Dry Clean Only: Mourning the loss of L’Wren Scott

Columnist Kae Holloway introduces her weekly fashion column. The column will appear on Thursdays, discussing trends, giving style tips and commenting on fashion faux pas. Dress: Asos; Shoes: Forever 21 (Demetrius Freeman/HERALD)

Kae Holloway

The fashion industry suffered a great loss this past week. American fashion designer L’Wren Scott passed away at age 49 in her Chelsea apartment on March 14.

Investigators believe her death to be suicide, though the official autopsy has not been released. Suicide is not something typically covered by this publication, but due to a number of suicides on campus this past year, I felt a calling of sorts to not only pay respects to a great talent, but discuss the seriousness of taking ones own life.

Scott was a presence when she entered a room, towering at 6’7 in heels, and was known her flattering silhouettes, and for mixing classic cuts and colors with edgy embellishments and patterns. She dressed celebrities such as Amy Adams, Christina Hendrix and Nicole Kidman, who wore one of Scott’s earliest pieces at the 2006 Rome Film Festival.

One of my favorite looks of hers was a navy blue sequined gown worn by Amy Adams at the 2011 Academy Awards. The dress was stunning, yet simple and glamorous— flattering Adam’s figure and adding a little sparkle to the standard conservative Oscar gown.

Scott’s death has been met with grief from those in the fashion industry, and from long-time partner and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Jagger issued a statement regarding the loss, and the Stones have postponed the New Zealand and Australia legs of their tour to allow time to grieve.

Others, including Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and former New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, have penned their own statements on the loss of L’Wren. In her piece, Horyn describes Scott as a teacher, a friend and as nothing short of Glinda the Good Witch.

Prior to her untimely death, Scott had cancelled her London Fashion Week show. Reports that she was planning to announce the closure of her line due to large amounts of debt have since been proven false by representatives from her company.

Scott’s tragedy is not the first suicide in the fashion industry, and sadly will not be the last. Four years previous, fashion designer Alexander McQueen, known for his outlandishly creative couture pieces, took his own life. McQueen was a personal favorite, and his death shook many, including myself, to the core. 

Suicide of those in the limelight can be easily misconstrued by many. Speaking personally, I know many who view the suicide of such giants as Kurt Cobain as more glamorous than tragic. This is entirely a false way to view suicide. Whether it’s a famous fashion designer, a relative or a friend, it is a tragedy. It affects all close to the victim.

It is never a solution. 

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention completed a study and found that suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for Americans. More than 36,000 in the states kill themselves each year, and that’s not including those who attempt.

According to PsychAlive, suicide risk factors include altered and disturbed sleep patterns, anxiety, loss of interest in favorite activities and extreme self hatred.

If you, or someone you know, has attempted or is threatening to attempt suicide, get help. There are several suicide hotlines available who will answer calls at any hour of the day. Lists can be easily found online, or just call 911. 

Counseling is also available on campus. WKU has several licensed psychologists and clinical counselors on campus to listen and help at the Counseling and Testing Center in Potter Hall. There is no shame is asking for help. There is no shame in asking for counseling or requesting counseling for others. 

Maybe fashion greats like L’Wren Scott and Alexander McQueen, and music greats like Kurt Cobain, could not see another way out, but that does not mean others have to feel the same way. Get help. Help others. Promote a healthy, happy life.