Thursday, June 30, 2016

Under the Sea – Tea Party

I am aware that I am super late with this post, but I had exams to prepare. ^^’ Sorry!
I hope you will enjoy this post anyway!

The next day, on Sunday May 8th, the Under the Sea Tea Party took place. The other Street Fashion Europe staff members had told me the Tea Party is much more relaxing for organizers since there is less to do and you have more time to socialize and they turned out to be right. ^^
I had to be present at the venue at 11 am, so I didn’t have to wake up at 5 am again. Instead, I made sure I had breakfast this time and got dressed calmly. Because the trains were all cancelled between my hometown and Amsterdam, my dad was kind enough to drive me to the venue once again. I only had to bring two boxes this time, so that was nice. ^^
We drove to Amsterdam and soon arrived at the beautiful Amstel Hotel. The Amstel Hotel is a gorgeous 5 star hotel. Famous people like George Clooney and Robbie Williams have stayed there and I can understand why. It’s so pretty!

Amstel Hotel Outside
The Amstel Hotel, seen from the backside.
Picture from the hotel website.

When my dad stopped the car in front of the hotel, a doorman opened the door for me. I felt like royalty, haha! I said goodbye to my dad, picked up my boxes and entered the hotel. Of course I had been there before while scouting for locations, but I had forgotten just how lovely this place was. The funny thing is: the Amstel Hotel isn’t big at all, which actually created a fancy yet cosy atmosphere. The main hall with the glorious stair case was so beautiful…

Amstel Hotel Inside
The main hall seen from above.
Picture from the hotel website.

The Tea Party was located in two adjacent rooms, connected by two big open doors: the Mirror room and the Garden room. The Mirror room was my favourite out of the two. ♥ Both rooms had beautiful chandeliers as well.

Tea Party Rooms
The Mirror room, one of the chandeliers and the Garden room.
Pictures from the hotel website.

I greeted my friends and chose a spot to sit at later by placing my bags on the chair. Then I teamed up with Manami and started placing the postcards and sticker sheets I had brought with me on every plate. Every Tea Party guest received a beautiful Loputyn mermaid card, a Milkribbon twin mermaids card, a sticker sheet and one of the four key chains designed by some of the Street Fashion Europe members. Distributing the items was done sooner than expected, so the rest of the time I spent talking with my friends, taking some pictures and filming where I could.

All the guests received such adorable goodies!

Before I go on, let me show you my Tea Party outfit! Initially I had wanted to wear a different outfit for the Tea Party, but when I tried it on a couple of days before it didn’t look the way I had wanted, so I last minute changed into a fairly casual black and white outfit. I did however wear the blouse and necklace I had kept exclusively for this occasion, so that was nice. ^^ This was my outfit, I hope you like it~! ♥

Tea Party Outfit
Picture by Sanni Siira.
✧ Tea Party outfit ✧
My outfit rundown:
Beret: off brand
Blouse: Forever21
Jsk: Angelic Pretty’s French Doll
Socks: Doll Kiss
Shoes: An*Tai*Na
Pin: Tralala
Necklace: Jule et Lily
Ring: Primark

When I left the Mirror room to go outside to film the hotel’s exterior, I noticed a lot of guests were already waiting!
I left the hotel, filmed for a bit and then went back inside to get some last things done. I arrived back in the Mirror room and soon after the Japanese guests all arrived as well except for Mamechiyo and Ayumi. Ayumi would arrive later, but unfortunately Mamechiyo wasn’t feeling very well and couldn’t make it. They sat down at the head table and soon it was go time~!
Some SFE members took place behind the ticket check and the rest of us formed two lines next to the entrance to welcome the guests. Slowly the guests came in and we waved and welcomed them. ^^ The rooms started to fill up pretty fast and I started walking around for a bit to greet people.
When finally everyone seemed to have arrived, all the guests sat down and were welcomed by members of Street Fashion Europe.

Everyone listening to the welcome speech.

Carmilla shortly talked about the exclusive Tea Party gifts and then it was time for a little game! Every plate contained a little card, pink or lavender, with a word or two on it. When combined well, the words together would form the name of a Lolita print. The first couple of people who managed to find their name buddy won a prize, There was a also a prize for the person who came up with the most original combination. This game was created for people to get to know other people, but could also easily be ignored if you didn’t feel up for it.
Everyone who wanted jumped up!

Matching Game
Tea Party guests playing the card matching game.
Picture by Anh Binh Photography.

To our great surprise people found their card buddies very quickly, which caused the game to be over really fast! XD However, many people still went to look for their match. I had ‘Vintage’ on my card, so I went looking for my ‘Cameo’. I soon found it in the possession of Jennifer, a UK Lolita I have met multiple times before. It was nice seeing her again. ^^
After a bit of socializing and taking pictures, it was time for the tea and food to get served. The first course was a plate with two half circle sandwiches, a lemon meringue pastry and a beautiful red pastry. I always love lemon meringue, but the red pastry was even more delicious. *_*
After that we received scones, various jams and lemon curd. It was very tasty!

Tea Party Food
Food, glorious food~! ♫

Unfortunately, the hotel’s service wasn’t amazing. It was a hot day outside and it was hot inside as well. Getting the waiters to serve water took a lot of effort, so we were glad when they finally started serving everyone ice cold water next to the warm tea. The rest of the Tea Party it was hot, but I tried to ignore it where I could. I tried to socialize and film at the same time. Unfortunately I didn’t film as much as I could, but I did catch up with some lovely people.
One of the highlights of the Tea Party for me was the fact everyone could interact with the special guests so easily. Yu and Akira had somehow created their own corners and people were lining up for a picture with them, but Ayumi (who had arrived in the meantime), Mariko Suzuki and Mari Nakamura roamed around freely. I was happy I got the chance to take a picture with the two of them. They are both so kind ad have such a sweet smile. ♥

With Mari and Mariko
With the amazing Mari Nakamura and Mariko Suzuki. ♥

Mariko Suzuki also took my picture (I felt so honoured) and I took some pictures for and with other people as well.
Since a big line had formed for Akira I decided to join as well. I had asked Marie to take some pictures for me, since she is amazing. I am so glad I did, because she took one of my favourite pictures of the whole event. When it was my turn, Akira took my hand and we looked into the camera. Her lips were so close to my cheek I was screaming internally, but I tried to keep my dignity in place (which was really super hard). I am so happy with this picture…. ;___;

With Akira
Doesn’t this picture look like a prom picture or something? I love it to death… ♥
Picture taken by Marie Tuonetar.

I decided to walk around the hotel for a bit. I walked up the big stairs and walked into Mila and Lou who were taking pictures in a side hallway. I didn’t expect there to be the first rooms already! The hotel looked absolutely lovely, it was so beautiful. ;_; ♥
I wasn’t the only one roaming the hotel. Lots of people were standing in line to have their picture taken. As usual everyone looked amazing!

Some of the beautiful outfits worn at the Under the Sea Tea Party.
Pictures by Anh Binh Photography.

I was so happy to see people were experimenting with backgrounds for pictures. The amazing hotel offered so many opportunities to take beautiful pictures! Pretty corners, big windows, chairs. And of course, the amazing stair cases.

White Light
If this picture doesn’t amaze you, I don’t know what will… *_*
Picture by Sanni Siira.

At a certain point I walked into Yu who was looking for the toilets. Since I was just on my way to go there I walked with her. The toilets were absolutely beautiful and so chic! Mini towels and beautiful mirrors, etc. Some ladies who had just used the bathroom were very interested in our clothing and asked for a picture, haha!

Amstel Hotel Toilets
The beautiful toilets of the Amstel Hotel. *o*

After visiting the amazing bathroom, I got to take a quick cute picture with Yu and then we went on our way again. ^^ I got to hug her… ;___;

With Yu
I really like this picture with Yu. ♥

One of my favourite moments was Connie, dressed in Ouji style, and Nina, looking like a princess, took kabedon pictures. Nina is a lot taller than Connie, so Connie decided to stand on a chair. This resulted in hilarious ‘Expectation vs. Reality’ pictures. XD

Expectation vs. Reality
Not everything is what it seems! 8D

I was very happy to see that everyone was either walking around, taking pictures or socializing. There is far less to do at a Tea Party, but I know lots of people love Tea Parties anyway because it’s easier to make contact with other people. ^^

Mirror Room
A general view of the Mirror room during the Tea Party.
Picture by Kia Rose.

I am a bit disappointed in myself for not filming enough at the Tea Party even though I had so much more time. But at least I managed to take some outfit videos and I got to talk with Rosie! I used to be a big fan of Rosie’s blog, but lost sight of her for a while. Now we are Facebook friends and I get to admire all her outfits again! And she is honestly the sweetest in real life! ;_; ♥

With Rosie
With beautiful, amazing and inspiring Rosie. ♥

Somewhere during the Tea Party I was approached by a sweet girl in a lovely dress who told me she likes my blog and YouTube, but had been too shy to come up to me during the main event. She was so sweet, I almost cried. ;_; Thank you so much for telling me! ♥
I cannot express enough just how many amazing outfits there were at this Tea Party again. I felt so incredibly inspired by the creativity people were showing!

Same Print, Different Outfits
These girls were all wearing the same print, but their outfits are all so different!
Picture by Sanni Siira.

Sanni, one of our photographers, also makes stunning portraits of people! Her pictures are like paintings really, I adore them! Here is a small selection of the portraits she made:

Beautiful portraits. ☆
Picture by Sanni Siira.

After a while, it was time for the raffle! All the SFE members came together and spread the prizes onto the small tables. And to my big happiness I was told I could present the raffle! I was so excited, I was really hoping I could do one of the raffles! When the prizes were all ready we asked everyone to sit down and I took the microphone.

Raffle Sorting
Preparing the raffle prizes. There were a lot!

I asked everyone to please cheer when they won something so the staff could quickly find the winner. I was happy we had a microphone: everyone in the two rooms could hear
us well.
The raffle started and it was honestly so much fun! Nina, Vief and I drew numbers and read them aloud. Especially the people in the Garden room had listened well to our request, because every time someone in that room won something a wave of cheers and applause rose up. The Mirror room started our as more shy, but clearly didn’t want to lose in terms of enthusiasm, so soon we had people cheering over every prize!

Me ‘professionally’ reading out numbers. XD

After the raffle, it was time for outfit prizes. All the special guests got to pick their favourite outfit and had prepared a prize for the winner. You could really tell the special guests had taken a good look at people’s outfits, because they were looking for specific people and not just in one room.
First up was Mariko Suzuki. She chose a girl in a beautiful dark red dress and a rectangular headdress. Mari Nakamura’s chose a girl dressed in beautiful Juliette et Justine and had an amazing hairdo. Koitsukihime chose Ashley Marie, who looked impeccable as she always does (admittedly, I only met her at the event during the previous day, but I browsed her Instagram and Facebook for a bit later), this time in dark red, black and gold. Ayumi chose Charlie as her favourite, which made me super happy! Not only because Charlie looked amazing, but she is surely RoseMarie Seoir’s number one fan! Totally deserved.

Outfit Contest
Some beautiful black and white shots of the outfit contest.
Pictures by Sanni Siira.

Yu Kimura’s favourite outfit turned out to be my friend Poppy! Also very well deserved! Dear Poppy started crying total waterfalls, haha! And then finally, Akira’s choice! When she showed the room the prize for the winner it was also announced they would receive an exclusive kabedon! The excitement rose and the winner turned out to be… Adel! One of the very few guys around! He looked incredible, a total deserving winner!

Outfit Contest Winners
All the different, amazing winners!
Pictures by Anh Binh Photography.

And as promised, Adel got his kabedon. The room went wild!

Winner Kabedon
If I could add the sound to these pictures, you would only hear screaming!
Picture by Sanni Siira.

Slowly, the end of the Tea Party was approaching. Everyone slowly moved to the beautiful stairs in the hallway for the group picture. It took a while to create a good layout, but the final picture is lovely I think! ♥

Tea Party Group
The Tea Party group picture in the beautiful hotel hall. ♥
Picture by Anh Binh Photography.

To our great joy, Mamechiyo had swung by the hotel to say goodbye to us! It was such a great surprise!
The Tea Party had come to an end. One of the SFE members asked me to somehow get everyone’s attention to thank them and ask them not to linger for too long. So I took a deep breath and screamed a ‘thank you for coming’ at the crowd. XD Ok it wasn’t that bad. But they did hear me! =D
Slowly, everyone gathered their things and said their goodbyes. One of the hard parts of being a staff member is having to kindly force everybody out. It’s not a fun job, because you know how hard it is for people who won’t see each other for a long time to say goodbye. But unfortunately, we had no choice as we needed to leave the hotel.
While everyone was slowly leaving, we did manage to take a staff picture quickly. And to be honest, it’s really one of my favourite pictures of the whole weekend. ♥

This picture fills me up with happy memories every time I see it. ♥
Picture by Sanni Siira.

When everyone spread out after the staff picture, I finally gathered all the courage I had left in me and walked up to Akira. It had been my biggest dream to get her to do kabedon with me for like… forever! But I hadn’t dared to ask her all weekend. Now was my last chance! I walked up to Manami and asked if she could translate for me (I was dying with nerves while she was talking). I was afraid Akira might have felt too tired after such along day, but graceful and endlessly kind as she is she immediately took my hand and guided me to the nearest wall and I got my kabedon! Everyone was cheering for me (since they knew this was my wish), it was so great! I felt so many emotions in that short amount of time, oh my God… ♥
Marie was so kind to take pictures for me and later after the Tea Party I found out Mariko Suzuki herself had taken a picture on her phone herself and posted it on Facebook (haha). So here are two angles of my magical moment that I will never, ever forget! ♥

Akira Kabedon
I can’t believe these two more-than-decent- pictures were taken because
I was DYING inside! *o*
Left picture taken by Marie Tuonetar.
Right picture taken by Mariko Suzuki.

Finally, all the guests had left the hotel and soon the Japanese guests’ taxis arrived as well. I said goodbye to everyone and I got hugs and ‘Thank you for your hard work!’ Despite being emotional I didn’t cry though, I was probably too tired haha! I waved as Yu and Akira’s taxi drove away. I hope I will get to see them again someday…
Some staff members went to prepare for the after party, other stayed behind. I called Marina who I would meet somewhere and after some confusion, we decided to meet in front of the Royal Tropical Institute (yes, the venue of the Saturday event). Together with Vief, Mila and Marie I took a tram there. It was nice talking for a bit. ♥
I met with Marina and Anastassia and all of us walked on together for a while. Finally, we split and Marina, Anastassia and I went to a McDonald’s. The two girls had been dying to try a Stroopwafel McFlurry and I just wanted food. XD I also made them try ‘bitterballen’. The McDonald’s version wasn’t fantastic, but nice nonetheless. ^^ Despite the McDonald’s being super hot (poor employees) it was so nice to talk with my two friends! I am grateful for this short extra time we spent together. ♥
Finally, the girls went on their way to the station and I walked back to the Royal Tropical Institute where my dad picked me up. Back home, I threw my clothes off and spent my evening glowing with the beautiful memories.

This was my post about the Tea Party of Under the Sea. I hope you enjoyed it! Here is the video I made of the day. Please check it out if you have time!

If you want to see more amazing pictures of the Under the Sea main event, please check out the Street Fashion Europe Flickr album. ♥

Thank you for reading! ~☆