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Welcome to the wonderful world of Alternative Miss World!
This Autumn 2022 we celebrate 50 years of Alternative Miss World!
For this grand Anniversary, the theme is GOLD!
In 1972, the renowned sculptor Andrew Logan had an idea for a party, after being inspired by the British dog show Crufts.
As Miss World was popular at the time, Andrew wanted to create something that celebrated outside of what the beauty standards are. To create something that wasn’t about beauty, but about transformation, creativity and celebration! A show that goes beyond gender, age, and nationality.
And so Alternative Miss World was born!
The first event was held in Andrew’s studio in London, 1972. The contestants have since been judged on the same criteria as Crufts - POISE! PERSONALITY! ORIGINALITY!
Over the years, the show has become a beacon of glittering light, attracting artists, performers, and misfits of all kinds.
The event has gained quite a following, with notable judges, co-hosts and contestants such as Divine, Leigh Bowery, David Hockney, Zandra Rhodes, Jarvis Cocker, Derek Jarman, Grayson Perry, Brian Eno and the stars of the Rocky Horror Picture Show to name just a few!
At its heart, as the host and hostess, Andrew embodies the role of high priest of colour and joy. He shepherds his flock of colourful creatives and ingenious innovators, all gathered together in the church of artistic celebration that is Alternative Miss World.
And every priest needs their ceremonial outfit - over the years, designers such as Zandra Rhodes, Rae Spencer Cullen, Bill Gibb, and Lawrence Corner Stones have helped dream-up and create the iconic outfits worn by Andrew. The male and female sides are split down the middle in each, symbolising the ideas central to the Alternative Miss World.
Each year’s event follows a theme, set by Andrew. Before deciding on a theme, however, Andrew will begin by creating perhaps the most important piece - the crown. This is worn by the winner at the end of each event, and is created using Andrew’s iconic sculptural style. How the crown evolves will then help Andrew decide on the theme of that year’s Alternative Miss World.
The very first theme was Wild in 1975. Each contest since then has had its own unique theme, from Elements in 2009, Void in 1998, Neon Numbers in 2014, right up to the most recent event in 2018, when the theme was Psychedelic Peace.
Contestants have been as diverse and wide-ranging as Andrew's family members, Welsh farmers, artists, nudists, drag queens, and countless others. Anyone can apply to become a contestant for the Alternative Miss World, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, disability, size, age etc.
There are three categories for the contestants to create looks for - DAYWEAR! SWIMWEAR! EVENINGWEAR!
Some choose to adorn themselves with high-fashion garments, others change their silhouettes completely to become more than human - and some choose not to wear anything at all! Each performer brings something truly unique to the stage. No one can guess what might be coming next - not even Andrew himself.
Andrew has described the show as his “most important artwork”, which perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the event. Performance art, pageantry, and sculpture all come crashing together for one night only, in a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.
If you would like more information on what Alternative Miss World is all about, then we recommend watching The British Guide to Showing Off.
This film was a documentary created by director Jes Benstock in 2009, chronicling the lead up and show night of the 2009 Alternative Miss World - with the theme of Elements.
Alternative Miss World only occurs once every 4-5 years, which makes each event a special and unique celebration.
We look forward to you joining us for this year's explosion of chaotic creativity and artistic celebration!
If you are interested in applying to be a contestant for this year’s 50th Anniversary, unfortunately the list of contestants is already full. Although there is still the opportunity to be put on the waiting list incase of any drop-outs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can forward you on to our Contestant Coordinator, Cloud.
‘What we look forward to each time… is an atmosphere of creative confusion and chaos.’
Andrew Logan, for BBC article 2018
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