Everyone loves Eurovision. Even if they pretend that they don’t. And this year’s contest was the stuff of fashion fairytales. Host Petra Mede stole the show in a series of glorious gowns, ranging from a hot pink satin Jean Paul Gaultier number with draped princess sleeves to what can only be described as a union of Marie Antoinette and ‘The Great Gatsby’, complete with ivory ruffles and feathers. Last year’s winner Loreen gave a rousing rendition of her song ‘Euphoria’ in a futuristic white dress with a daring sheer panel and a magnificent feather ruff which was later replaced with a dreamy, elaborately patterned cloak. Ukraine’s Zlata Ognevich, elegant in a cream fishtail gown, was at one point carried off by a man dressed as a giant Viking. And light projections onto Moldovan contestant Aliona Moon made her full skirt glitter as if it were under some sort of enchantment. At the end of the song she ‘grew’ taller and taller, Alice in Wonderland style, before the skirt was illuminated with flames of light. The spectacular sartorial showing was by no means limited to the women: Romania’s entry looked positively vampiric in a bejewelled black gown complete with high collar.
But, Eurovision being Eurovision, for every fashion high there were at least three fashion lows. Someone should have told the Armenian entrants that double denim – or at least their version of it – is so 1995. Cascada failed to impress in a Playboy-esque glittery halterneck bustier, miniskirt and what looked like a cheap wedding veil sticking out of her behind. Estonian contestant Birgit Õigemeel’s slender figure was drowned in what can only be described as a triangular tent; the hipster Hungarians tried way too hard to be cool, and failed. (Think skinny jeans, Converse, a beanie hat, nerd glasses and a single breasted jacket.) But at least the fashion disasters were entertaining, unlike the majority of decisively dull costumes.
Perhaps it wasn’t all that bad. But can we sartorialists help but drool in admiration at those who got it right and sneer derisively at those who didn’t quite make the mark? Bring on Denmark 2014.
Last year’s winner Loreen