Fashion world pays tribute to Alexander McQueen

Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:14pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato and Cindy Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - Supermodels, glossy magazine editors, film and music stars alongside the elite of the fashion world paid tribute to British designer Alexander McQueen on Monday in a moving service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

Model Kate Moss and actress Sarah Jessica Parker were among the A-list crowd of more than a thousand people gathered to commemorate the mercurial personality and artistic brilliance of a designer who rose from a gritty east end London boyhood to the front ranks of fashion before he took his own life in February.

McQueen committed suicide aged 40 shortly after the death of his mother. He took a mix of cocaine, tranquilizers and sleeping pills before hanging himself at his London flat, an inquest concluded.

"I loved him," Moss, dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses, told Reuters outside the cathedral after a service in which U.S. Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, International Herald Tribune fashion editor Suzy Menkes, a nephew and two friends talked of McQueen's unusual mix of talent, shocking profanity, vulnerability and love of a good laugh.

Lee Alexander McQueen was one of the world's most provocative and revered designers, and shows featuring his "Highland Rape" and "Dante" collections were seen as classics.

When asked to sum up McQueen's career, Parker said: "One of a kind, very ... The service was bitter-sweet - perfect."

Wintour gave an address during which she paid tribute to the personality and design genius of a man whose favorite pastime as a boy was to sit on the rooftop of his apartment tower block and watch the birds circling overhead.

She recalled the dramatic impact of McQueen's designs on the world by recounting the story of his Dante collection, featuring models wearing the "bumster" trousers worn well down the hip, hitting the catwalk in New York in the late 1990s.   Continued...

<p>British model Kate Moss (C) leaves the memorial service for Alexander McQueen at St. Paul's Cathedral, in London September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hackett</p>