From the best outfits to the most unusual, Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool had something for every keen follower of fashion. Saskia O'Donoghue takes a look at what was alright on the night...and what was not.
While critics have said 2023's Eurovision Song Contest was not a vintage one musically, there was one aspect that didn't disappoint: the outfits.
Europe's campest night never let audiences down with the quirky looks chosen by performers and this year was no exception. While Sweden's Loreen, who won the contest for a second time, set tongues wagging with her extremely long nails, many other nations stood out even more. Here are a few of our favourites - for better or worse...
One Twitter user called Belgium’s Gustaph a "marshmallow palette Boy George", and frankly, that was a little too accurate. Belting out ‘Because Of You’, Gustaph’s sported a hat just like the one that rarely leaves the Culture Club frontman's head. But his pink and white outfit popped even more thanks to his backing dancers dressed in black. Douze points from us!
Finland’s Käärijä was a standout, and not only because of his top notch tune ‘Cha Cha Cha’. Every aspect of his outfit was iconic, from the shiny latex bolero jacket in a stinging lime green to the spiky black leather trousers and chunky boots; the backing dancers in neon pink just added to the effect.
If Eurovision was purely about the outfits, Käärijä would have won, hands down.
Czechia’s all-female entrant Vesna's almost floor-length plaited hair drew attention – and, incredibly, no one tripped – but it was their pale pink suits which made a real style statement.
It wouldn’t be Eurovision without a heavy mental entrant dressing exactly as you would expect, and this year, it was Germany who took up the gauntlet. Performing ‘Blood and Glitter’, Lord of the Lost embodied that title with devilish outfits in red and gold topped off with intense eye makeup.
Speaking to Euronews Culture, they said the look was inspired by the "heavy and glam aesthetics" of their album, also called 'Blood and Glitter'. The band put an open call out on Facebook to find a designer and 'Handmade With Blood' got the honour of making their costumes. Alas, the efforts weren't enough to stop them finishing last.
Did we fall asleep and wake up in 1983? No, it’s just Australia’s Voyager, who channelled another era's rock stars for ‘Promise’, sporting sequinned shoulder-padded jackets and scattering the stage with vintage props. In a contest where anything goes, why not?
Norway’s Alessandra might be just 20 years old, but the inspiration behind her outfit dates back centuries. Performing ‘Queen of Kings', the TikTok sensation – who came in fifth thanks to a stonking public vote – paid tribute to Eurovision’s host country, the UK, with a costume influenced by Queen Elizabeth I.
Let 3, representing Croatia, certainly made one of the more left-field outfit choices. Twitter blew up with fans describing their look as ‘military drag’; as they performed ‘Mama ŠČ!’, the online hullabaloo got even louder when they stripped to their underwear but kept on their army-like hats.
Where Australia’s look was firmly grounded in the ‘80s, Poland’s Blanka took inspiration from the 1970s with her disco-ish outfit. Both she and her backing dancers were covered in sequins and her hair looked like it came with a built-in wind machine. Performing her track ‘Solo’, the dance break and the outfit combined into one of the night's most glamorous looks.
France’s La Zarra no doubt made her country proud with her sequinned dress and complimentary headpiece worn at a jaunty angle. Belting out her song ‘Évidemment’ on a podium, Twitter users compared the look to the iconic Eiffel Tower, which famously glitters in the nighttime.
Speaking to Euronews Culture, La Zarra explained the dress took four weeks to create and that her team fulfilled the brief of making her gown "sparkle like a piece of jewellery, a big, black diamond".