I think the last time I was this excited about something was last year when I got the tickets for Wicked and Whimsy. This year’s 10th anniversary of Tea Party Club under the theme of Dreamy Masquerade Carnival, in aide of the special guest, Angelic Pretty, will be even better. Hell, let’s be real – it’ll blow the roof of whatever building we’ll be in!
A special event requires special preparations and special coords. It’s now past the general release and, Holy Mother of Mana-Sama, I managed to get a Gold ticket in that bloodbath (they sold out in like 7 seconds)! This allows me to indulge in proper coord planning – because I’ve been planning bits and bobs since they announced last year that AP were going to be the guest of honour, so this is proper let’s get down to business planning. I shan’t reveal too much at this point, but in order to get myself organised nice and early I would like to break down the things that I still need/want to do. Some of these will involve crafting and trying out new things and some are simply a matter of buying things, but by planning everything out I hope to keep myself motivated and my bank account happier. At this point I’m still unsure as to which coord to wear on which day, so the numbers don’t correspond to days of the event, they’re there simply to distinguish things between each other.
What I Still Need for Coord 1
- Headpiece – to be custom made
- A staff – craft myself: start at home and finish assembling in London for ease of transport (and make a practice piece first)
- Necklace – make if I can find a nice mould; otherwise purchase
- Shoes* – buy: offbrand or cheap brand
- Hairstyle – figure out (I might need to wait until I have the headpiece to see how it sits on my head and work around that. Also, potentially create a backup hairstyle as this coord is the one most likely to be worn on day 1 and if I end up modelling, like I’d love to, I’ll have to decide which one would be more practical: wig or natural hair.)
- Makeup – practice
- Bag – check if someone would be willing to lend me one before buying one; otherwise buy: offbrand or cheap brand
What I Still Need for Coord 2
- Wig – figure out a style
- Sash – craft; if it proves too difficult for me then commission
- Rosette brooch – craft
- Makeup – practice
What I Still Need for Both Coords
- Circle lenses – buy
- Hoop skirt – buy from F+F
- Nails – figure out a design that’s fancy, but would suit 2 very different colour schemes and styles (will likely get that done at a salon so that they last longer)
- Gel insoles – I have one pair left, but may need one more, depending on how the shoe shopping goes
- Suitcase – check and clean those at home (last year I started packing into one that was too small, then having finished packing the bigger one realised that the wheels on it were broken – made the journey a misery)
* Normally I wouldn’t buy new shoes just for an event, but while usually TPC’s no replica rule doesn’t extend to shoes, this year they said to refrain from using Bodyline or Taobao tea parties out of respect for AP. This makes choosing shoes to buy all the more difficult, as I have no space or actual need for any new ones, so will have to take into account versatility as well as price and look.
Initially there were quite a few more things on these lists, but I managed to get a lot of them done in the meantime, so there was no point in keeping these. By starting my planning now, I should have enough time to allow for delayed shipments, mistakes and starting over any crafts projects and changes of mind. I thought about creating a Plan B, a reserve third coordinate for either of the two days, but in the end I don’t think I’ll need it. If I end up wearing something different, that’d be because I bought something at DMC that I wanted to wear straight away, but I can’t really plan for that until I know what AP might bring (if they even announce what stock they’ll have with them). Or I might end up buying something at the summer sales, but there’s no guarantee that this stuff would arrive in time for DMC, so no point planning for that yet either. Besides, with me having already done one try-on and hoping to do another one soon (with hair and makeup at the very least) there shouldn’t be any real need for a plan B.
It wouldn’t be much of a plan without a timeline – that’d be just a list and we need substantially more than that! This one was made on April 2nd and includes some of the other DMC-related important dates, such as buying train tickets etc.
Rewarding myself for completing these in or before the deadlines outlined is a dangerous territory as it could easily escalate into little shopping sprees. Instead the aim is to reward myself with something non-material, like a cinema trip or a nice meal out (also within reason). Where I’ve put a specific date it’s either because I know it or it’s the latest I would like that thing done by – that should still give me enough time to still buy things cheaply from China and have them arrive here. All other things I’ve put as estimates, but these will be adjusted as we get closer to these dates or as I receive items I need for crafting projects.
So, this is me getting all the DMC excitement out of my system and putting it into (hopefully productive) use. I genuinely can’t wait, this is extremely exciting to have a chance to meet Angelic Pretty designers, which is an extra motivator to have the whole outfit be on point.
Are you going to Tea Party Club anniversary this year? If so, it would be lovely to meet you there, but if not – are you planning on attending another big Lolita event somewhere else? Or maybe you went to one already? What is your usual process for planning outfits for big events like this? Let’s share some tips and good practice to keep ourselves inspired and motivated to do our best!