My International Lolita Day was spent separately from my local community. It had more to do with time and budget. As much as I would have loved to finally meet the Los Angeles community after living in Orange County for a few months, the timing didn’t work out as much. I do miss celebrating ILD with a community. However, celebrating ILD with a close friend who just got into Lolita fashion was just as fun. I spent less than $30 arranging an afternoon tea at a local tea house without traveling too far, and still have time to take care of adult stuff!
The Venue – Elise’s Tea Room (Long Beach, CA)
We were originally going to spend ILD at Paris in a Cup in old town Orange. However, that particular venue fills up immediately in December because of the holidays. I discovered a comparable venue in Long Beach. This is right in the Bixby Knolls area. It’s generally almost like a retro district; there’s lots of vintage clothing places and old timey diners off Atlantic Avenue. The prices for afternoon tea ranged from $13.99 to $36. Great for all budgets! We did street parking yet we discovered you can also park in the back. From the real OC, it was a 20 minute drive without 405 traffic.
The Coord – Recreating a Dream Dress
A while back, Magic Cats Street released a series of JSK’s for the summer 2014 line. I was unable to get the colorway I wanted from my TaoBao middle person on time. Since then, I’ve been eyeing a very specific color and style of JSK. A few weeks ago, I discovered a JSK somewhat similar in style (not a replica). This was from FanPlusFriend. I liked the suggested peignoir and the hat. The wig is from Tasty Peach Studios. I look very old timey Victorian than I do Lolita. I could already see myself saying the phrase, “Ladies, we do not need any more of this tomfoolery,” as I trounced off in a Mid-Atlantic accent. Tights are from Forever 21 from a few years ago (and they’re dying) and the shoes are from Bodyline.
I went for the “full tea” set. The final total was around $25 including tax and tip. What I got was super filling – it filled me up for the whole day! (even though I went to shabu shabu later in the evening). This meal is one for your more comfortable coords – the ones that allow you to have a feast most fancy! I started with chocolate chip scones. That was followed by an assortment of six tea sandwiches. I prefer the savory tasting sandwiches, so my friend and I traded. More cucumber sandwiches for me! I finished with an opera cake. As tiny as it is, it’s the most decadent delicacy I’ve ever had. One bite is like 1,000 delicious devilish calories. To top everything off, I ordered Lady Grey tea, a sweeter version of Early Grey.
Hey Look! Photos!
Granted, this was just an event for me and my little Lolita sister, but the venue was excellent for some Lolita snaps. It was not at all crowded on a Saturday afternoon. We arrived at little bit before our reservation time and we nearly had the whole tea room to ourselves, save for one party. We received nothing but compliments from the staff and old lady patronage. No awkward questions, just positive vibes.
2015 has been a quiet year for me and Japanese fashion. I can count on one hand how many events and meet ups I’ve been to this year alone. It was more due to timing than it was for money. I really wanted to do the Rhode Island ice skating meet up if it wasn’t for a scheduling mishap for my sewing machine repair. I really wanted to try out the LA Lolita comm’s meet up in Pasadena; I’m always up for meeting new people and trying out new places. It’s just that the holiday schedule and adulting did not work well with the timing. However, I’m hoping to make it to the OC ice skating event in the new few weeks or so. I think I bought more JSK’s and OP’s this year than events attended!
I’d totally recommend Elise’s Tea Room in Long Beach if you have the chance. Reservations aren’t all that necessary, but I would still recommend it. This is a nice venue for parties of 5 or so – great to do it with a small group. There is also a room for rental and they can handle parties of 15-20. I will definitely come back here, but first, let me explore more afternoon tea venues in Southern California. Many thanks to Deb, my little sister, for being a part of a very personal International Lolita Day. You looked super cute in your Bodyline coord!
And shoutouts to the New England community. I wish I had a chance to say farewell to all of you before leaving, but it all happened so fast (as it usually does). Inspired by Kira Imai, who always wears something personal when she wears Lolita, I wore my B Strong bracelet with my ILD coord. It’s hard to see the “B Strong” engraving on the plate, but it’s there. I’ll always remember you, thank you for being the awesome community that you are. Keep in touch!
– Eri Kagami