At the end of August the biggest lolita event to happen here in the UK took place. This event of course was Frock On! which was put on by the Tea Party Club. I got up at 5:30am (too early!) in order to get ready and make it to the train station where I met my friend. The event itself took place at One Whitehall Place, London. It was such a fancy venue! Really posh and elegant and we had the whole of the top floor which worked really well. The library room is where all the lovely stall holders were based, the Meston Suite is where the models got changed etc in morning but was home to the photo booth in the afternoon, the reading and writing room had the main stage and seating and then lastly the River room was home to the bring and buy.
The bring and buy stall was a lot bigger and better than I imagined, I thought people wouldn’t bother bringing stuff due to the hassel of travelling and packing but actually they brought loads. There was a clothing rail of dresses, one for skirts and about 4 tables with wigs, accessories, bags, magazines etc on them – all full! I think there may have been extra stuff too that got put out as others sold. I had a good look through everything but only purchased a tote bag by Bodyline as it was only £3 and matched a skirt I had.
The main traders room had brands from Worldwide including Japan of course, a lot were UK or Europe based though. I had thought that the bring & buy would be the only place I could buy from due to how expensive things would be but actually Lady Sloth was selling her famous clock print skirt for only £22.50 and another brand had a couple of lovely skirts and they started at £45 which actually isn’t that bad. I really fancied buying a bonnet (they seemed to be a popular thing in the fashion show and lots of girls were also wearing one, it gave me bonnet envy!) but the cheapest was about £70 which was too much for me. I did however eventually purchase a ‘poof monster’ which is a petticoat by new brand One Day in Paradise who are based in Australia and are the main distributor for some of the main Japanese brands over there but are now taking on indie Australian designers to launch some new start up brands soon too.
The main event room was set out with a large screen, catwalk and seating. Now when tickets were released originally it said that Super VIP and VIP tickets got priority seating but actually they were the only ones that got seating. Super VIP were seated around the stage and catwalk and the VIP seats were set out behind those. People with a standard ticket had to stand. Now in some cases they actually got closer to the stage and had a better view by standing but considering the event lasted from 11am – 5pm that’s a long time to be on your feet. Unfortunately I totally failed at taking photos (too far away, not the best lighting and my camera shutter speed is too slow)but there are loads around online so I will link some pages at the bottom.
The day kicked off with an opening/welcome speech and then there was the first fashion show of the day which my friend was taking part in, here’s a video of the whole first fashion show filmed by Lolita Fashion UK:
It featured a lot of different brands and styles, all the girls looked lovely and did a great job of modelling. My friend took part in this first show and she was so nervous beforehand and very stressed as I’m sure most of the girls were but they never showed it. I really liked just how many designers were showcased and how varied the pieces were.
This was followed by an hour’s break for lunch but my friend was a while getting sorted/changed so we didn’t get chance to go for lunch during this break. There was then another fashion show which was just as good and varied as the first one. I can’t find a full video for the second fashion show so instead I will share another Lolita Fashion UK video that has some highlights of Frock On in general.
Sadly I missed the next hour of things as we went for lunch and then visited the photo booth when we came back so the next thing we saw was the bow tying demonstration. During this hour there were various tips, demonstrations, 101 lolita fashion type information and then the fashion fix (think Gok Wan brand vs off brand) which I’m really sad I missed but at least it was recorded by Lolita Fashion UK.
A designers panel then took place where the designers spoke about why they started their company, the aim of their brand, how long they have been going, how they got in to lolita etc. It was really interesting to hear what they had to say and also how different everyone’s explanation was.
The event was then finished off with the new video by Deer Stalker, an interview with Melody Doll, group photo (which wasn’t very successful) and a raffle. We were all also given these super cute pretty chocolates.
Sum Up: The event was wonderful and very well organised. They had a mixture of fashion, shopping, helpful tips and information as well as more playful light hearted stuff. It’s also nice to get to go to such a large event where there are lolita’s from all over the UK and even from abroad attending. Just seeing everyone all dressed up was a lovely sight. The venue was perfect, everything worked really smoothly and it was a wonderful setting, really extravagant. I’m very happy I went though next time I would stay overnight as I was so tired halfway through the day and totally dead on my feet by the time I got home and will make an effort not to miss any of the actual stage events either. The only other comment is about the VIP ticket, its good you get in early, had a seat and get given a special VIP bag of goodies but I didn’t think the gifts were great. Standard entry was £25, VIP was £45 so a whole £20 more but mostly you just got postcards so I think next year I will probably just go for the standard ticket.
Exciting News : They also made a special announcement that Shironuri artist Minori would be holding a special event in London next year April 2014. It’s a Japanese fashion event that will tour to different countries each year but is starting in London. That’s all the information that’s been given so far but its very exciting. I love Minori’s style so it would be lovely to meet her and hopefully she will have some lovely things to buy too of her art photos. The Tea Party Club will be holding their next annual