There was no question about the inspiration of Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 2012 couture runway show. Models commanded the runway in tall beehive wigs and black winged eyeliner as a live a cappella group sang “Rehab.” Some Winehouse replicas even donned a cigarette in hand.
Less than a year ago, R&B songstress Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home. It was later revealed that she died accidentally of excessive alcohol consumption. But the French designer decided it wasn’t too soon to pay tribute to someone he considered to be “a fashion icon.”
“What she stands for above all, is uniqueness,” Gaultier said after the show. “Both in music and the way she dressed, she mixed a great many influences to create her style.”
But those closest to the singer don’t appreciate this homage. In particular, Winehouse’s father believes Gaultier is simply “cashing in on the late singer’s death,” the Associated Press reports.
Tributes within the fashion community have been done before, but Gaultier’s attempt is simply too soon. However, in his defense, any show idolizing Winehouse’s style would receive similar reviews; there really isn’t another way to capture all that was Winehouse. Her drug and alcohol problems often overshadowed her unique and soulful voice.
Winehouse’s close friend, Kelly Osbourne, took to Twitter to voice her disapproval, too.
“Although @JPGaultier was paying homage to my friend & icon to the world, I found it to be lucratively selfish and distasteful.”
Perhaps the black veils worn during the finale were a bit much. Either way, Gaultier should have consulted Winehouse’s family first. Or maybe he should have just deconstructed an avant-garde little black dress instead.