17 Mars 2014
L’Wren Scott, a fashion designer whose creations were known for their discreet elegance, though with a soupçon of daring and glamour evoking her days as a celebrity stylist in Hollywood and her romantic partnership with Mick Jagger, was found dead on Monday in her Manhattan apartment. She was 49.
Pierre Rougier, a spokesman for Ms. Scott, confirmed the death. Two police officials said that the cause appeared to be suicide, but that the medical examiner had not yet made a determination.
Ms. Scott had earlier texted an assistant, asking her to come by the apartment, The Associated Press reported, quoting police officials. She was found kneeling with a scarf wrapped around her neck that had been tied to the handle of a French door, The A.P. said, adding that no note was found and that there was no sign of foul play.
Ms. Scott, whose work was sold in dozens of stores and included eyeglasses, handbags and fragrances, began marketing her own designs in 2006; they became known as especially suitable for the kind of leggy, statuesque woman she was herself.
The designer, who was found dead in her New York apartment on Monday, started her fashion collection eight years ago, building it on her own elegant and towering self. Here are impactful looks from over the years - Spring 2014.
Initially based on the idea of making the “little black dress” appropriate for women who want to appear both alluring and adult, her designs evolved to include wide variations on that theme.
Her signature gowns, worn by celebrities like Ellen Barkin, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman, were sheathlike, some with a chic, retro, businesslike flavor, others with a brassy, Op Art pattern or overlaid with a vivid embroidery winkingly drawn from various sources — the Victorians, say, or outer space — but always with an aura of sophistication. Ms. Scott’s designs, she said, were mindful of women’s sensitivity about their figures, something her clients appreciated.
“These dresses do extraordinary things to anybody,” Ms. Barkin told The New York Times in 2012, adding, “If I looked naked like I look in her dresses, I’d be very happy.”
The first lady, Michelle Obama, has also worn Scott designs, and they have been seen as costumes in movies like “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
Ms. Scott created tailored jackets and cardigans as well, accessorized with boldness and élan. As Vogue magazine’s website described her work in an appreciation on Monday: “Leather and tailcoats, top hats and marabou easily came together in a darkly elegant palette dotted with surprising combinations of chartreuse and periwinkle, or daffodil yellow and dove gray.”
A slender 6 foot 3 with cascading black hair — she towered over Mr. Jagger — Ms. Scott retained the appearance of the high-fashion model she once was, a profession she was ushered into serendipitously. In the mid-1980s, then known as Luann Bambrough, she met the photographer Bruce Weber, who was working on an advertising shoot in Utah, where she grew up. He took her picture, then encouraged her to move to Paris, advice she followed.
“I remember thinking, ‘God, you get paid to have your picture taken,’ ” she told The Times in 2008.
Her career flourished quickly in Paris, propelled by the appearance of her long legs in an advertisement for Pretty Polly tights. Soon she appeared on runways for Chanel and Thierry Mugler and was photographed by Guy Bourdin for French Vogue. By then she had changed her name.
By the mid-1990s she had moved to Los Angeles, where she shifted her professional perspective to behind the camera, initially as a stylist for the photographer Herb Ritts. In addition to creating costumes for “Ocean’s Thirteen,” a caper sequel starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Ms. Barkin, Ms. Scott designed clothes for Sharon Stone in the 1996 thriller “Diabolique” and for Ms. Barkin in the murder mystery “Mercy” (2000).
She also worked on costumes for Stanley Kubrick’s final film, “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), in which Ms. Kidman starred with her former husband, Tom Cruise, and she helped design the advertising campaign for a popular fragrance, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds.
In recent years, L’Wren Scott built her reputation as a stylist and designer. Her clothes hung in the closets of Nicole Kidman and Michelle Obama, among others, and she worked on the costumes for Hollywood movies such as “Ocean’s 13.” Here, Nicole Kidman in an embroidered L’Wren Scott dress for the screening of the film “Inside Llewyn Davis” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. The following images show more of Ms. Scott’s designs being worn at awards shows.
It was in 2001, reportedly on a photo shoot with Mr. Ritts, that Ms. Scott met Mr. Jagger. A spokesman for Mr. Jagger, who is in Perth, Australia, on tour with the Rolling Stones, told the BBC that the singer was “completely shocked and devastated.”
Ms. Scott was born in Utah and grew up in Roy, just south of the city of Ogden, reared by adoptive parents, Ivan Bambrough, who worked for an insurance company and was a local official in the Mormon Church, and the former Lucy Randall.
Ms. Scott, who lived in London and Paris as well as New York, was married once and divorced. Her survivors include a brother, Randall.
One of Ms. Scott’s last collections was shown in London in 2013 at a seated lunch in an ornate building on the banks of the Thames, where a beaming Mr. Jagger sat next to Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, taking pictures of the models as they walked by.
“This was easily her boldest group of tailoring, prints and embroidery, all based on Gustav Klimt and his muse Adele Bloch-Bauer,” Cathy Horyn wrote in her review in The Times. “The collection was intense, giddy and no doubt for Ms. Scott a different way to tease her sense of fantasy.”
Still, Ms. Scott had canceled her fall 2014 show — it had been scheduled for February — citing production problems, and newspaper reports in Britain said her company there, LS Fashion Ltd., had had financial problems.
Luminaries from the fashion world reacted to the news of Ms. Scott’s death with shock on Monday.
“There are no words to describe how I feel,” the designer Diane von Furstenberg said in an email. “She was a very talented designer and a beautiful woman. I wish she would have reached for help so that such a tragedy would not have happened.”