L'Wren Scott: A life that others envied ends abruptly
L'Wren Scott, a designer to the stars who died Monday, was beloved by her clients and hailed as a fashion icon.
She had the knack of making clothes "for how women want to look and for what men want to look at," actress Christina Hendricks told The Telegraph three years ago.
Scott, who was raised as Luann Bambrough in Utah by her Mormon adoptive parents, began her career as a model in Paris after being discovered at age 17 by photographer Bruce Weber.
Scott used her long legs and impressive height -- she was at least 6-foot-3 -- to strut the catwalks for Thierry Mugler and Chanel. And she used her brain to absorb the old world skills of precise patternmaking and the importance of fit in selecting and designing garments to flatter the female form. She moved to California in 1994 and eventually began working as a stylist, coordinating the campaign for Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamonds" perfume and working with Karl Lagerfeld and Helmut Newton. She met Mick Jagger on a 2001 photo shoot and the two began dating, with Scott decorating the $10 million London house he bought in 2007 and designing many of the rocker's tour clothes and stage wear.
In 2006, Scott launched her own line of clothing, dressing Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz for the Academy Awards. Her frocks -- exquisitely tailored with feminine garnishes -- were embraced by Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Ellen Barkin, Reese Witherspoon and Uma Thurman. She continued to style for many celebrities, who also often wore her clothes.
Scott had expanded her line to include a collection of luxe handbags, "Lula," named after her mother, as well as accessories including sunglasses, and last fall did a collection for Banana Republic.
Last month, she cancelled her London Fashion Week show, citing production problems. "She had some problems with her collection, but that's par for the course. What fashion designer doesn't have financial problems?" said her grieving friend, the designer and stylist Phillip Bloch.
Scott gave no indication of being depressed, nor of major problems in her personal or professional life, Bloch said. While Scott was always glamorous and regal, after she began dating "not just any rock star, but THE rock star," her glamour amplified into the stuff of novels, movies and mini-series. "She didn't have to do the events all the rest of us do: She went to private parties on private planes," jetting about to visit friends in villas and castles, said Bloch.
Scott possessed "an elegance, glamour and class," without being snobby, selfish or entitled, Bloch said. "She was just regal, and intoxicating as a woman. Just the very last person I would ever think would take her own life," Bloch continued. "If I heard she died in a plane crash, it would make sense," but to hear her death was a suspected suicide "is just terrible."
He acknowledged that there was an irony in envying a life its owner apparently discarded. "We never really walk in someone else's Christian Louboutins," said Bloch. "We never know what goes on behind closed doors."