'I didn't mean to upset Amy Winehouse's family': Jean Paul Gaultier says fashion show inspired by singer's style was an 'homage'
19:45 GMT, 1 May 2012
Jean Paul Gaultier has spoken out in defence of his decision to hold an Amy Winehouse-inspired catwalk show just months after the singer's death last year.
The French designer was slammed by critics – including the Winehouse family – for his Paris Couture Week show, who said the move was in 'poor taste'.
But in an interview with Grazia magazine, Jean Paul Gaultier called the collection 'an homage' to the 'amazing, iconic' singer and a celebration of her life.
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Too soon: Mitch Winehouse said Jean Paul Gaultier's creations are cashing in on his daughter's success
In the offending show, held almost six months to the day after the late Ms Winehouse's death aged just 27, the French designer borrowed heavily from the image of the singer, sending models down the runway with hair styled in Ms Winehouse's trademark beehive, and with flicks of liquid eyeliner, red lipstick and a beauty spot in the same place as the singer had hers.
The clothes were heavily influenced by Ms Winehouse's personal style, with brightly coloured pencil skirts, 50s-style shirts and bold jewellery looking for all the world like it was plundered from the singer's own wardrobe, and Gaultier's models walked the runway to a soundtrack by the Rehab singer.
Upset: Jean Paul Gaultier says he regrets upsetting the Winehouse family, and that his intention was to 'celebrate her amazing life'
At the time, Ms Winehouse's father Mitch blasted Jean Paul Gaultier's collection as 'bad taste', saying the family had been left 'shocked' and 'devastated' by the insensitive tribute.
Mitch said at the time: 'The family was upset to see those pictures, they were a total shock.
'We're still grieving for her loss, and we've had a difficult week with the six-month anniversary.'
He explained that her iconic image had been used 'to sell clothes', saying no one offered to make a donation to The Amy Winehouse Foundation (which helps vulnerable people).
grieving 60-year-old said despite being proud of Amy's influence on
fashion, the black veils and chain-smoking 'glamorised some of the more
upsetting times in her life'.
He tweeted: 'We don't support the Jean Paul Gaultier collection. It's in bad taste.'
In response, Gaultier insisted his show was a 'tribute', saying: 'She was an icon of
fashion and truly, the sense of how she mixed the clothes – it was
But now, the French designer has gone one further, saying in an interview with Grazia that he 'didn't mean to upset anyone' and that the couture show was a product of his love for the singer.
'When I saw Amy, I was amazed at her voice, even though I knew she was in a bad state,' he says.
'Her look was incredible – with her sailor tattoos and clothes she was so Gaultier! At her show, I was too shy to go and see her backstage. Amy Winehouse is my biggest inspiration, she's beautiful.'
He says he was upset that he upset the Winehouse family, and admits he wrote to Mitch later to explain that his show was intended as an 'homage to her talent'.
'Since her death the media has focused too much on her problems. My show was intended as a celebration of her,' he says.
'The world has lost someone amazing who will never come again.'
Supermodel Karlie Kloss also featured on the runway.
Other Winehouse tributes included nipped-in waists and polka dots.
Beehive: Jean Paul Gaultier's show last year was inspired by the late Amy Winehouse
Video: Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture spring / summer 2012