Who Was the Late L'Wren Scott?
The fashion world was shocked on Monday morning to learn that fashion designer L'Wren Scott was found dead in her New York City apartment of an apparent suicide.
Scott, 49, was the longtime girlfriend of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Though they hadn't been photographed together since Nov. 2013 at the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year awards in London, they had been an item since 2001 and were considered to be a solid couple.
Scott was a significant presence in the fashion world. Beginning her career as a model, she stood larger than life — quite literally at 6-foot-4 with 42-inch long legs — and was beloved by most who knew her.
Born Laura "Luann" Bambrough, L'Wren was adopted by Mormon parents and raised in Roy, Utah, before being discovered by fashion photographer Bruce Weber at age 18. She began modeling in Paris for Thierry Mugler and later Chanel. She moved to Los Angeles in the '90s, first heading up the PR department for Prada, then moving on to become a personal stylist.
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When Scott was in her early 40s, she made a transition into the fashion design world and launched her first collection in 2006. Although her showroom was based in Paris, she spent most of her time living between NYC and London. She showed regularly at London Fashion Week, but canceled the debut of her latest fall collection last month reportedly due to production problems. She eventually unveiled it online via social media.
In fall 2013, Scott partnered with retailer Banana Republic to create a more affordable line for women. The collection was described as combining "sexy silhouettes with modern polish. Every piece is decadently glamorous and ready to celebrate holiday season."
Actresses Julianna Margulies, Nicole Kidman, and Allison Williams were amongst those who often showed up to events wearing her designs. Scott has also dressed Amy Adams, Christina Hendricks, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Barkin, and Michelle Obama.
Her film costuming credits include "Ocean's Thirteen," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Mercy," "Diabolique," and the Martin Scorsese documentary about the Rolling Stones, "Shine a Light."
Although her death is currently surrounded in mystery, what is clear is that she loved fashion. "I'm always working. I work wherever I am," she said in a 2009 interview with The Daily Beast. "I'm always trying to find something new for my customers. Every season I try to top myself, and push it a little further. … My customers are pretty international. Women of every age and size really just want to look sexy, while retaining their power and dignity."
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Jagger and Scott rarely spoke about each other publicly. However, in a 2010 New York Times interview, the rocker opened up slightly about their relationship. "I try and help L'Wren. You always try and help whoever you're kind of dating," he said.
"I don't really subscribe to a completely normal view of what relationships should be," he added. "I have a bit more of a bohemian view. To be honest, I don't really think much of marriage. I'm not saying it's not a wonderful thing and people shouldn't do it, but it's not for me. And not for quite a few other people too, it would appear," he laughed. "I just think it's perhaps not quite what it's cracked up to be. I know it's an elaborate fantasy."
When asked by The Daily Beast if Mick was a supporter of her work, she replied, "God yes! Mick loves what I wear, and always has something to say about it! Look at the way he dresses! I don't think there's a more fashion-conscious man in the world."
Scott's mother had a theory about why Mick and her daughter worked together as a couple. "L'Wren is very independent and would not take any nonsense from anyone no matter how famous they were," Lula Bambrough said to a newspaper in 2003 (according to The Daily Beast). "She usually knows what she wants and she gets it. It doesn't surprise me at all that she's tamed Mick. She is very much her own woman and it would be my guess that is why this Mick Jagger likes her."