My brother is convinced that I had no idea who Amy Winehouse was until he played one of her songs for me just a few years ago, but I was well aware of her as most of the world was after her mainstream breakthrough in 2006 with the album "Back to Black." I've adored Amy Winehouse's music ever since I first heard her songs, falling immediately for her throwback style and bopping my head to her groovy blends of soul and jazz.
Her music became particularly critical to me and my healing after a rough breakup last year that "sent me flying." Maybe it's sappy to confess that love songs are what I turned to at the time to help me, but I had her lyrics on repeat through my speakers for months. Her voice delivering every word with such raw emotion helped me channel my own and release the weight of my heartbreak.
He walks away
The sun goes down
He takes the day, but I'm grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own
Amy Winehouse DIY Costume
It was right around this time when Halloween was around the corner, so I decided to dress as Amy Winehouse to show my love for her. In the spirit of the Halloween we've come to celebrate today, I also chose to adorn white contact lenses to zombify my costume.
I'm using this photo to enter into HoneyColor's Halloween contest for a $100 voucher!
I purchased the zombie lenses from a website called HoneyColor. I'm actually a long-time customer, and have purchased prescription circle lenses from them for years. These white zombie lenses were the first cosplay type lenses I've purchased though, and they worked out perfectly. Everyone tripped out and couldn't look me in the eyes lol! You can purchase them as prescriptive lenses like I did if you need, but you'll still see everything through a slightly hazy white since they're designed to cover over your iris with its thin mesh design. The lenses aren't uncomfortable as long as you're wearing them for a few hours to a party. I don't think I could've had them in for a whole day though.
The zombie eyes were more of a bonus; the two major components of my costume I determined were non-negotiable were the tattoos and the hair. I figured these were what most distinguished Amy Winehouse's look.
Here I am nursing my bottle of Woodchuck cider!
I was able to find a set of temporary tattoos for about $10 including shipping on eBay, although for some reason I can't seem to pull up the exact set that I purchased anymore to share with you as a resource. These would be the closest to what I used, where the tattoos are pretty much exact replicas of her tattoos. If you've never done temporary tattoos before, the application is super easy with just the use of a damp cloth. They also washed off easily with no irritation when it was time to remove them.
A simple Google search helped me find this guide to help me place the tattoos as close as possible to Amy Winehouse:
It took me some time to search for the right Amy Winehouse wig, but I ended up with this one that I purchased on Amazon for about $20 bucks. It turned out to be perfect, especially after I combed it out and donned a simple bow tie headband to set up the beehive even more visibly.
The eyes, tattoos, and wig were the only parts I really needed to acquire for my costume. As for the outfit, I decided to go with a simple strapless dress I already had ($4 thrift store find by the way!), some high heels, and a single gold necklace. You can do the dressed down version of Amy Winehouse with just a pair of jean shorts, black bra, and white tank top too.
This was probably the first costume I really put a lot of thought and energy into, and it was totally worth the memories.
Posing with my friends dressed as a tube sock and real zombie!
Amy Winehouse Tattoo Meanings
I'm still undecided as to whether I'll dress up again and celebrate Halloween this year, but throwing it back to last year, I decided to recreate Amy Winehouse's tattoos through cookie art. Regarding the tattoos on her body, Amy Winehouse said "It's a way of suffering for the things that mean a lot to you." Read on to find out the meanings of her most prominent body art.
Above her left breast where I assume she meant to place over her heart is the name "Blake," which belongs to Amy Winehouse's ex-husband. The image meant to symbolize that she was comfortably in his "pocket," though by the time they divorced, she was purportedly looking to remove the tattoo.
On her left arm is her Daddy's Girl with lucky horseshoe tattoo that showed her close relationship with her father. It happened to be placed right above her Bettie Page inspired pinup girl which had to be covered up for her Grammy's performance in 2008. Amy responded by using a marker to draw a bra over her pinup girl's chest.
In response to Amy's mom declining a tattoo of her own to match her dad's horseshoe, Amy chose to honor her grandmother Cynthia on her right arm instead.
Below this tattoo was another pinup girl likely inspired by Bettie Page as well.
Her bird tattoo on the inside of her right arm clearly shows her love of singing while the slogan of "Never Clip My Wings" etched into the image is allegedly a nod to her defiant style that communicates: "Don't tread on me." It is now the image of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting youth who deal with addiction.
Beneath her bird tattoo is a lightning bolt, a symbol of natural disaster she seemed to have felt an affinity for.
On her left inner forearm was one of her first tattoos, a Native American feather to symbolize courage and bravery.
Finally, by her navel was a naval tattoo of an anchor with an invitation of "Hello Sailor," showing her flirtatious side.
I have no tattoos of my own, but I find them to be fascinating when they reveal stories and values about a person.
RIP Amy...your memories continue to live on through all of us who have been touched by your soulful melodies and still cherish you dearly!