vrijdag 8 september 2017

London & DMC Part 3

The second day of Dream Masquerade Carnival was for the tea party of course. Luckily we had a bit more time to prepare, but I still managed to be the slowest one because of my hair T_T.
Week after week I thought about what to wear, my first choice was the Milky Planet OP, but I've worn it some weeks earlier. Don't you know that feeling where you want to wear something you haven't worn for a long time, but when you just wore it recently then you rather choose something else? Well, this is why.
In the end I chose the Sugar Pansy jsk. I still love that one a lot, it makes me feel very pretty, because of the wide tiered skirt and all the lovely lace around the neck. I matched it with some princess-sleeves for an even more dreamy, flowy look. The flower headband I already made 1,5 years ago, and the yellow shoes I bought in Japan last March. They are a perfect matching yellow! Just like during the Easter tea party I attached some bows to it to make it a little less plain.
Whitehall Court (photo from Wikimedia)

The Tea Party

Our venue was at the Whitehall Court. This building is next to the Thames and it's a pretty old and prestigious one. Because of its close ties to the Royal Horse Guards and The house of Parliament, the venue was used for a lot of important meetings and stays throughout history.

It was another sunny day, so it was quite surprising when they called us to wait inside for the preparation. I think we had to wait more than half an hour after the actual starting time, in quite a small room. After that we could get our tickets and come in. A very large impressive victorian room, decorated with wonderful chandeliers, old tapestries, and now hosting a lot of lolita's so the space was full of big round tables with fancy candleholders. It was the biggest tea party I've been to, and I honestly think I won't see any bigger ever in the future, there were so many people!!
View of the corner with the head (guest) table
I chose to sit close to some other Dutch sweeties, but sit next to new people because it's a great opportunity to meet some new fellow lolita's and chat with each other. On my left there was a girl who came all the way from the USA, and on my right some girls from Scotland, how awesome is that! From all the waiting I got really hungry, so I passed on joining the group photo and started with the food already. It was really tasty!

After some eating, my Scottish neighbours thought it would be a nice time to take some outfit photos, which was a lot of fun (they had the cutest strawberry-themed dresses on)! And then of course some more chatting inside. I even got asked by Asuka who wanted to take an outfit picture of me, I felt a bit honored ^_^ ! Then the coolest duo Babi and Kaie of Triple Fortune apparently did a round and chatted at every table, so nice of 'm. They asked where I was from, and I told them from The Netherlands and tried to tell them there were about 20 Dutch people there (eh, maybe it were a bit less after actually counting) and they said they wanted to go to The Netherlands too! It would be really nice if we could have another big event one day and have 'm here.
With Babi & Kaie ^-^

Everybody just chatting away

It was time for the raffle and then a talk from the organizers, who announced that this would be the last tea party from the Tea Party Club, because they would stop! After 10 years, of course everyone was absolutely grateful for all their hard work. I'm happy I still could attend two of their events, but luckily Street Fashion Europe is still a thing, and maybe, who knows, somebody else will start throwing these amazing parties.

Not to forget: we did get some lovely gifts, including a lovely british-themed button and a
hilarious but actual useful fan.

When the tea party was over, I heard that one of my roommates, Poppy, didn't feel well and that (a super sweet) someone wanted to call a taxi for her, so we all went together back by car and then took our time to get enough rest in the hostel. I'm happy that Poppy felt a bit better after that <3 she's a strong person! After some chinese food we went our way to the after party, which was at a crazy (and amazing) cocktail bar, The Escapologist. Where you get 10 pounds off of your first drink if you subscribed to their newsletter, so I actually got a cocktail almost for free. We had fun, but it was already quite late so we didn't stay too long to still get some sleep after the exhausting days.
The next day we could relax a bit (haha, no more effort putting on fancy outfits anymore, yay), got some breakfast/food near the station and then it was time for me to say goodbye and head to the airport again. During the trip to Heathrow I talked to my husband who had a lot of fun as well and we agreed on that London is still a very nice place to be at <3 so thank you London, thanks roommates and thank you Tea Party Club for the great time again!

maandag 4 september 2017

London & DMC Part 2

The day was finally there! We stood up early to prepare, two of my roommates were models so they had to be there even earlier than the gold ticket holders. It all went pretty well in the end, as two others also had a silver ticket just like me so we could travel together (in one of those cool red buses)!

The coordination

Planning my outfit for the Dream Masquerade Carnival main event took a while. You probably remember me buying Toy March, and I thought it would actually be a pretty good choice for the theme (although it has nothing to do with a masquerade, it is a bit dreamy (stars/moons) and Carnival-ish, because of the festive march on the print. That, and I think because Angelic Pretty was the main guest, I wanted to wear AP dresses on both days. However, it was a bit of a challenge to create a good coord, because it's hard to find the right hue of blue and red. This is how it looked in the end (outfit photo was taken by Poppy I believe, thank you!):

The red shoes I bought quite quickly after the dress got here, I thought they were the perfect color and are also a bit more mature looking (in comparison with my other sweet shoes). They were on sale at a 'normal' online clothing shop, happy I bought them! For the socks, I bought some diamond/checkered socks first, but the blue was not matching at all. Lots of dark-blue hues in clothing have a green-ish undertone instead of the royal/purple-like tone. I found these AP socks with golden crowns/bows on it at a Japanese auction website and took a shot, and they are a bit darker, but at least the right sort of blue, yay!
Then I needed a short-sleeve red blouse to match it. I made a long-sleeve red blouse some years ago for a christmas outfit, but it was quite wonky, so I made a new one. Every time I make a blouse I get a little bit better at it, but it is still a challenge. As you can see it's not perfect, but in the end I was pretty okay with it.
The matching wristcuffs and headbow were made by me as well. To be honest I wanted to do something more impressive for my headpiece, like tiny felt animals that look like the characters on the dress, but as said I was ill for two weeks just before we left, so I just had enough time for the other things to be finished.

The event

It was time: a lot of lolita's lined up next to the Institute of Directors, right in the heart of London. It was so exciting to all wait together, see familiar faces, do hugs and chat until we could go in. What do you do when you have one our extra shopping, and everybody wants to buy the prettiest items?
Well, some vendors interested me more than others, so I went to those first. I walked around to see what was where and arrived at Tokimeki Teikoku no Momoiro Gabriel's table first, that one artist who makes cute artistic raisin jewelry of animals and such. Last year I bought a bunny necklace at Under the Sea from them, but after staring at everything for a long while I just couldn't decide what I wanted.

Next to them was Triple Fortune, and oh their creations are gorgeous! But actually I don't wear bonnets a lot (I just bought one this year from Meta to try it out, but haven't worn it yet). Their tights are pretty too but I wouldn't know what to wear it with. Then, actually I had really hoped they would sell those new fairy-themed dresses (see the photo on the left, it was published in MELT). I showed them to my husband before and there was one he really liked too, but it wasn't there unfortunately (maybe it's not even out yet? If anyone knows please tell me!)

So I quickly walked to the other rooms, finding Angelic Pretty & Kira Imai in a crowded corner. And yay, they had something I liked! Otk's from AP (yellow easter-themed, matching with the Happy Garden jsk I hope). It was waaay to crowded at Kira Imai's table so I headed to the Bring-and-Buy room. I found some pretty nice (and cheap) blouses that I loved so I immediately took them with me. At the remote vending table I found two brooches that I wanted for a while, the wine & cheese themed ones from and Mulberry Chronicles! You might not know it but I like wine and brie quite a bit :P, however I was too late to buy them online, I think I was quite lucky finding them at DMC! Later I also bought a new AP blouse at the Bring-and-Buy, but it was wrapped in plastic. It said to be from their last lucky pack and I searched for the size which looked okay, but in the end it was from a different pack I think and it was just too small for me, so I'm selling it again.

With Maki! Sorry for the weird pose.
Photo by Emily Valentine
It took a while to pay for everything  at the Bring-and-Buy (because it was via PayPal and one by one, so I missed the Q&A with Maki and Asuka. I think it was okay though, and luckily someone filmed it too! I walked back to the Kira Imai booth to look and buy some things. I'm going to be honest, from the start I was not always a fan of her work. It's very well-made and detailed, but a lot of her art don't have that 'kawaii' feeling to me, sometimes it is even a bit creepy, so it's not 100% my taste. Over the years I started to appreciate it a little more though. I already bought some of her work in Tokyo (at Fewmany in Marui Annex, Shinjuku) and it was really nice to meet her too.

Then I saw the amazing photo props/place next to it and Maki (from AP) was taking pictures with/from people, so I asked her too and she took a photo of me as well, how nice! I think Maki looks really sweet, I wish I was better at Japanese so I could've talked to her. Then after a drink and lovely piece of cake (for lunch, haha) I went to see the fashion shows, which were awesome.

Afterwards came another round of shopping, and taking pictures with people and then I chatted a bit with the other Dutch people there, there were really quite a lot more than last year, it was fun!

A selfie with the cute Liv and me
while waiting for the raffle to start.
Photo with some friends!
Made by Jatzu from
Freefall Creation
After that it was already almost the end of the day. It was really fun seeing the 'Fashion Fix' and also the 'Ten years of lolita' fashion show with old and new Angelic Pretty pieces, very nice. We were quite tired when the raffle started. to my surprise my number was called in one of the first minutes, but then it turned out there was another person with the same number. Apparently there were two different series, one with a border on the paper and one without. I didn't win anything after all. Then after some more minutes they discovered that there were very few people getting prizes because of the 'bordered' series and then they gave some people different tickets so everyone had a better chance.

After some speeches and a big thank you, the saturday of DMC ended. We were tired but walked through the city to another vegan buffet place. I was so happy to finally get some food and after that some delicious frozen yoghurt. It was quite late when we arrived at the hostel again. It was a wonderful day, but I was happy that the Sunday would be a bit more relaxed.

Here are the hings I got (the silver tickets also got a bag filled with presents) or bought:

Amazingly filled bag with a mug,
coloring book and small DMC/AP mirror <3 !


zaterdag 2 september 2017

London & DMC Part 1

Last year I was a vendor (Risu Rose) at Wicked & Whimsy, you know, the big 2016 lolita fashion event organized by the Tea Party Club. While being a vendor, I also had an amazing time and I didn't go to the tea party on Sunday last year, then I decided I'd love to go to their next event in 2017. So I did!
The pond at Kensington Gardens, there are always plenty of birds nearby. I love London's parks! 

It took a while to find a construction with other people and/or being there some extra days, because I needed to work the monday after, but found a great solution in the end. My husband decided he wanted to come with me to London for some days before (and then go to a friend) so we went there on Tuesday and spent our days with nice food, shopping, walking and games (we went to one of the ClueQuest escape rooms and it was supercool!!). Honestly I was very happy I could, because just before this certain week, I was ill for two weeks, and couldn't get out of the house a lot. Fortunately enough it cleared up!

London is a huge city where there is always something new happening and its looks never seem to awe me. Especially in the summer there are lots of festivals and events, small and big. I wouldn't mind living there at all (if it weren't for Brexit and the general higher expenses).

A Ben & Jerry's icecream store where we enjoyed dessert after
a nice dinner with my father-in-law and his girlfriend.
There was a huge M&M World store, with all kinds of stuff.
The Lego store had amazing displays, look a this
lego ' painting' of London!
Nick had fun at a Star Wars arcade game pod.

Before we knew it, it was Friday and I met up with my roommates Poppy, Alexander, Liv, Ayumi (and mom) and unpacked at our hostel room near Elephant & Castle station. Afterwards we went to some cute shops near Covent Garden, bought cupcakes and then went for dinner at Dou Dou, a vegan buffet restaurant in Camden. I was really surprised by the quality of the food for such a good price, it was really tasty too! After finishing up we went back to prepare for the following day (and do lots of chatting :P ).
A selection of M&M's from M&M's World

My purchases from London (before DMC):

A merry-go-round moving musical cookie  jar and some unique tea
from Fortnum & Mason. I saw these cookie jars last year and
really wanted to have one myself!

Nick bought me this surprise troll pack, haha. So cute of him!
Lego character surprise packs!
I forgot my hairbrush, so I bought a new one at Pylones.
Adorable Cinnamoroll shirt bought at Artbox!

A pencil and ring from Artbox. I was happy that I found the ring
in between a tiny box of accessories. It was only £4!

I finally have a straw boater hat. Found it in Camden!

Birbs magnets/clips from
the Japanese bookstore.
An awesome Toothless mug from the 'Shrek's Adventure store' .

donderdag 20 juli 2017

Book review: So Pretty / Very Rotten

A short while ago I came across a post on Instagram of somebody who bought this book with comics and essays about Lolita Fashion and 'cute culture'. It interested me because I like comics that have to do with lifestyle or are about slice of life / drama. Even more because it's about my Lolita Fashion of course. Unfortunately it was not available as ebook, so in the end I bought the real deal (from Bookdepository).

So Pretty / Very Rotten is a paperback of the size of a thick manga omnibus, the same kind of paper, it's about 300 pages long, which is quite a bit! It was written and drawn by Jane Mai & An Nguyen and has a contribution by and interview with the well-known Novala Takemoto (writer of Kamikaze Girls). It contains both short comic-stories and several essays on the fashion and the culture.

It starts off with some general explanation of the fashion and some examples of sub-styles. Then follows a comic, that I don't really see much connected to lolita fashion, except for a page where the person in question (one of the writers actually) buys Lolita clothes to do 'research' instead of actually working on a comic, but it's nice to see something that tells a bit more about the writers (possibly?). Luckily most other comics are indeed about the fashion and lifestyle and they are interesting to read.
Sometimes just more or less examples of what happens in the subculture, but sometimes also rather absurd and with a hint of macabre. Most of the time very recognizable.

When this book arrived at my home, my husband asked: "So, you as a lolita are rotten?" This "rotten" part comes from a quote from Momoko from Kamikaze girls, and relates both to the inner and outer demeanor of lolita's, plus that it is indeed still quite materialistic. Within both western and Japanese communities this is sometimes a bit of a sensitive subject, and this is talked about a bit in the essays and comics. But as lots of lolita's think: if it makes you that happy, then what does it matter? It reminds me of one of the reasons why I also like wearing lolita: if I wear this outside for the day, I feel like this world is my world. That I can choose to do what makes ME happy, despite of what others think (and that it isn't cheap), it's a wonderful feeling.
There are several comics about girls that are new to the fashion and are interested in it and it reminds me of when I got into it, I think it's a precious moment that lots of lolitas recognize and treasure...I wonder if people who don't wear the fashion could understand it truly without trying it out.

What I do miss a bit though are pages about for example the issue of the size of the clothing. Because I know there are girls out there who'd love to wear it but can't (not even only about being to large to fit, but also longer people in Europe that feel that it doesn't suit their body because it doesn't look as cute). Next to that, there is a part about online communities in one of the essays, but I do miss the influence of things like secrets/Behind the Bows and 4chan in the comics, or actually what really happens, and how rotten that actually is (but maybe that is also offline I guess, but just not so spoken of). I wonder if they didn't mention it on purpose.
Illustration by Jane Mai
(from her website)

The part that I find very well-written is what role the fashion plays for people and how that is explained. Not just (alternative) clothes, but a way to stand against the 'normal', a way to still keep that cute pure feeling of when you discover something so wonderful that suddenly the world changes, and that you can still keep that by buying, creating and wearing this fashion. But that it is also something that might pass at some point.

Another interesting subject that is captured well is how communities and social media play a role, how one can start to look up to these online persons while their view of them might not be realistic. How well-known people are just still very human.

But besides some of the more darker side of it, it captures the tenderness, wonder, sensitive and pure kind of happiness that comes with this fashion pretty well too, and all of it is a great read!