!
On the collection:
Tennant: These are clothes that are defined by their understated appeal: lifelong pieces for your wardrobe.
Cawdor: Holland & Holland is an active brand so it has to be super functional and work in the country and the town and be beautiful at the same time.
Cawdor: An amazing 80 year lady who is stylish from the inside out. Everything she has is just so completely her own.
Tennant: I’ve never had a style mentor that I don’t personally know. I find that people with true style don’t particularly follow fashion- they’re always recognizably themselves, and wear the clothes, rather than the clothes wearing them.
When not working:
Cawdor: Saturday is my favourite day to lie in, hangout, go for a walk, and not to think too much. And I adore ski touring and off-piste. I never want to lose that.
Tennant: I love a weekday that’s all my own that I can spend in the garden. That’s a self indulgent luxury. The most rewarding thing is eating peas straight off the plant or cutting asparagus.
Most Treasured View:
Cawdor: From my bedroom up Findhorn River into the Drynachan valley in Springtime – the view is intoxicating.
Tennant: Where I grew up looking onto Hermitage castle or looking onto Loch Torridon on the West Coast. The views are special for different reasons – one for sheer beauty, one for familiarity.
Cawdor: I have bought a lot of images with boats – I don’t like going on them – but over the years I have collected models, paintings and sculptures. I like the way they look and I do love the sea.
Tennant: I’m very keen on my vests.
Most memorable adventure:
Tennant: A ten-day riding holiday in Patagonia in a party of twenty family members and friends. We covered 400 km moving through virgin beach forest and alongside glacial lakes. We did not hear any kind of machine for the duration and that was extraordinary. It was a rare adventure.
Cawdor: A family trekking holiday in Nepal with my youngest child aged just four. It was challenging and very cold being on foot everyday. But doing something like that is very bonding – we all remember it. There were plenty of tears and much laughter – all the emotions.