L'Wren Scott: Model who became a stylist and then an acclaimed fashion designer and was the long-term girlfriend of Mick Jagger

 

L'Wren Scott was a fashion designer whose client list included Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Naomi Campbell. Her trademark "Headmistress dress" had been sported by Madonna and remained one of her favourite designs, changing subtlely in each collection since its debut in 2006. Although she was a private person, her approach to work was characterised by the need for a reaction, whether positive or negative, to her designs. As she said, "It is always interesting if someone either loves or hates it – if there's no grey area, that means 'job well done'."

She was the partner of the Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who she first met in 2001 at a photoshoot. The pair were first seen in public at the 2005 Golden Globes awards ceremony, where Jagger jokingly thanked the 6ft 3in Scott "for not wearing heels".

Scott was born Laura Bambrough, and grew up in Roy, Utah, the adopted daughter of Ivan and Lula, who worked in a DIY store and bank respectively. The family were strict Mormons, and life centred round the church. But by the age of 12 Laura, or Luann, as her family called her, was already six feet tall and experimenting with fashion, buying a pair of flesh-coloured jazz shoes. Her mother did not approve.

Scott's stature prompted her to make her own clothes (she credited her family with instilling her work ethic). "I had to learn to sew when I was growing up, because nothing else fitted me", she recalled, "I used to spend hours at the local store, leafing through big books of Vogue and Butterick patterns, and then order one of them, and wait for it to arrive, so that by the time it was delivered I was really excited."

In 1985 she was spotted by the fashion photographer Bruce Weber while skiing in Utah and was invited to take part in a photoshoot for Calvin Klein. Although little-travelled and unable to speak French, she bought a one-way ticket to Paris, where she modelled in shoots for Chanel and Thierry Mugler. In 1992 she starred in the memorable Pretty Polly "clock" advertising campaign, directed and shot by David Bailey, in which her legs tick around the clockface to the tune of "All Day And All Of The Night" by the Kinks.

Scott's fascination for fashion next took her to Hollywood, initially in public relations for Prada, then as a stylist for actors including Sarah Jessica Parker and Sharon Stone. In this star-studded world she was admired for her passion in styling, as much as for the discretion with which she dealt with her clients.

She also worked on clothing for her partner Mick Jagger, but emphasised, "I'm a fashion designer. I don't want to be defined as someone's girlfriend," adding, "You always wonder if people will pay attention to the hard work that goes into what you do. And when you're taking on something on your own, it's your company, your investment – your life."

In 2006 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition by creating her own label collection, titled Little Black Dress, which included her now famous "Headmistress dress". She said that she had always struggled to find the perfect black dress and so had to create her own. Combining a figure-hugging pencil skirt design in black fabric, with a white collar, and often a white bib, the design became synonymous with the L'Wren Scott name.

She had recently collaborated with the high street chain, Banana Republic, to introduce a range of clothes and fashion accessories for those on more modest budgets. Scott had also worked on costume design for films including Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). Ellen Barkin, who starred in Ocean's Thirteen, said of her creations, "If I looked naked like I look in her dresses, I'd be happy."

Scott was an art collector and derived inspiration from the work of the artists she loved. Her most recent collection, from last September, was influenced by the aesthetic, colours and life of Gustav Klimt. "His process and journey and evolution. I loved reading about his love affair with Adele Bauer", she said after the launch show, "I guess I was just ready to sparkle... I wanted to see the girl walk out of the picture." As a Vogue reviewer wrote, "It was disco, it was Seventies and it was rock 'n' roll all in one – her woman has the Midas touch and glitters in gold."

Scott was found by her assistant on the morning of 17 March at her apartment on 11th Avenue, Manhattan. New York police said they were investigating the death as a suicide; there had been reports that she had been suffering financial difficulties. Jagger was with the Stones touring Australia and New Zealand, but the day after Scott's death the tour was cancelled.

Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, paid tribute to Scott, saying "L'Wren was a total perfectionist, someone who absolutely embodied everything her marvellous clothes stood for: strength of character combined with a confident and powerful style. In person, L'Wren was always unbelievably generous, gracious, kind, and so much fun. Her old world American manners and charm were from another time, but her sensibility was always fiercely modern."

Laura Bambrough (L'Wren Scott), fashion designer and model: born Utah 28 April 1964; married 1993 Anthony Brand (divorced 1996); partner to Mick Jagger since 2001; died New York 17 March 2014.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?