L'Wren Scott's final days were not carefree ones — but the fashion designer's Monday suicide at age 47 remains a tragic shock to everyone who loved her. Former New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn was a close friend of Scott for two decades, and wrote a moving remembrance of Scott for the paper on Tuesday — which also suggests major financial, business struggles for Scott before her death.
Though the glamorous former model was "6-foot-7 in heels" and "beguiling," Horyn writes that she "could rapidly close the distance to another human being," especially celebrities. Horyn recalls watching her sweetly encourage Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's fashion-world aspirations back in 2005, when they were up-and-coming in the industry. "You felt at ease and never overshadowed by her, or indeed her famous boyfriend," Horyn adds of Scott's longtime partner, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who opened up about Scott's passing on Tuesday.
"So many actresses stuck with L’Wren: Nicole Kidman, Ellen Barkin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Christina Hendricks," Horyn continues. "She was so well informed and prepared, and at the same time so funny and offhand about the fuss, that you naturally trusted her." See her 10 most iconic looks here.
Horyn added that, unlike so many in Hollywood, the music business and fashion industry, "she had firm boundaries, and they applied equally to her relationships and confidences. Which is not say she didn't give great girlfriend advice."
About two years ago, Horyn writes that she had learned of her friend's various struggles with her fashion label involving cash flow, management and other typical concerns. "Our friendship was tested when, after hearing her troubles, I told her she should give herself a time limit to resolve matters or get out. Putting her health in jeopardy because of stress was not worth it, I told her . . . She didn’t like the advice."
"After my partner [Art Orenberg] died in early February, L'Wren was the first to call and send a note," Horyn continues. But when the pair finally spoke mid-February, "I was surprised to hear how run down and discouraged she sounded. She spoke of production problems, forcing her to cancel her fall show. Again, I urged her to put her health first."
A March 12 text Horyn sent went unanswered, she writes. "But that wasn't unusual." Horyn reveals that that Scott was planning to close her business, with an announcement on Wednesday. Still, the writer cautions, "as painful as the decision must have been for her, I wouldn't draw any conclusions from it about her state of mind. Nor should any credence be given to reports of a breakup with Mick. It's rubbish."
Adding that Scott was with friends the night before taking her own life, Horyn says her friends were " deeply concerned about her, but, no, they didn’t think she would do something so desperate. Not L'Wren."
Echoing Jagger's own Facebook tribute, Horyn concludes: "Her death is inexplicable to me, and it makes me angry, too. Angry because it's the loss of a vital, intelligent woman."