Pastel raindrops on a sunny day

maandag 20 juli 2015

Tears of joy? My grand lolita tea party journey

Hi sweeties, while my video is processing at this moment I thought I will write a bit about my journey from last weekend. I'm pretty quick this time with my report so I hope you'll enjoy it.

It all started on Tuesday morning around 10 a clock when we packed everything in the car for a six hour drive to Hamburg Germany. But before we could cross the border  we needed to drop Fonske off at the dog hotel, I bet he had a tea party as well with his doggy friends at the hotel.

After we brought Fonske to the hotel I was ready for the event of a life time. Who wound't be excited about an event hosted by Anime Matsuri. Atleast I was super excited about it before all the drama started in the community but I bet you have read all about it in the meantime. Since a lot of people where selling there tickets and where doubting if they needed to go or not, I was being my silly self and told everyone that it's going to be a blast no matter what. So we drove towards Hamburg but first we needed to pick up Josine. She is a dutch lolita who wanted to attend the event as well but wasn't able to travel to the event. Basically I told her, if you don't mind sharing a hotel you can come with us! And so she did!

I picked her up in Eindhoven, which was a small journey on itself. We should meet each other at the station but when I arrived at the station there was no lolita waiting for me. I decided to walk to the other side of the station but I didn't found her there either. Where is she?
After a little text asking where she was we headed back to the first place where we went to look for her and luckily we found her. As a little tradition I bought myself a drink at the starbucks and we all continued the trip to Hamburg. Since I was driving the first 4 hours my wrists starting to hurt real bad so I needed to stop driving and Alexander took over. I wasn't driving 4 hours without a break but still I was a bit bumped about it that I needed to quit because of my health issues.
JSK: Handmade
Bag: Swimmer
Rest: Offbrand

We arrived in Hamburg around 6:30 in the evening, found our hotel and where a bit surprised by the size of our room. We booked a room for 3 people and we got one that was suitable for 5! That was one big bedroom, but it was really nice that Josine got a separate room inside our hotelroom. The hotel itself was old and could use a bit of modernization but it was good enough for us. It was simple and basic but when you aren't staying in the hotel for most of the day it was the perfect place.

That evening we went out for some dinner, the options that we had where Sushi or Falafel. Both Josine and I said the same thing.. sushi! It was a cute little restaurant and the sushi was great as well. We even got miso soup as well within the same price, this was a nice surprise. Josine ordered some tea to go with her dinner, it came in the most cutest little tea set that I've ever seen. She managed to drink around 10 cups out of one pot amazing isn't it?

Since we traveled a lot this day we decided to go to bed real early, well at least before 11 in the evening.  While we checked on the lastes Facebook updates we noticed that the organizer of the event *Mr J. Leigh* posted an update on the event page. With the notice that the event would start 2 hours later than planned. He and the special guests missed their flight in Istanbul. It caused a lot of extra tention on the event but quickly after we saw the message of May that they waren't going to wait till 2 in the afternoon to enter the venue! I decided with the rest that we would join as soon as possible when the doors would open at 12. The people above our room where celebrating that the Ramadam had started so we were treated by a night full of singing and dancing while we wanted to sleep. Luckily I'm not bad with noises around me if I'm tired so I fell asleep real quickly.

The alarm clock went off at the time of 7 it was event time. We got dressed and Josine asked me if I could help her with the wig that she wanted to wear for the event. I kindly helped her along to safe the wig that she brought, yeah I know that I use the word safe but it was kind of death before we started the operation save-the-dreaded-wig. It was really fun to do since I was able to fix the wig without damaging it even further. I was really surprised that the wig was so full of dreads, she told me it was an old wig from a friend but still! After I restored the wig as good as possible it was time for the hairstyle itself. Josine told me what she wanted with the mood of her hairstyle and I made it possible for her. She looked amazing afterwards, it was a hairstyle where I used her own hair together with the wig. When I was finished with her hair I started with my own hairstyle, which was a simple side updo with flowers and my star clip.
We arrived at the venue around 12:30 and some of the German lolitas where already making pictures and talking to each other. Quickly we noticed some of the people I knew which was pretty awesome! I also talked to some of the girls that I've seen before but never spoke to them before since I'm always super shy. Well basically I'm always a bit scared to talk to people I only know from photo's, is this only me? Time passed by and all the other girls came in as well, Josine was kindly enough to introduce me to a lot of the girls she knew. It was time to find a place to sit since all the guests had arrived. All of them looked amazing, and I got the biggest smile on my face when I saw that Aya from Victorian Maiden was standing behind me!

After the opening speech and the introduction from all the guests we could enter the Buffet. Which was loaded with amazing kinds of different dishes. Starting from little salads to main courses and desserts, there was so much that we all could go for a second round but I don't think anyone did this hihi. At the tea party there was also an unlimited amount of tea to drink for everyone, I sticked with the green tea. Since I didn't liked the fruity one that they served hihi. While we went to buffet the staff members place little goodie bags on our seats that were filled with pretty nice items. A lot of postcards which is something that I love, a cameo hanger that was also your raffle ticket and a little towel from Victorian Maiden whoohoo!
While we where eating our delicious meals the first raffle round started. I still don't know how we managed to do this without looking stupid whit our faced stuffed with food but it was a succes. Some of the prices where the books of Misako, Koko Kim and Midori but also some lockshop items like wigs and tights. Our table was sort of lucky but most of them was my husband. His number got called so he stoot up and walked towards the middle. Everyone was clapping for him while he proudly posed with his price, the lockshop alice thights, for a photo. A lot of girls said to me you are so lucky! And you got both changes of winning, which I answered, yes that's true but I also bought two tickets hihi. It's always nice to have an extra spot in the raffles but it comes with a big price tag. And believe me this is not why I bring my husband along to all the events.

When the raffle was finished it was time to take pictures with the special guests. They walked to the balcony in the room where the photographer placed his flashlights and camera to capture this special moment. It was nicely organized, every table would take pictures to there was a minimal of waiting time. Our table was second in line just like with the buffet. Everyone looked amazing when they where standing next to the designers. You also got the opportunity to make a polaroid photo with them as well. I only made photo's with them and afterwards and I took shots from everyone that followed after me but sadly enough I'm not really happy with the result.
The day was filled with raffles, all pretty small to be honest but it kept us busy during the day. We had lots of fun and I've met a lot of new people, some of them already knew me from Instagram which was pretty cool to be honest. I never expected that people would recognize me, most of the time I'm the one that is like I know you since I've seen your photo's and you look amazing. When all the photo's where made by the official photographer it was time for the Q&A session with the special guest. I was planning on writhing the whole thing out on my blog but I don't feel like doing it so much. It's not that I forget everything they said, which is also a bit true but I have all the footage on my laptop it's just to much work. Instead I'll tell you a bit about my two questions. The first one was for Aya from Victorian Maiden. I started my question with the fact that I'm in love with their brand since the beginning of my lolita life and that I wanted to know if they could make their items a bit bigger. I told them that I love the dresses so much but I just don't fit in it! It was super terrifying speaking in front of a group since I was standing and especially speaking to Aya! Nervous as hell and I even lost some of my words. After I suggested that it could be made bigger with shirring or just some extra centimeters, everything was fine for me as long as the European girls would fit in it.

I set down again and started crying, OMG it was just insane. Most of the time I'm not so emotional but when I have stress when I need to speak in front of a group I break down sometimes. Everyone around me was so sweet, telling me I did a good job. When the translator was finished with my question it was time for the moment I've waited for! The answer of Aya, she told me that she was aware of the small sizing but that she will do her best for the next collections of Victorian Maiden. This was one of my happiest moments of the day! All my prayers from over the year are finally heard.
My precious moment, posing with Aya! Whii

When the Q and A sessions with the special guest was over it was time for an Q and A with the kawaii ambassadors and Misako. Not that many girls wanted to ask them something, I really have no idea why. Maybe they waren't a fan or so? I asked a question to both of the kawaii ambassadors, I was really curious if the people of their own community look down on them or think that they where better than the rest. Most of the kawaii ambassadors are first a part of the community but when you get a specific titel I can assume that they group will look different at them.

It was funny to see that the two kawaii ambassadors told us a different opinion on it. Daniella from Mexico had the two sides of the trofee, with on one side the people that knew her before she was a kawaii ambassador and already her friends but on the other side there where also some haters she said. Ann the kawaii ambassador from America was telling us that she only had positive things when she joined the kawaii program. It was a bit strange to see that they where promoting the kawaii ambassador titel a lot. Atleast where I'm from we don't need a kawaii ambassador and I also think we don't need one in The Netherlands either. So seeing them promoting the titel like a nice opportunity to travel around the world felt so forced.
Around 5 I think we needed to move to a different room since the event was ending. When we arrive in the other room we all where amazed by the looks of it! It felt like a palace with gorgeous paintings on the wall and nice seatings where we talk a bit more with everyone. We also took a lot of photo's there. Misako was holding a signing session, I asked John if it was possible to get autographs of the other designers as well. Since I already had one from Misako I really needed a autograph from Aya so badly. I stood in line to buy Misako's second book, at home I already had the first one so getting the second one without the shipping and import costs is always better.

I went also to Aya to ask her for an autograph as well, she told me that I was the first one that asked for one. It was so special! I handed over the postcard where that I wanted her to sign I started crying again. I felt a bit silly since it was the second time in a row that I cried for her at the event, she really represents my dream image of a lolita. When she noticed that I was crying she hugged me and searched into her handbag for a little tissue to wipe off my tears. At this moment I still have this little tissue that she gave me, it may sounds a bit silly but to me it's special since it reminds me of that day.
I talked a bit more to her, took a selfie and had an other hug from her when I said goodbye.
After Aya it was time to ask Taira and Gabriel for an autograph and selfie as well.
They where all so sweet even though Gabriel felt a bit awkward during the event I think. He is very conservative and closed to everyone but maybe if you know them a bit better he's totally different.
When everyone was ready we went outside for some photo's and more chatting. We paired up with the girls from England to go out together and eat some sushi. At that time all the girls from the UK were still new for me but after we went to their apartment we became a bit more familiar with each other. I'm happy that I've met them and at the restaurant there was also an other girl which teamed up with us. It was Raven she has her own shop with jewelry that are perfect for casual, classic and gothic coords. She didn't got a ticket for the friday event but she had one for the saturday so I was really happy to hear that she would be there as well the next day.
Together with Monika the owner of Sweet & Tiny we went back to the tram station to head back home to get a good night of sleep since the next day it was day two of the event.

Selfie wall of Friday with amazing people!

On the third day there was a lot of stress in the morning but on the other side it was also a bit relaxed as well. Josine was a volunteer at the event for the second day so she needed to be at the venue around 9 in the morning. When we walked back from the tram station the evening before I noticed that we needed to walk true a creepy part of the central station where all the homeless people where sleeping and I told her that I would wak with her the next morning so she wouldn't be alone in the morning with all those people. Not that they are aggressive but it was the whole atmosphere around there that was scary. After we where finished dressing up, well when Josine was finished dressing up we took some photo's of her coord outside. She looked amazing in a gorgeous JetJ dress, that brand is just so lovely! 
We arrived at the venue just in time but there was no one from the staff waiting for the girls. While we waited in front of the building we spotted Gabriel from Tokimeki, he was all alone and walked towards the back of the venue. Since no one else was there we decided to follow him like true detectives. He didn't noticed us but he walked super fast, maybe that's why. After two streets we gave up, he wasn't walking towards the entrance of the venue so we headed back.
A couple of minutes later we spotted a girl dressed in frills, she was one of the models for Metamorphose. All the models needed to be there around 9, there were a lot of them. It was quit funny so see that some people didn't recognized me that morning. I went for a quick and super casual outfit with floral tights, a black Baby dress, my natural hair in a messy bun and no make up. 
When the group was complete there was still no sign of the organization, designers or other people than the models.

One of the girl had a phone number of the staff working at the venue and asked for them if they could let them in. We said goodbye to all the lovely girls and headed back to the mall, quickly after I noticed that the Japanese guests and kawaii ambassadors plus the event staff knocked on the door of the venue. I went back and guided them to the same entrance where the others girls went through. He was very impatient the whole time from the moment that I told him about the fact that everyone was already inside and while we needed to wait till the venue opened the door for them. He didn't said thank you or anything but just walked inside, the Japanese quest where very sweet and smiled at us while they bow forward and said thank you which made me feel a bit better for telling them the way in. We had some time left, the entrance for the normal guests was around 12 so I took the opportunity to make some photo's and get myself some coffee at the Starbucks that I found in the shopping mall. 
It was around 12 that we went back to the venue to check in for the second day of the event. This time it was in a different room and I almost made the best entrance of the whole group since I didn't was the step at the end of the hall. That would have been a funny story afterwards but luckily that didn't happen. When we checked a girl gave us a goodie bag that was filled with different kinds items than the day before which was pretty awesome! There was even some letter paper from Victorian Maiden so gorgeous! The VIP ticket holders got a VM mirror and some socks as well with all the other postcards and cameo badge. Inside our bags there where also some drink coupons 2 for the normal guests and 3 for the VIP. The room itself looked like a runway but with very bad lighting, there where also two lady's playing on the violin, I'm still not sure why they where playing live music. It didn't add something to the day...
Together with Lise I walked passed the little shops and bought some jewelry from Tokimeki, Sweet & Tiny and Fantastic Grim they al have some amazing stuff! I also bought a pink blouse from Metamorphose as well which I didn't had so I'm supper happy with that as well. The day going real slow to be honest, everyone was sitting on the chairs, standing on the side or just sitting on the ground. There where some small raffles which where build up all the same with the host asking the same questions to every winner on the same tone of speaking. The fashion show was pretty nice though, Lise and I walked towards the little stage and there where some seats open to sit. We looked to each other and decided to use them. So we sat on the front row when the fashion show started. It was so nice to see all the designs passing by, the models needed to walk pretty far before they could make their turn back towards the little stage. We saw some beautiful designs from Krad Lanrete, Metamorphose and Victorian Maiden. 

The organization had also a surprise for Misako, a big birthday cake. We agreed to sing a birthday song for her while they brought the cake to the front of the venue. It was not a big cake it was huge! The only downside was that we all could have piece of cake after we went to the buffet. I decided to join the whole group towards the buffet since I was super hungry at that time. But when we arrived the only things that where suitable for me as a vegan where some spring rolls and antipasti. Most of the plates where already empty when we arrived which was about 10 minutes after it opened. So as quickly as I could I grabbed 3 mini spring rolls and one antipasti. Everyone was standing in front of the table where the empty plates where standing and just eating while they walked to the next spot. 
My husband asked to the staff if they would bring some more food since most of is was already gone but they told him that everything that was sanding on the tables was the last. All the people that came after us which was about 15 minutes after the buffet opened everything was just gone. I think a quarter of the guests didn't got anything from the buffet and afterwards I heard that some people gave their food away to the Japanse guests since they didn't got anything as well. Other girls went outside to buy food and others went to the Mac Donalds for food. How is this even possible? We were devastated about it, friday was perfect with lots of food for a whole army and today not even the little mouses got something to eat. It set the tone for the rest of the day sadly. I was bored as hell, didn't pay any attention the the same Q&A session with the special guest and to all the other raffle rounds as well. Though my husband won again in the raffle, he won a kokokim set which is super cute but oh so tiny. Even my dressing doll is to chubby for it..

The VIP girls would get priority for the signing session with the guest but this never happend, there was so program and people went outside without knowing the event went and missed some of the things. The organization was terrible and we all felt it. Which is pretty horrible if you ask me as a guest that is not even a part of the organization. I've made a little blog from my days in Hamburg and my honest opinion for the last day. When the event was over we teamed up with some of the girls and went to a little coffee shop to drink some tea instead of joining the group photo. I've met some more girls outside which I didn't see inside the venue they where all so sweet! We made lots of selfies together, it's a good way to make new friends. 

Our day was short but super tiring and an overal heavy atmosphere. We went to bed real early since we would head back to Belgium on Sunday morning. This was truly an event to remember both in a good and a bad way. I'm looking forward to the next event from Street Fashion Europe they do a much better job with events than those American people. Overall I had a great time with my friends but it would be so much better if the second day was just as amazing as the first one. 

Well next time we will do it bigger and better! 

You can watch my vlog about the Grand Lolita Tea Party on my youtube channel.
Just click the thumbnail down below.

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