Fendi Issues a Fond Fairwell to Amy Winehouse

It has been just over 48 hours since British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment at the age of 27, and with a couple notable exceptions the fashion world has had very little to say about a woman who Karl Lagerfeld once described as a “style icon”. Much like her music career Ms. Winehouse’s contribution to the fashion world was more often then not overshadowed by her troubled personal life and reckless behavior, but whether she was loved or loathed by them, the fashion elite that crossed paths with her during her short life all agreed that Winehouse had a style all her own.

Shortly after the debut of her hit album Back to Black Ms. Winehouse served as Mr. Lagerfeld’s muse for his December 2007 Chanel show. A few months later the singer performed at the opening of a Fendi store where Lagerfeld praised her saying “She’s not only a muse; she’s a genius. She’s one of the greatest voices today.” However most of the fashion world did not share Mr. Lagerfeld’s opinion of Winehouse as evidence one need only look to a column Lisa Armstrong penned later that year criticizing the industry for trying to hold Ms. Winehouse up a an icon despite her myriad of personal issues. “Somehow the fashion industry has got it into its head that what’s really missing from every stylish woman’s life is an accessory that will make her look like someone whose next must-have is an intravenous drip,” Armstrong wrote in her ’08 column.

One of the last fashion features on Winehouse came in the November 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar which was supposed to be an annoucement of a clothing line Ms. Winehouse was releasing with Fred Perry but turned into a commentary on Winehouse’s personal life after the mag’s writers, seemingly out of frustration, gave surprisingly candid descriptions of how she could not answer basic interview questions without slurring her speech and was having trouble walking straight and posing for photos.

So now, while her critics have fallen silent out of respect it is the silence from her one time supporters that seems most glaring. The only exception thus far has come in the form of a statement Fendi emailed to Women’s Wear Daily in response to the news of Ms. Winehouse’s death:

“We met Amy in Paris, fresh from having won five Grammys. That night, everyone discovered that in addition to a genius voice Amy also had an exceptional and very British sense of humor. Having restyled the Fendi dress she was wearing that night, she said with a wink: ‘Forgive my ignorance, I don’t know anything about fashion….’ We are very sad for the loss of such a unique talent that in many ways transcended music, fashion, and culture.”

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