Day and Night in Blackpool

10:00:00
Anyone who’s ever even flicked through a women’s magazine will know about this mystical ritual of ‘going from a daytime look to an evening/night one’. It’s this wonderful principle of reusing something (here: clothes and/or makeup) by making small changes that will transform it from something appropriate for the day to something glam enough for the night. As I was going to Blackpool for the weekend and the plans ranged from afternoon tea during the day to a full-on drag show at night, and I wasn’t planning on taking a giant suitcase, I worked with this principle to minimise the packing whilst maximising the lewks.

| Angelic Pretty Crystal Dream Carnival Tiered JSK | Innocent World Playing
Cards Chocolate Heart
bag | vintage gloves and necklace | The Naked Lace
Company barette | GlassesLit glasses | everything else offbrand |

I had to swap my glasses because they started to hurt.

Slightly blurred, but I like how my sunglasses added to
the vintage vibes here.

During the day on Saturday I went for as comfortable as possible and as low-fuss as I felt I’d be comfortable with. In case you don’t have any friends in the UK, we’re currently having a heatwave, also known as regular summer: it’s between 22-26°C, but as Britain doesn’t have air conditioning in the majority of places, it has no idea how to cope. Having said this, even those temperatures are a bit much for the layers involved in lolita fashion, so I utilised every trick I could think of to make sure I wasn’t melting. Light chiffon top and ankle socks, hair up, as little makeup as possible (I literally only did lips, brows and eyes with a tiny bit of concealer here and there) and a hoop skirt (which is way too long for this dress that’s really short, hence many a peeks) all made sure that while I was still hot, I wasn’t dying of a heatstroke. Luckily, as Blackpool is by the seaside, there was enough breeze to cool me down. Which was very much necessary because as you may be able to tell from the flats, we did a lot of walking.



I’ve never been to Blackpool before that – odd considering it’s not that far from me and it is one of the most popular seaside destinations in the UK. However, most people go to Blackpool for the Pleasure Beach, a park with an assortment of rides, rollercoasters etc., which we were completely disinterested in. Instead our plan involved strolling around town, popping in to whatever shop took our fancy (mostly charity shops), going to an antique shop (more on that in a sec), afternoon tea at The Ballroom and Funny Girls, the long-running drag show. Without these attractions, there isn’t much to Blackpool other than, of course, the piers and the beach. It’s obvious that, just like many other places in the North of England, Blackpool is a poor city with little to no opportunities for the locals and without the little it has, it would’ve fallen completely. Which is a shame because so much is still left of its past days of glory. Had someone injected a bit of cash into Blackpool, just enough to repaint or restore some of its Victorian features and clean a bit of the usual seaside mess, it would look much better. It wouldn’t solve the problem of lack of opportunities, but as a believer in the ‘fake it til you make it’ principle, once it’d look the part maybe an opportunity to reinvigorate the local economy would present itself.




Still, it was a very fun weekend. I ended up buying a chain belt and a Victorian-style cropped jacket at the antique shop (seriously contemplated a Victorian-style overskirt, but just could not justify it, even if it was absolutely stun-ning!), which I know I will use in lolita a lot. After a quick stroll through the Winter Gardens, where we caught some amazing lighting for outfit shots, we went to The Ballroom, which is part of Blackpool Tower. It is what it sounds like: a ballroom, with an eating and bar areas, as well as balconies, where you can either dance yourself or watch others. Mum and I had an afternoon tea, but truth be told, as someone who has had so many different afternoon tea sets at various places and price points, this one was probably the worst of the ones I ever tried. It costs £50 for two people, which includes all day entry to The Ballroom and the tea spread, but you can get better quality food at Patisserie Valerie chains for way less. However, it was great to sit around and watch other people dance, whether they were amateurs or pros. In the future, if I were to ever return there, it’d be much better value for money to pay the entry and buy my own drink/snack at the bar if I felt like it.




After that we had a brief break and it was time to transform this daytime look into a night-time one with a bit of hair, makeup and accessory magic!

| Angelic Pretty Crystal Dream Carnival Tiered JSK | Peacockalorum wrist
cuffs | vintage necklace | crown bought on Taobao | everything else offbrand |

I literally had a ton of highlighter on, which you can't see because I had to
turn away from the sun to take the selfie.

Since we were going to Blackpool’s oldest drag revue, I wanted to go a bit OTT. This finally gave me the opportunity to wear one of the crowns I bought on Taobao eons ago (tried to find the shop again, but it appears to have closed, which is a massive shame) and the chain belt I bought earlier that day was an absolutely perfect match! Of course, a crown can’t be just plopped on your head without doing anything to your hair, so I improvised a hime up-do. While not the neatest, with support of a load of bobby pins and hairspray it worked, besides, the club was dark and people would be looking at the stage and not my hair. I’m a little gutted that I couldn’t find a better spot for selfies to showcase my makeup better (I might’ve slapped on every highlighter and shiny thing I had), but hopefully the one I did take showcases it enough.

I actually never went to a drag show before. I was going to, but had to cancel. Ultimately, going to Funny Girls was probably a much better introduction to live drag performances than going to a Klub Kids one of one of the RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni. Funny Girls have performed in Blackpool for over 25 years and its main star, Betty Legs Diamond, has been doing drag for even longer, appearing in theatres and television, gaining awards for choreography and is still dancing, kicking and charming everyone despite being over 60 (or so I’m told, she doesn’t look it at all!). Not only is that a true legend of the British drag scene, but it guarantees a quality performance – you don’t stick around in show business for this long unless you genuinely are that good and can charm the audience. I don’t know, it felt more, hm, authentic? I don’t mean any offence to RPDG queens, rather that seeing the routines at Funny Girls put into context the various comments I had read in articles about the negative impact of the show on drag performers. The show at Funny Girls felt much closer to the burlesque shows that I’ve been to: each routine told a story through costume, dance and innuendos – the differences being no stripping and more males on stage than females. And I felt like I got from it all of my favourite aspects of burlesque, which is the tongue-in-cheek or even blatantly rude comedy in a glamorous, sparkly setting. Each routine was beautiful to look at, but also genuinely cracked me up at least once, be it with something small or not. I must admit, with the layout of the program being that there’s a 20-minute break after every routine, I would’ve much preferred to get a seating ticket (not helped by me wearing heels and the venue being pretty packed), but that’s a lesson for next time.

Although I wore a mostly-complete lolita coord the day after, as I learnt that my hoop, even adjusted, wasn’t suited for the dress I brought (Bodyline’s L262), I didn’t get any photos since I was walking around petti-less. I wanted to wear the sailor outfit put together last week and whilst I brought most of the elements, it was too hot to wear them, so it was not sailor at all in the end. Despite that, that JSK was comfortable and light enough to wear out on a hot day since it’s cotton and breathed pretty well. I’ll try to do a better outfit soon because my wardrobe is really lacking in heatwave-appropriate pieces in general, so stay tuned!


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