With 1982 Week rolling around the corner, I’m going to BUST in with my Fashion Report! Do I have any credentials? No, but armed with great eyesight and a sense of humour, I think I’m qualified enough to rain judgment down on some bad eighties coutoure.
Strangely enough, the fashion of 1982 itself isn’t quite as bad as one may expect. Chronologically, 1982 is situated between two Contests that are *notorious* fashion disasters, but as is often the case with #Harrogate1982, the badness of its fashion is relatively muted. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a report to make however, so allow me to rank every participant based on visuals alone.
I’ll be taking the following into account
- The Garments (Do they look good at face value?)
- The Fit (Are they flattering to the form of the person wearing them?)
- The Utility (Is it easy to move around in or is it an awkward costume for no reason)
- The Impact (in this case it’s mostly “Did It Impede They Chances of Doing Better?)
- The Accessories (hair & make-up, jewellery and props)
- and also, I’ll be giving bonus points to the Funniest Outfit because anyone who entertains me deserves more love ^_^
- Oh and this ranking is of course fully subjective and I WILL be a dick about it. You’ve been warned.
Let’s DIVE right in, starting with the BEST outfit:
01. Doce (Portugal)
This was one of the easiest first places ever assigned to any ranking. Doce’s outfits were one of the most memorable things about this contest (which says more about this contest than about Doce themselves, but still), and they live up in both epicness AND visual appeal to this day.
The four Portuguese ladies wear stylish Musketeer-like outfits that avoid looking like the silly children’s costumes. (This clause seems void, but in the early 80s this was a scarily realistic possibility w/r/t literal outfits such as these). The clothes look good, fit perfectly, and don’t impede their movement, which is more than what I can ask for in the 80s!
Good hair (and hats), and a fun Patty-Cake-like choreography crown them as easily the best dressed in this year, and possibly the 80s as a whole, good job!
Fashion Score: 9.5/10
02. Lucia (Spain)
The Fashion Statements reigned supreme on the Iberian peninsula during this year. A criminally overlooked entry by Spain, Lucia immediately grips your attention as a masterclass in Drama, with her Argentine Tango and uproarious “ugh my boyfriend is dull, wanna hang? ^_^” message.
For the purpose of getting their act together, Lucia has donned a flattering dress of white lace, while her suitor wears a crisp white suit, two very flattering outfits that nail Lucia’s frivolity and her suitor’s earnesty respectively. She further sells it well with appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures.
My only real gripe is that for the subject matter of this song, white is too innocent a colour. Lucia is openly contemplating a night of passion while she has a boyfriend, lol. If anything, her dress should be scarlett.
Fashion Score: 8.5/10
03. Avi Toledano (Israel)
Surprisingly enough, Israel’s Avi Toledano presented an outfit that would almost be wearable in the present day.
It definitely IS an 70s-80s cross-over outfit, a loose puffy shirt combined with the prominent shoulders that were everywhere in the decade, but it’s a flattering fit that helps sell Avi as a Hora-dancing lothario. White is definitely a solid choice here, as it helps him stand out over his hyperactive dancers.
However, I’m docking a few points for the outfits of the dancers, which are less inspiring. Particularly the female dancers’ mustard tops and emerald skirts present a colour combo I simply do not understand.
Fashion Score: 8/10
04. Aska (Yugoslavia)
And HERE is where I’ll lose all my credibility. I f*cking LOVE the Yugo pantsuits and I WILL be making excuses for them. The first rule of Boris Ranks Stuff is that there’s no such thing as an Objective Ranking, (and if there were it would be boring as hell to read about. ^_^) I was going to give Bonus Points to the funniest outfit, and this is the one!
Now, *objectively* these were probably the worst outfits in terms of scoring impact (an audience full of grim-faced people in dinner jackets and dressing gowns would never reward quirkiness and you know it) , but honestly, I enjoyed them and like Ronela Hajati once said, this is MY ranking and I like it more THAT way!!! As outfits, the ribbon pants are fascinating to look at in conjunction with the choreography and are the deciding factor in whether I should like “Halo, halo”. (spoiler: I do)
My main complaint is actually about the lady in the middle, who wears a black dress with slitted sleeves, which makes her look twice her age. Join the Ribbon Pants Contingent, Middle Lady! It where all the fun people reside!
Fashion Score: 8/10
05. Neco (Turkey)
“Hani?” is a mess of a song, but the same thing cannot be said about Neco’s outfit. Neco’s white suit with conspicuous red belts and choker(!) is one of the more flattering and contemporary outfits in the 82 contest and it comes from the ever inconsistent (in terms of looks) Turks.
My scoring on this one could have been higher if the backing ladies didn’t have pointless gold pleating on their pencil skirts, however.
Fashion Score: 7.5/10
06. Bardo (United Kingdom)
Bardo’s outfit isn’t at all bad, but with the random air-humping at the start, did I just upload a gif of Sally-Ann flashing her knickers? Perhaps combinging a skirt this short with a choreography this revealing wasn’t a very prudent choice.
However, the one thing I don’t like about their fashion is the hair. They’re supposed to be lovers, but giving Stephen and Sally-Ann the same haircut makes them vibe like siblings? Unless the Incest Vibe is intentional? You do you, Old Eurovision.
Fashion Score: 7.5/10
07. Anita Skorgan (Norway)
I’m rating Anita and Jahn separately here because her outfit is way better than his.
Anyway, we’ll talk about Jahn later, but I can say that “Adieu” is… not for me personally largely thanks to what he brings to the table. On Anita’s end… the dress is a tad skimpy, but overall a good decision, if I’m honest. “Adieu” hinges on its fragility, and the dress makes Anita look younger and more vulnerable, enabling her to play her part more convincingly.
Fashion Score: 7.5/10
08. Kojo (Finland)
This is the only context in which Kojo deserves a highish rating~
Anyway, I actually think the red suit he wore was kind of a serve lol <3 It’s a good fit, and red is the colour of aggro, which suits a song that features coprophilic wailing about “nuclear poo” and “waking up with filth on our faces”.
I’m also quite partial to the outfits chosen the backings. Like suits AND fedora’s? Did Finland invent Reddit in 1982? Know that I’ve convinced myself that “Nuku pommiin” single-handedly initiated the world-wide disdain towards inceldom, which is the closest any Eurovision entry got to community service.
Fashion Score: 7/10
09. Chips (Sweden)
We’re definitely at that point in the report where the outfits are serviceable, but also nothing special. Chips are an example of this. Kikki and Bettan prance around in the typical bright-coloured, shoulder-padded dinner jackets the 80s are famous for, and it’s nothing out of the ordinary. middle of the pack, just like the song.
Also, I’m up for some good sax, but four saxophone players is a tad too many.
Fashion Score: 7/10
10. Mess (Austria)
Mess are strangely difficult to rate in terms of fashion. They’re definitely supposed to be a heavily romanticised and extremely naive adaptation of star-crossed lovers, meeting up for Sunday School, and they’re absolutely dressed for it. What I’m saying is that Mess are SUCH dorks omfg and it’s not just the song and the silly #LameDance.
Adorkability is very clearly the intention, so I can’t rate Austria too low. However, Mess prancing around like a pair of La La Land Idiots wearing THOSE clothes is almost certainly why they didn’t do better than 9th in the actual contest because it only reinforces “Sonntag” as a performance which can objectively be described as “really fucking annoying”. <3
Fashion Score: 6.5/10.
11. The Duskeys (Ireland)
If we were to believe that 1982 was a late seventies spasm, then The Duskeys were the living embodiment of that belief. The outfits, the presentation, even the hair, is VERY 70s, fitting of a disco song.
Unfortunately, that also makes The Duskeys appear really dated even with 82’s belated Zeitgeist. Not a bad set of outfits, but just as lyrics of the song (and my retention of it) go, here today, gone tomorrow.
Fashion Score: 6/10
12. Arlette Zola (Switzerland)
Every year there’s an entry that gets labelled as THE MOST CLASSY ACT EVER, like that’s an actual thing (it isn’t.) and I just don’t get it. In 1982 that honour befell Switzerland.
On paper, the outfit isn’t bad, a bit dated and matronly perhaps, but given that Arlette was in her forties during 1982, and not a 25 year old styled to look 45, I’m not doing to hold it against her. She looks precisely her age, and she’s all the more gorgeous for it.
What I struggle with though, is the movement. You see, as Zulema Griffin and Tyra Banks taught us ~true modelling~ always comes down to gracefully executing a perfect model’s walk to really showcase the apparel to its greatest extent.
THIS is what Arlette’s Runway Walk looks like:
Gingerly scuffing over from a corner only to awkwardly bend her knee, as if suffering from acute arthitis <3 This woman is in her early forties and she moves like she’s twice that age <3 Don’t get me wrong, I love a good #LameDance, but this one also ages her by at least twenty years, and that’s never a great look.
Fashion Score: 6/10
13. Svetlana (Luxembourg)
Now *this* is an example of someone aging poorly thanks to some misguided styling choices.
Without looking at her birth certificate, I’m guessing Svetlana was 24 at most. Old enough to understand the drivel she sings is SO self-righteous she can’t utter the words without cracking up in laughter (exhibit a: see gif on the left), but also not old enough to be like “well, this song is some bullshit, I’ll do something else because life’s short and mine deserves better #IAmLovingMe“!
This outfit though, a blue pencil skirt that holds a middle between “your principal’s secretary” and “professional tarot card reader”, and that AGGRESSIVE “Monster Clown” make-up job (who on earth NEEDS so much rouge and eye-shadow, let alone a woman in her TWENTIES?!) pile on at least 10 years worth of frumpitude, if not more. Why? “Cours après le temps” is lyrically rife with some insufferable hippie-shit tripe (its nearest ESC analogy is the equally nauseating “Love is Forever”), why not make her look the Happy Hippie part as opposed to a random falsetto-thumping frump? Would dressing her like Anne-Karine Strøm have been considered too risqué? This decision to Play it Safe makes sense competitively, but it’s also a coward’s way out in terms of fashion, and I #JustCan’tSupportThat.
Fashion Score: 4.5/10
14. Anna Vissi (Cyprus)
Luxembourg and Cyprus are virtually tied in my mind, but I will say that Anna Vissi’s make-up and hair were actually good. That’s the ONLY advantage Anna has over Svetlana. Svetlana had some dapper backing vocalists, while Anna’s backing singers look like they’re about to head to bed, telegraphing the advent of a mediocre ballad.
The main reason why I went with Cyprus below Luxembourg though is Anna’s dress. I don’t think I need to explain this, now that you’ve seen it? Curtains draped into the vague shape of a toga is too on the nose for a Greek/Cypriot entry, for starters, and too shapeless to ever be considered flattering. Retro fashion is one thing, and unintentional cosplay another. This outfit is aimed for timeless and landed on absolutely ridiculous. Easy low score for me.
Fashion Score: 4.5/10
15. Bill van Dijk (Netherlands)
Omfg i just noticed the random medal on her shoulder. For whyyyyy (<3 <3 <3)
Okay, NOW we get to an outfit I really struggle to rate. I absolutely adore the Dutch entry, but that look is too unflattering. As with mullets and manbuns, short-sleeved shirts are an abomination in every decade of every universe.
Bill is an awkward creature, as he flexes and stretches and flings and flails his way through his idle flirtations hyperactively without pause.
Now, I get that was precisely the intent because I speak Dutch and therefore understand what he’s singing, but to a person who doesn’t understand a single letter this “awkward gym teacher with a pornstache doting on random ladies in a very touchy-feeling way” ordeal must be so categorically strange, if not off-putting to sit through. Which of course makes me love “Jij en ik” *even more*, but we’re rating the presentation of the clothes and hair here and they just weren’t it.
Fashion Score: 4/10
16. Jan Leeming (Host)
You thought she’d escape my scrutiny, but nope.
Hosts are supposed to be the face of the contest, and after often forced to wear, um, eclectic apparel, but Jan’s Roaring-Sixties tribute is so retro it single-handedly revived disco from death.
Her garment, with matching headband looks dated and matronly for the 70s, let alone a contest held in nineteen-eighty-two. It’s such a strange fashion faux-pas that I probably *should* rank her last but that would be a massive cop-out on my behalf and I’m not nearly cowardly enough for that.
Definitely deserving enough of a bottom five spot to be spliced into my ranking though~
Fashion Score: 3/10
17. Stella (Belgium)
For a generally fashion-forward country, you’d expect much better from Belgium? In Stella’s defence she’s Dutch and was representing the side of the country without the prestigious fashion academies, but still, she WAS well-dressed the previous two times (in 1970 and 1977). There’s no excuse for that lace monstruosity.
She looks like a frosted cake! With a giant mimosa in its hair! While I do find Stella *very* charismatic as a performer, the wideshots of the cascades of lace (and alarmingly thin waist – 70s Beauty Standards, y’all) made me wish she was wearing something else, anything else.
Yet another 82 act that decided to make their young singer look as asexual and matronly as possible for the sake of not accidentally pissing off potentially puritan juries. ENOUGH!
Fashion Score: 3/10
18. Jahn Teigen (Norway)
Now we get to the fashion choices that I consider detrimental. A “detriment” is a colourful descriptor for “Adieu”, song so dull it slowly drains my will to live from my body like a dementor, but you get what I mean. I greatly dislike it as a song, but I also really dislike its fashion, or lack thereof. Jahn put no effort into his look (why? Are only women supposed to style themselves? because that implication is realllly misodge!!), and it shows.
Strangely, “Adieu” is not the worst we’ve seen of Jahn Teigen. “Mil etter mil” made him look like a sixty-year old senile old man. Here he merely looks a decade older than his actual age.
However, the problem is that his clothes and (lack of) styling makes him look markedly older than Anita and this gives their dynamic an unintended creepy vibe during their dull little song. If you showed a person who DOES NOT KNOW Jahnita (or that they were born only nine years apart) would they guess “soon to be married showbizz couple” as their connection? He looks like a lecherous piano instructor hitting on his barely legal student, and that kinda sinister, yo~ The Macrons of this world may pull that off, but you sir are no Brigitte.
Fashion Score: 2/10
19. Brixx (Denmark)
Often enough you encounter style choices that are typical for the decade we’re in. Often I am charmed by these choices for being SUCH a showcase of a bygone age.
Denmark present the opposite case where the styling is very eighties; but in the worst possible way. I don’t think Brixx *failed* thanks to just the styling, but the ferrety visuals did not help its cause.
The awful garish neon-coloured jackets, the giant button pins, the pink glitter tie, the somehow even-more-nightmarish-than-usual sidepart mullet. It’s obviously BAD fashion like a transitional growing pain between two decades, but in a boring, unimaginative sort of way. Like, there no accusing a Norwegian darling of unintended paedophilia or refering to a handsome woman as a “frump” here. Brixx’s styling doesn’t look good, and is not even enchantingly ugly.
Fashion Score: 2/10
20. Nicole (Germany)
Not an outfit I’d like to be remembered in.
It’s fucking hilarious to me that the worst outfit of the night won by SUCH a landslide. Was “Ein Bißchen Frieden” really that good? I think it might have been.
Of course, “Ein Bißchen Frienden” already has a high intrinsic “Sœur Sourire” quality, which is the bulk of its appeal. But there’s a difference between the song presenting a wholesome Christian campfire jamboree vibe and visually representing that by making the singer dress up like a recovering Catholic nun. It’s almost as if Mother Superior herself chaperoned (Dominico-Nico-)Nicole to Harrogate from the convent, and personally oversaw her styling, staging, agenda, which men she spoke to, how much leg she showed, etc.
This song is hopeful, why not dress up in an airy white silk as opposed to a dreary, depressing dark grey? What Germany went with would look bad in 1981 (a notorious fashion disaster of a Eurovision). That Nicole’s garb did not impact her ability to hoover up points in the end result proves how strong her offering truly was.
Fashion Score: 1.5/10 (HONORARY BARBARA DEX AWARD)
AND THIS CONCLUDES THE 1982 FASHION REPORT! Did #YOU agree with my takes? Please leave your comments and critiques (that I will fully ignore) in the comments below!