Alexander McQueen Commits Suicide

Originally posted by Wendy Brandes

The U.K.’s Daily Mail broke the story of Alexander McQueen’s suicide. The Mail story is here.

The BBC received independent confirmation from his office.

Many news outlets, including the Guardian, are running this statement from McQueen’s office: “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.”

Here’s a story on McQueen’s last tweets. His Twitter feed has been removed.

I’m not going to add any more breaking news links to this post, but I will add links to more in-depth news coverage later today. For now, I’ll just share this McQueen runway footage, which I’ve always thought was the most beautiful runway I’d ever seen.

UPDATED TO ADD: Earlier this week, I posted about breaking the closet-cleaning rules to keep important clothing — even pieces that haven’t been worn in years.  In addition to the vest I wrote about, I’ve kept a lot of beautiful suits from my corporate days, which ended in 2005. I was thinking of the suits when I wrote this week’s post and of one in particular. With sheer jacket insets, a matching sheer camisole and a short snug skirt with a surprising ruffle in the back, it was an outrageous outfit for the investment bank at which I worked.  I last wore the suit in 2004. I wondered if the skirt was too short for me now and whether I could wear it to dinner or a party this summer without looking too corporate. I thought, “Maybe I really won’t ever get to wear it again, but I’m still going to keep it.”  Good thing. How terrible would I feel right now if I’d been stupid enough to get rid of this Alexander McQueen?

Click to read my original post about this suit.

Moral: Spend your money on the very, very best and keep it forever.

UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Here is a list of notable McQueen tributes and obituaries here.

  • Tina Gaudoin of The Wall Street Journal remembers that “At one of his shows, he made it rain on the runway.”
  • Cathy Horyn, The New York Times, calls McQueen “funny and rude and fearless.”
  • A list of memorable runway moments by Grazia notes “McQueen never went in for a deconstructed, raggedy style – his garments were always perfectly finished…”
  • The New York Times obituary says, “In a story he repeated on some occasions but at other times denied, he was bored one day and wrote a derogatory slur in the lining of a jacket destined for the Prince of Wales.”
  • The Wall Street Journal obituary notes that McQueen’s company became profitable just three years ago.
  • The Times of London says, “Colleagues and friends had become concerned at his erratic behaviour.” The Times also has a timeline of its coverage of McQueen.
  • The Telegraph says McQueen was “talented, generous, and shy in private, gap-toothed, foul-mouthed and chippy in public.”
  • Time Magazine says, “McQueen died in the same way he did everything else: unexpectedly, controversially and as unbelievably as possible.”
  • says, “For every 1,000 so-called designers who pin a piece of jersey around a mannequin and call it fashion, there’s only one McQueen …”

Model moments:


Related reading:

  • The Times of London and New York Magazine published articles on Isabella Blow, McQueen’s great friend and patron, after she killed herself in 2007.
  • The Daily Mail, which beat all other sources on the McQueen news by a wide margin, wrote this 2007 article on Blow.
  • David LaChapelle photographed McQueen and Blow for Vanity Fair in 1996.
  • This 2001 article tells how Tom Ford helped persuade McQueen to sell a majority stake in his line to the owners of Gucci. Good quotes from Isabella Blow and McQueen.
  • In 2004, the Guardian had McQueen’s mother, Joyce, interview her son. This is the interview where Joyce asked, “What is your most terrifying fear?” and McQueen answered, “Dying before you.” (Joyce died on February 2 after what has been described as “a long illness.” According to some reports, her funeral was scheduled to be held on February 12, the day after McQueen was found dead.)

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