As you may recall, Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring/summer 2012 haute couture collection was a highly produced homage to the late Amy Winehouse. There was a barbershop quartet singing her music while models traipsed down the aisle with beehive ‘dos, heavy eyeliner, cigarettes, and form-fitting clothes that recalled the British talent, who had passed away only six months prior.
It was a little uncomfortable, especially when Winehouse’s father, who was understandably still grieving, spoke out against the show, saying it was “in bad taste” and “an insult” and “[t]o see her image lifted wholesale to sell clothes was a wrench we were not expecting or consulted on.”
Gaultier hasn’t said much about it publicly until now and it doesn’t sound like he has any regrets. “I was surprised when she died that no one in fashion made an homage to her,” he told Vogue UK. “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 truly a style. She didn’t just pick up one part of that look. And I love her voice, I love everything about her.”
We understand where he’s coming from and it’s true that Winehouse was a fashion inspiration and had a unique style that was all her own and that is worthy of celebration–but does that mean it was someone’s responsibility to create a couture collection around her just months after her death? And couldn’t he have extended some sort of apology or acknowledgement to Winehouse’s family?