Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier has defended criticism of his Amy Winehouse-inspired catwalk show, which sent look-alikes of the late singer down the catwalk six months after her death in June.
Speaking of his spring/summer 2012 haute couture collection, where models were given the singer’s trademark beehive hairstyle and heavy eyeliner, Gaultier told VogueTV: “I was surprised when she died that no one in fashion made an homage to her”.
“Her look was fabulous, fantastic – it was unique. Usually, actresses and singers need fashion advice. She naturally had the right make-up, the right earrings – it was a truly a style. She didn’t just pick up one part of that look. And I love her voice, I love everything about her.”
At the time, Winehouse’s father Mitch said the collection was in “bad taste”, calling it “an insult” to the singer.
“The family was upset to see those pictures, they were a total shock,” he said. “To see her image lifted wholesale to sell clothes was a wrench we were not expecting or consulted on. We’re proud of her influence on fashion but find black veils on models, smoking cigarettes with a barbershop quartet singing her music in bad taste. It portrays a view of Amy when she was not at her best, and glamorises some of the more upsetting times in her life. That’s upsetting for her family.”
The clothes seen on the catwalk will not be retailed and will be created bespoke for select clients. Mitch Winehouse has claimed that Jean Paul Gaultier should make a donation to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which will fund a new performing arts scholarship to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where Winehouse trained as a teenager.