ALEXANDER MCQUEEN COMMITTED SUICIDE AFTER TAKING DRUGS

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Tributes were paid to Alexander McQueen at Tuesday's Brit awards

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself after taking a mix of cocaine, tranquillisers and sleeping pills, an inquest has concluded.

He was under huge pressure from work and “overwhelmed with grief” at the loss of his mother, the court heard.

The 40-year-old's body was found at his London flat on 11 February – the eve of his mother Joyce's funeral.

“The balance of his mind was disturbed,” said coroner Dr Paul Knapman, recording a suicide verdict.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard that McQueen had a history of depression, anxiety and insomnia, had attempted suicide before and researched killing himself on the internet prior to his death.

McQueen's psychiatrist, Dr Stephen Pereira, told the inquest that the designer was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. Usually after a show he felt a huge come-down – he felt isolated, it gave him a huge low

Psychiatrist Dr Stephen Pereira
He said: “He certainly felt very pressured by his work, but it was a double-edged sword.

“He felt it was the only area of his life where he felt he had achieved something.

“Usually after a show he felt a huge come-down. He felt isolated, it gave him a huge low.”

Added to this was the distress he felt after losing his mother, said coroner's officer Lynda Martindill.

“He had been particularly close to his mother and following her death had become overwhelmed with grief.”

Dr Knapman said the designer had “killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed”.

Spring collection
A post-mortem examination found the two causes of death were asphyxia and hanging.

Last month the inquest heard McQueen had hanged himself in a wardrobe at his Mayfair flat after leaving a note.

He had been making final preparations for his spring collection to be unveiled in Paris.

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.