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Jagger described as ‘devastated’; Stones cancel Aussie concert Designer Scott found dead

SYDNEY/NEW YORK, March 18, (Agencies): The Rolling Stones cancelled a concert in Australia, leaving their ‘Down Under’ tour in limbo on Tuesday, after lead singer Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott was found dead in her Manhattan apartment. Scott, a fashion designer and former model, was found hanging from a scarf on Monday, police said, adding they were treating her death as suicide. Jagger, 70, said through a spokesperson he was “completely shocked and devastated”. The news of Scott’s death stunned friends, clients and fellow designers. Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, a friend of 25 years, was “heartbroken and in shock right now and unable to say anything,” her spokeswoman said. The Rolling Stones had been due to kick off a six-concert Australia and New Zealand leg of their world tour on Wednesday in Perth in western Australia. But the group’s Australian publicist on Tuesday said the concert would not be going ahead.

Frontier Touring declined to comment on whether Jagger and other band members were planning to return to the United States or whether other Australian concerts would be affected. “No further information is available at this time, ticket holders are asked to hold on to their tickets until a further update is available,” Frontier Touring said in a statement on Tuesday. Jagger and bandmates Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts landed in Perth on Monday in their private jet, emblazoned with the famous tongue and lips logo. The aircraft remained on the tarmac. Jagger’s daughter, Georgia May Jagger, also cancelled a planned appearance at Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival this week, according to local design house Camilla, for whom she was scheduled to model.

Scott and Jagger had been dating since 2001 and were often seen at celebrity events, with the 6-foot, 3-inch (191-cm) tall former model towering over her rock-star boyfriend. Scott became one of New York’s most famous designers over the last decade and was best known for her slim-fitting dresses. “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,” long-time Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour wrote on Vogue.com. Her company, though, was making losses. Accounts filed with Britain’s Companies House last October show that Scott’s LS Fashion Ltd ran a loss of 4.3 million euros ($5.99 million) in 2012, up from 3.0 million euros the year before.

Split
A publicist for Jagger said a New York Post story about a split between the two was “100 percent untrue” and “a horrible and inaccurate piece of gossip during this very tragic time for Mick”. A single bouquet of yellow daffodils was placed in front of the glass-fronted, high-rise building where Scott lived. Police cordoned off its entrance as a swarm of media gathered across the street. Musician and fashion friends of the couple took to Twitter to express their grief. “Devastated to have lost my friend,” tweeted rocker Bryan Adams, who has photographed Scott. “Rest in peace my dear I’m gonna miss you. Condolences to all that were close to her.” Jagger’s first wife, Bianca, said she was “heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.” American fashion designer Marc Jacobs said: “You’ll forever be missed.” Scott, born Luann Bambrough, was raised in Utah by adoptive parents. She started her career as a model in Paris before becoming a stylist and designer.

Modeling
Her love of fashion began when she made her own clothes as a teenager, according to her website. As a model in Paris, Scott became more interested in making clothes than modeling them. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a stylist and designed privately before creating her own collection. “She pushed aside interest in what was happening in fashion trends and on the runways, and designed for women, to give them confidence with their bodies in looks that were so beautiful,” said Eric Wilson, the fashion news director at InStyle magazine. Her styling background proved important to who she was as a designer and she was constantly shopping for the women she dressed. “That experience gave her an incredible amount of ammunition when she started designing her own clothes. She knew what worked best for all body types,” Wilson said. She canceled a planned show for her fashion label at London Fashion Week last month.

Culture
The last collection that she showed, in September 2013, was inspired by Japanese culture and featured embroidery and sleek lines: white below-the-knee dresses belted at the waist; red, black and white skirts, shorts and jackets; a bold yellow dress and pants. Scott collaborated with many in the fashion and beauty industry, including Lancome for her first makeup collection, and designed Italian-made shoes, handbags and eyewear, and a small holiday collection for Banana Republic last year. Scott, whose elegant designs in lush fabrics were favored by celebrities like Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Penelope Cruz and first lady Michelle Obama, was a fixture on Jagger’s arm since she met the Rolling Stones frontman in 2001. On red carpets, the striking 6-foot-3 (1.9 meter) designer towered over her famous boyfriend.

In 2006, five years after they became a couple, Scott founded her eponymous label, with an initial collection based on the “Little Black Dress.” She became known for designs that had a vintage feel and bared little skin, like her famous “headmistress” dress — prim, with three-quarter sleeves, but also close-fitting and stylish. Madonna was one of those who wore the dress. “This is a horrible and tragic loss,” the singer said in a statement released by her publicist. “I’m so upset. I loved L’Wren’s work and she was always so generous with me.”

Perfectionist
Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, called Scott “a total perfectionist, someone who absolutely embodied everything her marvelous 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.” And supermodel Naomi Campbell, a close friend, wrote on WhoSay that Scott was “the epitome of elegance and femininity yet still had a girlish quality. I will miss her honesty and I will miss her friendship. My heart goes out to Mick and all who loved her and were loved by her.”

In 2009 Scott introduced a shoe collection, and in 2010 she collaborated with Lancome on a makeup line and a fragrance. In 2011 came a handbag line, in 2012 an eyewear collection, and late last year, a collaboration with Banana Republic for a line of affordable clothes. Though her studio is based in London, Scott presented her runway shows in New York until recently. They were exclusive A-list affairs like few others. In February 2012, for example, the designer welcomed guests into the wood-paneled, chandeliered banquet hall of an Edwardian building in Chelsea. Before them were plates of caviar, served with a baked potato and sour cream. Fiddling with the lighting and the technical details was none other than Jagger, who also stood next to Scott during post-show interviews.

Adding to the sense of luxury, Scott was known to send huge bouquets of roses and handwritten notes of thanks to reporters afterward. Her clothes were luxurious, too, making ample use of velvet and satin. There were bolero jackets and tea-length dresses, long capes — lined in feathers, perhaps — and high-waisted pencil skirts. Scott’s designs were “very (much) based on her own personal style ... a very interesting style that combined the strict and the sexy,” said Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “Not sexiness like body exposure, but sexiness like a very strict governess. They tended to be covered up yet form-fitting and beautifully constructed, beautifully made.” Steele said Scott’s clothes were “were more sophisticated than the average red carpet gown” and added that Scott “had a very precise vision of what she wanted them to look like.”

Scott was adopted by Mormon parents and raised in Roy, Utah, which had a population of less than 10,000 at the time. As a teenager, she developed a love of clothes and made her own on the sewing machine, according to biographical notes from London Fashion Week. She made her way to Paris after high school where, aided by her height and striking looks, she found work as a model for some prominent photographers. But she became more interested in working with clothes than modeling them, and eventually made her name as a top stylist in Los Angeles and also a costume designer for films like “Ocean’s 13.”

Scott also designed a huge wardrobe for boyfriend Jagger to wear during the Rolling Stones’ “50 and Counting” anniversary tour. The band is currently on its “14 On Fire” tour, scheduled to play six concerts in Australia beginning Wednesday in Perth, according to the RolingStones.com website. Among the stars who wore Scott’s designs was actress Olivia Wilde. “L’Wren Scott was brilliant, elegant, kind, and generous,” Wilde wrote on Twitter. “What a tragedy.” Scott is survived by a brother, Randall Bambrough of Ogden, Utah, who declined comment.

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