French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who upset the family of late singer Amy Winehouse by using her as the inspiration for his latest catwalk show, says he wanted to celebrate the talent the world has lost.
Gaultier recently sparked controversy when he put out a collection based on her look, but claims he has always thought she looked incredible.
"When I saw Amy, I was amazed at her voice, even though I knew she was in such a bad state. Her look was incredible - with her sailor tattoos and clothes she was so Gaultier. At her show, I was too shy to go and see her backstage," contactmusic.com quoted the designer as saying.
"Amy Winehouse is my biggest inspiration. She's beautiful," he added.
Gaultier said he was upset to know Winehouse's father Mitch was unhappy with his homage to her.
"I was upset they were upset. I wrote to her father Mitch to explain that my intention was to pay homage to her talent. Since her death the media has focused too much on her problems. My show was intended as a celebration of her. The world has lost someone amazing who will never come again," he said.
Winehouse died July last year at the age of 27.