The Joy of Eurovision Fashion

It is an uncomfortable actuality of the trendy communal spectacle that most of the time, in the case of a significant award present or efficiency extravaganza and even sporting occasion, advertising has overwhelmed private expression — not less than in the case of the garments. Red carpets are a giant enterprise for public personalities, and worry of trying foolish an equally highly effective deterrent. Brands have swooped in to use that stress to their very own ends.

We wrote off the Oscars years in the past, however when even the MTV Video Awards and the Olympics grow to be hashtag alternatives for Valentino, Giambattista Valli and Ralph Lauren (amongst many, many others), you recognize we’ve reached peak trend penetration.

Which is why Eurovision 2021, that no-holds-barred mash-up of emotion, inanity, genres, nationalities, wind machines, bursts of hearth and simply plain weirdness, was such a pleasure to observe.

The hosts didn’t simply use “Open Up” as their official slogan after which open the sector in Rotterdam to hundreds of folks (hundreds of folks! in a single room! yelling and dancing!). They opened up the stage to a parade of ridiculous outfits that have been however worn with a lot exuberance it was an excellent reminder that typically simply the liberty to specific your individual style ought to be the aim.

When it came to camp, however — which is, after all, the signature aesthetic value of Eurovision — no one beat Norway’s Tix. His giant white fur and even more giant white wings took his crystal-studded silver bodysuit to a whole different level, as did the silver chains that bound him to both the Earth (and a couple backup demons gyrating nearby), the better to evoke the point of his song, “Fallen Angel.”

Speaking of angels, feathers were also a key component of the look from San Marino’s Senhit along with a giant gold headdress (along with Flo Rida, who joined her onstage). Which was only outdone in the “how-in-the-world-do-you-move-in-that?” sweepstakes by Russia’s Manizha, who made her entrance in the robes of what looked like a giant matryoshka doll only to answer the question by emerging in the freedom of red coveralls to illustrate the theme of her song, “Russian Woman.”

You couldn’t help but smile at it all, which is the point. Fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to make you feel good. That’s something everyone needs. That Eurovision hides that under a bushel of kitsch doesn’t make it any less true.

Little wonder no one could muster up any enthusiasm (or votes) for England’s James Newman, who donned a … plain leather coat for his number. One of the takeaways of Eurovision 2021 should be that Coco Chanel’s whole “elegance is refusal” stance doesn’t really work in this context. Except, perhaps, when it comes to France’s Barbara Pravi, who took to the stage in a simple black bustier and black trousers to croon her song “Voilà,” winning a rapturous reception from her home market and coming in second in the jury vote.

Given the plaudits, it was hard not to wonder — with a bit of a sinking heart — if, say, a Dior ambassadorship might be in her future.

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