eurovision
If the internet had existed when Abba stepped out in these outfits, they would have broken itGetty

The camp, colourful return of the Eurovision song contest will no doubt bring with it a new star cast of incredible performers decked in the most dazzling, eccentric and downright outrageous costumes, in a kind of red carpet parallel universe of weird and wonderful gowns plus lurex suits.

This is exactly why we love it though. There are no designer affiliations or brand ambassadors to adhere to, just a rule to fit as much pearlescent lace on your person as is physically possible or show off the current trend du jour in glorious technicolour styles in a bid to get more than nil point on the fashion scoreboard.

With the likes of Celine Dion, Abba and Olivia Newton John strutting their stuff on the glorious Eurovision stage, there are some unforgettable costumes over the years.

From the flammable sheer layers of the seventies empire line gowns to some fabulous shoulder pads of the eighties as well as some wonderful matching costumes.

Ahead of 2016's fashion extravaganza IBTimes UK has pulled together the most fabulous and unforgettable fashion moments from Europe's favourite talent show.

Conchita Wurst, Austria (2014)

A glittering performance by the unforgettable Conchita Wurst took the prize home and immediately propelled Conchita into international stardom.

Celine Dion, Switzerland (1988)

The young Celine opted for a fetching white blazer and tulle skirt for her winning performance, which summed up most of the questionable fashion decisions made in the 1980s.

Olivia Newton John, United Kingdom (1974)

Before there was Grease and Sandy, Olivia Newton John was better-known for swaying on stage in a fabulous empire line sky blue maxi dress that screams Gucci SS/16. The song didn't make the UK winners (Abba were also on form that year) but who cares, the dresses were unforgettable.

Abba, Sweden (1974)

Abba was blasted to worldwide fame by winning Eurovision but it should definitely have been for their style over substance. The silk bloomers, velvet bomber jackets and printed scarves with wide chokers were too good, and the men's post apocalyptic Napoleon costumes were a work of art.

Lulu, United Kingdom (1969)

Another Gucci girl of the past, Lulu's cute candy pink mini dress with floral-embroidered applique details would not look out of place on the street this summer.

Dana International, Israel (1998)

Transgender contestant Dana International's vibrant performance for Israel in 1998 wasn't so much a fashion moment for its eccentricity but more for bringing back some red carpet glamour to the event with her one shoulder glittering gown as she performed the winning song 'Diva'.

Bucks Fizz, United Kingdom (1981)

Not much of a risque move today but whipping off someone's skirt mid-performance caused quite a stir at the time. Even more so with the fact that the song was advocating playing around, but the bold children's TV presenter primary colours were a fun but simple choice for the eighties group, and would definitely still work today.

Texas Lightning, Germany (2006)

Pink corsetry, maribou trim and cowboy boots are a match made in heaven, particularly when accessorised with four grinning German men in Glen Campbell get-up.

Sheeba, Ireland (1981)

Some girl troupes like to mix things up with stage wear these days but that probably because they know they will never look as good as Sheeba. The Irish group were part She-Ra, part Poweranger and amazing in their metallic matching superhero style.

Silver Convention, Germany (1977)

Sheeba may have got their inspiration from Silver Convention who nailed it in matching bubblegum pink flared suits with coordinated frilled cuffs. The German group have provided a little inspiration for the SS/16 catwalks with flares blowing up flaring up everywhere at the moment.

Aliona Moon, Moldova (2013)

The Met Gala exhibition Manus x Machina missed a design trick in their curated display of the best technology in fashion and Aliona Moon's magical dress was it. Rising in the air with a lit-up dress flashing with lightning, the Moldovan group could have given Clare Danes a run for her money.

Silvia Night, Iceland (2006)

A controversial act all round, Silvia Night was booed as she arrived on stage before tearing into a song that screamed winner! If you're picking which of the earlier Eurovision performances to catch up on, make sure this is definitely one of them. A feathered headdress and frilled mini-dress that strips down into a metallic one-piece, it is like watching fashion magic unfold.

Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Seven things you didn't know about the competitionIBTimes UK