Belated Summer ILD


Belated happy ILD to you all! Most of you would have celebrated at the beginning of this month, but I was away and my comm planned its celebration for this weekend just gone, a week after the official ILD. Not only that, it was a joint ILD between the Leeds and Newcastle comms (whom I was meeting for the first time) and they used the theme of EqualiTeas, a government scheme aimed at celebrating the 100th anniversary of granting (initially only some) women the right to vote. So I could have lolita and feminism in one meet? I couldn’t have missed that!

| BtSSB Sugar Bouquet Shirring Princess JSK | Angelic Pretty Romantic Bright
blouse | Angelic Pretty Salon de The Rose OTKs | Metamorphose shoes | Cutie
Creator hat | offbrand flower clips on the hat | offbrand jewellery | BtSSB Bird
parasol |

The lashes were great, but they covered up the makeup I was so proud of!

I was really happy with how my hair and makeup
turned out!

My outfit was a variation of look 3 from the 17th installment of 1 Dress 4 Looks. I had made some tweaks to it, especially since I simply had to incorporate my new blouse, but the overall style of it remains pretty much the same. It was a good call: no last minute worries over whether something will arrive on time (because if the blouse hadn’t, I still had an outfit to wear), it was all light enough for the weather and plenty of shirring to indulge in the afternoon tea service. What’s there not to like? I ended up getting loads of photos of this outfit that I absolutely adore, so excuse me if this post ends up a little vanity loaded.

Shame that we weren't able to take out any of the books
behind me.

I carried this parasol with me purely for aesthetic reasons,
so I'd be damned if I didn't get at least one photo with it!

Our venue for the day was the stunning Grange Hotel in York. I’m sure I said it time and time again, but I love York and I love going out in lolita in York, it feels appropriate to dress fancy when visiting such a beautiful historic city. We had the whole Library and Drawing Room to ourselves, meaning maximum privacy and maximum comfort – as well as maximum fanciness! You can actually take a virtual tour of those rooms (as well as others) by going here, so while it’s set up for a wedding on the virtual tour, it gives you a great idea of what we experienced on the day.

The tea turned out to be a lot smaller event than I had anticipated – with much benefit to the event itself, I must add! Leeds comm is pretty big, it’s not unusual for even more casual meets to attract between 15 to 20 people there, let alone things like ILD. Knowing that this was joint with another comm (and remembering calls from the organisers about minimum numbers etc.) I expected to see the room packed with at least 20. However, on the day there were 9 of us, myself included, with about an even spread between Leeds and Newcastle comm members. And it worked out just perfectly, so I won’t bother trying to guess why it happened this way. With this the tea felt both intimate, since one could easily chat to everyone and get to know each other, and like a large celebration befitting the occasion. I feel like I got to know the lolitas from Newcaste well, to the point where I joined their Facebook group immediately after getting home and genuinely hope to attend more meets with them in the future.

Our delicious spread - the omnivore version.

Most of the sandwiches were gone by the end of the day.

Closeup of the desserts. A pistachio cake with lemon curd,
a lemon meringue mini-tart and brownie.

The vegan/non-dairy desserts.

Whilst we had some of the usual lolita event features, like a raffle or silly games (namely pinning stuff onto Mr Yan and designing prints based on randomly picked out words), EqualiTeas gave us extra things to do. Like I said, it is a government scheme designed to commemorate achieving full suffrage for women and any party, be it individuals or organisations, who wished to do an event to celebrate and/or discuss issues like feminism, equal rights and history could register and get supplies from them. Now, to clear some historical confusion, the EqualiTeas website actually celebrates 90 years of voting rights this year, as they are counting from the 1928 Representation of the People Act which granted fully equal voting rights to men and women over the age of 21. However, there are many events across the UK held this year commemorating the 100th anniversary, because the 1918 Representation of the People Act granted voting rights to property-owning women over 30 (and to all men over 21, regardless of whether they owned a property or not) for the first time. Both are worthy of celebrating and it’s good to know why EqualiTeas as a scheme has a different number of years than some other organisations and schemes might give. They gave us button badges and pencils, as well as a board game (which ultimately we didn’t end up playing), a tote bag (which was a raffle prize – and I ended up winning it!) and plenty of postcards, both reprints of original political cartoons and posters from that period of time and those with discussion questions written on them. It turns out that as a group, despite coming from a fair range of different backgrounds, we were on the same page politically, so it ended up more of an agreement session than a discussion, nonetheless it was still fun to bring an element of education and feminism into the meet.

Others had (potentially) more challenging questions like: do you think we
have achieved equality in the UK and what do you think equality will look
like in 100 years.

The EqualiTeas board game.

A copy of a newspaper from the early 20th century.

Everything that at one point or another was pinned on to
the dreamy boy himself, Mr Yan.

Mr Yan, he so dreamy! And I ended up planting him a
kiss mark right on the neck - raunchy stuff! 
Do click to enlarge, some of these prints are now in genuine demand (especially
Marine Angel Pony).

Most of the day, however, was spent on typical lolita things. We had the afternoon tea service, which was absolutely lovely (the scones might’ve been the best ones I ever had, certainly noteworthy enough – and usually I’m not the most keen on scones), we played some classical music and sighed over wanting that drawing room to be our everyday reality like a true lifestyler. Of course, a lot of time was dedicated to photographs, taking and posing, as well as helping others pose. And, of course, lots of chatter and laughs, about the fashion and Japan, as well as plenty of other things, both serious and silly. Honestly? This felt like a perfect ILD to me and one of the most fun and memorable meets I had. Even though I had only meet 3 people prior to attending, I left feeling like I was good friends with everyone and would love to hang out with any one of these lovelies again! Which is exactly how you know whether your meet has been a success!

So many pictures!

Including loads of silly ones. Here I look like I'm very 
short thanks to those shoes peeking out!

Afterwards I had planned on going into York to do some light shopping. That same day was also host to York Pride, which some from our group planned on attending. However, we got distracted by owls in the park – pretty much a fixture in York Castle Museum Park between Easter and October. There is a charity collecting money for taking care of local owls and they will let you hold one of their owls for a small fee. This was my third time stopping by their tent with someone, but first time actually holding an owl myself. I didn’t plan on doing it, but a friend wanting to face her fear of birds asked whether I wanted to join in (it’s £3 to hold one bird, but £5 to hold two), so I did. Whilst I have no idea what was the owl that she held, I asked to hold the tiny burrowing owl – because the amount of fierceness, fearlessness and sass contained in that tiny body was hysterically amusing! The owl was a male called George and I could not stop laughing as George looked around, moving his head sideways or down, as if judging people around for their poor fashion choices. He also had some incredibly soft feathers and was just a darling to hold. After this, whilst I started off with all the intentions of going shopping, my feet decided to remind me of their discomfort, so I turned towards the train station instead and decided to head home for the day.

Not the most flattering photo, but it was George who was
the star here.

You can also see my raffle win, the Votes for Women tote bag.

George, the burrowing owl, is judging your fashion choices.

It was an absolute blast of a day and I am so grateful that I got a chance to attend. I can’t wait to meet up with the Newcastle lolitas again (or to go back to York, for that matter, because York is even more stunning when the weather is lovely) and The Grange Hotel was a marvelous venue. Definitely would love to live there if only I ever could!

So now that probably everyone has had their ILD celebrations, tell me what you ended up doing. Did you have a meetup or indulged in some frilly self-love on your own? What would your ideal ILD celebration look like? Is there any important event in your country’s history that should be commemorated with a themed lolita meet up? (I do wonder whether there are any French or Austrian lolitas reading this blog who will now throw a mourning goth meet on the anniversary of Marie Antoinette’s execution – come on, this is just waiting to happen!)

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