Alexander McQueen Found Dead in London Flat
17 Mar 1969 – 11 Feb 2010
Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue, said: “Lee McQueen influenced a whole generation of designers. His brilliant imagination knew no bounds as he conjured up collection after collection of extraordinary designs.”
Kate Moss was said to be “shocked and devastated at the tragic loss of her dear friend”. While Vivienne Westwood was “incredibly sorry to hear the news”.
This theme was carried on by BBC Clothes Show commentator, Caryn Franklyn, who spoke of how McQueen influenced and inspired just about every student of the current generation, remarking “how students were in awe of his artistry”. Kate Creasey of Cosmopolitan said much the same, and felt that like so many creative artists and geniuses who die so young, McQueen’s legendary status would become even bigger after his death.
A spokeswomen for the British Fashion Council said: “We are deeply saddened at the news of Alexander McQueen’s untimely death. He was a unique talent and one of the world’s greatest designers. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time.”
Other designers were not backward in coming forward to lavish fulsome praise and tributes. Katherine Hamnett said: “He was a genius. What a terrible, tragic waste.” Speaking on TV, Matthew Williamson said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by McQueen’s death. He was a genius and his talent was second to none. Like many others, I always cited him as a hugely inspirational leader of world fashion. He will be greatly missed.”
Dolce & Gabbana had this to say: “We are deeply touched for the sudden death of Alexander McQueen, a designer whom we have always admired for his creative genius and unmatched inspiration. He leaves the fashion world with an unfillable void.”
And, from the wider world of celebrity, sometime designer Victoria Beckham, who is frequently photographed wearing McQueen designs, said: “McQueen was a master of fashion, creative genius and an inspiration. Today the fashion industry has lost a true great. An icon of all time. He made all he touched beautiful and will be desperately missed.”
So the industry and the entire fashion world begins to mourn the so-called hooligan of British fashion; the short and jaunty swaggerer who, always with a cheeky smile on his face, broke the mould. FashionCapital will be producing its own obituary to Alexander McQueen next week, and will headline the Newswire with a closer look at the story of the son of a taxi driver from Hackney. It will look at how he left school at 16, and trained as a pattern cutter with Anderson and Shepherd, then Gieves and Hawkes; how he wowed his tutors and students alike at Central St Martins School of Art and Design; how he rose to the heights with Givenchy and Gucci, before developing his own trademark brand of radical tailoring, described earlier today by a spokeswomen from Harrods as a fabric form of true sculpture – a class above all of his peers.
But, for now, we close this sad article with some words from the maestro himself, now all too poignant given how events unfolded in the last couple of days.
Following the tragic death of his mother earlier this month on February 2nd, Alexander McQueen wrote on his Twitter page. “I’m letting my followers know my mother passed away yesterday if it she had not me nor would you RIP mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx but life must go on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Days later he posted: “Sunday evening been a f**king awful week but my friends have been great but now I have to some how pull myself together.”
The tragic sequence of events leading the suspected suicide of one of, if not the most well respected and talented British designers of our era has left the entire fashion industry in a complete state of grief and shock. The tributes from fashion editors, journalists, celebrities go on and on, and the column inches from the likes of Hilary Alexander, Jeff Banks, and others besides will build in the coming weeks. We today have been able just to bring you some of the immediate reactions; and you will have heard many more no doubt.
We offer our condolences to all of Lee’s friends and family, and send them all our love, care, and respect at this difficult and shocking time, but we feel sure that his legacy will reign long and strong in the world of British fashion. And that his influences will be carried on by the latest and future crop of young fashion designers, all inspired by the remarkable story told (until today) by the man, Alexander McQueen, so inappropriately tagged the bad boy of fashion.
Referring to the designer by his given first name, Lee, a statement released by his office read:
“On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family.
“Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.”