PARIS (Reuters) - Jean Paul Gaultier delivered an ode to Amy Winehouse at his spring/summer 2012 haute couture show in Paris on Wednesday. The late pop singer’s musical spirit and bad girl fashion sense were all over the runway.
“No, no, no,” sang the four male Afro-American acapella singers who kicked off the show, using Winehouse’s husky battle cry “Rehab” as a backdrop to 1950s and 60s-inspired looks.
Sporting pink, red, blonde and black beehives, the leggy models with thick cat-eye eyeliner sported lots of lace, sequins, peek-a-boo skin — and even cigarettes.
A shocking canary-yellow sequined blouson was paired with an equally bright turquoise slim sequined skirt in a sexy look worthy of 50s pin-up girl Betty Page.
Another seemed tailor-made for a gal with a hangover who doesn’t want to get out of bed: a satin peignoir in a printed marquetry fabric worn over a jewel-encrusted bustier.
Winehouse, who died in July from alcohol poisoning, was known for her rich voice, songs that recalled 1960s girl bands, her towering hairstyle and struggles with drugs and alcohol.
The singer’s voice on her best-selling hit “Back to Black” filled the vast room at the end of the show as models with veils covering their faces filed past guests such as Catherine Deneuve and burlesque star Dita Von Teese.
At Givenchy, tough was also on the menu, but designer Riccardo Tisci used beading, heavy embroidery, and animal skins to create armor-like dresses and jackets.
The atelier showed 10 looks on Tuesday inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 film “Metropolis.” Hints of Art Deco design on collars and sleeves gave way to a hard-edged, futuristic sensibility.
A black jacket, like a suit of armor, was stitched from thousands of tiny black beads with a black crocodile overlay. Stars adorned the back of the jacket, while swirls of flowers at the cuffs were sewn from individual scales. The overall effect was a Gothic armadillo meets Mad Max.
In another look, the skin of a crocodile was literally recreated, scale by scale, on a woman’s body, held in place by invisible tulle. Wrapped around the waist, resembling a Japanese obi, was the animal’s spine, with two tails creating the belt.
Even the design on a flowing white skirt resembled scales, sewn via tiny transparent sequins and set off with a bold, silver chain connecting the skirt to the shoulder.
For the top, Tisci played it simple, choosing a classic white t-shirt — a look, in fact, that Winehouse may have approved of.
Reporting By Alexandria Sage, editing by Paul Casciato