Guy Laroche, who abandoned dreams of a medical career to become one of the world's most popular fashion designers, died today following a long battle with intestinal cancer, a company spokesman said. He was 65.

Laroche died at his home in a fashionable Right Bank neighborhood at about 1 a.m. surrounded by his family and friends, said Jean-Paul Caboche, a spokesman for Guy Laroche SA.During the last showing of Paris haute couture, Laroche won the prestigious Golden Thimble award for the season's most beautiful clothes. It was the second time he had won the prize.