It was a Saturday afternoon at Pacific Media Expo 2008 when I heard about the Royal Doll Tea Party. Frankly, I have not been to a doll related gathering in a while. I do go to anime convention doll gatherings, but hardly any that are seperate from the convention scene. Terence (aka Mr. Postman) persuaded me to go. While I was apprehensive, I took his words of advice, "Keep positive and good things will happen." I stayed optimistic. Within days, I made ride arrangements with a local doll collector, Dandy. The Royal Doll Tea Party has been graciously been pimped out by Postman and Betty. It was held at Royal T, Los Angeles' maid cafe and modern art museum. I have heard mixed things about Royal T's menu. Only one way to find out - try for myself.
The doll event welcomed all dolls. The invitation was specific enough to mention fashion dolls. Betty planned to bring her vintage B-girls. Of course, the Asian Ball Joint Dolls ruled the house majority. Yet, there were Pullips, Blythe's, and a Bratz. The most amusing dolls I found were Anneke's Star Wars dolls - Qui Gon and Amidala.
Royal T had a store called Valley of the Dolls which sold Pullips and Blythes. I was looking at what they had. There were many dolls - Edward Scissorhands, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Rozen Maiden, various Gothic and Lolita styles, various punk styles, various anime styles, etc. I was looking for a doll that was Victoria like - elegant in couture. It was not until the little Holly caught my eye on the bottom of the shelf. Let's say, I let out my inner 5-year-old at the toy store out. I asked the store manager later that day if they had any more Holly dollys in stock. Unfortunately, they sold their last Holly. Too bad, it would have been a lovely souvenir to remember the day. "Duh! I can see you would like that doll!" as he commented on my Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired outfit. Maybe one day, I'll have my Holly dolly. At least I took a few pictures with the store display.
However, I cannot ignore the dolls I had to share with the Los Angeles dolly community. Of course, I brought Cosette (MSD Mika), Eponine (CP Nara), and Agent Scarlet (CH Choa). In addition, I brought Kitty Kennedy (R and D Karen), Vivian (Red Dress Scarlett), Francesca (Iced Coffee Gene), and Mr. Connery (Dr. No James Bond). Mr. Connery was a hit with Betty and the other ladies. Nobody captures the ladies' attention better. I wanted my dolls to have a classic look. I first got into dolls when I collected special edition Barbies in my younger years. I have a very soft spot for vintage and glamorous type of styles, but to each their own.
I had afternoon tea with the new friends I made that day - Julie, Sarah, Sakura, and Dandy. I ordered the special tea set. It cost $25, but I usually expect afternoon tea to cost that much. While I have heard mixed reviews on the food, I must say, it was worth the $25 (plus tax and tip). I was concerned about finishing all the sweets. Luckily, Jared showed up just in time to help me finish the tea sweets (and the jasmine tea).
The Royal T meet up was also a psuedo Lolita meet up. A few people showed up in Lolita. Terence (aka Mr. Postman) showed up in his most foppish and sophisticated. Tom nicknames Terence's Victorian ensemble as, "A Prentious Snob." I decided to show up in something Audrey Hepburn-esque, only because I have not worn the signature little black dress in over a year. Most of my compliments came from gay guys. At least some people can appreciate classic dames of the silver screen. Though Jared was using a test phase version of Aoki (X/1999), he could also pass for George Peppard's character in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The cutest thing there was Dandy's one of a kind personal Yo-SD, Sakura.
Overall, I had an amazing time at the Royal T party. I did not win any raffle prizes, thought I would have loved to gone home with a Holly dolly, I had a great time catching up with people and meeting new people. I certainly hope there are more events like this to come at Royal T. It seems like the perfect place in the Los Angeles area for doll afficianados to get together. I really have to thank Betty for pulling off a lovely day. Everything seemed to run smoothly and I am forever grateful that this event went as planned. Many thanks to Dandy for getting me a ride to Royal T (and thanks to Sakura for being Sakura). Many thanks to Jared who showed up anyway despite not being a doll person.
I realized I missed out on a few doll meet ups here and there. Yet, this crowd was very relaxed, neither did I sense any hints of elitism either, neither people bragging on their dolly spending adventures. Thanks Betty, you make me want to go to more of these doll events again!
Pictures are copyright by Traveling Valentine. Feel free to use any photos of you, just link us back. If you want us to remove something, kindly email us. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Esperanza. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.