I’ll start from the very beginning – last year – when right after the first event, I knew I wanted to come back either way – as a vendor, if I was lucky enough or as visitor, if I wasn’t. Late last year I got the opportunity to sign up to be picked as a vendor and I jumped at the chance right away. Not too late after I got the response, that I was picked and was over the moon about the opportunity to visit again!
I asked my livelong friend Agnese to be my shopgirl again, as I remmebered last year, I didn’t have that much time to sit by the table, sadly and she agreed! ^^ My fiance was the driver again as we traveled by car. I arranged our stay and the ferry to take us from Tallin, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland. We drove all the way to Tallinn, then set sail to Helsinki and we arrived in the morning of the day before the event. We took the time to catch a bit up on sleep as well as roam around the city center. You can see some snaps of the city here.
On the day of the main event we got up early, so I could dress up for the occasion. Last year I was about an hour late to the setting up time we had been given, because we couldn’t find the location. So this year, I was smart enough to check the location the day before. But even with that, I managed to miss some 20 minutes of the time because of how long I took to get ready.
Luckily, I was able to get into the main hall of the event right away and started setting up. What I really like about how they organize the event is that they plan the vendor placement for you. Some might not like this, but I find it takes a bit of pressure off of you. They also provided the hanger stand with hanger, that I had totally forgot that I ordered with the ticket (there was an option for that), so I brought my own (along with hangers), but it just gave more space to hang the things. I ended up using all of the space behind our stall to put the Hellocon provided stand for a more wholesome feel. And I have to add – there was so much more space and light than the last event! 110% improvement!
We finished setting up as the first people entered the event. Overall I would say that there were about the same amount of people that last year. And I was quite shocked to hear that there were almost more foreigners than locals! As a lone lolita, I never get to feel the drama, that most lolitas talk about, so it was quite hard for me to understand why local lolitas would miss this amazing event (I have to say, it was their loss).
As the people started pouring in, I managed to meet Oxana – the owner of My Inspiration and my model. She brought many gorgeous accessories to finish off the fashion show looks and I was so happy to see her again! ^^
As I took off to the behind the stage to get my models ready for the fashion show, I managed to miss the opening ceremony (I watched it afterwards in a video).
Eat Me Ink Me was first to walk the runway and I was quite excited that I got to open the indie fashion show. First to walk was Stephanie (from Germany) in Midnight Rhapsody jsk (I hope to get better photos later; meanwhile I only have these phone photos I got):
Second was Kerttu (form Finland) in a teal Magical Mermaid OP. As soon as I saw Kerttu’s photo in the models option, I instantly knew she would look perfect in the teal MM!
The OP itself turned out to be a struggle. I had to redo the dress and I still have to revise the design before the release, so I can be sure it’s up to my standards.
And finally the Mermaid princess Oxana in a pink Magical Mermaid jsk and overdress, that is a nod to white sea foam. We added the crown with veil to accentuate it.
My models were so great! They walked so gracefully and “owned” the pieces well. I couldn’t have asked for more! You can see the whole indie fashion show here thanks to the My Inspiration team – you can see all of the outfits up close!
There were other indie brands, that I looked up to and was so humbled to see my designs walk besides them, like MossBadger (two dresses behind Oxana in the pink MM) and Belladonna (the last, red dress)! ❤
After the fashion show I had a bit of time to walk around and look what other stalls there were. I didn’t have a big budget for this event as I knew I needed to save for the next trip, but I did want to get something. I got the chance to finally meet Elizabeth – a representative form the Lolita Collective! She was so super nice! Another girl, that I managed to get acquainted by was Illves, who makes really cute and creepy designs.
I also managed to meet a lost Latvian lolita sister Anna! ^^ She lived in Sweden, if I am not mistaken, but I was so happy to come across her! ^^ Saw many girls, that I followed on instagram. It was quite unreal to see them in real life, but I did manage to come up to them to talk a bit ^^ They were so nice!
Before the event I was invited to also take part in “Project Runway” lolita edition, which, of course, I said yes to (being a great fan of the original show). After the indie fashion show, next activity was to be Baby the Stars Shine Bright Q&A, that I was looking forward to. But the ones, that took part in the “Project Runway” were asked to the stage to announce, that we will start on making our outfits. We had 1.5 h and a pile of materials to come up with a lolita outfit. It seemed like very little time at the moment and I could have probably used another half an hour, but it was great to sort of sit in the shoes of how the contestants in the actual show might feel and I thoroughly enjoyed the experiance.
I figured, since the challenge was to use unorthodox materials, I challenged myself not to use fabric or even the lace, that was provided, but for the more unusual materials. I pained over not having black items, but went along with the pink look, that seemed to emerge as I was putting the available items together. I ended up using two kinds of pink plastic bags, wrapping paper, silk paper, last year’s posters and flyers and a good amount of duck tape to keep the look together.
And I ended up with the coolest model – Sini. She was so perky and fun! ^^ We ended up talking a lot in the tea party the next day, but I’m getting ahead of myself. You can see the “Project Runway” show here. (The fact that they used RuPaul’s Drag Race runway music totally killed it for me 😀 )
I ended up winning the challenge, which was a total shock! On the stage I didn’t realize that they had chosen my design up until a bit later XD So was a bit clueless for the first seconds. The Baby designer Kano Masumi was the judge, so I was so happy to hear that she liked my design! ^^
During the making of the PR outfit, I also missed the bow tying contest, that I had signed up to (I didn’t realize that I was signed up for two event at the same time). But one of my main fashion show models Stephanie ended up winning it! I wish I was there to see that, but I guess you can’t have it all. I’m so happy for her nevertheless! ^^
After that, there was the Baby the Stars Shine Bright fashion show. I missed seeing some of it live, because I was backstage, but I found video of it. It was so beautiful and inspiring! I did manage to look at the outfits up close backstage! ❤
Final big stage event was the play “The Frog Prince”, that was sort of dance/pantomime performace. It seemed to be a collaboration between the organizers/designers/dancers – really cool! ^^ The event closed with awarding the best dressed (you can see it here) and final closing ceremony.
The parts, that I didn’t mention were the ones that I didn’t get to experience much, like the lecture panels – “Cuteness as ressistance”, “Stories for the Literary Lolita” and “Holy Sacrilege! Sanctity in Lolita fashion and the depiction of Christian religious art on the hems of dresses” as well as workshops – 2 game workshops and a Chinese Tea workshop. I wish I got to see the lectures at least, but my day was pretty packed as it was. I hope to find them in video formats soon.
I will keep the tea party recap short, but sweet. There were so many people! I think half of who was at the event the day before came to the Tea Party.
The venue was really beautiful and the hall was large, which was great because it meant that the air wouldn’t be stuffy (and it proved to be right up until the very end of the day!).
There was so much tasty food! And there were vegan options (super tasty ones, including cake!), that I was very thankful for! The girls had really outdone themselves with it this time! ^^
There was bingo (and I managed to grab a Btssb key necklace) and a small activity where we had to draw ourselves and then pass the drawing around to get people to write something on it! It was a really great ice breaker and put people onto their feet to seek out the outfits and participants they liked best to write on their drawings c: Everybody’s outfits were so outstanding, that I got to talk to many girls ^^
Each of us got to take photos with Kano and the Btssb shopgirl (I forgot her name! ;_;) and got a signed postcard. There were so many people, that it was hard to squeeze everybody into the group picture, so I hope that the it come out well enough ^^
You can see more photos of the event and tea party here.
Thanks for looking! ^^