tea

International Lolita Day and other weekend dress-up

Saturday (the first Saturday in June) was International Lolita Day. While I personally am not a Lolita, I dig J-Fashion and have several Lolita friends. My retro and historic looks can fit in pretty well at meet-ups so I usually attend a couple of the bigger Atlanta Lolita community’s events.

This year, a high tea was planned. I love high tea! Since it is really hot and humid here right now, I really didn’t want to go to the tea in full Victorian but I didn’t want to wear just vintage either. I wanted to do something kind of special or over the top.

Last year I made a “Murder” dress for Costume College’s Nancy Drew themed tea. I used Butterick Retro 5748 with a blood splatter print fabric and made a fascinator and earrings from the accessories and cards of a 50s era Clue game. I’ve been meaning to wear that dress again especially since my husband got me this crazy brain fascinator on his last trip to Japan. Those pieces both need a special kind of event and I realized the tea could be it!

“Guro Lolita, or Gurololi is a subcategory of Lolita that focuses less on sweetness or elegance and more on freakish horror. Blood splatters, bandages, eye patches, and fake bruises are all common themes in Guro Lolita.” — definition from F Yeah Lolita

I built my outfit around the Guro concept. It still wasn’t really Lolita but my coord went over really well and I certainly stood out.

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  • Dress – sewn by me. I’m wearing a small red net petticoat underneath
  • Brain Fascinator – Atelier Genshijin.
  • Self adhesive gauze arm wraps (did those in the car driving to the tea)
  • Pulmonale Necklace – Shannon Koszyck
  • Teeth Brooch – Diamante Queen
  • Rings – Key ring is vintage from a garage sale. The dragon ring is made from a Victorian button but I forget the designer. I call that my “Hogwarts” ring
  • Shoes – Doc Marten high heeled boots
  • Nails – SNS kitten claws!

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I was also dolled up Friday to hear The Music Of David BowieIt was cheesy as I sort of expected, very show tune. Luckily, I didn’t have huge hopes. I still had a good time with friends and I mean, anything David Bowie related can’t be all bad (well maybe except for Lady Gaga’s performance at the Grammys). I finally wore my 80s candy maxi dress from eShakti. This dress has been hanging in my closet for a long while. I’ve pulled it out several times but never actually managed to wear it. I guess the perfect occasion had to come along! IMG_0243 copy

Recent Costume Goings On: Anachrocon and Cirque de Soleil

While my costume sewing has slowed down a bit, my costume wearing has been quite steady the past couple of weeks!

Last weekend was Anachrocon, Atlanta’s Alternative History / Steampunk convention. I was on hand to officiate the Tea Duelling Tournament as I am the founder of the American Tea Duelling Society. Anachrocon is the longest running tournament for the society and it was a great one. Everything went super smooth and the tourney, duellists and spectators were all on point!

bloomerallsI commissioned a pair of bloomeralls from Megan Maude. Megan has worn hers to several cons we’ve both attended and I finally just had to have my own pair. Megan is probably one of the only people who could make a pair of overalls that would actually fit me. They are super comfy. I foresee wearing them far more than just for casual con wear.

To accessorize I finally had a reason to trot out my new biscuit beret and purse from Taobao. IMG_9732.JPG

Megan often serves as my Pot Mistress at Tea Duels. This means she makes all the tea and keeps the tournament running while I make funny (?) quips and force the competitors to shake hands multiple times for my amusement. She, like all Pot Mistresses, does the hard, hot work and a tourney really can’t run without a good one! Since we both have bloomeralls now, it seems that she and I have created a new tea duelling uniform.

me and megan bloomeralls

another great image from David Leo of Leo Photography

Generally, the prize for winning a tea duel is a fez emblazoned with the official Tea Duelling patch, which was designed by the one and only Doctor Geof (who also is one of the inventors of tea duelling). This year I decided to make a cockade instead. I referenced the tutorial from American Duchess but mostly winged it.

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While I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, it’s also a pretty huge cockade, as you can see with it being proudly worn by our tourney winner.

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Our winner in another of David Leo’s images.

Another Anachrocon attendee wore a couple of my creations. She was attending the event for the first time and needed some wardrobe. I sold her a red and black houndstooth corset I had made a while ago and a ribbon and D-ring embellished skirt & capelette set that had been lingering in my UFO pile. Her crafty husband made her belt and the cameo badges on the skirt. His finishing touches really pulled everything together. I thought she looked adorable and she seemed to be enjoying her first visit to Anachrocon.

victoria in my gear

Cirque de Soleil’s touring show Kurios: Cabinet of Curiousities just opened here in Atlanta. Members of The Artifice Club were invited to work the Kurios premiere as costumed background flavor. Kurios is steampunk themed so the brief was “as steampunk as possible”. I went in my orange and brown leopard print natural form gown. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain that night. Good thing my umbrella featuring the grand drape of Lyric Opera of Chicago was a perfect match and grand coverage from the curses of the elements. Kurios also sells pretty groovy umbrellas too. They could have made a killing if they had a stand outside before the doors opened!

Since I took a photo just in my undergarments, I’m posting it. I should have ironed my petticoat!

cirque under and outwear

Corset made by House of Canney, everything else made of fabric sewn by me.

My gown used these Truly Victorian patterns: 1879 Cuirass Bodice, 1878 Long Draped Overskirt and 1878 Tie-Back Underskirt. I made the belt and embellished the vintage straw hat. The fur is vintage and has four heads, four tails and eight feet. I’m quite fond of this dress. Natural form is easy to wear, especially while sitting in stadium style seating while watching a circus. I’ve meant to go to a Cirque de Soleil show for a long time but never actually managed it. Considering my interests, this show was the obvious one to fix that. I really enjoyed it! I was very glad that it had a low factor of creepy art clown. While the acts and visuals were all excellent, the thing that surprised me the most was the music. I always hear about how great the Cirque music is and this show’s ragtime / electroswing style got my feet tapping. I might even get the soundtrack. I’m hoping to see the show again, this time without a corset!

You can catch a fast shot of me in this promo video. I’m posing with some patrons at 1:23.