We've gone bananas for this film

We've gone bananas for this film

Charlotte Prichard, 2 November 2011

Banana BroochIf you're feeling fruity, may we suggest this Sunday you get yourself to a screening of The British Guide to Showing Off? It's a new film about the Alternative Miss World contest. But forget Barbie hair and bitch fights, this Miss World is all about dress-up, performance, joy, and laughing in the face of gender. It's been going since 1972. Here's what it looked like then: Alternative Miss World 1972 A party you want to be at, right? For nearly 40 years now it's all been run by unacknowledged British treasure Andrew Logan. Rosie was lucky enough to be at the 2004 show, which looked like this: Miss Ice Scream Eyes Alternative Miss World 2004 - swimwear Men and women can enter the contest (and once it was even won by a robot). Andrew Logan always presents it dressed in a gender-splitting costume, like this 1973 half-man half-woman wonder: Andrew Logan Everyone from the past fifty years of outsider flamboyance has been involved in Alternative Miss World, from Derek Jarman and David Hockney to Leigh Bowery, Grayson Perry and Matthew Glamore. If you've ever been to a London club that felt more like a fancy dress party; if you've ever stuffed your wardrobe with handmade costumes and longed for somewhere to wear them; if you've despaired through fashion's 'tasteful' periods and rejoiced when catwalks turn into theatre, then you'll love this film. Here are some more vintage pictures to inspire your outfit for this Sunday's screenings. There are prizes for best dressed, including one of ten Tatty Devine Banana Brooches. Andrew Logan & Rula Lenska Alternative Miss World 1991 by Robyn Beeche We want Rula Lenska's pegasus wing swimming costume. Kinky Gerlinky Cabaret This is the Kinky Gerlinky Cabaret. Someone throw a painting party so we can dress as the Green Lady. Alternative Miss World 1986 You don't get outfits like this in roller derby. Miss Ogynist & Grayson Perry Alternative Miss World 1995 If you had to go on stage dressed in nowt but a black mask, wouldn't you choose Grayson Perry as your assistant, too? Miss Ophelia Bits Alternative Miss World 1986 Somewhere inside this costume are two people. Miss Ready to Wear This is Miss Ready to Wear. She gets good press. Enjoy the film. And show us your dress-up outfits!
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