British power couple David and Victoria Beckham led the charge in celebrating the life and career of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen at the gala opening of an exhibition of his work on 12 March.

Models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss also turned out for the event and were photographed on the steps of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, where the exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, opened.

Milliner Philip Treacy, who alongside McQueen was mentored by the fashion journalist Isabella Blow, recalled how the designer was unique.

"He was like a tornado, a whirlwind, and he communicated unlike other people but the people around him respected him so much that we did our best for him, he deserved the best because he was the best," Treacy said.

Aside from the fashion royalty and Hollywood actors such as Colin Firth and Salma Hayek, there was also British royalty as Princess Beatrice turned out to the event.

Fashion editor Suzy Menkes paid homage to the late designer on the black carpet.

"Alexander McQueen will remain always and forever be an inspiration for designers who also want to be able to stretch to the limit but of course, it's not easy to do that because now in today's world all the young designers feel that they must fit into society. Alexander McQueen was never interested in that, he was a rule breaker and that's what gave him his strength," she said.

Also at the event were British musicians Bobby Gillespie, FKA Twigs and Jarvis Cocker.

Actor Rupert Friend turned out with model and athlete Aimee Mullins, who had both her legs amputated at a very young age and modelled for one of McQueen's collections, opening his show.

When asked why his models always had such ferocity on the catwalk, she replied: "Well something happens when you wear his clothes. Your spine gets more erect, your shoulders go back, and your head floats a little higher and I think that does something to your attitude. He didn't say anything to us, he just put us in his designs and sent us down the runway and usually through some spinning discs or some rain or something to make it terrifying and you had to be on your game. I think it was the clothes that affected the attitude."

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty opens to the public on 14 March and closes on 2 August.