No, no, no! Gaultier hits wrong note with bizarre catwalk tribute to Amy Winehouse
IS it appropriate for a French couturier to send out a catwalk homage to Amy Winehouse complete with models wearing exposed bra straps, Fred Perry collars, baseball jackets and shirts tucked into pencil skirts?
But yesterday in Paris Jean Paul Gaultier chose to do just that. A live barbershop quartet crooned an elliptical rendition of the late singer's most famous recording, 'Rehab', and Mr Gaultier went so far as to attach black veils to towering beehives for his finale.
This week marked the six-month anniversary of Ms Winehouse's death and her father broke news of a forthcoming memorial concert only days ago. Mr Gaultier's tribute was well intentioned, but gave rise to a palpable sense of unease.
While no one understands Parisian chic and a decadent undercurrent better, his grasp of a more urban dress sense was less assured.
The uniform of the dominatrix -- rubber trousers, fishnets and underwear as outerwear -- in this instance appeared more Soho sex shop than French couture salon which, given the context, made for uncomfortable if not plain confusing viewing.
There were moments of clarity -- Mr Gaultier's use of colour was sensational in places -- but this was not his most accomplished collection by any stretch of the imagination.
Earlier in the day, the rather less controversial Beirut-born and based designer, Elie Saab, showed his spring/summer haute couture collection which was, conversely, as pretty as the proverbial picture.
Mr Saab has a booming couture business and that was clear as guests arrived: there appeared to be almost as many princesses front row as there were members of the press.
Among them was Claudine Keane, wife of Irish soccer captain Robbie Keane, who took advantage of his temporary loan move from LA Galaxy to Aston Villa to pop over to Paris.
Mr Saab focused on ultra-feminine shapes, fondant colour (peach, pistachio, lemon and rose) and fragile embroideries. He first became known outside his own country when Halle Berry was awarded the Oscar for best actress in 2002 wearing one of his designs. (© Independent News Service)