Amy Winehouse: Not just a soul superstar, but a fashion icon

By Kathryn Cummings, Senior Fashion Writer

Amy Winehouse, who tragically died over the weekend and whose funeral is today, will be remembered not only for her amazing contributions to music, but also her signature style.

MM’s Senior Features Writer Kathryn Cummings takes look at Amy’s influence on fashion and style from her startling rise to fame in 2005, to her tragic death this weekend.

Before the headlines about the singing star were devoted to only her drug and alcohol addictions, Amy’s bouffant and thick eyeliner made her an inspiration to many designers, editors and stylists.

The star helped bring 1960’s fashion back into the modern world, and her look propelled her onto the pages of Marie Claire, Vanity Fair and Elle.

The 27-year-old unlike other pop stars stuck to her unique style and never really changed.

When she first released her debut album ‘Frank’ in 2005, her famous beehive was not yet established but her bright red lips, tight mini-dresses and copious amounts of eyeliner soon become part of her trademark image.

As her career developed in 2007 with the success of her album ‘Back to Black’ her hair became a towering beehive and her look became consistent – mini-dresses with belts, stilettos and ballet pumps and she was rarely seen without a colourful push up bra on show.

Amy was snapped so many times in Fred Perry polo shirts the brand decided to go into business with her last year, bringing out a collection under her own name.

When speaking about her line she said: “The collection I’ve done is so classic, because their style and my style are pretty much the same.

“Fred Perry is my be all and end all. I’ve always loved it, always worn it, and it feels like a living dream.”

When Amy faced trial for allegedly assaulting a woman, she scrubbed up her usual style with smart white shirts and an elegant grey suit, but she kept her ballet pumps firmly in place.

In 2008 it was reported that Amy was going to appear in London Fashion Week to model for designer Julian McDonald who described her as incredible.

He said: “She’s an amazing talent, who is just very unique and has great style, she is just so different.”

Top designer Karl Lagerfield compared Amy to French actress Brigitte Bardot, who had the same hairdo as Amy in the late fifties and sixties.

Mr Lagerfield even named Amy as his muse and sent models down the catwalk in 2007 all sporting beehives in a Chanel show.

Shoe designer Jonathan Kelsey, who has collaborated with Mulberry, even designed the ‘Amy’ shoe in her honour. 

So while the music industry mourns the loss of a great talent, it should be noted that her impact on popular culture reached out further than just in her music.


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