photo by frank millar
last sunday i went to a lolita tea party at summer tales boutique, right at the centre of the dutch lolita community. it was the first time i went to a lolita event. i got all dressed up in my angelic pretty dress, slapped pastels on my face & donned a long wig and a cute bear hat. i think i did pretty well with my coord; i even got some compliments. unfortunately i forgot to take pictures, otherwise i could have shown you.
since i live relatively close by, i went on my bicycle, getting lots of interesting looks along the way. i arrived at the same time as some other guests & i walked behind them to the main area. before i had reached the top of the stairs i was already thinking what the fuck am i doing here? (behold un-lolita language) it was a phrase i would repeat several times in my head throughout the afternoon. it’s strange getting involved into such a new community. when i stepped over the threshold i stepped into a whole ‘nother world. the smallish space was filled with petticoats. all the people in-between looked spectacular. it’s nice having other people to dress up with.
i sat down at one of the first tables i reached, joining two others. they were lovely. everyone was lovely. we had our first cups of tea & waited until the rest of the guests arrived. there were 55 in total. finally, the charming girl behind the boutique went up front to welcome us all. she also showed us the new collections she & her team had been working on for the past few months. all perfectly charming pieces. i was already questioning my fragile resolve not to buy new clothes anymore. i can’t get that chiffon babydoll dress out of my head. perhaps… it is important to support small businesses…
after her talk we could go down to the store to admire all the fine pieces & buy what we wished. i only bought one of the new rings, since i didn’t really have the money for more. i would have liked to try on one of the new dresses, but it was so packed in that small store. & everyone was wearing petticoats. at several points i found myself stuck in a group of people, immobilized by petticoats. we could all laugh about it though.
later we went back up to eat. when everyone was seated again, platters of baked goods and sandwiches were deposited on all the tables. i had let the people who organised it know beforehand that i was vegan. i thought that they would probably put some small things on the side for me & other vegans, but i got a whole plate for myself! a whole meal, which was fantastic. i got a sandwich, a fruit salad, a cupcake, & a scone with soy cream & jam. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. it made me so happy that they made such delicious food for vegans as well. there were more vegans there than i expected too.
then it was time for the costume contest. there were five contestants, all dressed fantastically. one girl in white had a handmade tophat with flowers and fairy lights; another had made almost her entire outfit herself, complete with an elaborate headdress with even more fairylights; there was one in oldschool lolita with bells in her hair; one girl who took inspiration from the story of christ; & a girl who was dressed as a present & threw glitter everywhere. it was amazing. very motivating to go further with my coord a next time.
after the contest there was also a lottery. to my great surprise, i won something! i won two rings from the new collection. i went home with a lot of new rings. there was also one in the lucky pack that i had gotten along with my ticket. in my lucky pack there was also a hair bow and a rosary necklace.
to close the event, we all went outside & braved the december cold for some group pictures. before we left, we could take a card from the small christmas tree. earlier in the day we had all written something nice on a card & hung them up. i went home with a card that said (translated) that i looked fabulous. i thought that was a sweet little extra.
it was a magical experience overall. the only thing was that i still felt a bit awkward & out of place in that community, but i think it will be better a next time. i do fully intend to go to a second lolita tea party. time will tell how i fit into the lolita community in the long run. if i don’t, well, i still have my gothicly inclined friends.