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The most memorable looks of Sanremo Festival

Iconic outfits of the past we'd still want to wear today

The most memorable looks of Sanremo Festival  Iconic outfits of the past we'd still want to wear today

Every year the whole of Italy glues itself to the screen as in an ancient collective ritual just to comment and, above all, criticise every detail and person that appears on the Ariston stage. Most of the chat is focused on the outfits of hosts, singers and guests. After this many years, there are a lot of looks that have become iconic. Who doesn't remember Loredana Bertè in the 80s with a fake baby bump or Belen Rodriguez in Fausto Puglisi with a crotch-high split showing her butterfly tattoo? Everyone has their favorite fashion moment. Some still applaud the Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci designs chosen by Maria De Filippi; those who dream of wearing the fluffy Valentino FW20 Couture chosen by Veronica of La Rappresentante di Lista and those who cannot forget the beauty of Eva Herzigova in Versace.

G-club has selected the outfits from the history of Sanremo that we would still want to wear today

Mina (1961)

Everyone thought she was the obvious winner, but during the second night's performance her voice cracked and she only came fifth, vowing never to participate in the festival again. More than sixty years later, nobody remembers the gaffe, and Le mille bolle blu remains one of Mina's most popular songs. The gesture with her fingers that the singer made to make her lip quiver while pronouncing the word "blu" and the dress she wore remain unforgettable. Inspired by the title of the song, Rosetta Gussoni Reclari, her trusted seamstress, made her a white chiffon dress with a round collar and a blue polka-dot corolla skirt, tightened at the waist by a small belt and finished with a row of small buttons. The pattern? Of course, lots of blue bubbles. A creation that looks like it came out of Zooey Deschanel's wardrobe and is still perfect for all of the TikTok girls who are celebrating the return of the Twee style.

Nada (1969)

The 1969 Festival marks at least three great new entries in the competition: Lucio Battisti, Rita Pavone and Nada. The Tuscan singer is only 15 years old, talented and beautiful. She went on stage with a look that was typical of 1960s London: long, pin-straight hair parted in the middle, and a white, slightly flared mini-dress with sleeves covered in daisies, accessorised with a pair of white vinyl boots. That performance was enough for Ma che freddo fa to become a hit, and for her to enter the hall of fame of Sanremo.

Gigliola Cinquetti (1970)

The all over shine look was one of the big pattern trends of 2022. From Tom Ford to N°21, from Coperni to Marques Almeida, all the major brands have come up with their own versions of bling-bling garments, blending 1920s vibes. '60s e '80s. Even the Sanremo Festival had its own dose of glitter, as one of the most successful outfits still trendy today is the one chosen by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1970: a minidress covered in glittering sequins, worn with backcombed hair and dark grey eyeshadow applied all over her eyelids.

Claudia Mori (1970)

The revolutionary 1968 was still very much in evidence when Adriano Celentano and his wife Claudia Mori took to the Sanremo stage with Chi non lavora non fa l'amore, which was immediately dubbed the "anti-strike song" or "scab song". As the first notes played, Celentano interrupts the performance (twice) because he has forgotten the words. The result? The audience remained stuck to the screen and the couple won the Festival. It wasn't just Celentano's gag that caught the eye, but also the blinding beauty of Mori who, like an Anna Karina made in Italy, swayed with the fringes of her top, combined with a pair of cropped pants and boots.

Patty Pravo (1984)

Patty Pravo has changed her sound and image at every Sanremo. In 1984, however, she sported the most iconic outfit ever, coming down the theatre steps as a sort of futuristic geisha. The singer wore an elaborate hairstyle created by Marcello Casoni, a silver tunic in Oroton by Gianni Versace and a matching fan in her hands. Pravo told in an interview how the idea for the look was developed:

"For the occasion, I had Gianni Versace make me a dress, inspired by the Orient. At the time I was spending time with Japanese people, and I was already imagining the clothes I wanted, made out of metallic jersey. I was thinking of going to Paco Rabanne, but then fortunately I met Maurice Béjart, the choreographer. He had just worked on a ballet with Gianni Versace clothes and he told me: "Gianni has this fabric that I think is perfect for what you are looking for". Who wouldn't trust Béjart? I took a plane to Milan and went to see Versace in his atelier. The understanding was immediate, even with Donatella, a wonderful person. Gianni sat with me at a table and gave me his notebook, asking me to make sketches of what I wanted. I replied that they were very simple clothes, and I wrote down some sketches. [...] Gianni then took apart some clothes he had made for other clients, and with those pieces he created mine."


Loredana Bertè (1986)

One of the most memorable performances and looks ever: Loredana Berté took the stage at Sanremo 1986 to sing Re wearing a signature black leather mini-dress complete with fake baby bump. Recalling that moment, which was much criticized and sensational at the time, she said, "My first appearance at Sanremo was in 1986 with a fake baby bump. A crazy costume designed for me by the great costume designer Sabatelli. For many it was a mistake, but not for me. I wanted to show that a woman when she is pregnant is not sick but is even stronger. And then I was singing a beautiful Mango song (Re): it was the first rock song ever presented at the Festival."


Sabrina Salerno and Jo Squillo (1991)

In 1991, Sabrina Salerno and Jo Squillo presented the song Siamo donne at Sanremo. The look? Definitely daring: lamé bikini for the former and pink tight mini-dress for the latter. "Siamo donne, oltre alle gambe c'è di più" became a catchphrase and a sort of feminist anthem, perhaps also to their style choices that, seen many years later, seem almost an ironic statement camp and anticipate the outfits worn by other international pop stars as well as Barbiecore and the no pants trend.


Madonna (1995)

Madonna was a special guest at Sanremo twice: in 1995 to present Take a bow and in 1998 with Frozen. Both performances, and their respective outfits, drew standing ovations, although the most striking looks were those of the 45th edition of the Festival. Lady Ciccone chose an outfit from the Versace Atelier SS95 collection. She arrived on stage being carried by Baby Face, the producer of the album Bedtime Stories, in total lilac: a crystal-covered dress accessorised with a marabou stole. To complete the outfit, the same one she wore to the Oscars afterparty that year, she wore a platinum blonde bob with a semi-hairdress and sophisticated make-up with blood red lips.

Anna Oxa (1999)

Like Patty Pravo, Anna Oxa has a very versatile style. On the Ariston stage she debuted as a punk and even conducted the 1994 edition alongside Pippo Baudo, transforming herself into a sort of ethereal moon goddess in Versace. Her most famous outfit, however, is the one she won in 1999. Designed by Gucci by Tom Ford, it included a black top and vaguely country-style trousers, studded with crystals and small fringes, from which a black thong emerged. Even the make-up was super cool: bronze, extra glow and very light highlights that illuminated her semi-twisted brown hair. The result? No one remembers the song (Senza Pietà), but everyone remembers her look. 

Bianca Balti (2013)

Many models have made an appearence on the Sanremo stage over history: from Elsa Martinelli to Megan Gale, from Inés Sastre to Laetitia Casta, Valeria Mazza and Eva Herzigova (both in Versace) to Vittoria Ceretti in the 2021 edition. One of the last to enchant the public was Bianca Balti in 2013, wrapped in a series of lace dresses and maxi chandelier earrings by Dolce&Gabbana. She later revealed that she didn't remember that show with too much enthusiasm because of the pressure, but we do. Including the moment when she stumbled and fell, but immediately got back up with a smile. Chapeaux!

Elodie (2021)

OK, Elodie is one of our favourites. She looked great when she performed at Sanremo 2020 in wet hair and Versace outfits, chosen with her stylist Ramona Tabita, but was even cooler the following year when she returned to the stage as co-host. On this occasion, she wore Versace and Giambattista Valli dresses and always looked perfect. Her top moment was when she performed a mash-up of her own songs with the sound of Madonna and Beyoncé, wearing a silver Oscar de la Renta mini dress with Jimmy Choo shoes and Bulgari jewellery. The make-up? Glittery smokey eyes and a high tail. JLo step aside!


Blanco and Mahmood (2022)

They took home the 2022 Festival victory with the song Brividi, but also those for the most interesting looks, For the different evenings Mahmood alternated between oversized outfits from the fashion houses Prada, Fendi, Demeulemeester, and Burberry, while Blanco, on the other hand, opted for transparent dresses from Maison Valentino. Together they helped break old-style canons, both musically and fashion-wise, rightfully entering Sanremo's most iconic fashion moments.