FASHIONABLY REVIEWED: Amy Winehouse for Fred Perry

Last August of 2011, the first installment of the Amy Winehouse designed and influenced sub-clothing line was discharged by the preppy British clothing line Fred Perry.  The  joint line was delivered after the untimely death of the neo-soul chanteuse who died in July from alcohol poisoning (she was found dead in her house in the Camden neighborhood of London).

This side project of the controversially talented Winehouse was agreed upon months beforehand, and as promised, the clothes are emotive of the time period she admired and embodied for a concurrent day and age.  The collection that is presented in stores and online right now is the last one she participated in, and it will continue through a close friend of hers as the top designer.  Due to the sensitive issue of the line’s direct connection to the singer, a portion of proceeds will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation which is an organization that seeks to help those with substance abuse.

Fred Perry describes, in a blithe tone, the Winehouse selections to be wonderful “[references to] Amy’s love for ’50s Americana and Miami art deco”.  Along with naturally chosen garments in the form of polo shirts and dresses and V-neck sweaters, also presented and precisely beatnik with a quirky twist are halter tops, saucy high-waisted skirts and shorts, as well as “pumps” (tennis-esque flats).  The spring/summer 2012 collection is exclusively done with the color palette of pink, black, and white, with dabbles of baby and navy blue, vibrant red, and light heather gray.  The graphics feature gingham and argyle prints, and adorably drawn images of jukeboxes, cat-eye glasses, a couple kissing, and an ebullient Amy clutching a vinyl record, her puerile eyes wide with hope and love for the music she’s about to listen to.  The clothes (soft cotton and lightly rough viscose and elastane) are essentially everyday basics, but with the backdrop of music as the soundtrack, these basics are also layered rock and roll in the more classic sense of the days of 45 LPs and soda fountains (think of the costume choices of the Pink Ladies and T-birds characters of Grease).  The only item that’s really missing is a verdant poodle skirt.

While viewing the pieces, it is simultaneous sad to be aware that Winehouse is another gifted artist gone too soon, but her efforts with Fred Perry were keen on being a tribute to an era that so vigorously touched her, but are also inexplicably Amy as she made such a specific style very much her own.

Prices range from $50 (an illustrated scarf) to $325 (jacket or halter dress).

–Shardae Jobson

this writer can be reached at jobsonworks@gmail.com

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