February 2012

IMAGE: Appearances Dress Code

L’Wren Scott proves she’s a catalyst for red carpet sizzle

When you’ve dressed nearly every leading lady in Hollywood—initially as a costume designer and stylist, then as the first style director for the Academy Awards in 2000 and now as a go-to fashion designer for the awards-show set—you know a thing or two about making an entrance.

L’Wren Scott, herself six-three and reed thin, began her career as a teen model for Thierry Mugler in Paris. But those who wear her designs run the body-type gamut: Christina Hendricks played up her best assets in Scott’s belted, black-sequin tuxedo robe at the 2011 SAG Awards, and Penélope Cruz showed off her postbaby bod in Scott’s low-cut, sleeveless, firecracker red sequin gown at the 2011 Oscars.

And the non-glitterati are taking notice. Scott’s premier collection, Little Black Dress, which launched in 2006, is slowly evolving into a full-fledged brand ($660 to $8,000 at Barneys New York and Maxfield), and she recently added accessories. Her handbag line includes frame bags with room for both an iPad and the day’s essentials, as well as envelope-shaped clutches in leather, black lace or gold raffia that are just the right fit for a wallet, phone and compact. She also designs shoes—think strappy, knee-high sandal boots with a hint of dominatrix chic.

Cashmere sequin cardigan, jacquard shift dress or tailleur with snug-to-the-waist jacket and pencil skirt that hits below the knee—in spite of the red carpet attention, Scott’s designs are firmly grounded in the classics. She readily owns up to being a repeat wearer, which just may turn into a trend in today’s era of fiscal restraint.

“As opposed to buying 20 pieces you don’t really like, you can have one dress, one pencil skirt and one cardigan you know aren’t going out of fashion,” says Scott, who’s now something of a celebrity herself, having been dating Mick Jagger for nearly a decade. “It’s like having an old friend you know you’re going to dinner with again.”