“Amy: Beyond the Stage” is the very first UK exhibition that heavily focuses on Amy Winehouse’s style and her passion for music. The Design Museum and Naomi Parry (Amy’s former stylist and close friend) teamed up and honoured Amy’s impact on the music and fashion industry by displaying her handwritten lyrics, awards, musical instruments, outfits, and other personal belongings.

By Alžbeta Bulíková

According to Priya Khanchandani, the head of curatorial at the Design Museum, the exhibition also focuses on the musicians Amy got influenced and inspired by throughout her career.

The exhibition is divided into four different rooms, in which the visitors can have a very close look at Amy’s possessions. The very first room includes photographs of Amy in her Frank era, personal notes, lyrics, CD collection, or very unique distressed-denim jeans, embroidered with ‘Sinatra is God’ and ‘Amy’ by Miss Sixty.

The second part of the exhibition gives us a closer look at Amy’s musical career, musical influences, and a few of the iconic outfits she has worn. By walking in the room, we can see three guitars hanging on the wall, including her very first electric guitar by Fender in a Daphne Blue finish, which she used to perform with during her Frank era. The room is designed to show visitors the transition between Frank and Back to Black by displaying songbooks, vinyl records by artists she looked up to, from her personal collection. The room also includes multiple awards for both of these timeless and iconic albums including five Grammy Awards, Mercury Prize, and Ivor Novello Prize.

Furthermore, Amy owned a retro jukebox, constructed by her step-father Richard, containing records hand-picked by Amy herself, which is also a part of this unique exhibition. In addition to the musical experience of this room, a recording booth set-up (inspired by Metropolis Studios, where the album Back to Black was recorded) has been added and installed by All Things Studio. The visitors are able to take a seat and listen to a few of Amy’s greatest. Above all, the famous abstract bamboo mini dress Amy had worn for her final stage performance in Belgrade (2011) designed by incredibly talented stylist Naomi Parry is also part of the exhibition.

“I was mesmerized by the dress worn by Amy in her final performance in Belgrade. Absolutely heartbreaking to see the actual dress Amy wore that night, right in front of me on a mannequin. I could have stared at it for hours!” stated one of the very dedicated fans, Rachel.

Moving on to the third part of this experience, the next room is dedicated to the fashion style of Amy and her own aesthetic including a few of the most iconic and incredible pieces she has worn throughout her short career. This room also displays unique accessories including the famous heart-shaped Moschino bag (from the Brit Awards in 2007), jewelry, heels, or the ‘Trademark Beehive’ styled by Tracey Cahoon, used for the music video ‘You Know I’m No Good’ in 2007. Imogen Warner-Dart who runs an online archive (@amywinehousewardrobe)  that details Amy’s iconic outfits, loans a few pieces to the museum is extremely passionate about the exhibition. “It is such a special experience to see Amy’s famous clothes, possibly for the last time all in the same room together. A real once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was the most incredible honor to be approached by the Design Museum to loan some of my pieces to stand alongside Amy’s clothes.” She continued, “Priya Khanchandani and Maria McLintock beautifully curated this exhibition with Naomi Parry. The third room really brings the exhibition to life. You can really feel Amy there with you.”

Last but not least the fourth room – “Amy: Finale performance” offers a visual performance of Amy’s song “Tears Dry On Their Own” designed by Chiara Stephenson from All Things Studio. This big finale finishes up the whole exhibition in the most bitter-sweet way possible remaining the visitors in awe and excitement to come back. According to Stephenson, the aim of this visual performance was to make people feel more connected to Amy and have insight into her character.

Do not miss the chance to see this spectacular exhibition. April 10 2022 is the very last day you can experience “Amy: Beyond the Stage” and see these astonishing pieces in real life, which will never be reunited after. Book your tickets now at: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/amy-beyond-the-stage

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