❚ WITH LONDON FASHION WEEK IN FULL SWING, hundreds of leading fashionistas gathered in St Paul’s Cathedral today for a ceremony in memory of Alexander McQueen. A taxi driver’s son who grew up in London’s East End, he became Britain’s most confrontational, unfettered and theatrical designer. He died in February aged 40, having been appointed a CBE and named British Designer of the Year four times by the British Fashion Council.
The world’s most powerful arbiter of fashion, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, led today’s tributes. Models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, muse Daphne Guinness and designer Stella McCartney were among the congregation, which also included relatives and former colleagues of McQueen.
Anna Wintour is the English-born daughter of Charles — editor of the Evening Standard during the Swinging 60s when his London paper achieved international acclaim. After removing her sunglasses, something she rarely does in public, Anna paid a moving tribute to McQueen: “He was a complex and gifted young man who, as a child, liked nothing more than watching the birds from the roof of his east London tower block.
“He had an 18-year-long career of pioneering his dreams and dramas. He cared what people thought of his clothes but not of him. He never appeared at ease with himself and hated to travel away from his beloved London.”
Björk sang the haunting hymn Gloomy Sunday, which reflects on the horrors of modern culture, and there were also addresses from jeweller Shaun Leane, model Annabelle Neilson, McQueen’s nephew Gary Hulyer and milliner Philip Treacy. Composer and pianist Michael Nyman and the London Community Gospel Choir gave musical performances.
➢ “My father really decided for me that I should work in fashion” — Anna Wintour in The September Issue. Out this week on DVD, the most gripping movie ever about editorial decisionmaking, OK, on the world’s most powerful fashion magazine, but for that very reason, junking $50k’s worth of photography is a measure of that power. [“Knocks All the President’s Men into a cocked hat” — Shapersofthe80s]