28 Jul 2017

What Would You Find Appealing in a Con for Lolita Fashion?

When I think of “Lolita fashion con”, I think Tea Party Club anniversary events and then some. Honestly, they have pretty much all that I need in a Lolita event, but as they are now giving us a jaw dropping preview after another in preparation for this year’s 10th anniversary, they prove that there’s always another level of extra.




What most cons and Lolita events always have are places to shop (both from the invited guests and indie vendors), some sort of a fashion show (at cons this is often a costume competition) and a raffle. You can’t take that away, those are an integral part of such events, so we need to be adding stuff to that. What? How about these!

Something I really enjoyed at Wicked and Whimsy was the Fashion Fix, based off the TV show Gok’s Fashion Fix. The idea is that participants strut their coords down the runway in pairs and the hosts (and/or the audience) has to guess which coord was cheaper. This is fun to be in and fun to watch, and encourages everyone to look at Lolita fashion differently. Last year I saw an absolutely incredible coord that I’d say was very expensive, because that’s how it looked, but turned out not to be as it was entirely handmade. Or you may see two Lolitas decked out all in brand, but would you know which one is a bargain hunter and paid less for their outfit just by looking? Given how easy it is to organise, it would be a great addition to Lolita events.

Burando vs Taobao

Over on Saxon Blues blog, in her report from Paradiso, I read about the Ouji-sama Pageant and I totally fell in love with the idea. This sounds both highly entertaining to watch and a great chance for the Oujis to feel more included in the event, which is important when the sheer volume of skirts and petticoats could cover all of Tokyo. Also, with models such as Akira or designers like Babi and Kaie from Triple Fortune being known for their boystyle and going to all kinds of events, this could be a way to have a part of the programme focused more on them. There are so many ways to customise a pageant and mini-challenges the contestants could get involved in that I’m sure this would be a crowd pleaser.

Will you be my lady, ojyou-sama?

Also I feel that we don’t always get to spend proper quality time with the guests. It’s difficult to do that as a guest and as an organiser, there are too many things to juggle and things to consider, plus not all guests would want to get more interactive or personal. However, I really enjoyed Haenuli’s Storytime at Wicked and Whimsy, she got pretty personal whilst telling the story of how her brand came to be. If every Lolita event/con could include a meaningful talk like this (on top of or instead of the Q&A, which can get a little repetitive, especially for the guests, and could be included in the event programme booklet) or maybe enough time for a meet and greet, I think this could bring us closer to the fashion that we love.

Yes, I know this is Mana from Baroque, but the point is:
everyone is having fun!
Wicked and Whimsy 2016. Photo by Emily Faulder.
Speaking of the programme, my comm’s Summer ILD did so great with their little activity booklets that why not add one like this in to the pack for all attendees? They’d be cheap to print, but would provide something to do if you want some quiet time during the event, something that would help (such as ice breakers or quick guides on posing) or just something to do after the event to remember it by would be a longer lasting keepsake than just the programme. And if any of the invited guests were known for drawing, having one or two colouring pages created by them would simply be special.

Hours of fun, even after the event!
Finally what I’d find really appealing in a Lolita event/con is more hands-on workshops. These would have to be balanced and created in such a way so that all Lolitas, new and experienced, could take part, but if there was a whole bunch of smaller workshops then you could just take your pick and drop in. These could range from slightly simpler, e.g. bow-tying workshop (on others and on yourself) or doing a particular hairstyle that’s popular in J-fashion at the moment, to slightly bigger, like tasters in specific crafts or making food appropriate for a tea party (aprons must be provided). Depending on the venue, most little workshops like that should be quite easy to put on and should require only a little bit of space, but they could be both fun and educational.

You make it look so easy, Japanese tutorial - you lie!

The more I think about it, the more ideas start coming to my head: a scavenger hunt, a challenge where you have to create a coord using only items being sold at the event (by taking pictures of these and creating a collage, to be judged by the guests), creating and then playing a live action version of Where’s Wally (substituted for whatever special guest was invited), a dress your Usakumya competition looking at best matching cords between you and your stuffed toy bag, maybe music performances (either by invited guests like Wakeshima Kanon or talented attendees – a frilly choir, anyone?), embroidery race or even a live Agony Aunt (careful not to put too much salt). The sky is your limit – that and time and space constraints of your event – and not all Lolita events have to be just about buying, watching and presenting clothes. There are already people out there who have tried to push the boat out a little, as you can see from the examples I’ve thrown in here, let’s not be afraid to try something different next time you organise a Lolita event.

What would you like to see? Have you attended an event, fully Lolita or not, with a cool activity or special edition items that you wanted to be more common? Or maybe you’re already dreaming about putting your own Lolita event on and have some fabulous ideas that could be incorporated? Unless they’re too good to be announced just yet, share these in the comments below and check out the other blog posts for more inspiration!




4 comments:

  1. The game booklet is such a great idea for an event as well the workshops I love learning new things so having those small workshops at events would be so much fun.
    We had a historical dance workshop at an event once, that was by far the best activity I came across besides the usual fashion shows and such.

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow, I always wanted to do historical dances! I was reading a lot of regency romance novels when I was a teenager and was wanted to learn all these dances. With so many historical reenactment groups in many major cities, this should be easy to do.

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  2. Hands on Work shops sounds fun. The tutueial shows why I don't like waist ties and likes waist bands. Just tie it in front of you and twist around. Also activity booklet is good idea, because you would have longlasting memory. The totes is nice, but I have plenty without attending...

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    Replies
    1. The tutorial is fine when you're trying to do someone else's waist ties, but if you're on your own? There's one Chinese Lolita on YouTube, can't remember her name now, but she's done a fun Valentine's Day video about pros and cons of having a partner who's involved in your Lolita hobby and she had one short bit on there on how she ties her own waist ties and they looked great, but it was too fast to properly follow. That's a workshop I'd love to attend!
      And I know what you mean about tote bags. At the moment I don't have that many, but if you're a regular event goer, you will accumulate them so quickly. As nice a memento as they are and as good as it may be to have a variety of different colours (to match your coords :P), you only really need so many tote bags.

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