Sunday, November 23, 2014

Traveling Lolita: West Coast: PMX 2014

Hey there guys, and thanks for joining me again on my convention travels in search of new lolita encounters, swag, and the ever elusive perfect tea party experience . I'm writing about my experience now venturing to the west, and more specifically Los Angeles, for Pacific Medio Expo. 

I actually had another friend flying with me this time so I didn't take as many photos as I wish I had. We flew in Friday morning and arrived at out hotel around 9am. I was very pleasantly surprised that the con was not overflowing with people lining up for registration or check in. We got our badges as well as programs and maps really quickly and even had a lot of time to hang back and soak in the hotel. During this time I got to meet the head jfashion coordinator, Elizabeth. She gave us a brief tour of what and where everything jfashion associated was and give us the VIP rundown for how the boutique rooms were to be accessed once they were open as well as to where to meet for the dinner. We would be allowed to enter the shopping areas, dinner and fashion show events in the order we purchased our VIP passes. ( Surprisingly I was the first person who purchased a VIP pass so was allowed to enter in first to the Innocent World dealers stall. ) I was super impressed how personable, attentive, and helpful she was which I've not had in my past experience regarding the jfashion coordinators at the Texas convention, Anime Matsuri. 

In the above photos you can see how well mapped, labeled, and organized everything is. I guess for some people this doesn't look like anything different from any other convention but I can't stress how amazed I was to see how organized this was. Conventions here in Texas, Houston especially, don't look like this. We're lucky half the time to even get a program that has any actual information much less anything clearly mapped out. A lot of times you just have to know from past experience or guess since everything is so spread out and in multiple buldings, its terribly easy to get lost.. And I am also not implying Rufflecon did not have this, but Rufflecon was a lot smaller than this convention and mostly on one floor so I didn't think to take any photos of this nature.

In the last two photos are of the two separate fashion boutiques. Innocent World had their own separate one and opened before the regular fashion boutique that had various brand and indie brand as well as secondhand jfashion retailers. They also had dressing room areas which was really neat, and something I had not experienced at a convention before. We did a bit of shopping before I broke off to get ready for the dinner which was the very same evening.

Before moving on about dinner, I want to mention that I think I stuck out a bit more than the other girls for the dinner since I wore a Lusty n Wonderland main piece with only some IW accessories. ( Sadly majority of Innocent World's main pieces I've tried look like butt on me because of my chest and I own only just blouses from them these days. ) I was really hoping to have picked up something from the boutique to wear before the dinner but alas most of the items were ill suiting or not the right size. I was also very dissapointed that Innocent World did not bring hardly any blouses. When I entered the room there was only one singular blouse and a lot of jsks and ops. There where three bags and a lot of tights and accessories, but my dreams were pretty much dashed as I had planned to go a bit blouse buying crazy and there was So needless to say, I did not do a lot of shopping.

I met the rest of the VIP party downstairs at the appointed time where two ubercars picked us up and whisked us to our destination. I'll have to find the name of and add it here because it was absolutely beautiful. I think the staff really outdid themselves with this location, it was very intimate and had an aire of elegance that was very fitting for the mood of the dinnner.

The walls were adorned with paintings of cherubs and statues filled the halls specked by ornate furniture and dimly lit by crystal chandeliers wavering slightly by the breeze coming from the courtyard. Across the way from our separate enclosed dining room was a parlor with one wall littered with books and french doors that overlooked a cobblestone courtyard. I took photos of both the rooms but they did not come out as well lit as I had hoped, but the view was just breathtaking.

A lot of the girls brought gifts for Yumi Fujiwara and above I snapped a photo of Miss Fujiwara accepting Miss Mendoza's gift which was an antique cup and saucer after dinner was ordered. During the dinner there was light conversation as well as a type of Q and A. There were a total of seven us plus two pmx staff and the designer, so it was quite a pleasant experience.

The dinner consisted of two courses ( I ordered the shrimp and steak with a pineapple mango fried rice and key lime tart which coincidentally was the exact thing Miss Fujiwara ordered. ) and afterwards were allowed to take some photos before returning back to the convention. In some of the photos you can see the room I spoke of as well as little snippets of the courtyard and the grand staircase in the foyer entrance.

Saturday was the day of the tea party and we had the first seating. I was really happy even though it was the first seating it was still a bit later in the day so it gave us time to sleep in as well as get ready. We had to all meet in a special room and in little groups get lead to our appointed tea party area. It was a bit secretive and I liked the idea of bringing the tea party people up in smaller groups as to not overwhelm the area and have a slower steady stream of folks trickle into the area. The photo below is the entire first seating of the tea party while we were waiting to go up.

As we were let in to the converted tea party area we were allowed to mingle as well as take photos. Everything was very nicely arranged and had a very creative and diy custom feel to it which I think made me love the atmosphere so much more. Everything was very detailed and hand crafted from the wall decorations to the table placements. 

All of the decorations were handmade and there were even photos of past PMX models and attendees adorning the walls. In one of the photos above you can see Kammie standing next to a framed photo of herself in Innocent World from one of their previous years where she modeled for them. The amount of time and detail that went into everything was enormous for such a small event and I was incredibly impressed.

 The food display and setup was very elegant, it was all outsourced from a local bakery and everything was delicious. There was also a fusion lemonade with I think Jasmine or rosehips, I honestly can't recall, but it was awesome. We also got personal little goodie bags and a commemorative mug. After the tea, Yumi Fujiwara came in and held another Q and A as well as a bingo. I can't remember if this was the second or the third but I know I ended up attending all three for some reason though and it was a bit of an overkill towards the end. But I think it was because I ended up attending all the VIP ones before the regular ones so it made sense. 

After the tea there was a bit of a bingo raffle where an award from Innocent World was given. It happened to be one of their black scalloped bow bags in black. A girls mother actually ended up winning it so it was quite cute.

I didn't end up taking any swag photos because for the whole convention I only purchased one LIEF blouse and one pair of Innocent World tights; which I will be doing a review on in the next couple of days, so you'll be seeing plenty of photos of. ( stay tuned! )

Also, this isn't really related to the convention itself but moreso the place. This hotel and front desk desk sucked unbelievably so. Sooo so BAD. We got our hotel room charged for the full amount three times, once on one card, twice on another. If was quite possibly the worst hotel experience I have ever encountred  during a convention. My god if it hadn't been for anything else, the hotel alone would have been my main reason not to return.

Aside from that though, I had a great time at this convention and really wished I had not been so burned out from traveling so much. I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if it had not been on the tail end of my back to back travels for this year. I got to meet a lot of really cool people and the networking alone and overall friendliness of all the jfashion staff would assure that I return to this convention again. I do think though I would be more excited to spend money if there were more items I were interested in and thats really no ones fault but my own. I think more than anything, I was quite done with wearing lolita for a while so I think being more in depth on my excursion suffered because of this. I hope to have the ability to go again next year though and if possible snag another VIP, because it was really worth it even though I did not really extend its full use this year.

So I hope you enjoyed my picture heavy yet brief coverage of Pacific Medio Expo 2014 and hope to see you guys soon as I being my new adventures in 2015. Thank you for reading!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What an amazing experience <3 Thank you for sharing <3 :D