Expect to see a lot more black during Fashion Week. Specifically, more avant-garde, über-fashionable and trendsetting black, in honor of British fashion designer and icon Alexander McQueen, who was found dead this morning in his London 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,” said a statement released by his office, referring to him by his real name.
Specifically, his camp is not confirming or commenting on widespread reports that the 40-year-old committed suicide, though Scotland Yard said it is not treating the death as suspicious.
“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.”
The death of the go-to celebrity designer comes just days before the start of London Fashion Week and, perhaps tellingly, just days after the death of his beloved mother.
“I’m letting my followers know the my mother passed away yesterday if it she had not me nor would you RIP mumxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,” the designer wrote on his since shuttered Twitter account last Wednesday.
“But life must go on!!!!!!!!!!!!”
A few days later, he spoke of his life’s stresses.
“Sunday evening been a f–king awful week but my friends have been great but now I have to some how pull myself together and finish,” he wrote of his forthcoming show at Paris Fashion Week.
A longtime fashion innovator, the London-born McQueen got his start on the tony Savile Row, where he made custom suits for none other than Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The four-time British Designer of the Year, Commander of the British Empire and International Designer of the Year, who was known as both the “enfant terrible” of the fashion world as well as the “hooligan of English fashion,” quickly became a celebrity favorite.
He has regularly dressed Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Mischa Barton, Sienna Miller, Fergie, Nicole Kidman and just about every fashion-oriented star of the last two decades. Sandra Bullock most recently picked up her Screen Actors Guild Award in one of his designs. He also helped launch the career of a pre-reality show Christian Siriano.
“He was the most brilliant designer of his generation and his influence can be seen in the way that women dressed over the last 15 years,” British Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman, said in a statement. “It is an incredible loss not only for British fashion but for fashion the world over.”
A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said they were called to McQueen’s house just after 10 a.m. this morning. Paramedics declared him dead upon their arrival, but did not address reports that his cause of death was hanging.
“A post mortem examination and inquest will take place in due course,” they said. “The death is being treated as non-suspicious.”
McQueen’s showing at New York Fashion Week, scheduled for today at 3 p.m., has since been canceled.
Material taken from E! Online.