It’s been seven months since the prodigiously talented fashion designer took his own life. And St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was filled with some of the industry’s biggest names who wanted to pay their respects on Monday.
Supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, designers Stella McCartney and Pam Hogg as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Bjork paid tribute alongside friends and family. The most poignant moment was arguably delivered by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, who spoke of, “a complex and gifted young man” who transported his followers, “into a world of sensation where you could be shocked, repulsed or thrilled.” (See more on McQueen from TIME.com here.)
McQueen was brought up near the cathedral, which was noted by Wintour in her address: “As a child he loved nothing more than sitting on the rooftop and watching birds fly by. His final collection was a battle between dark and light. His was an 18-year career of harnessing his dreams and demons … But he has left us with an even more exceptional legacy, a talent that soared like the birds of his childhood above us all.”
The Icelandic singer Bjork, decked out in giant angel wings and a silver helmet, sang Billie Holiday’s “Gloomy Sunday,” which talks in the first person about deciding “to end it all.” (See photos of McQueen’s life on TIME.com.)
The ceremony took place during London Fashion Week, and surely much of the upcoming festival will be a celebration of McQueen’s life, who killed himself the day before the funeral of his mother, Joyce. The 40-year-old was named British designer of the year four times between 1996 and 2003, had served as the head designer at Givenchy and was awarded the CBE.