Friday, May 9, 2014

Eurovision - 1960s style!

I love many things, but each year in May, the thing I love the most is the Eurovision song contest!

Yes, quite seriously I am a Eurovision fiend. When my good friend still lived in Australia we would watch together and play drinking games and have a giggle at the insane costumes and dance around and smile when our favourites would come on. 

Eurovision has a quite a decent following in Australia, being that we are a multicultural country who in the past 60 years has seen immigrants from all over Europe and who are still in touch with their families in Greece, Italy, Turkey, Germany and so on. And as I have Lithuanian heritage I also get to legitimately cheer on my country even though their entries aren't always stellar!

We watch it on time delay however, so I have to restrain my Facebooking and news watching during the weekend so that I don't accidentally see who the winner is!

The most outstanding part of Eurovision is always the fashion and costumes. Some are amazing architectural pieces, some a plain letting the singer shine and some are multi dimensional giving the wearer the chance to change costumes mid-song for higher impact. The show is voted on by the viewers, so the song, set, costumes and dancers must all be entertaining. 

But back in our favourite decade, (before the famous ABBA performance), Eurovision was a little more restrained and certainly didn't reach the dramatic proportions that it does now

Lets take a look at the sweet and demure looks of 60s Eurovision!

In 1962 the competition was still quite young and formal, with full orchestra and the conductor was given as much of a welcome as the singer. Here we have Isabelle Aubret for France in 1962 – wearing a lovely floral wide neck frock. The song is soft and delicate as is her dress

France Isabelle Aubret - Un Premier Amour 1962 


In 1964 Gigliola Cinquetti represented and won for Italy wearing a simple black dress, with fitted smocked bodice. Very classic and very Italian. I'm note sure who the designer is or if perhaps it was a one off dress, but it certainly has the feel of Givenchy or similar. Gigliola looks like Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina almost

Italy Gigliola Cinquetti - Non Ho L'Età 1964


In 1965 pop music begins to take hold with France Gall a well known Yé-yé singer, became the Eurovision contestant for Luxemburg wearing a light pink empire line shift with knife pleats and a sweet bow
The song which translates to 'Wax doll, saw dust doll" was written by Serge Gainsbourg. The lyrics sound quite innocent, but as he wrote it especially for Gall, they take on a deeper meaning when Gall becomes the doll that she sings about, being innocent about life and inexperienced with boys

Luxembourg France Gall - Poupée de cire, poupée de son 1965

In 1966 Milly Scott performed for The Netherlands in a black ruffled dress. It has flamenco style skirt - and paired with her Mexican dresses guitarists created an interesting combination of cultures! 

The Netherlands Milly Scott - Fernando en Philippo 1966


With London being the centre of fashion and music is 1967 we get a good combination of both with Sandi Shaw , wearing a pink mini sequinned dress with raglan sleeves and sheer overlay, beaded neck and sleeves (lots of pink in 60s Eurovision!)

Sandi also performed bare footed as she normally did and as she was popular already in Germany, France, Italy and Spain she was a shoe in to win. 

UK Sandi Shaw - Puppet on a string 1967

In 1968, the UK was the bookies choice to win again, but that was not to be. Massiel from Spain won instead - however with some controversy about vote rigging.

Her dress however was 60's perfection and had all the typical elements - Mini length, A-Line, daisies, scalloped edges and a peter pan collar and was designed by Courrèges. Her back-up singers had adorable teal shift dresses and did very cute little moves

Spain Massiel - La la la 1968 


Cliff Richard came tragically second to Massiel by 1 point! Even though Massiel's song was complete "la la la" nonsense, it obviously was catchier and perhaps transcended the language barrier better. Cliffs suit is now perhaps a little better known as the "Austin Powers" suit. Navy double breasted with a ruffle collared shirt. Very snazzy! 

Cliff Richard was actually the biggest selling English artist of the 60's, (yes even more then The Beatles) as his songs were very popular and easy to like, which left the UK confident of his success, but it never came to be.

UK Cliff Richard - Congratulations 1968


In 1969 we got these lovely ladies all in a row - L to R - Lulu (UK), Salomé (Spain), Massiel (Previous winner), Frida Boccara (France) and Lenny Kuhr (The Netherlands)
Such incredible and diverse outfits, especially Salomé’s shaggy blue jumpsuit! 

Lulu's chiffon mini is quite amazing - hundreds of little daisies, bishop sleeves and a high neck line, and again pink!

UK Lulu - Boom Bang A Bang 1969

Lenny Kuhr by herself – so adorable in her red maxi


This is from 1970 but check out that mini matched with a maxi vest! Totally something I could see Vix from Vintage Vixen wearing! 
This is Katja Ebstein from W.Germany. The outfit is king fisher blue with silver boots. Her back up singers wore gold and pink dresses.

W.Germany Katja Ebstein - Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder 1970


And lastly Nina from Serbia in 2011 – bringing the kitschy 1960s to Eurovision. Quite seriously my favourite Eurovision song. The outfits are adorable and Nina and her dancers do all the classic go-go dance moves

Serbia Nina - Caroban 2011

I cant wait for the 2nd semi final and grand final this weekend. Watching Eurovision genuinely makes me feel happier and all giddy like little girl! I'd had quite a stressful week again this week, but by the 3rd song (which was about baking a cake!) I was grinning and annoying the boy to come watch with me.

Are you are Eurovision fan? Do you have a favourite song from this year or previous years?



  1. I haven't seen the Eurovision in years but several of my mates go wild for it and throw parties. The TV is full of people moaning about the anti-British bias and how everyone in Europe hates us when really it's because we submit such terrible songs.
    Love the round up of outfits and you're spot on, I'd totally wear the West German's outfit.
    After reading Morrissey's biography Sandie Shaw has gone right down in my estimations but she was a proper icon in her day.
    Yes, Cliff was never understood outside of the UK but if you haven't seen the film Summer Holiday then please do, he was gorgeous as a young man and the clothes will blow your mind! xxxxx

    1. haha yes i must agree - the past few years submissions from the UK have been scary, though this years was ok! heck even we got a little chance to sing this year. Denmark - such nice people
      I must read up on Sandie Shaw! i didn't think she had gone downhill.

      And yes! i have seen summer holiday and he is a little spunky then. we did a dance to the song in primary school, ill always remember that

  2. I used to adore Eurovision as a kid, it was a real treat to be allowed to stay up late to watch it! Puppet on a string was my favourite song in 1967 apparently (I was 3!) and my mum has a photo of me singing into a skipping rope, she's written on the back that my song choice was Puppet on a string!
    I remember Cliff and Lulu too; there were some corkers in the 70s too, Mary Hopkin and Clodagh Rogers, the New Seekers and Olivia Newton-John.
    You're right, the 60s dresses are adorable! xxx

    1. aww thats cute! Puppet on a string is quite catchy!
      My first Eurovision was in 2006 - it must have been great to see those now famous people start off in Eurovision!

  3. Oh I'm so glad to find another person that likes Eurovision, haha! It's generally treated like it's the crappest thing ever in the UK (probably because we always loose and are sore about it!) so I generally have to keep my love for it to myself. It's kind of funny to think how seriously it used to be taken and how many real stars where on it (or discovered by it) when it's pretty much a joke now. It's definitely a great mood booster though!

    1. yay! Eurovision tragics we are! it is a bit of a kooky thing here in Australia too, but there is enough people here who love it and the tv channel who shows it always gets good ratings! Did you see our singer from Australia? Some people said she sounded terrible, but i think the poor girl was nervous!!
      I have some of the songs of my itunes and listen too them every now and again - they cheer me up heaps!

  4. What a great post!! Love the simple styles indeed - nowadays Eurovision is about throwing a spectacular show and production and it often takes away attention from the singer! This is a great reminder of the great styles back then

    1. yes i agree! i like the singers who just sing plainly and with simple clothes. The last 3 singers i think were soloists! Lena, Loreen, the Danish girl and now Conchita. I see a trend! soloists for 2015!

  5. I loved this post! It is so fun to see how it was back in the 60s ... thanks for putting this together! My friend and I watched a show that introduced all the contestants last weekend and we had so much fun. <3 (I really liked the French and the Icelandic songs.)

    1. thanks! I do love their little cute dresses!
      I dont think we have that show broadcasted here - only the semi finals and grand final, but their all so fantastic!

  6. Oh my goodness, I'm in love with all of these outfits!!

  7. I have a few friends who are into Eurovision but I personally haven't watched it for years. I think the last time I ended up watching it by accident was when Lordi won. I do find it all quite entertaining though so if I'd been in on Saturday I would have watched it! I loved seeing all the outfits in this post, it was great seeing how it was done in the 60s x

    1. oh that was an interesting year. I think Lithuania's song was something silly like "we are the winners of Eurovision." Sometimes i think they sing terrible songs on purpose so that they don't have to host it! haha
      Any kind of music thing is good - especially when a whole continent is getting in on the party! I hope your evening out was just as fun!

  8. I might have paid more attention if I knew the frockage was so awesome!!!! Man, all those frocks are heavenly!!!
    Nah, never watched it. Loved Abba, though, and think they're the only Eurovision winners I know of, although I've probably heard loads without knowing!

    1. actually Helga - im surprised you don't watch it! the music and silly carry on is so much fun!
      You must now watch it next year if they show it, the songs are crazy, beautiful and all sorts of interesting!

  9. Oh you're so funny, I just loved Caroban too, it was the only year we got the Eurovision soundtrack! We stayed in a news bubble this weekend to watch it last night - certainly a unique winner this year!

    1. oh yay! im not alone! i bought it that year too. theyre all on spotify now so i can listen any would be good if they loaded ALL of them
      I promised myself no internet or news for Sunday, but someone else had commented on FB and i found out! But how about Netherlands? that was a great song and they got second!


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