Saturday, September 10, 2016

Paris ‘16, Day 3 – Angelic Pretty Tea Party 2016

Hi everyone! I am so sorry this blogpost took so freaking long! I had to wait for some pictures and I was getting scared they would never come, but they did~! So now, finally the long awaited (is it though?) Angelic Pretty Tea Party 2016 blogpost!

On Saturday the 9th of July, the third day of our trip, the Angelic Pretty Tea Party took place! As every year, this Tea Party too was very promising. It would take place in the incredibly luxurious hotel Westin-Vendôme and would feature a big fashion show and three guest models from Japan: Chikage, Rinrin Doll and (yes really) Risa Nakamura. I was especially excited to see RinRin again and meet the other models too. It was going to be an exciting day.
We woke up, got dressed and went to have breakfast at… McDonald’s! We wanted to try and keep breakfast cheap and since the McDonald’s down the street offered breakfast as well, we decided to try it. ^^
The breakfast was actually really nice! There were many choices and you were also allowed to choose multiple things, which was really nice! In this way, you got a drink, something sweet and something savoury. We ended up liking McDonald’s breakfast a lot and went to eat there during the other days of our trip too. ^^

McDonald's Breakfast
The McDonald’s breakfast turned out to be really nice!

We went back to our hotel, where it was time for me to prepare my outfit and get dressed! *dundundun* Drumroll!
Before I continue, I would like to talk a bit about the process of how my coord came to life. You can skip ahead if you want. ;)
From the day I had bought my Crystal Dream Carnival dress at Maiden Clothing in Osaka, I knew I wanted to wear this dress to the next Angelic Pretty Tea Party. I kept it in the closet for months, waiting for that single perfect opportunity! About a month after our Japan trip, my mom and I visited a huge vintage fair where I walked into the most amazing dramatic, blue velvet cape. It looked like it came straight out of a theatre production and I instantly fell in love! The cape had a bit of a strange blue colour, just like my Crystal Dream Carnival, and I was hoping with all my heart the two would match. Back home, I compared the two and they seemed to be an almost match made in heaven. Happy me!
Months went by and the closer the Tea Party came, the worse I started to feel. I was feeling anxious and incredibly insecure about myself. The idea of wearing Lolita while feeling like this was so scary. There was even a moment I almost yelled: ‘I am not going anymore! I can’t do it!’
Because I was feeling this way, it took me a long time to finish my coord and try everything on. This was also the reason I postponed asking my dad to help me shape my headdress until the evening before we left and me adding the crystals the evening before the Tea Party. But, in the end and for a reason I can’t explain, I finally started to get excited again and I felt incredibly proud of my outfit. It had become the outfit I had wished it to be for all those months.

Outfit Details
A detailshot my mom took of items lying on the bed.

Now, where was I? Oh right, preparing for the Tea Party. I took a shower, spread my outfit out on the bed and started on my make up and hair. I was surprised by how fast I was done with my make up despite the fake eyelashes and the tiny stars under my eyes. I was expecting it to take ages, but I was done fairly quickly. My hair on the other hand took a lot more work. I had come up with this really nice hair style, but it took quite a lot of skill which I don’t possess. Somehow I got everything to stay without hurting my head and my mom helped me get my head piece and crown onto it all. It was quite warm outside, so I was infinitely grateful we had air conditioning! Every time I felt like I was getting too hot, all I had to do was stand in the air flow and I felt better. *_*
Finally, I had my whole outfit on and I was ready to go! And everything within reasonable time, whoa!
My mom gathered her things and we went on our way to Jardin des Tuileries. We had planned to take some pictures there first (yay) and then continue to the hotel where the Tea Party would take place, since it was right next to the park. We entered the park and found a spot in the shade, since the rest of the park was very sunny and bright. After shooing away some gypsies that tried to harass us, we had a little photoshoot of my outfit. I really like the pictures my mom took so sorry for spamming you *o* This was my Tea Party outfit! I hope you like it. ♥

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit One
♛ Crystal Dream Queen ♛
My outfit rundown:
Crystal halo: handmade
Crown: Voodooodolly
Cape: vintage
Bolero: offbrand
JSK: Angelic Pretty’s Crystal Dream Carnival
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline
Necklaces: Angelic Pretty and Chocomint
Star brooch: offbrand and handmade
Bracelets: Primark, Claire’s and offbrand
Ring: Primark
Back bow: handmade

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Two

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Three

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Four

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Five

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Six

Crystal Dream Carnival Outfit Seven

It was time to head to the hotel. I was a little scared my shoes would start hurting me, since I hadn’t worn them before at all, but I ended up feeling fine (plus I had brought emergency shoes just in case). Soon we left Jardin des Tuileries again and stepped into the hot sunshine. While we waited for the traffic light to turn green, I suddenly spotted a Lolita dressed in black. It was Marie! Together with her and my mom I walked to the entrance of the hotel. I made sure my mom recognized everything so we would be able to meet again after the Tea Party and we said goodbye. The Tea Party wasn’t very long this time so we would see each other quite soon again. Then Marie and I entered the hotel.

The entrance to the Westin-Vendôme.

I was glad Marie knew the way, because we had to walk through some hallways. I am sure I would have found it by myself too, since there were signs saying ‘Angelic Pretty – Impérial’ along the way.

Angelic Sign
I love it when fancy hotels have signs with my favourite brand on them in it. ♥
Picture by Ruban Rose.

After turning some corners, I spotted a group of Lolitas in the distance. I joined the group and quickly spotted familiar faces. I put my stuff on the ground and put my cape that I had been carrying on my arm up until then on. I want to get as much use as I could out of it, haha! XD

Waiting to Enter
Waiting in the fancy hall for the Tea Party to start.

I was quickly approached by my friends Eveline and Astrid. I was very happy to see them and they looked very beautiful. I was even happier to see Rosie again! I had to wait for years until I could meet her at Under the Sea and now we met each other again so soon again! She looked amazing and her outfit contained lots of handmade elements.
I walked around for a bit and greeted people I knew. I spotted Marlessa, who looked lovely (as ALWAYS) and I talked for a bit with Hanabi and Lily. I hadn’t seen them in a long time, so reconnecting with them was lovely. ♥
Suddenly everyone gathered their things and walked into the next hallway, so I did too. I walked after Hanabi and Lily and filmed where I could. After a short while, we reached a table where Mila checked the invitations and gave everyone their number. I received
number 63. Hopefully a lucky number?

Ticket Check
Mila checking the attendants list.
Picture by Félix Yan.

Then, we entered the Salon Impérial.
Now, before I continue I actually want to give a little disclaimer. For me, it’s very hard to complain or point out bad things about events. I know how hard people work to organize the best Tea Parties and events they can. I have known this far before I started organizing things myself. I see the hard work of people and therefor it’s easier for me to be positive, accept things easier or gloss over things. But at the same time, I want to be honest here, to you, on my blog. And this Tea Party definitely had some downsides. There were a lot of plus sides as well and I will definitely point them out, as I always do, but I have to stay honest too. So just so you know. ^^
I looked around the Salon Impérial, which was an absolutely beautiful room. The walls were decorated and had mirrors, chandeliers hung from the gorgeous ceiling and round tables were scattered around the room. I looked around the room and spotted my dear Pippa and Ada waving at me and I ended up sitting at their table with, among others, Marie and Sandra as well. ♥

Salon Impérial
The Salon Impérial. ☆
Picture from the Angelic Pretty website.

I checked out the table with raffle prizes, which was quite impressive! The prizes went from pouches and necklaces to bags, blouses and big dress sets. There were also three best dressed prizes.

Raffle Prizes
All the amazing raffle prizes.

There was also a cute doll displayed wearing an elaborate Angelic Pretty dress. I have no idea why it was there and it wasn’t announced, but later the doll appeared on the AP site too, so I guess it was there on display and later for sale.

Doll on Display
The cute doll on display.

I talked with people where I could and tried to socialize a bit with people I didn’t know yet. Some people had come from really far away! The fashion show was running a bit late according to the programme, so I took my time to chat. Lots of people told me they loved my outfit, sometimes even especially coming up to me to tell me so. This made me so incredibly happy! ;_; I received such big compliments. Some even called me ‘queen’, which is amazing too hear when you usually feel like a princess. Queen is a whole new level!

Chatting Time
Chatting with people during the free time.
Picture by Marina.

Suddenly, it was announced we already had to vote for our favourite outfit! This was quite a shock, because it felt like the Tea Party had barely started! Usually you have more time, until at least halfway the Tea Party, but now we already needed to make our choice. I absolutely suck at choosing my favourite outfit and everyone had really done their best to look amazing, so in the end I went with one of my friends who looked very different from the rest of the guests (in my opinion). ^^

Tea Party Girls
Some of the beautiful guests. ♥
Picture by Félix Yan.

Then it was finally time for the fashion show! Unfortunately, right before the show began it was announced pictures and videos were not allowed during the show, but later at designated times. I have no idea whether this was because they wanted people to really watch the show with their own eyes or that they were afraid we would somehow disturb the show in some way. Either way, I was a little sad about it, because I was hoping to make a nice video about it like last year. It felt especially weird when it turned out none of the dresses shown were ‘new’, or ‘yet unknown’ like Classic Fairytales had been during the previous Tea Party.
However, the show was absolutely amazing. There were a lot of models and a lot of outfits. When the first model walked out, the Risa Nakamura, an admiring whispering floated through the room. She wore one of my big favourites of this season: Milky Swan. Her showing the dress definitely did not diminish my love for this print. Then Chikage followed. Chikage is one of those models I saw in magazines and online when I was an aspiring Lolita, so seeing her in real life was quite amazing. She is so small too! Then, when RinRin walked out, I almost started crying. I was so happy to see her in real life again. ♥

Models One
Risa and Candice in Milky Swan and RinRin and Chloé in Romantic Little Garden.
Scans from Spoon magazine provided by Marina.

I don’t remember the exact order the models walked in. Next time I should have a little notepad for situations like this. But then again, I was too preoccupied gasping and watching all the beautiful outfits etc.

Models Two
Chikage and Roxane in Sweet Jelly Girl and Camélia and a girl whose name
I don’t know in Dolly Dot.
Scans from Spoon magazine provided by Marina.

After the special guests, a stream of girls followed wearing the most beautiful outfits. A few models, including the special guests, even wore two outfits! They must have changed backstage so fast!

Models Three
Allegra in Antoinette Decoration and Chloé, Candice and Risa in Dressy Time.
Scans from Spoon magazine provided by Marina.

It was great to see how different styles were shown There was a clear division between sweet, elegant and darker mature. I loved how all the models also carried a prop or a matching bag.

Models Four
Jennifer and Louise in Antique Chocolaterie and Anastassia and Marine in Checkmate.
Scans from Spoon magazine provided by Marina.

Everyone looked gorgeous and many of my friends modelled. I was incredibly happy for all of them, but I think I felt the proudest when Marina came walking out. She looked so happy and beautiful, wearing Cirque de l’Étoile and the sceptre RinRin had once worn in a fashion show in the USA combined with Crystal Dream Carnival. Although I did smile internally about the fact they had paired Marina with a red dress again, even though she has 50% bright pink hair. XD

Models Five
RinRin and Katarina in Princess Cat and Marina and Chikage in Cirque de l’Étoile.
Scans from Spoon magazine provided by Marina.

The show was great, besides the sometimes wonky transitions in the music. The grand finale started with ‘I Want Candy’ and all the girls came out and posed on the stage. When they were all positioned, everyone was allowed to take pictures and videos for 30 seconds (I’m not kidding). So yeah, we all rushed to the stage like raptors. XD Unfortunately, the stage was right in front of the windows, so taking pictures was quite challenging. Thankfully, other people took pictures too which turned out better than mine, so here you go:

Fashion Show Finale One
All the models together on stage.
Picture by Félix Yan.

However since I tried really hard and I ended up liking this picture after all, here’s another picture from another perspective. ;)

Fashion Show Finale Two
Doesn’t everyone look lovely? ♥

The models left the stage, leaving Risa, Rinrin, Chikage and designers Maki and Asuka behind, who all did a little speech. I loved hearing Risa’s and Chikage’s voices for the first time. Risa’s was soft and melodious, while Chikage sounded a bit nasal, not too high-pitched and super cute! Risa said we all looked cute and inspiring, Chikage hoped we would have a good time together, Rinrin was happy to see many familiar faces, Asuka was happy the new shop had opened and Maki hoped everyone had enjoyed the new collection.
Then it was time for food! Taka-san, the shop manager and translator, announced the hotel chef had made a very special cake, inspired by Marie Antoinette. At that moment, the ‘I Want Candy’ music started again and two men carried a giant cake with fireworks into the room. The cake was placed on the stage and the models and designers posed with it.

Models posing with the Cake
Maki, Chikage, Risa, Asuka and Rinin posing with the special cake.
Picture by Félix Yan.

After the fireworks had gone down, the cake was carried away again. To be honest, we were not quite sure whether this was a real cake after all. XD It looked both fake and real at the same time and during the days after the party big discussions arose about whether or not this was the real cake or just for decoration, since it didn’t completely resemble the real pieces of cake we got. I thought it was hilarious. XD
We sat down at our seats and slowly, beautiful pieces were brought in. I chatted for a bit while the cake was getting served and we were joined by the girls who had modelled, now in their own outfits. One of them, a German Lolita named Jennifer, came up to me and gave me chocolate! I had helped her acquiring a ticket for the Tea Party and she gave me Merci chocolate as a thank you, so sweet! ;0; ♥
Besides a piece of cake, every guest also had a long plate with six small pastries on it. I waited for my cake to arrive, after which I started on the pastries.

A rather ‘artsy’ shot of the pastries we got.

The pastries were absolutely delicious! My favourites were the macaron and the dome-shaped yellow blob in the front. Very good!
Then, I started on my cake. Dear God, it was so good! The red fondant on top was smooth and sweet and the strawberries inside tasted so fresh and rich. This cake was so good, aaah! ;___; ♥

Strawberry Cake
The absolutely amazing cake. I still dream of it… ♥
Picture by Ruban Rose.

At this point we were hoping the special guests would come out to interact with people, as Maki and Asuka were doing. But they didn’t come out of the backstage area. Instead, it was time for the raffle.
Initially I had been quite happy about the length of the event. The Tea Party would be quite short and after the almost traumatic experience of the incredibly hot Tea Party last year I felt quite relieved. However, it became clear that with such a small amount of time, everything started to feel rather rushed. Not only the voting for the best outfits, but also the raffle.

Time for the raffle!

At the beginning there was some confusion about the numbers. Even though everyone was already wearing a number for the outfit contest, the number on your invitation was the number for the raffle. However, this was a really long number: mine for example was 2016041. For the raffle, my number would be 41, the last two numbers of the longer number. Of course this is not a disaster, but it caused some confusion among people (trying to find their invitation in their bags etc) and it caused the raffle to slow down since numbers had to be repeated. To make up for that, the drawn numbers were announced at a very fast pace. Especially when there were multiple of one prize, like the pouches and necklaces, the numbers were announced like a wave and had to be repeated a couple of times.

Lucky Winners
Mila handing out prizes to lucky winners. ♥

However, I always enjoy the raffle. Even though it was a little fast this time and I didn’t win anything, I am always happy for people who do win. Some of my friends, like Caly and Pippa, ended up winning bog prizes. That’s just so awesome!

Raffle Winners
Caly won a big dress set and Sandra is assessing her prize.
Pictures by Marie Tuonetar.

At the end of the raffle, cute postcards were given to those who won nothing by the cute Angelic Pretty shop girl we had met during one of the previous Tea Parties (she’s so cute). Since I won nothing, I received a post card too of course. It showed artwork of a Lolita wearing Strawberry Whip by Imai Kira. Supercute! ♥
After the raffle, the special guests finally came out again! But… not to interact with the guests. Instead, Taka-san announced there would be a little game. At Japanese Lolita Tea Parties, it is very common to play a game of rock-paper-scissors (‘jan-ken-pon’ in Japanese) between the guest models and the guests. And today, we would be playing too! First, every table needed to choose one winner. How this person was chosen every table could decide for themselves. Some just picked someone who didn’t mind going up to the stage, others really played games until one person remained. My table played against each other and Marie ended up going to the stage. Chikage, RinRin and Risa all played against the winners.

Rock Paper Scissors
RinRin and Risa playing against some of the guests.
Picture by Marina.

Here too was a bit of confusion at first. People who lost didn’t know they had to sit down and some things had to be redone, but all in all it was a nice game. ^^
The game was over and then it was time for the outfit contest! Where in previous years there were usually two winners and a winner picked by Maki, now it was three winners by vote.
The third prize went to a very sweet girl named Sarah who looked absolutely amazing in her military-inspired Wonder Queen outfit. Very well deserved! ♥
Then it was time for the second prize, which went to number 63. Number 63..? THAT’S MY NUMBER! Yes really, I ended up winning second best dressed at this year’s Tea Party. Can you believe it!? ;___; When multiple people came up to me and told me they loved my outfit of course I was happy and maybe I did gain a little hope. But I never thought I would be chosen! I still cannot believe it! After months of frustration and insecurity I was basically told: you are still ok. You can still be beautiful. That was the most beautiful gift I could get.
I walked up to the stage and besides granting me the second best place, the Lolita Gods also granted me a ‘tearless’ cry. I cried from happiness, but somehow no tears came to ruin my make up (which I was very grateful for)! I went to stand next to Chikage and Risa, everyone applauded for me and RinRin presented me with my prize and hugged me. That made me even happier. ;___; ♥

Winning Second Place
A very emotional moment… ♥

I left the stage and walked back to my own table, still dazed. Friends here and there shouted congratulations at me, it was so amazing. ♥ I quickly checked what I had received (I hadn’t even looked at it yet): an adorable illustration by Maki and a bunny bag. It was amazing!
I was so overwhelmed I almost forgot to see who won first place! It was Laura, who looked absolutely amazing in her Holy Theatre, sheep-inspired outfit. Also so well deserved!

Best Dressers
The three best dressers.☆ I still cannot believe I was one of them!
Picture from the Angelic Pretty website.

The Tea Party was slowly coming to an end, so it was time for the group picture! It's always such an adventure to get everyone in the frame, but we managed!

Tea Party Group Picture
The Angelic Pretty Tea Party in Paris 2016 group picture!
Picture from the Angelic Pretty website.

While the ‘thank you for coming’-speech, Maki was handing out bags with presents. The bags contained a post card, button and special Tea Party eco bag. Very nice! ♥
I decided to try and take some pictures with other people since I still hadn’t done that! I am glad I managed to get pictures with some people.

Posing with People
With Laura, Katarina, Emilie, Honda-san, Eveline and Rosie. ♥

It was time for people to start leaving, but most of us stayed around. I went up to Mila and asked her if the guests would be coming out. I was not the only one asking luckily. But apparently, the guests weren’t coming out anymore! ;___; There had been no personal interaction whatsoever or chances to take pictures at least. I (and most of the guests with me) were incredibly sad about that. I was so looking forward to meet Chikage, Risa and mostly RinRin! I asked Mila if she could give my candy to RinRin at least. I hope she received it.
At least I got the chance to chat a bit with Maki and Asuka, give them my gifts and take pictures with them. I am so grateful I’ve had the chance to meet them multiple times. Hopefully more opportunities will come!

Asuka and Maki
With Asuka and Maki. ♥

Suddenly, I remembered that some of the French girls wanted to make a ‘gangster video’ (it’s a joke that once occurred at a French event). I reminded Lily and we all gathered in the hallway to bust through the door like the cool kids we are (ahem). Suddenly while we were almost ready, the special guests appeared on their way to the front door. Apparently they were in a hurry and needed to catch a taxi, but while they passed us by RinRin reached out to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek while passing me. I thought that was just so kind of her. I don’t think she’ll ever read this, but: thank you RinRin! ♥
We shot the video and I collected my things. I followed the other girls to the exit and reunited with my mom. She was sitting on the ground and apparently lots of girls had recognized her and said hi! My mom is more well-known than me! 8D
I said goodbye to everyone and hugged where I could. I also had the chance to chat a little bit more with Mila. She had been so busy during the Tea Party! She didn’t know I had won second place, haha! She had worked so hard.
By now I was super hot and tired, so my mom and I returned to the hotel. A group of people returned to the Angelic Pretty shop and it turns out Chikage, Risa and RinRin had gone there too to take some pictures. It was only brief apparently, but still. But I was too hot and tired anyway! XD
Back at the hotel I was grateful I could get out of my clothes. I had been quite hot with my cape (well duh), but in the end it was worth it~!
After some discussing, my mom and I finally decided to go have dinner at Café Albert across from our previous hotel. We were longing for a Salade Loisir, which tasted as amazing as always!

Salade Loisir
Salade Loisir for dinner!

Back at the hotel we just rested. I was super tired, it had been a long day! I had some reassessing to do about the Tea Party. There had been highlights and some lows. Like I said, I don’t like to complain about events, but I want to stay honest too. I hope you, the readers, appreciate it in some way. Every guest paid a lot of money to attend, so pointing out downsides is not a bad thing to do I guess.

In summary, the downsides of this year’s Tea Party were for me:
- Short length of the Tea Party.
- No pictures or video allowed of the fashion show.
- - No interaction with the special guests!

In summary, the plus sides:
+ The fashion show.
+ The food.
+ + Winning second best dressed!

So there we have it: this year’s Angelic Pretty Tea Party post. I hope you enjoyed it. ^^ Sorry, it took so long to post it. -_-

Gifts of the Day
Gifts of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about my adventures at the Tea Party! If you only watch the video it probably gives a more positive view of the Tea Party? Well, I hope you’ll like it anyway!

Also, my friend Roxane (one of the models) also made a great video about the Tea Party, which I absolutely love! Please check out her video too~!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~