It's been a little while since I've had a chance to do any blogging! I have been super busy as of late, and university has started back up again after an incredibly short break.
The first post I really need to get out of the way is my experience of Enchanted! Right. Brace yourselves.
Enchanted was held at The Gibson Hall, London, on Saturday 5th April. This event was hosted by Street Fashion Europe, and was in the same vein as the Tea Party Club's Frock On event of last August. The difference here was that it started a bit later in the day, which allowed everyone plenty of time to put together their very best coordinates and arrive at the event.
I travelled with my fellow Berkshire lolitas, Taylor and Sabeela! Along the way we bumped into a group of Leeds lolitas, and shared a carriage with them on the Waterloo and City line of the Underground. We were the only people on it. Loli train!
I arrived at 2pm, the time when the VIP ticket holders would be allowed in, and found myself in a queue stretching down the street, for twenty minutes. Finally, I made it inside and handed over my raffle donation (six hair bows from my brand Sugar Trampoline) and got given a specially printed tote for the event. I decided I would check out the contents later! I was more interested on getting into the main hall.
What a gorgeous venue! I got myself a complementary mango smoothie from the bar and my goodness-- it was the best smoothie I'd ever had. It was just so... smooth! I was soon reunited with my friends and we generally wandered around, just about managing to brave the bring and buy stall for a couple of minutes at a time.
Basically, it was CHAOS. Many people were literally crammed in around the rails to look at the secondhand bargains on display. In the end, I didn't buy anything. I did "um" and "ah" over an Angelic Pretty skirt (Chocolat-chan Going Out) but I didn't want to blow most of my budget on a skirt. So I walked away (semi-regrettably) and gave up.
In the dealer's room, things were much more peaceful. I decided to give all the stalls a once over and then come back later. One stall made my heart jump because of the top half of a mannequin sat on top of their display! I'm a bit scared of dolls XD I really liked that no two stalls were the same. There was a really good range of styles and items on offer.
Anyway... later on I decided on a pair of cute wristcuffs from Peacockalorum which matched my coordinate (which I'll get to later). The ring is from Miss Selfridge!
There was a fashion show to showcase various designers, including indie brands, and also a q&a session. I heard them going on but used this time to refuel and get some fresh air.
There was nothing substantial provided at the event foodwise. Instead, there was a huge cake and sweets buffet that everyone clamoured around. I got stuck in the crowd, which was unfortunate as the staff were yelling at us to move from that side of the table. I always seem to wind up in trouble somehow! I escaped with a few things on my plate. I didn't really like any of it, but others seemed to enjoy it. Luckily, I'd come prepared with a small suitcase and brought out the tupperware to eat some of my packed lunch! At the start of the day, people kept asking why I had a suitcase, but of course, by the end of it, they wished they'd brought one too! I cannot stress enough how easy a suitcase makes life on a long day out where you'll be weighed down with purchases by the end of it. It also enabled me to carry spare shoes with me, and a jacket for when it would be cold outside later. I am so prepared for life XD
As the day wore on I didn't feel I'd sufficiently explored my shopping options and eventually headed to the Dreamy Bows stall, which was in the main event space. I decided to get myself a black and white Angelic Pretty baseball style top.
I felt a bit better having gotten something more substantial than a pair of wristcuffs, and decided to call it a day. There were many other things I ended up being tempted by... but at that point, I felt like if I got them, I'd be buying things for the sake of it. Never a good approach!
I may have missed the other stage events, but I made sure to come back for Minori's makeup tutorial session.
She painted just one side of the model's face, which made the white makeup appear even more dramatic!
After the session was over, my friends and I made a beeline for the front of the stage to get a picture with Minori. We'd not bothered at the start of the day due to being told you had to pay for pictures (turns out, you had to pay for Minori's signed posters), but now it seemed like it was our last chance!
She was so tiny and ethereal. I'm glad I finally got to see her in the flesh. She looks just as perfect in real life as she does in pictures, let me tell you!
The event began to wrap up rather later than scheduled due to the absolutely enormous raffle. It seemed like most people had something or other to take home by the end of the event (I won a Juliette et Justine booklet thing). I got a bit too excited when the list of contributing brands was read out and Sugar Trampoline came up. I started cheering like a dork-- and so did my friends, too! I couldn't help but laugh in surprise.
After the raffles, the organisers began thanking us for coming. Mila couldn't help but start to cry, and it was then I realised just how emotionally invested they were in making these things happen. We were told it took 6 months of hard work to organise. It must be so strange to have such a nerve-racking build up to an event which is then over in a single day! (This is why the thought of having a traditional wedding terrifies me-- I figure it's more or less the same principle!)
By then, it was dark outside and I hadn't gotten any outfit photos or pictures with my friends. I rushed off with Luna, Sammi and Nicola to the dealer's room to amend this problem.
Now, onto my coordinate! I was going for a kind of "kawaii vintage" vibe.
Canotier etc: Handmade by me, offbrand
Bolero: Miss Selfridge
Jumperskirt: Sweet Cherry by Metamorphose
Bag: New Look
I saw people with some super elaborate headdresses (ships, entire tea sets, unicorn horns, all sorts!) which left me in awe. Still, I'm happy with how my coordinate turned out. Shame none of the photos of me look that great! (even a photo of me taken with someone's fancy camera looks terrible because my entire face is in shadow! I have the worst luck :L )
Overall, it was an interesting day. The highlights would have to be that excellent smoothie and getting a picture with Minori. My VIP tote bag ended up containing lots of fliers and business cards for indie brands (plus some yummy treats such as the bizarre but somehow awesome green tea flavoured chocolate!) which meant I got to find out about small businesses I'd never even heard of before. I didn't like Enchanted anywhere near as much Frock On, but it was wonderful to see people I don't get to hang out with very often, and it was clearly a positive step forward in the direction of making Japanese street fashion more accessible in the UK.
I think I'd love to come back to an event like this, but as a vendor. We'll have to see how that works out though. Watch this space! ❤