Amy Winehouse is Jean Paul Gaultier's ''biggest inspiration''.

The French designer recently sparked controversy when he put out a collection based on her look, but claims he has always thought of her look as ''incredible''.

He said: ''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.

''Amy Winehouse is my biggest inspiration. She's beautiful.''

Jean Paul also reveals he was upset to think her father Mitch was not happy with his homage to her.

He added to Grazia magazine: ''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.''