Saturday evening, I am at home stressing about what to wear to the highly-anticipated, extremely stylish, Alternative Miss World at the Roundhouse in Camden. I have to meet Ellis at 7.45, so I decide upon all black and high heels (of course) and run out the door. I have been looking forward to this for weeks.
Andrew Logan started it all back in 1972 – "in my studio in Hackney as a theme for my party” – and it has grown to become a renowned event on London’s social calendar. According to Logan, “The ingredients have always been the same, but there were 100 guests at the first one and 2000 at the last one!”
The competition has 20 contestants – some male, some female – who are asked to create a character and outfits for three categories – daywear, swimwear and evening wear. An expert judging panel, including Zandra Rhodes, Tim Curry and the previous winner of AMW then decide who gets crowned winner. There’s no defined entry criteria but the entrants are judged on 'Poise, Personality and Originality'.
With contestant performances ranging from Miss Sahara giving birth to a male belly-dancer, to a huge towering Maypole structure from ‘Miss Elementary My Dear’ that literally brought the house down, not to mention the night’s winner being suspended from her hair in a dress made from neon ribbons of light, this night is definitely a visual feast!
One of Dazed’s regular contributors, Piers Atkinson almost stole the show as ‘Miss Trailer Trasher’. "Miss TT is very moody and can go into long periods of inactivity," he explained. "However, if conditions are right, she can whip herself up into a complete frenzy and god help whoever gets in her way!” We asked Piers what he finds so inspiring about AMW. “I love the competition because it has a real British village hall vibe! Backstage, I've never seen so many cardboard boxes and bin liners! If you think about 1971, when it all started, it was a party, but only a few years later homosexuality and cross-dressing in public were made legal! AMW has paved the way for a culture now in London (and elsewhere) where we now have clubbers going out looking like AMW contestants every Saturday night!”
For more info on Andrew Logan, his art and jewellery click here.