LONDON – His runway shows were often like performance pieces: One featured models with headwear made of trash. Another showed off 10-inch heels shaped like lobster claws.
At the pinnacle of his success, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home Thursday, days after posting anguished online remarks about the death of his mother. He was 40.
The circumstances pointed to a possible suicide, but there was no confirmation from police or McQueen's publicists. Authorities said the death was not suspicious, apparently ruling out foul play. They did not indicate how McQueen was discovered.
McQueen is credited with helping revive the once-moribund British fashion industry. His edgy pieces were coveted and treasured by stylish women across the globe and seen on numerous red carpets.
Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour called McQueen "one of the greatest talents of his generation."
"He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen's influence was astonishing — from street style, to music culture and the world's museums," she said in a statement. "His passing marks an insurmountable loss."
McQueen did not design for the celebrities, but they flocked to him for the sheer audacity of his creations, which were instantly recognizable for being dramatic, exquisitely tailored and oh-so sexy.