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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alexander McQueen found dead

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself.

Alexander McQueen
Fashion designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself in a wardrobe after leaving a note, an inquest in London has been told.

He was found dead at his London home on Thursday, as final preparations were being made for his spring collection to be unveiled in Paris. Westminster Coroner's Court was told a post-mortem examination had said he had died due to asphyxiation and hanging.

Mr McQueen died the eve of the funeral of his mother, Joyce. The five-minute hearing was told his body had been identified on the day of his death by his sister, Janet McQueen, of Hornchurch, Essex.

Det Insp Paul Armstrong told the inquest there were no suspicious circumstances. He presented the note found at the scene to the coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, for further investigation.

Coroner's officer Lynda Martindill said no report of the post-mortem examination was yet available. Dr Knapman adjourned the inquest until 1000 GMT on 28 April. Reporters were passed a note asking them to respect the McQueen family's privacy.

Mr McQueen was named British designer of the year four times after 1996. His close friend fashion stylist Isabella Blow, who helped launch his career, killed herself in 2007.

Performing at the Brit awards on Tuesday night, Mr McQueen's friend Lady Gaga dedicated a song to him.

Today at the opening of an inquest into his death Dr Paul Knapman, the coroner, was handed a note found at the scene. Detective Inspector Paul Armstrong told the court there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the designer's death.

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard that the 40-year-old’s post-mortem examination found that he died from asphyxiation and hanging.

McQueen’s body was identified by his sister Janet McQueen on the day of his death, the five-minute hearing heard. A full inquest will be heard at a later date.

The designer was found dead on the eve of the funeral of his mother, Joyce. It is believed that McQueen was inconsolable after her death earlier this month. In a comment on his Twitter page days before his death he wrote that it had been an “awful week”.

McQueen was one of Britain’s most feted designers. A four-time winner of the British designer of the year award, he designed for Givenchy and was creative director of his own label, in which Gucci held a majority shareholding.

McQueen’s close friend, Isabella Blow, killed herself three years ago at the age of 48. Suffering from cancer and depression, she died after drinking weedkiller after telling friends she was going out shopping.

Jonathan Coad, who represented the McQueen family, made no comment after the hearing. A letter was passed to reporters asking the media to respect the McQueen family’s privacy.

It said: “This notice on behalf of the McQueen family for your recognition that it has suffered a grievous double loss in a very short space of time and that any insensitive and/or intrusive photographs and/or footage will only compound to the family’s distress.”

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