We've gone bananas for this film
August 13, 2018 - Charlotte Prichard
If 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: 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: 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: 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. We want Rula Lenska's pegasus wing swimming costume. This is the Kinky Gerlinky Cabaret. Someone throw a painting party so we can dress as the Green Lady. You don't get outfits like this in roller derby. If you had to go on stage dressed in nowt but a black mask, wouldn't you choose Grayson Perry as your assistant, too? Somewhere inside this costume are two people. This is Miss Ready to Wear. She gets good press. Enjoy the film. And show us your dress-up outfits!
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