McQueen show shuts in NY after record attendance

An exhibit in New York of the works of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide last year, has closed this weekend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a smash-success run.

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" - highlighting the Victorian romance and dark melancholy that inspired the designer's work - was set to run until July 31, but organizers extended the show by a week to accommodate record crowds.

"From opening on May 4, we have had more than 625,000 visitors," museum press officer Nancy Chilton told AFP, adding that the show had already seen the highest attendance of any exhibition staged by the Met's Costume Institute.

"It is among the Museums top 20 blockbusters."

The Met organized special Monday viewings of the popular exhibition when the museum is otherwise closed to the public, at a cost of $50 per visitor. The McQueen show will stay open until midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

McQueen died February 11 last year at the age of 40 after a career that spanned nearly half his life and consistently amazed the fashion world with his impeccable tailoring skills learned on Savile Row and lavish creativity.

A British inquest heard he took cocaine, sleeping pills and tranquilizers before hanging himself.

Sarah Burton, who is now the artistic director at the McQueen fashion house, designed Kate Middleton's dress for her wedding to Britain's Prince William in April.