Category Archives: event

Aldila: Lolita Exhibition

parfaitOn October 5th I visited the 10th Lolita Exhibition by Aldila in Osaka.  Aldila also holds indies brand events in Tokyo and even in Nagoya occasionally (though I missed the only Nagoya one that has happened since I moved here). It was the perfect opportunity to “twin” with a friend of mine who has the same print by Baby, only in skirt form, so we took our Twin Foreigner Cuteness Attack to the masses. We were a bit late for the event, but when we got there it was still in full swing. There were a lot of really creatively dressed people in attendance as well as selling their wares– perhaps my favourite were the man in the monocle and tophat and the girl who was working an AP-style decololi outfit with her Meta biscuit print JSK.
Though the brands present covered the range from Gothic to Country and were all mixed together, and attendees were decked out in their finest Classic to their most cavity-inducing sweet, there was a sort of obvious divide between the different styles. The staff of gothic brands were a little wary of girls bedecked in ice cream, and likewise the tables selling charms with various foodstuffs attached seemed to not know what to say to the Victorian ladies among them. It was a divide I haven’t ever noticed before, and was kind of disconcerting– especially once my friend suggest that other lolitas might be “thinking of sweet lolitas as the himegyaru of lolita now”. Considering the tension between lolitas and gyaru, that is NOT a good thing!

Anyway. There were a lot of brands in attendance– somewhere around 40 are listed on Aldila’s website, and though I don’t think there were really that many when we arrived (I’m sure some left early), there were quite a few.  It was set up much in the same fashion as any small sales exhibition (maybe a lot of people can conjure up an image of the sales room at an anime convention), with each brand purchasing a table or two to display their wares.  Most of the sellers stocked accessories, quite a few had racks of clothing, and there was even some artwork for sale– all of it handmade.  You could really feel the sense of pride that most sellers had in their work, as well.

One of the standout brands in my mind were キラキラスタァ (KirakiraStar), who have a blog and webshop listed, though nothing is currently for sale there. At first glance they appeared to be peddling just the usual sweets jewelry, though I thought it was especially attractive because of the pearlized, colored creams they used for decorating. But when I picked up a piece and looked at it, I knew I was in love!
apple seeds
An apple-shaped macaron brooch– what more could any girl ever want? Especially when it comes complete with little gems for seeds. At 1200yen (~US12), it wasn’t a bad price, either.

headdress As for other purchases, I also picked up a new headdress from armeria maritima, who also make cute jumperskirts for affordable prices. Their site is located here, and there are a few items in the shop for you to peruse. For the prices (around 8000yen for a jsk on the site, though they were 500-1500 yen cheaper at the event), I would say that the quality is not bad. The katyusha I purchased is to the right. It’s simple, but it matches an IW dress I have really well, so I can’t wait to wear it (I hate to admit also that I’m starting to lean more and more toward smaller and more adult head accessories… no!!!), and for only 1000yen (~US10), a good deal. Also, the girl who was working the table was SO adorable and talkative– and her English was pretty good– I just had to support her brand!

Other brands worth mentioning were Chantilly, mentioned in a previous post. I love their use of so-huge-its-crazy rose lace! Unfortunately they didn’t have the JSK I’ve been pining for (actually, Chantilly was presented by Atelier Pierrot, and most of the actual clothing on display was by the latter; Chantilly was providing their usual assortment of amazing bonnets and headwear, plus a few darling blouses). Lyra’s Cute Tone was there to provide options for adorable false nails (Oh how I would love to try those!!). YUki provided cute, ETC-style cutsews, which unfortunately had ETC-style prices as well.
butterflyQuiet Darkness featured gothic and aristocrat style jewelry and small items, like the butterfly corsages on the left. Their headdresses are also to die for, but are also as expensive as established brand prices (in my opinion, though, they are quite worth it– if you’re a gothic lolita, which I’m not!).

One disappointment of the event was that my friend and I found the ultimate in ridiculous lolita accessories– cupcake scepters! And for only 800yen, of course we wanted them. Actually, the entire table they were at was stocked with cheap but adorable sweet-deco goods. Why was this disappointing? Because the entire time we were there, there was never a single person working at the table to sell us anything! How annoying. That scepter will haunt my dreams. Or maybe I’ll just email them and see if they can ship them… Anyway, the brand was Barahime, and you can see the scepters in question on their blog.

Anyway! I have rambled on long enough. The event was fun, if brief for me, and it was great to see some of the up-and-comers in the lolita world. I’m a fan of indies brands, and I think we should all support the good ones. All of the major brands in lolita fashion today started as small independant labels, and with the support of fans have managed to keep going. Good luck, little brands!

Event: Grand Trianon

Grand Trianon
Tonight was an event touted as a girl-exclusive, Marie Antoinette-themed party, Grand Trianon. While not specifically a lolita event, it certainly had lolita potential. I received an online invitation to this event from one of the staff last week as a result of my being a member of the Nagoya lolita community on mixi (a Japanese networking site not unlike Facebook).
The website mentioned several cute items of interest: tea time, performances, and a “meeting system” that was divided into two categories– you could send message cards to other attendees and the color of the card you sent suggested your intent (blue for “friendship” and pink for “interest”, and keep in mind this is a girl-only event).

Anyway, the theme was flowers and if you had flowers as part of your outfit, you got 500 yen off the entry. Flowers aren’t exactly the hardest thing to work into a lolita outfit so of course that wasn’t a problem!
el dorado
I couldn’t resist wearing my new jsk, but I wore a flower corsage so it was ok!

Despite all the promises of being cute and unique though, it unfortunately wasn’t. Neither of the two themes (or gimmicks) were held to– the Rococo inspiration was tossed in favour of a normal club atmosphere and the girl-only idea was traded… well, for boys, lots of them. Not that I don’t like boys, I just think that if you make rules you shouldn’t go changing them at the end.
I think MOST of the attendees were pretty confused though, actually, and it was a pretty awkward situation. The event was hosted by… um, hosts. Or hostesses, if you will, as they are crossdressing girls (they are SO cute though, I really want to go to their cafe now!), and they were very active and friendly– one even forced me to dance, which was pitiful T_T. Outside of the gogo dancers (whose outfits were ridiculously adorable to make up for the fact that they weren’t such great dancers) and hosts though, most people were like me– too shy to do anything. There were some really adorable people though, so they were fun: the shy crossdresser that was a salaryman by day, the guy with the metal light-up suit. Entertaining at least.

About halfway through, after the “tea time” that involved no tea (but a lot of alcohol, if just around my table), we saw a few acts. The first was a creepy stop-motion animation video with dolls, which was weird (I hate stop-motion animation), but the dolls were cool and were handmade by one of the night’s attendees. A dancer performed and was quite good. After that I was forced to dance again, we sat through a HORRIFIC performance of an American song that I can’t remember (thank god) and another dance, and then decided to call it a night before we risked missing the last subway. Another performance was starting then but I really was about to fall asleep so I guess it was time to go.

All in all, it wasn’t a BAD event, just not what it should have been. I think if they had stayed with their themes, it would have been more fun, or if they’d abandoned the themes altogether it would have been more coherent. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone was really sure what the main idea was, so it was kind of a waste of a good idea. Hopefully they’ll get more organized as they go. This was just the first time, after all 🙂