Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alexander McQueen Memorial

Source WWD: LONDON — “Little white flowers will never awaken you, not where the dark coach of sorrow has taken you.”

The haunting voice of Icelandic singer Björk reverberated through St. Paul’s Cathedral here Monday at a grand memorial service for the late Lee Alexander McQueen, who took his own life last February at age 40.

Dressed in an otherworldly McQueen outfit — a top of thin, molded wood resembling angel wings and a long feathered skirt — Björk poured into song a sense of loss, and the demons that haunted the British designer.

“It was a life lived in the public gaze, but it was as vulnerable and retiring as it was glamorous,” the Reverend Canon Giles Fraser told the 1,200 guests, who included Sarah Jessica Parker, Daphne Guinness, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson, Stella Tennant, Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Antonio Berardi, Roland Mouret, Philip Treacy and Shaun Leane. “Despite the dazzle of his world, he never forgot his East End roots and how much he owed to his loved ones,” said Fraser.

Others in the crowd that gathered under the gilded dome of Sir Christopher Wren’s Renaissance church included retailers Joe Boitano of Saks Fifth Avenue, Marigay McKee of Harrods, Selfridges’ Anne Pitcher, Brown’s owner Joan Burstein, Lane Crawford’s Jennifer Woo and Joyce president Andrew Keith."

"After the service, the congregation — some of them smiling, others wiping away tears — gathered in the sunshine to listen to the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland assembled on the cathedral steps. The musicians were dressed in black — with flourishes of red tartan — and the feathers on their tall, brimless hats fluttered in the breeze as they played.

Nyman, who played an acoustic piano solo during the memorial, remembered McQueen as a gracious man. “He commissioned a piece from me for the Paris collection where Kate Moss appeared as a hologram,” Nyman said after the service. “He never used it, and he called me to apologize, and asked me to go to the Bond Street store to pick something out for myself, which I never actually did. That was my only contact with him. It was a very moving experience to play today.”

“All of it was absolutely fitting, just beautiful, and typically Lee didn’t show up,” said Guinness with a smile from beneath her black veil, referring to the late designer’s tendency to cancel at the last minute, or pull a no-show. “I was like ‘Lee, where are you? You should be here.’”

“It was just beautiful and he would have loved it,” said Campbell, tottering on sky-high McQueen heels.

Like many female guests, Parker was decked out in McQueen. “This is new, this is fairly new,” she said, referring to her billowing cream dress and a rib-hugging black tuxedo jacket.

“It was perfect,” a rueful Parker said of the service. “I wouldn’t have missed this for anything in the world. It was just a wonderful way to remember him. It was just beautiful.”

Moss said she was moved by the service. “He would have loved it,” said the model, who was dressed in a black leather skirt and black jacket. She added that her abiding memory of McQueen was “his infectious laugh. We laughed together all the time.” "

I LOVED Mr. Alexander Lee McQueen. I will never get to see one of his shows which has been my dream since I was a teen since he was one of the designer (the only one??) whom could move me to tears. May he rest in peace.

(Images and text from WWD)

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