Weekend Double Bill

It’s Tuesday now and I still haven’t quite recovered from the full on weekend that I just had. It was a blast and loads of fun, but it came at a cost of early mornings and hours spent on trains – absolutely worth it though! Just don’t be surprised if I sleep through all of the next weekend.

On Saturday I ventured out to Manchester for a friend’s birthday. Because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to attend until quite late, I could only join in for the meal and not on the cinema trip after, but I still had fun. We were originally meant to go to the Richmond Tea Rooms, the Alice in Wonderland-themed place which I’ve visited once before, but they decided they couldn’t host us after all and we went to Home Sweet Home. As by then my Gothic dress has arrived, I let the birthday girl convince me to join the Goth squad for the day and had my first full-on day as a Goth Lolita.

| AatP Sugar Plum Fairy Princess JSK | Resailan tights |
offbrand blouse, shoes, jewellery and hair clip |

Black and white to show off the dress detail better.

I was really feeling this look! If it wasn't daytime I might've
gone for a stronger eye makeup.

Truth be told, I really enjoyed it. For one, I did feel like a dream come true of my 15-year-old self, a Goth queen out and about and I genuinely felt comfortable in the style. But I can’t deny that being harassed a little less and attracting a little less attention from the muggles didn’t play a part in it. It was great to feel like my personal space and right to exist were respected and not questioned. I know that I still stood out as much as I did in any other Lolita style (maybe more since Saturday was hot and here I was, head to toe in black), but since Gothic subculture is a little bit more known and understood amongst normies, people will just move on after labelling you in their heads rather than approach to question. That is a completely new discovery to me in Lolita and it felt great!

As always, it was great to hang out with the North-West comm. Last time we went to Richmonds Tea Rooms someone commented on how CLAM was generally a very Sweet comm – i.e. more people wearing Sweet Lolita compared to Leeds – but this time we had two thirds dressed in some sort of Gothic! At least for the meal part, I don’t know what happened later during the film screening. While I wanted to potter about in Manchester for a little longer, go to Lush etc., in the end I didn’t have the time and went straight for my train back, allowing me some chill time before the meet the next day.

Because on Sunday I not only joined my first Midlands Comm meet, but hosted it as well! After I was linked an article about a new place in Stoke-on-Trent about The Rabbit Hole, an Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea place there, I decided to take matters into my own hands and host the meet. Alas, this wasn’t meant to be as literally the night before the lady owning it messaged me saying they had to stay closed due to illness until Tuesday (council health and safety regulations) and we couldn’t really reschedule either. In the end she offered us complimentary cream tea to everyone in our party, whether we arrived as a group or individually, and we ended up at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery café instead.

| BtSSB Full of Stars "Bright Starry Night" JSK | offbrand
blouse | Primark tights | Innocent World shoes | DreamV
bag | After Midnight headband | offbrand hair clip and
jewellery |

Our balcony has the best light, but no way to avoid some
un-aesthetic background features like the line for drying

I also took one selfie with the crown on - no idea how to
make it stay on though!

Still, since I had planned this Queen of Hearts look, first for Richmond Tea Rooms and then for this, I decided not to change plans and run with it anyway. And I’m so happy that I did, I absolutely enjoyed it and it was surprisingly comfortable, even the shoes. And because I travelled so early, I still ended up not being bothered much by the public: Leeds was still asleep when I changed trains there, Manchester’s too big and more accepting of alternative fashion and people in Stoke just really liked it. Although I did stumble upon another elegant person in Bradford first thing in the morning – they were wearing period fashion, which looked a lot like an elegant pirate or maybe slightly more rakish dandy. Always great to see that fashionable and/or alternative people in Bradford haven’t died out completely! (Also, I want that person’s jacket, it was stun-ning!)

It was great to have a casual, laid back meet, just sit down, eat and chat with the Lolitas who attended. I’ve met two of them before and the ones I met for the first time were absolutely lovely. I definitely want to be more active in that comm, so will do my best to overcome travel issues, although in the future it would be much easier for me if I stayed at my boyfriend’s the night before (especially if the meet was to be in Stoke again).

And then on my way back, as I got off at a different station in Bradford and walked home instead of taking the bus, I found myself feeling like Momoko in Kamikaze Girls. Picture this: warm, sunny evening going through a quiet residential area. The surroundings are already green and there’s a sleepy atmosphere as hardly anyone is outside and those who are tend to do very leisurely stuff. Amidst all this a lone Lolita walking somewhere, dressed elegantly, the dull clatter of her heels echoing slightly. It was the sound of the heels that made me feel like Momoko, but the rest was pretty spot on too. I often say that Bradford is a bit backwards when it comes to anything outside the norm – even though it’s diverse in terms of the cultures living here, people can be almost surprisingly conservative in their views (I say almost because when you dissect it, it’s not that surprising at all, it’s a large city with a small village mentality). However, that was the first time I felt truly at ease wearing Lolita in my own town, which is all the more ironic given that I wore something more OTT than casual.

It was a fun-packed weekend, but going from all this back to work and reality is more tiring than I would’ve liked. Definitely needed at least an extra day after that for proper rest!

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