Britain's press Friday remembered designer Alexander McQueen as "one of fashion's brightest lights", but lamented the star's dark side so often on show in his outlandish creations had won out.
There was little doubt over the incredible skill of the designer, who was found dead in his London home Thursday after apparently committing suicide aged 40, and the huge blow his passing represented for the fashion world.
"No other British designer has turned such an idiosyncratic vision into their own internationally acclaimed brand," said the Independent.
Hailing him "one of fashion's brightest lights," The Telegraph said McQueen's death "casts a deathly veil of sorrow over the fashion world," on the day the New York fashion week began and just several days before London fashion week.
His rags-to-riches ascent to the dizzy heights of fashion superstardom was also praised, along with his refusal to get sucked into fashion's more pretentious side.
"His ordinary background and down-to-earth manner stood out in an industry full of extravagant characters and carefully constructed personas," noted the Independent.
"McQueen was never one of the air-kissing fashion fraternity, preferring to socialise within a tight, protective group of friends," added The Guardian.
The Times remembered his wild shows with "showers of live moths; amputees; walking on water; a woman reclining in a vast glass box."
It also recognised the dark undercurrent running through them, that injected them with such urgency and excitement.
"His humour could also be dark, however, and it was this sense of the menacing side of his life that gave his clothes such bite," said the paper.
But in the battle between the genius designer's extremes of personality, his striving for beauty seemed to finally have been eclipsed by the darkness that was a constant theme in his work, said The Guardian.
"The genius of his clothes lay in his ability to keep the joy and hope symbolised by beauty and perfection in a tantalising equilibrium with the darkness which rumbled beneath.
"In real life, the tragedy is that the darkness won out."
And the Telegraph pointed to the death of his mother barely a week before his apparent suicide, and to the deaths of two other women he adored.
"He'd recently lost three women who were devoted to him and he to them," said the paper.Reuse content