Sunday, October 19, 2014

Traveling Lolita : East Coast Part 2 : New York City

 Hello! I welcome you back to finish my excursion to the east coast. I was only in New York for a very limited time so I didn't get to go to all the places I had planned, but I guess that just leaves an excuse to travel again next year. Please be aware this post is very photo heavy so I apologize if it loads slow.

I left New Haven Sunday evening and arrived in Williamsburg that night with fellow con roommate, Amber. It was also the first time I got to see Grand Central station. It was really late when we got into the station, so I didn't take very many photos but I would love to explore it more next time I go. She was so awesome to point out tht there is a lot of amazing acoustics in the station. You can apparently stand in one corner and whisper to the wall and someone across the way if standing in the corner diagonally will be able to hear you!

 I was really surprised how the area looked and how well.. gentrified it seemed. My preconceived ideas and thoughts of what Brooklyn would look like were totally different. Here below are some photos of my air bnb place I stayed the first night. I was excited to finally be in New York and get a feel from the neighborhoods. I've always loved large populous urban areas so I couldn't wait to get out into the city.

The next morning I left Williamsburg and headed to Astoria where I would meet some of the Toronto lolitas who I would be staying with for the remainder of my east coat trip. We were all going to go Tokyo Rebel/Btssb and Laduree before splitting off and joining back for dinner. On the way we stopped for some pre-lunch snacks at a place called Eight Turn Crepe. My friend Erica, a lovely lolita from Boston, recommended this place so we thought we'd check it out. We were not dissapointed!

The menu consisted of both sweet as well as savory crepes and the above photo has all of the different types they offered. I got the Lychee Valentine. It had fresh edible rose petals as well as lychee and raspeberries. It was absolutely delightful and surprisingly not too sweet.

After our brief snack I was lucky enough to stop by the Fluevog store and get my foot fitted for some new shoes. I'm pretty weary of buying expensive shoes since my feet are a bit on the wonky side so coming in to find the right size before purchasing is a giant relief for me. After Fluevog we reached one of our more important destinations; Tokyo Rebel / Baby the Stars Shine Bright New York. This store recently opened this year and is great because that means if Baby is doing well enough to have two stores in North America, it's quite possible they might eventually have one in the midwest where I live. We all took photos by the storefront, just as with any other Japanese store, you can not take photos inside. There were also quite a few other lolitas still in town from Rufflecon, so there were a few shots with them as well.

Unfortunately, there wasn't really much at the store that suited my tastes so I didn't purchase anything. But it was nice to go and finally get to go to the store. The lolita pilgrimage continued from Tokyo Rebel to pastry shop, Laduree SoHo.

For those of you unfamiliar, Laduree is a bakery and sweets house and one of the best known macaron makers. [ They're the ones you see in the Marie Antoinette movie by Sophia Coppola ] There are currently only three in the USA as of right now, two in New York and another in Miami Florida. 

 If you can't tell I was beyond stoked. They have a tea area as well as a dining area and each place looks like rococo lovers dream pastry shop. When you first walk in there are rows and rows of pastries and desserts as well as collectible macaron boxes. Unlike at other stores, where they are priced by macaron, these are priced by the size of box you purchase. There are also limited edition collectors boxes that are collaborations for the season as well as collaborations with certain designers. I think everyone in our group for the most part purchased the small black box with gold lame filigree though.. 

 I was really tempted to purchase the circus tent seasonal box but wasn't sure if they would keep long enough for me to share with Brian at home so I only got the smaller version ( I know now that they do, so the quest is on to one day get it. ) I got a couple duplicates of some flavors because I wanted to share them with others and I regret not getting the salted caramel. But again, I guess thats just an excuse to go again soon!

It was such amazing luck that we happened to go to this specific Laduree; a fellow lolita and friend from my comm,Olivia, was also having lunch there that day so it was such a pleasant surprise to run into her. So we chatted for a bit while half of the Toronto posse split and took off to the Morbid Anatomy museum and the other half went to East Village.

I ended up heading with Linda and Karen towards East Village due some troublesome footwear. We went to Revolution, Trash and Vaudville, Obscura, and Search and Destory. I think my favorite was Search and Destory; Linda scored this awesome jacket as well as got a great ' Fuck You ' bag with her purchase. We were also accosted by the semi blind woman with her eye seeing stick thing. It was no bueno.

After this we booked it to Dizzy's for a well deserved dinner.The food was fantastic and company ten times better. I loved hanging out with the Toronto ladies and would love to go see them again. I think I am most fond of the fact that I had so many Juliette Justine lovers to gush over designs and prints with haha. 

After Dizzy's we trekked it back to Astoria for our final night in New York. The following morning we bid adieu and when left to my own devices did a little shopping for the bf as well as visit 30 Rock and wish the ice skating rink was open.

I know I've said it so much that you readers are probably tired of it, but I can't express how much fun I had those few days on the east coast. I hope you found my travel experiences interesting, as I will be going to PMX very soon and can relay about my experience there next month when I meet the designer of Innocent World.. Until then though, please stay tuned! I've got a few reviews I've been writing coming up and hope you enjoy them as well as find them informative.

Also as a parting gift I leave this amazing photo of some of the events held at the Morbid Art Museum. Ja ne!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Traveling Lolita : East Coast Part 1: Rufflecon

Sorry about the delay readers, I'm still trying to recover from the whirlwind adventure I just took to New York and Connecticut. On my adventure I had the opportunity to meet a lot of lovely lolitas on the east coast as well as the brands Triple Fortune, Enchantlic Enchantilly, Morrigan NYC, Moss Marchen, OZONE, Belladonna, I Do Declare, Moss Badger, The Snow Field, Harajuku Hearts and many more. In this post I'll be covering most of the convention and the following my visit to New York and Btssb/Tokyo Rebel. So you have been forewarned, this post is really picture heavy.

To start off I wanted to go in by saying I purchased a ViP ticket back in February / March of this year when Triple Fortune was announced. ( I didn't get to purchase bonnets from them when I visited Japan  in March/April so I was determined to get them at this event.  ) Little did I know this was probably the smartest thing I did the whole convention. When arriving for the pre register Friday evening to pick up my badge there was also a consignment intake being held. It was a great idea and gave people an opportunity to sell items whilst also attending the con instead of having to deal with a swap meet. After heading upstairs I took a photo of all the cool swag which was included in my VIP bag.

The bag included a folder file and bag from Triple Fortune, a program schedule book from Rufflecon, a handmade rosette from The Snow Field, a bow with cat cameo from Enchantlic Enchantilly, a flower compact ( I am not sure whom this was from ), nail polish, a brooch and ring ( again I have no idea who they were from ) as well as an assortment of Lolibrary buttons and Rufflecon buttons. I was especially impressed with the amount of goodies and absolutely loved all the details.

There was also a meet and greet but I had come so late to the hotel that it was a bit pointless to try and change and catch up so I opted to stay in and wake up early for the marketplace the following morning. 

For the next morning I actually got up at 5am and got prepared and dressed for the fashion show in which I modeled for Belladonna. Since I also had ViP I was allowed access to the marketplace earlier than regular attendees. Given that my time was going to be limited with the rrehearsal for the fashion show, I opted to get down super early to do my marketplace shopping before I had to show up for rehearsal rather than after. I lined up for the Marketplace at 7am before even registration started; to ensure that my entrance would be in early. Another fellow friend and ViP attendee from Toronto showed up around 8am and thus began the marketplace line Friday morning.

Our efforts were successfully rewarded as between the two of us we both procured Triple Fortune bonnets when the marketplace finally opened at 9am. The final bonnet photo is one I'm including from all the girls in our joined hotel rooms.The top photo is my actual haul from the convention which consisted of two TF bonnets, one pair of TF tights, one Enchantlic Enchantilly otks, and one Linda Tea Maddhatters pin ( you can find her storenvy : here ). In the second photo from the bottom left  then up and clockwise: The first bonnet  is mine bought previously and worn Friday, my grey bonnet, Geraldine's cream brown bonnet, Kaisha's sax bonnet, and then my purple bonnet.

After this I had to get ready for the fashion show and rehearsal, where unfortunately I did not collect any photos. However, a wonderful photographer, Xin Lolita Photography took a ton of amazing photos and you can actually catch them here. ( You can also see me modeling for the brand Belladonna, which consists of two lovely ladies Rachel and Michelle who sew at breakneck speed. Their newest release is Ode to Darwin, which you can also view at their storenevy.) 

After the fashion show the Japanese brands actually sold off all of the items from the fashion show at their booth which was a nice treat. By this time it was already midway through the day and time to hit he panels. Sadly with half the day already over a lot of the panels I wanted to catch were not available or overlapped so going to both meant missing chunks of each. Some of the notable panels were: Piling Stuff on Your Head pt. 1 and 2, Workshop with The Snowfield, Forgotten Antique Hand-Sewing Techniques, and Lolita on a budget. There was also a Shades of Lolita focusing on lolitas of color as well as Victorian Menswear and Lolibrary for Advanced users which also had a lolita print bingo. 

During this time between bopping from panel to panel as fast as humanly possible, I happened to snap quite a few photos with some lovely ladies. Everyone was dressed so splendidly.. I really didn't get to take as many photos of everyone as I wanted and I'm really sad about that. Also, the lighting in the hotel could have been a bit better, but I just had a camera phone so I couldn't really complain. 

I was very really impressed with how freely the guests mingled with attendees and took photos. Before this last photo Kaie actually stopped me and asked to take a photo since I was wearing one of their older styled bonnets and I happily agreed. We actually took a selfie too but then I deleted it accidentally so they took a photo together with me to make up for it. ( they were so nice even after me being so incredibly clumsy. ) 

The variety show also had a lot of really cool things including a handmade contest, a coordinate contest and even a girl who sang Chinese in the talent show! I unfortunately took pretty crap photos but the girls who entered the handmade contest all blew my mind.

After this incredibly jfashion packed day I changed and hung out with a lot of lolitas I had only talked to online so it was a great networking and bonding experience for me. In the course of a day I had met and talked to girls from Canada, Alabama, California, Virginia, Boston and New York. I ended up skipping the Masquerade which ended up devolving pretty early due to time complications.

As the next day began, Sunday was the day of the tea party and it was just insane how quickly this convention had flown by. ViP was seated first, but I actually ended up sitting at a table in front of the designers table. All the tables were decorated and at each place setting were little gifts to each attendee as well as a raffle ticket. One of the gifts was actually a calendar designed by the brands featuring photos and art from their work.

There was a lot of commotion and a lot of photo taking before the tea party began. I was lucky to get some of my favorite photos from the event during this time. This photo directly below especially. I find this girl to be an exceptional inspiration to me and was incredibly honored to meet her and talk. It was as exciting as meeting the designers! 

This was my table for the event! Half of the table was from the east coast if I remeber correctly and the other half Toronto. We're missing my friend Erica, but she was there where there's an empty seat. All of these lovely ladies were dressed to the nines and I felt so honored to share my tea with these lovely gals.

Photo credit Yanise Cabrera

After the tea party and tons more photos, Triple Fortune gave everyone a special treat by taking Kabe-don photos. You had a choice of having a sweet princess photo or kabe-don photo. Most girls got the kabe-don. It was a madhouse of squeals, wails, and swooning to say the least; but everyone participated in an orderly fashion and there were even some photos of our male jfashionistas joining in!

Photo credit Stacy King

And as soon as it started, Rufflecon ended. It was an amazing weekend filled with knowledge and a true feeling of community and love for the fashion and way of life and I was happy to be a part of it. I wish I could have done more to contribute because I felt that I really wanted to put myself out there and make new wonderful friendships during my short stay. I want to thank all the volunteers, the lovers of this fashion, the hotel, even the attendees. Everyone who helped make Rufflecon a reality. Thank you for all of your hard work and making that weekend happen!

 For a first year con, this convention really stepped up to the challenge and surpassed my expectations. Now as with all first year conventions each one has their hiccups and problems, but though these things happened, I want to dwell now on all the positive aspects and what I took away with me. I hope in seeing and reading about my time there will encourage you to support Rufflecon so hopefully next year we can meet there and share new memories for future conventions to come. 

Photo credit Stacy King

I was ridiculously pooped by the end of  all the way down to my seahorse riding mermaid shoes. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for  the second part of my trip in my adventures in New York with the Torotno lolitas where I visit Tokyo Rebel / BTSSB, Laudree and other frilly things!