Fashion, Inspiration, Photography, Subculture

Oh, Amy.

Isabeli Fontana as Amy Winehouse for French Vogue, February 2008.
Styled by Emmanuelle Alt, shot by Peter Lindbergh.

This shoot was part of Vogue’s Bad Girls issue and was published at the zenith of Winehouse’s bloodstained ballet shoe tabloid breakdown. I wonder if it’s done in bad taste, but I also know that French Vogue love their bad girls and especially love women who just don’t give a fuck (something Amy once shouted during Bono’s Grammy acceptance speech) – the same issue has another shoot of Natasha Poly as Anna Nicole Smith (!) so the tongue is plainly planted well in cheek.

I’m not very good at commemorating people, terrible at commemorating people I didn’t even know – so there’s nothing really for me to say except that I was a huge Winehouse fan. I’m sad that she’s gone and every time I listen to one of her songs now and feel that her voice could be my voice, that she’s singing out everyone’s primordial cry of loss, that her songs relate to everyone’s hurt, I’m tinged that little bit more with sadness.

Here is a much better article about Amy Winehouse, written by Alexis Petridis for The Guardian. Click to read.

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12 thoughts on “Oh, Amy.

  1. Poor beautiful Amy. It’s hard to get your head around. What a voice. Re: your comment, I (only child) used to make ‘perfume’ by putting rose petals and water in a biscuit tin – was this the Licentiate childhood method for rosewater perchance? Jo Malone Red Roses cologne – that’s the smell I THOUGHT I was achieving avant la lettre! :)

  2. Great stuff Sarah. I had been fairly indifferent to Amy yet always found something utterly compelling about her whenever I saw her perform on TV or where ever – that vulnerable hair stroke thing she used to do and the pin-up girl swinging hips. I am devastated thought that she died. And somewhat unexplainably since I wasn’t what you call a big fan. But it’s a tragedy. She was unique and that was the great thing about her. Looking back I always loved her look and who can deny the brilliance of her voice? Furthermore I was disgusted by the reaction of many: ‘She’s a crackhead – who cares?!’. Heartless.
    I really like the shoot – it’s bold just like Amy.
    Russell Brand’s piece on the Guardian was great too.

    • I really liked Russell Brand’s piece as well – it was really honest, and he didn’t portray himself in a particularly flattering light either. It’s odd that in instances like this the stark reality (the death of an icon) can be juxtaposed against so many beautiful images.

  3. To be honest, I was never a fan of Amy Winehouse herself, as I have no particular interest in people who seem to be in the spotlight for their personal lives than talents. However…. she was talented, and it was such a needless waste. And she was still someone’s child. That was a very well written article, thanks for the link.

    • My interest in Winehouse actually tailed off a bit when she started getting covers of The Sun with missing teeth and bruises. Some people seem to love that stuff though, in an odd shadenfreude kind of way. I think the main reason that I put those pictures above was not to highlight her problems, but rather to show the impact that she had on fashion – just because this is a fashion blog and not a place for me to air my opinions on addiction or tabloids or her death.

      To be fair though, not everyone interested in her felt that way because of her personal life. I think that article (and Russell Brand’s, as Kat said above) really hit the nail on the head.

  4. I know what you mean it’s extremely hard to commemorate someone that you don’t personally know. While obviously I don’t agree with many of her lifestyle choices you only have to listen to her lyrics & her voice to understand that she was a very deep & emotionally sensitive soul – I feel extremely sorry for her that she tried many times but could never truly shake her addictions…A musically genius & most definitely our loss – great post Sarah & a fab editorial x

    • Glad you like it! That editorial seems to divide people – they either love it or hate it. I felt a bit uncomfortable about putting it up but I think it’s just as unfair to ignore certain aspects of an artists life as it is to highlight others. There has to be some sort of balance.

  5. Personally I think this shoot is rather tasteless but then Vogue under Carine often was. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. I think it glamorises her lifestyle and exploits her for publicity. Also, I don’t think there is much by way of artistic inspiration/interpretation, it is just crude mimicry.

    On a brighter note, your Erdem shoes are so beautiful! Lucky you! Enjoy all your beans. I had beans last night and they were excellent.

    • Wow – I’d definitely agree with you that this shoot was tasteless. In fact, I think in this issue they also had an editorial called ‘Bad Taste’! Sometimes the crassness pays off, sometimes it really doesn’t. This shoot has really inspired a lot of strong reactions in people. It definitely unnecessarily glamourises her lifestyle but I wonder if it really does exploit her life for publicity – French Vogue doesn’t need to indulge in cheap stunts just to get people to buy copies – though maybe I’m just being a bit naive?

  6. This is beautiful. Emmanuelle Alt is a genius she has really captured the essence of Amy. I completely understand what you mean. It feels strange because I didn’t know her but it makes me genuinely sad that she’s gone particularly when I think that we have only scratched the surface of what her wonderful voice had to offer and beautiful depth of her music.

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