Three dramatic looks from Alexander McQueen's last collection. Photos courtesy of Alexander McQueen

In a somber Paris presentation, opera music played in the background as an intimate group of editors and buyers gathered to view Alexander McQueen's final collection. Held in the gilded salon of Francois Pinault's headquarters, the 16-piece offering was 80% finished when the designer took his own life a month ago. It was completed by his team.

McQueen referred to the collection as "Angels and Demons" in tweets just weeks before his death. Inspired by Medieval art, the models had banded heads (sometimes with mohawk-like gold feathers) and severe nude faces reminiscent of Madonnas and Byzantine royals. The Dark Ages were reinterpreted in the form of cape-like coats and short drop-waist pleated dresses, with tapestry bodices in rich regal fabrics like red, ivory and gold.

The designer's usual attention to detail was impeccable. He took digital photographs of Bosch demons and church angels and translated them into woven jacquard prints. Gold embroidery embellished nearly every piece but on a rich red dress the effect was staggering. The clothes were couture-like, which is a common association McQueen's show pieces, but given circumstances it made for an emotional display.

The show's simplified setting also enhanced the poetic nature of the collection. (McQueen was known just as much for his dramatic shows as for his glorious clothes.) The closing look, a flowing long sleeve white gown with a fitted waist and a coat of gold feathers was breathtaking and felt like a glimpse of heaven.

Though PPR - which owns 51% of the Alexander McQueen label - has announced its plans to carry on without the namesake designer, it will never be the same. It was a bittersweet ending to an iconic career.

Find out who is rumored to replace the designer at his eponymous label.