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Stars mourn McQueen at memorial

20 September 10 15:11
Sarah Jessica Parker

A memorial service has been held to commemorate the life of fashion designer Alexander McQueen following his suicide seven months ago.

Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Sarah Jessica Parker paid tribute alongside friends and family at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Designers Stella McCartney and Pam Hogg were also at the ceremony, which was held during London Fashion Week.

McQueen, 40, hanged himself on the eve of his mother's funeral in February.

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of US Vogue, gave an address at the memorial service, telling those gathered that McQueen transported his followers "into a world of sensation where you could be shocked, repulsed or thrilled".

McQueen was "special" because he designed the "most exquisite couture dresses and at the same time had a real impact on how the world dressed", she added.

Bjork, wearing giant angel wings and a silver helmet, performed Billie Holiday's Gloomy Sunday, which talks in the first person about deciding "to end it all".

Dozens of tartan-clad bagpipers lined the steps of the cathedral as guests left the ceremony.

McQueen won the distinction of being named British designer of the year four times between 1996 and 2003 and was also awarded the CBE.

The London-born designer started his career as an apprentice in Savile Row with Anderson and Sheppard before going on to work for Gieves and Hawkes.

By 1996 he had succeeded John Galliano as the head designer at fashion label Givenchy, to the dismay of the French press.

He reportedly once scrawled "McQueen was here" inside the lining of a suit belonging to Prince Charles during his stint on the famous street for bespoke tailors.

McQueen stayed with Givenchy for five years, until the end of his contract, which he said had started to "constrain" his creativity.

He began a new venture with Gucci Group, which bought 51% of his company, and boutiques followed in London, Milan and New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Kate Moss was a bridesmaid when McQueen entered into a civil partnership with documentary maker George Forsyth in a New Age ceremony on a yacht off Ibiza in 2001.

The designer took a mix of cocaine, tranquilisers and sleeping pills before killing himself at his London flat, an inquest concluded.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman, recording a suicide verdict, said: "The balance of his mind was disturbed."

The designer left a note, scribbled onto the back of a book in his room. It said: "Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee."

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