Houston's gothic social calendar revolves around the annual Gothic Beauty Pageant held at Numbers by DJ Mina's Underworld, in which a Mr. And Miss Spooky are crowned king and queen of all the black-eyeliner, stompy-boots, and death-obsessed music for the coming year (in addition to various other prizes). This year, the February 19 gala marks the 12th annual pageant, but also promises some new surprises to the venerable institution.
In addition to long time Underworld majordomo and promoter DJ Mina, planning for the pageant has expanded to include former winners, model Scarlett St. Vitus (2006) and Ex-Voto keyboardist and singer Spleen (2007). Both women are prominent personalities in the goth scene, and have both emceed the event in previous years.
"We're excited to host the pageant together this year," says Spleen. "We hope our collaboration will inspire other winners, past and present, to have fun and be more involved in Underworld events all year long."
Spleen and St. Vitus have planned a campy death-rock burlesque number for the pageant's traditional intermission entertainment. Past winners are usually expected to put together some kind of exhibition, and acts have ranged from fire-dancing and burlesque numbers to stripteases that end with the stripper removing large pieces of latex skin to expose bloody muscles. In addition, the dancefloor music will be distinctly old-school goth to commemorate the pageant's long history.
"Music is definitely a focus this year," said St. Vitus.
Other additions to the usual entertainment include a Vampire VIP lounge in the upstairs bar, complete with speciality drinks and spooky desserts. Traditionally the event has featured photography booths, vending by local fashion designers and jewelers like Azreal's Accomplice and Komodokat, and occasionally musical guests. Confirmation of other entertainment featured at the pageant is due to be released closer to the gala's opening night.
This year also features pre-registration for the competition at the January Underworld event this Saturday at Numbers. Those interested in competing in the pageant will be able to consult with the promoters as well as enjoy the usual dark drinking and dancing. Interested parties unable to attend this Saturday's event are encouraged to email the promoters at email@example.com to register.
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Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.