Updates from the tents:
"There was great mystery and magic to his work and there's something about the world we've built today that folds people into the rest of itself, shunning the creative ones. He was unaware that he was so talented." - Robert Verdi, the Robert Verdi Show
"It's a shock to the fashion world. He was a genius who set the bar really high. We need people like him." - Heidi Klum before walking the runway at Hearts Truth Red Dress
"I think I feel how everyone feels: I'm shocked. I didn't know him personally. I never went to one of his shows and I'm regretful over that. I think it really cast a dark cloud over the whole day." -Gwen Stefani (as told to Jim Shi)
At Cushnie Et Ochs people are murmuring about his passing in line. Inside the press folder there is a note from the designers and BPCM "Today was the tragic loss of one of our own and one of the most brilliant and extraordinary minds. His work and contribution to fashion has been unwaveringly inspirational to us and so many generations, and will continue to live on in his memory ... we remember his fearless creativity, his impeccable craftsmanship and his iconic imagery.
At Ports there is a moment of silence for McQueen's passing.
Anna Wintour stormed out of BCBG when she got the news, much to the shock of the fashionable crowd.
I'm collecting quotes and will update as they come in:
"Just like everyone else in the industry, I'm shocked. What goes on in the minds of these creative geniuses we'll never know. " - Fern Mallis
"Very saddened for the loss of an amazing talent. It saddens me." - Patrick McDonald
I'm at Richard Chai. As I leave an editorial assistant is groaning about having to tweet. I get a text saying "Alexander McQueen has died" .... I check for info, his death is trending, as I go into blogger mode, rushing out of the tents. No one knows. Everyone is casual.
I'm in shock ... awe ... processing. He hanged himself. I call the one friend who's met him at a panel discussion. Trying to gauge who would kill themselves and why? The fashion maven who launched his career, Isabella Blow, poisoned herself with weed killer in 2007. McQueen's mother died a few days ago. He now joins her.
I'm at Bryant Park, they have tweets on an Amex Board, It's about an hour late, because they're fine tuning the technology, there is no mention of McQueen's death. The world still doesn't know. The news broke in a no man's land of info. KCD has canceled the presentation of his contemporary line and it seems that this season we not only bid farewell to a last season in the park, but one of the designers who inspired a generation, awed the press and shouted from the hilltops of London and Paris that fashion is art, culture, whimsy and can be commercial. All at the same time.
One of a handful of designers who can claim to have enchanted us. Even though many designers before him live streamed their shows, he was the first to make it work and caused us to tune in. This season many have followed suit.
Much like the sudden and shrouded death of Heath Ledger we are left grappling, trying to understand what loneliness needs to overcome; so that someone this amazing would need to take their own life. Outside looking in. Lee Alexander McQueen had it all, yet he clearly didn't agree.