Day 2 was the Tea Party, the Coordinate Contest and Q&A with Hello Batty.
First, here is my outfit.
Angelic Pretty Romantic Cat, which fit me about as well as expected. Didn’t realize there was a zipper until I got it on, but the zipper is required to take the dress off. Also needed an underskirt or else it would be way too short, but my pink F+F underskirt matches well enough. Wore it with one of my new Diamond Honey chiffon blouses, Cat’s Broom headpiece (which someone wanted a detail shot of?!?!?! That is…uh…okay?), tights and Sosic Shop shoes.
Lots of people recognized the print and were excited. That is what happens when you wear newly released AP, I suppose.
Holy hell, these are the best shoes in my entire life. They are even Kitty-approved. But seriously, when I put them on this morning, they were SO COMFORTABLE. My Amazon shoes pinch a little bit and are sore after a few hours, even the ones I wore yesterday. But these…oh my goodness, I could wear them all day. I could walk in them for long distances. I CAN DRIVE IN THEM. Probably cause the heel is so low, but OMG. Sosic Shop is going to get so many shoe orders from me once I am able to buy shoes again.
Tea was at the Webster House, a historical old home that has been converted to antique shop/restaurant. It is very pretty inside. As a restaurant, it is an upscale place. Not sure what their catering menu is, since their site says they custom design it to your event.
The shops are downstairs and the restaurant is upstairs.
There are even comfy places to rest in the bathroom. You want a fancy bathroom where the stalls are individual rooms without space for creeps to peek in? Webster House has it. It’s great.
So the first thing I noticed when we got to our tables was the tea.
Harney and Sons! That’s great tea! Still bagged tea, so not quite as fancy as Anna Marie’s loose leaf, but I will gladly take this, considering you have to account for the tastes of a wide variety of people. This is so much better than the Bigelow at the Nakakon Tea Party or last year’s Paradiso.
A tea party without enough hot water is awful. However, there were servers who regularly replaced the hot water for us, without us asking. They would come and check on the water. Also, if you got up and left your napkin in your seat, one would come over and fold it nicely for you. I couldn’t believe my eyes; that just seems so over-the-top fancy. There were also sugar cubes, but didn’t see any lemon or milk. I imagine if someone really wanted some, they could have asked.
The food was delicious. When I first got up to the buffet, I was worried that the food was almost gone (I waited to get food after other people had), but then servers came back and refilled the buffet. SEVERAL TIMES. So the savory foods were bruschetta with basil and tomato, cucumber with herb cheese, toasted brioche with salmon, hollandaise and dill. The sweets were a dark chocolate strawberry, mini eclair, tiny lemon tart and mini cupcakes (strawberry chantilly, lemon raspberry and mocha). And there was enough for seconds, or thirds. IT WAS AMAZING. Didn’t like the mocha cupcake, but that’s just because I don’t like coffee.
Even if we end the Tea Party here, then I would give this a 10/10. I can’t find how much the individual day tickets cost anymore. Early bird price was $35 per day, or $60 for both days (which I did) and I think Day 1 individual was $40. VIP was $75 for both days early bird or $50 for Day 1 (no special VIP benefits for Day 2), and unsure how much it went up. But if all you wanted to do was go to the Day 2 Tea Party, $35 is a STEAL. Anne Marie’s Tea was around $30 for me, and you get one platter of food and all the tea you could want, but better quality tea. For this event, you get so much food and tea and water. All of the hiccups from Day 1 (loli basement, lack of chairs, terribad lighting for photography) were not issues on Day 2. The Day 1 event still needs some kinks to be worked out, but if Paradiso makes Day 2 the Tea Party at the Webster House a regular event, it would be pretty damn awesome. And I imagine people who just want the Tea Party or though the Day 1 experience was lame would be willing to go for Day 2 in the future.
But the there was also a Q&A with Hello Batty, a lolita fashion blogger from Arizona and the Coordinate Contest. I missed the end of the Q&A and the entire contest (which ended up just being her declaring the coord she liked the best) because I had to go find an isolated place to cough a lung up. After that, the organizers tried to take some group shots of us, so we all squeezed onto some stairs. I went home shortly after that.
So to review the entire event, compared to last year.
Fashion Show – more designers present, but some things were very much not lolita. Also the photography that has been posted so far stinks because we were in a basement. Last year’s fashion show had fewer models, but the lighting was great. As for how good the coords were this year vs last year…I recall thinking some last year were kind of wonky but at least everyone had a petticoat.
Food – Day 1 food was pretty sad but I was not expecting much. Day 2 food was amazing. This was a huge improve.
Tea – 1000% better.
Location – both locations had close, although paid parking. Hotel Phillips is pretty, but we were in a basement. WHY. WHY A BASEMENT. They have other event spaces. The Webster House is amazing and I hope the event can go back/I hope no one did anything to piss off management.
Vendors – Lolita Collective is always great. Papercute is great. Teal is great. Didn’t care for anything from Wunderwelt but that’s not their fault. The other vendors didn’t interest me too much but nothing wrong with that. One vendor never showed up, so nothing to comment on that. However, it was dark, and the racks for LC and Wunderwelt were shoved into corners because WE WERE IN A BASEMENT.
Ouji Pageant – this was hilarious. I don’t know much about what makes a good vs a bad ouji outfit, and one prince was definitely EGA and not ouji, but it was funny and I hope this occurs again. Last year, the special event was going to an art museum (a FREE one, by the way), which was nice, but also not really special.
Event Guests – ヽ（´ー｀）┌ There were 3 guests this year compared to 1 guest last year, but it seemed like they mostly stuck to the people they already knew. Maybe I am just too anti-social and shy to go talk to them myself so I am biased. Guests aren’t really something that would draw me to an event, unless it was someone REALLY famous (and thus not gonna happen, most likely).
I think this year definitely improved compared to last year in all aspects, aside from location. I didn’t even like the location last year, but BASEMENT. If they were going to do something like a gothic lolita themed tea, it might work better. But for a general lolita event where people want to take pictures and browse through dress racks, you need a larger room and GOOD LIGHTING. Also, it was nice that you could attend either of the days and not necessarily both. I hope they keep that model.
Overall, I had a good weekend, made new friends and didn’t die. Still no idea what was in the VIP goodie bags, but I think that if I attend next year (if I am in the area…), I would probably give VIP another shot. At least so I can have a damn chair.