Grief and hope at McQueen's final show

Tue Mar 9, 2010 1:20pm EST
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By Sophie Hardach

PARIS (Reuters) - British designer Alexander McQueen's dazzling final collection was shown in a somber setting Monday, weeks after his suicide, with the fashion house's chief executive saying there was no talk of a successor.

Inspired by the Old Masters of painting, the autumn collection of dramatic red and gold gowns, gold feathers and Venetian capes paid homage to his extraordinary skill and love of the theatrical.

"We've been really focusing on this, on finishing the collection, we haven't been thinking beyond that," Chief Executive Jonathan Akeroyd told Reuters, visibly moved after the show in a discreet villa on a side street by the Seine.

"In the next few weeks, we are going to be working on the way ahead, but we've just really been concentrating on this presentation," he said.

Asked about rumors that the Alexander McQueen label, owned by French retail giant PPR, had already started looking for a successor, Akeroyd vigorously shook his head and said: "No, no, no."

PPR has pledged to continue to develop the McQueen brand, and boutiques have reported booming sales of his clothes and accessories since his death in February.

McQueen's Atlantis-inspired spring collection of insect-printed dresses and sea alien shoes has just hit the shops, and Akeroyd said sales were "very strong."

MASTER REBEL   Continued...