L'Wren Scott at the British Fashion Awards in December 2013 (FilmMagic)
Writing on the subject of celebrity stylists in the March 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, and – significantly - some time before L’Wren Scott died, Vanessa Grigoriadis described her thus: ‘The stylist’s life that everyone covets, though, isn’t [Rachel] Zoe’s. They want to be (former Vanity Fair stylist) L’Wren Scott – the massively chic, tall, raven-haired, Mormon-raised girlfriend of Mick Jagger, who has her own gorgeous line including eveningwear, a new collection at Banana Republic, and one terrifically famous client, Nicole Kidman. “When you have Nicole,” says a stylist, “you don’t need anyone else”’.
The terrible irony of the opening of at least some of this statement aside, it is a fitting acknowledgement of the talent of a woman whose personal and professional life has since come under intense scrutiny and seems all the more potent for the fact that it was intended not as tribute but plain fact. Clearly the subtext to L’Wren Scott’s existence was a tragic one. She was, though, an extremely gifted stylist and, later, as designer of her own line, a woman who understood the potential power of fashion well. In her hands fashion was always a woman’s – or indeed man’s – best friend.
Models at the L'Wren Scott AW12 show in February 2012 (Getty)
Her collections were like she was: ultra-polished and unashamedly glamorous. While formidable, even stern to begin with – certainly these were never clothes for those wishing to maintain a low profile - there was a warmth to them both in the care and attention they lavished on the body of the woman within and in presentation. L’Wren Scott launched her collection in New York but more recently showed at London Fashion Week where she was generous enough to offer guests a hearty lunch before starting. Even the most jaded fashion follower couldn’t fail but be wowed to find themselves sitting just across a beautifully dressed banqueting table from Mick Jagger and Anna Wintour, tucking into shepherd’s pie one season, sushi the next.
Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott at the Vanity Fair party in February 2011 [Getty]
In an industry that is famously fickle, L’Wren Scott, who started working as a model and then stylist thirty years ago, had many, many friends. I only met her once. We were introduced by this magazine’s former fashion director Paula Reed. Dressed in killer heels and black, wasp-waisted pencil dress, she could so easily have upstaged everyone else in the room. Instead, she was open, friendly and full of grace - and this despite the fact that she was a main player in an industry that all too often prides itself on a frosty and alienating hauteur.
It is unsurprising, then, that since L’Wren Scott died, the tributes have poured in. Naomi Campbell described her as ‘the epitome of elegance and femininity’. Madonna stated: ‘I loved L’Wren’s work and she was always so generous to me.’ The aforementioned Nicole Kidman, meanwhile, who formed a relationship with L’Wren Scott when she worked as a wardrobe consultant on Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut – the film notoriously holds the record for the longest constant film shoot at 400 days –was too ‘heartbroken’ yesterday to say anything at all. A spokeswoman for the actress said that she was ‘in shock right now and unable to say anything’.
Stephen Jones and L'Wren Scott in February 2013 (Getty)
I last saw L’Wren Scott at the British Fashion Awards in December last year, on the arm of the (diminutive by comparison) milliner Stephen Jones. Yesterday, he wrote this about his friend. ‘It was with great sadness that I learnt about the death of my dear friend L’Wren, whom I have known since we first worked together at Thierry Mugler in Paris in the mid-1980s.’ With her statuesque good looks and almost hyper-real femininity, L’Wren Scott was surely Mr Mugler’s fantasy come to life. ‘We later became firm friends during her time in Hollywood at Vanity Fair and as fashion stylist to the Oscars,’ he continued.
In recent years, Stephen Jones worked with L’Wren Scott on her collections – she was in good company as he counts everyone from John Galliano to Rei Kawakubo as long-time collaborators. ‘She dazzled her fans with her charming vivacity as much as her exquisitely embroidered dresses. I am proud to have known her,’ he concluded.
He is by no means alone in his sentiments. May she rest in peace.