MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 18: British designer Alexander McQueen attends the press conference for the 1st Edition of Marie Claire Magazine Fashion Awards at Hotel Villamagna on November 18, 2003 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
His death has sent shockwaves through New York Fashion Week, and according to reports, a British coroner's official confirmed Wednesday that wunderkind designer Alexander McQueen had died of asphyxiation and hanging, and had left a note nearby.
The loss of McQueen was especially chilling considering his death comes mere weeks before he was scheduled to show at Paris Fashion Week on March 9 (a show which as of today has still not been officially canceled, it should be noted), and just hours before his secondary line, McQ, was scheduled to be shown here in New York at MAC & Milk's downtown fashion week venue. (The show was ultimately canceled.) McQueen's meatpacking store draped itself in white and fans even created a makeshift shrine.
Alexander McQueen was long regarded as the bad boy of British fashion. He launched his eponymous collection in 1990s after graduating from Central Saint Martins and quickly became famous for his outrageous designs -- he was fond of punky-plaid looks and most recently his serpentined dresses and 10-inch high, hoof-like shoes had attracted the attention of fashionistas and Lady Gaga alike. His own demeanor was also pretty iconic -- he wore his hair close-cropped, sported jeans and Doc Martens on the runway and was know for his blunt, honest commentary.
His suicide came just days after his mother's passing, an event which had a profound affect on the designer (he apparently even took to his Twitter account to grieve). Even more chillingly, McQueen's death comes just a few years after the suicide of his close friend (and British style icon) Isabella Blow, who is credited with bringing the designer into the spotlight..
Given New York Fashion Week is now underway, news of McQueen's passing was mostly been communicated by Twitter, where more than 40,000 tweets had carried the reports by only 11:15 a.m. last Thursday.