February 17, 2010 / 11:23 AM / 9 years ago

Designer McQueen hanged himself in wardrobe

LONDON (Reuters) - British fashion designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself in a wardrobe at his home last week on the eve of his mother’s funeral, an inquest and British media reported on Wednesday.

Flowers from fashion designer Louise Goldin are left on the doorstep of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen the day after he was found dead in his home, in London February 12, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The 40-year-old, whose full name was Lee Alexander McQueen, died as a result of asphyxia and hanging, London’s Westminster coroner’s court was told.

A coroner’s officer said the inquest heard that a note found at McQueen’s flat (apartment) in London’s expensive Mayfair area was being examined by police.

A police officer told the court there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the designer who has been the focus of tributes around the world, including U.S. singer Lady Gaga who dedicated an eerie performance to him at the BRIT Awards (British pop music awards) in London on Tuesday night.

The inquest was adjourned to April 28.

British media have reported that McQueen was inconsolable after the death of his mother Joyce earlier this month and had written of his difficulties on the social media site Twitter just days before his death.

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld told French radio last week that McQueen had always flirted with death in his work and that success and fame were never enough to sustain happiness.

“In these types of professions (modeling, acting, fashion design) if you haven’t got a strong back and are not hard-headed you expose yourself to anguish,” Lagerfeld said.

“He also had a nervous depression which reached its culminating point with the death of his mother...”

Nicknamed the “hooligan” of British fashion for his close-cropped hair, trademark Doc Marten boots and shocking catwalk collections, McQueen rose from teenage trainee tailor to runway darling before the age of 30. He had been expected to unveil his new collection at Paris Fashion Week in March.

McQueen’s friend, the influential British fashion insider Isabella Blow who helped his career take flight, took her own life in 2007 at the age of 48.

McQueen had an ability to shock and his autumn/winter 1995 collection “Highland Rape” which featured disheveled looking models in torn clothing was considered a classic example.

The following year, McQueen was named head designer at the staid Paris couture house Givenchy. His first collection for the French atelier was not widely considered to be a success.

But he went on to establish his own label and become part of the Gucci stable of brands owned by French retailer and luxury goods group PPR, drawing in fans, customers and fame and earning a place at the top table of fashion.

Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Paul Casciato

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