L’Wren Scott, 1964–2014

The fashion designer who styled the stars

It was always easy to spot Laura “Luann” Bambrough in her hometown of Roy, Utah. The adopted daughter of Mormon parents, Luann grew to 6 feet tall by age 12 and often had trouble finding clothes that fit. She began visiting local thrift shops, picking out outfits, then reworking them at home on her sewing machine. “I loved getting dressed up,” she’d later recall. “It clearly started at a young age.” Luann would eventually reach 6 feet 3 inches—and become one of the world’s most famous fashion designers under the sobriquet L’Wren Scott. Fashionistas and celebrities were shocked and heartbroken last week when one of Scott’s assistants found her dead in her apartment from an apparent suicide.

Scott’s rise to the top of the fashion world began when she met the photographer Bruce Weber, who encouraged her to move to Paris and become a model, said New York magazine. “She was so tall and so glamorous, so unlike anyone else you’d ever seen.” Although she appeared in numerous shows and magazines, Scott was more comfortable behind a sketchbook than on the catwalk. She moved to Los Angeles to work as a stylist for the famed photographer Herb Ritts, and was soon dressing and designing for Hollywood’s elite. Her clients included Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, and Michelle Obama. Even among this starry crowd “she retained an outsider’s sense of what a riot the whole thing could be.” It was at a photo shoot in 2001 that she met her longtime paramour, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who would later become a fixture at her shows, which brimmed with A-listers and represented “the most civilized moment in New York Fashion Week.”

“L’Wren Scott had a very clear notion of style, which informed everything she did,” said Vogue (U.K.). She was famous for taking staples, such as the little black dress, and imbuing them with old-world glamour, womanly silhouettes, and femininity, said DazedDigital.com. Along with her many Oscar gowns, she was best known for her “Headmistress” dress, which “incorporated a good deal of sly, campy sex.” Scott credited her success to her mom: “She once said to me, ‘If you want something in life, you better go out and work for it, because it’s not going to come and knock on our front door in Roy, Utah.’”

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.