Everything is taken out to make the presenters and artists look great during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Ahoy Rotterdam.
For example, presenter Chantal Janzen will wear couture dresses by David Laport and Claes Iversen. Thats what Diek Pothoven says in the podcast Songfestival fever. It is the first time that the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest has appointed a head of styling. Since October 2020, he has been working on the job full-time. He wants to show Europe the new way of glamour.
Edsilia Rombley will wear clothes designed by Tess van Zalinge and Studio Elzinga. Maison The Faux has started working for Nikkie de Jager.
For Edsilia, Pothoven wanted bright colors. “Thats what I want to say: powerful in color,” says the main stylist. “Sharp shapes and modern silhouettes. Edsilia was immediately poking for that. No burgundy, but we are looking for lime green for Edsilia.”
And for Nikkie the Hunter? He said earlier that an outfit should make her more beautiful “In the case of Nikkie, it becomes glitter on glitter”, says Pothoven. “At least for two of her dresses. She wants over the top. On the other hand, she also wants to form a whole as part of the four presenters. Its looking for balance. If she had been there on her own, she would have looked different.”
And then Jan Smit. That goes for the James Bond look. And his long hair? Like he did during last years show Europe Shine A Light? Does Pothoven have control over that? “Well, were definitely chatting about that,” says Pothoven. “I hope his hair wont be cut anymore from now on, because it looked good on him, but I dont think theres a beard in it like last year. Jan wants to look cool and tasty with not too much frills. Really a Volendam.”
Iversen, who is a big Songfestival fan, is also used for the performance of Lenny Kuhr. During the final, she sings her winning song De Troubadour from a roof in Rotterdam. That action has now been recorded. Pothoven: “I asked Iversen to design a new dress based on her winning red dress. She was jumping to put on that dress. It wasnt hot on the roof when she was performing, but we had tricks for that. Thermo-underwear has been incorporated into it. She also has three pantyhose on.”
Pothoven has a total of 330 outfits designed. “The grand final already has three intervalacts. Then you have a final act that has to do with the countdown.”
Most proud is the young clothing designer on the outfit designed for the final act. “Its still hard to explain what this will look like,” says the clothing designer, “because the name for which it is still to be announced. So next to the already famous Afrojack and Glennis Grace. But we are working on a crazy look that has so much development time, crafts, research and special material that I cant wait to show it to the world.”
Then, of course, Glennis Grace. According to Pothoven, she will become the grande dame of the Eurovision final. With the design of her dress, the company of the young clothing designer himself is directly involved. “Were designing something wonderful,” he says. “It will be a technically complicated story. Its got to be right to her size. As a matter of fact, last week I gathered all kinds of chandelier hangers to incorporate into her dress in a special way. It will definitely be sparkling, in a way you have not seen before on a dress. And again beautiful in color: a mix of super tough powerful and glamour.”
The love for the Eurovision Song Contest is good in the 27-year-old Pothoven. “On my second I received a CD with music from the Swedish band Abba as a gift. He didnt come out of the CD player until I was 12. I could sing all phonetically. And Abba is, of course, the ultimate Songfestival act. So thats what the Song Contest is in my blood. But watching the Song Contest, no, it wasnt at home. My parents didnt like that.”
Listen to the podcast Songfestival fever here, below or via Spotify: