Anime Weekend Atlanta is the largest Anime Convention in the southeast. The con is annually at the end of September in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, it was held September 28th to October 1st. Since the American audience for Japanese lolita fashion is very much scattered across the country, anime conventions will often feature lolita content.
Japanese lolita fashion is a cute fashion loosely based on the Rococo and Victorian era fashions. One of the ways lolita enthusiasts socialize and show off their outfits (coordinates or “coords”) is by having a tea party. Tea parties can range in size from small and intimate to massive with elaborate themes. From my personal experience, the larger tea parties are an occasion to put together your most detailed or over-the-top (OTT) coord.
This year’s tea was hosted by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (BtSSB) – a Japanese brand focusing on sweet lolita (pastels, kawaii prints, etc) and Alice and the Pirates (AatP), a line by BtSSB that focuses on more edgy and gothic styles. The theme for this year’s tea was “pirates”. The theme was only a coincidence to AatP’s name as pirate theme is recurring in lolita fashion. The Gallery of the Cobb Galleria was beautifully decorated with nets, seashells, lanterns, and sails all giving a classy nod to pirates without beating you over the head with a Jolly Roger. Each place setting had a paper straw for stirring tea, a gold embossed napkin, and a giveaway bag. Each bag contained: a pearl bracelet with pirate themed charm, AatP sticker, and gold doubloons (chocolate!). I really wish I had taken more pictures, but the food portion of this review will explain why I didn’t.
The tea started at 1pm, so many of us thought tea sandwiches would be served. In all my years of going to a tea party at AWA or otherwise, tea sandwiches have been served. Color me surprised when all I got was a plate of 5 bite-sized desserts and barely a handful of fruit. I had not eaten lunch because I expecting more. I was so hungry, that I could barely focus, and thus, didn’t take many photos. I’ll admit that having experienced cuisine at some of Atlanta’s top restaurants has spoiled me by giving me a surplus of food for what tea party food costs. I have never left Bacchanalia hungry and I have never left a tea party full – except 2014 BtSSB…also at AWA, but I digress…I want everyone to know that the paltry offerings is in no way a reflection on the organizers of the tea nor the hosts. The Galleria sets prices and decides what they will serve for that price. Also, shout out to the lovely maids that served us! You guys are the real MVPs.
The attendees, the hosts and the maids all brought out their A-game! Everywhere I looked there was one fabulous coord after another. My friend, Victoria wore an ivory ensemble with brown and gold accents. She even had a pirate ship on her pirate hat! I love how lolita promotes individualism while still maintaining a unified feel. One attendee had a floor-length cape made of inky colored feathers. Depending on how the light hit the cape, you could see blues, purples, pinks and black. This attendee won best-dressed from Alice and the Pirates. The person that won best-dressed from BtSSB wore a dress with a white background covered in cute florals and fruits. She made her own bonnet adorned with flowers and deer antlers. Her makeup was done to look like a doe as well. She was so adorable that I almost exploded into skittles. Kudos to everyone that attended!
All in all, I’d give this tea party a 6 out of 10. Four points being removed for the price of the food versus what we received. I had a great time talking to everyone, saw old friends and made some new ones.
Photos courtesy of Cheyenne and Baby The Stars Shine Bright