Jean Paul Gaultier apparently thought his couture tribute to Amy Winehouse — featuring corsets, beehives, heavy eyeliner and a doo-wop quartet performing her hits — would be a welcome look back at the late singer’s fashion legacy. If so, he thought wrong. Winehouse’s father has spoken out against the designer’s use of her image and music, calling it “in bad taste” to portray the singer when she was “not at her best.”
“We're still grieving for her loss, and we’ve had a difficult week with the six-month anniversary of Amy's death,” Mitch Winehouse told the Associated Press. “To see her image lifted wholesale to sell clothes was a wrench we were not expecting or consulted on."
The Winehouse-inspired looks were part of Gaultier’s collection for Haute Couture Fashion Week, presented in Paris. Some of the looks he cribbed from Winehouse included visible bra straps, peek-a-boo lingerie, street wear and pin-up girl retro stylings. Models wore Winehouse’s signature beehive and winged eyeliner, and some marched down the runway with cigarettes and lip piercings.
Critics’ opinions of the show were mixed, according to the BBC. ”This was not his most accomplished collection by any stretch of the imagination,” wrote Susannah Frankel of the Independent. New York Times fashion critic Suzy Menkes, however, called it “exceptional.”
The critical verdict on the show doesn’t matter to Winehouse’s relatives, who were disappointed that the fashion powerhouse didn’t at least offer to make a donation to her foundation.
“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,” Winehouse said to the AP. “It portrays a view of Amy when she was not at her best and glamorizes some of the more upsetting times in her life. That’s upsetting for her family.”
See more from Paris Couture fashion week: