Doki Doki Weekend


Whilst I was planning on attending Doki Doki again, having gone for the first time in 2017, my plan was way, waaay more casual than this. From just going to have fun, I’ve ended up helping to run the CLAM fashion show, J-fashion panel and the stall! I mean, that’s fair work for a free weekend pass, but still more than I actually planned on taking on!

| Bodyline L380 skirt | Infanta Swan Lake blouse | Angelic Pretty Salon de The Rose OTKs | Bodyline shoes | vintage haori | offbrand tsukeobi | offbrand blue hair clip | After Midnight sakura hair clips | My Inspiration necklace | Madillusration and Promised Land Creation brooches | Angelic Pretty Cute Ribbon wrist cuffs | offbrand earrings |

For day 1 my plan was to have another stab at Wa lolita. As the temperatures dropped, it began to seem more and more appealing thanks to the multiple layers involved. So far both of my Wa looks involved Bodyline main pieces, as they are simply some of the most versatile ones I own. This particular haori is actually more mint than blue, which actually worked out for the better as I was able to wear flats for the day - great choice given that I was on my feet for most of the time. The tsukeobi was nice to visually break up this white and blue blob, though without it this would’ve been a lot more comfortable for my back.

The day went by in a flash and a lot of it was a bit of a blur for me, to be perfectly honest. I got there for 10:30 to help with setting up the stall. CLAM actually ended up having three tables that day, as someone else was not able to make it. Which worked out well for us, as the bring and buy stuff could be spread out, whilst still leaving room for the glitter makeovers at the end of the table.

That poster is so good and made us look really professional.

Sponsored by Kenji.

Our panel was due to start at 12 noon. The con doors opened at 11am, but as we were in the hall further away from the entrance, it took time by the time people started wandering into our hall. Luckily, my experience delivering tutorials to 16-year-olds prepared me for this and I spent the first few minutes on the stage just talking at people and trying to drum up some interest. In the end we had a pretty decent turnout, though I do feel that having stage events a bit later in the day would be more helpful in ensuring some attendance.

The topic for the panel was ‘Accessible and Affordable J-Fashion’ and we covered fairy-kei, decora, larme, and even touched a little on otome, on top of lolita, which was our main thing. Whilst I would’ve loved to have a bigger variety of substyles being discussed (we were going to have someone talk about gyaru and someone discussing visual-kei), the stage was very small, so some hard decisions were made. Still, I’m happy with the content that we put out, the talk was rich in information, which hopefully came in useful to some people, and one member of the audience contributed some very good questions.

Fashion, let us talk to you about it!
Photo credit to Shasha's phone (I can't remember who held it as Shasha was on stage).
Between then and the fashion show there was roughly half an hour, which went by so fast. At the end of the panel we were able to get more people signing up to the fashion show and a few came up for the glitter makeovers, so it seems like that time went by in a flash. Also, somehow we were allocated 40 minutes for the fashion show, whereas we’ve used maybe 10 of that tops and that’s with a slight delay on our part. The way Doki Doki fashion show works is that it’s open to everyone and people come on stage to show off the outfit they’re wearing, then rejoin for a group photo. There was lots of people taking part and we were lucky to have some small gifts donated by Kenji to give out to the participants as thank yous. I ended up getting an elephant shaped phone stand, which is both cute and practical.

fashion photo group picture.
Photo credit to Shasha's phone (I can't remember who held it as Shasha was on stage).
A new friend.

That was the end of stage duties for CLAM and myself. I went on a break to get some food - had to grab some curry rice, I’ve been craving it - and managed to look around all the stalls. Luckily for my wallet, there wasn’t much that I was interested in buying. Doki Doki is great if you want to support local artists, many of whom have brought not only prints and postcards, but also stickers, badges, colouring books, clothing and more, as well as doing on-the-spot commissions. There seemed to be less anime merchandise and snacks than I remember from my previous experience, which for me wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have noticed a bigger gaming space than I remember from before, as well as more clothing stalls. However, those were predominantly very pastel, your generic kawaii fashion, with the only lolita stall also catering exclusively to sweet lolitas, so not much for me. It’s interesting to see how at a con there was so much for sweet lolitas to choose from, lots of vendors with amazing accessories that’d work for that style, whereas at European lolita events we see mostly classic brands. Of course, generic pastel stuff is easier to market to anyone who’s interested in J-fashion and/or Japan, so I understand why that is, I simply found it interesting.

Tempura broccoli was a great additon, I might nick this idea.

Japanese sweets are always so colourful, it's pleasing to look at.

Not getting a lucky pack from Tofu Cute took a lot of effort.

So much cuteness!

This is where I got my brooch from.

These made me smile. In hindsight, I probably should've gotten a magnet, I need magnets.

Sweet lolita's paradise.

The only lolita clothing stall other than our bring and buy.

Saturday was packed, getting past was hard most of the times.

By that point tiredness has really settled inside me. Luckily, I was due to man the stall tables, so I was able to sit down for the rest of the day. The flurries of interest immediately post-fashion show had also mostly gone, so it was much quieter than in the morning, allowing me to zone out a bit. Though truth be told, it only helped in so far as getting me through the rest of the day, so once everything was packed up and we decided what was staying over for Sunday, I dashed to catch my bus back and after a very uneventful evening, crashed into bed around 9:00-9:30pm. That’s early even by my standards!


| Baroque x Sakizo Repose of Queen Teatime Dress | Innocent World Moon and Star pearl necklace | Irregular Choice Total Freedom shoes | offbrand tiara, socks and earrings | Dalao Home Anlya wig |

Without the Sailor Moon hairstyle, I feel like this blonde wig makes me look like Princess Aurora. Idea for another time?

Gosh, the print on this dress is so gorgeous, I love it to bits!

For day 2 my original plan was to push the boundaries of lolita a bit and venture somewhat into cosplay. I’ve had this idea for a Princess Serenity lolita coord since I believe July, when another CLAM member hosted an ‘Anime Trash, but Make It Fashion’ themed picnic for her birthday, which I wasn’t able to attend in the end. A convention all about Japan seemed like the perfect opportunity to whip something like that out, right? However, I had problems styling the wig into those iconic buns and as it’s such a nice wig, I decided to save it at the expense of my idea. Luckily, the rest of the coord was still nice enough and worked, so since I didn’t have the energy to think of anything else, I kept that.

Day 2 of Doki Doki was a lot quieter and calmer. Not only we had only one table instead of three, there was only one other person besides myself helping out at it. Sundays are usually the days when more families with children attend, which was pretty obvious. Without any stage commitments, we literally alternated between getting up for drinks/snacks/bathroom breaks/wandering around and sitting down at the table.

The room we were in was cold, so I borrowed this super fancy cape for warmth. It also matched my coord, which was perfect!

As far as I’m aware, this was the first time that CLAM has had a table during both days and now that I’ve done it, I can say that sticking to one day would’ve been much better. Without any stage activity to drum up additional interest in what we were having the day was very quiet. Whilst we managed to either sell or donate all but three small items we still had that day, and there were plenty of people in J-fashion that day, it was a very slow process. Again, being in a hall further away from the entrance, tucked in a corner, often meant that people didn’t make it that far and it was quiet across the entire convention. Had we had any stage events, things may have been a bit different. This is something to consider next year.

The highlight of my day was definitely the company. We had a laugh chatting about anything and everything, from nice things to general saltiness, and we both looked out for each other. They even bought me snacks, like this matcha cake, which I otherwise wouldn’t have tried because I’m not so keen on matcha and which actually turned out lovely (because the matcha flavour wasn’t so overpowering). There was also another lolita I met the day before, who was actually in cosplay on Sunday, who came back  to chat a few times throughout the day. I know they’re still new to the comm, but they’re also local, so hopefully we’ll meet again at some event in the future.

Souffle cheesecake which I bought myself. I also had a bao bun before, but devoured that before I remembered to take a picture.

The matcha cake which was surprisingly nice. I would definitely have that again!

As such, the day felt much longer than Saturday, even though we actually arrived a little later and packed up a little sooner. I tried to fill some of my time alone at the table with writing for NaNo, which tiredness made me abandon the evening before, but as I dislike typing long texts on my phone, it didn’t go that well. Still, the organisers did an absolutely solid job and made sure that we were looked after, so this isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just the nature of Sundays at conventions.

After that weekend there is but one question remaining: would I do it all again? And the answer is: most likely no. Whilst my doing NaNo had a lot to do with my overall motivation and tiredness levels, they aren’t the sole reason. Two days of working at a con, which is much busier than a lolita event, requires a lot of energy. Whereas at a lolita event you will usually have a busy day and a relaxed day (tea party), that’s not the case with cons and it exhausts my energy levels even more. I was still getting up at 7am on both days to get ready, getting home around 6pm or later, meaning that I’ve not had the chance to sleep off my working week before I had to be back up at 6am for another working week. That is a lot for one body to take on and frankly, I want to prioritise my comfort.

Moreover, during the process I discovered that with things like this I work best solo. By which I mean that when I work solo and am the only one in charge of what happens, that’s when I feel the most proud of the work I do, find the most satisfaction in it and naturally find the motivation to do it. This has been the case with the perfume making ILD [] last year and it’s the case with OT-Tea Party, which is due to take place this Saturday. Whilst I’m happy to help out the community, this can very quickly turn into a ‘too many cooks’ situation and there were some big changes from when I first volunteered to help with the panel that were done that have affected how things worked. So whilst I’m grateful for the experience and am not necessarily avert to hosting a panel in the future, I don’t think that I’ll be putting myself forward for that anytime soon.

Lastly, the fact that I am not the weebiest person out there also affected my overall experience. Going in 2017 for a few hours was just right, as I could do what I was interested in and then leave once that was over. There weren’t that many other things that I was interested in and those that piqued my interest often were at times when I couldn’t commit due to being at the stall or running a stage event myself. Which means that unless I could do my part and then leave - which without a bigger reason I’ll be the first to admit that this is very selfish - I don’t think I have the energy to commit. 

Shame to end on a more sour note, but that’s how the cookie crumbles and we all learn from each experience we go through them. At least I got to wear two outfits I was excited by, which otherwise I wouldn’t really have an occasion for, saw some friends and bought some nice stuff. My haul was very tiny, but also meaningful: the jam brooch is from a fellow CLAM member who had their own stall in the artists’ alley. There were so many more I wanted to buy, but tried to be sensible and only got this one, which I think will match my wardrobe best. The girl guide-style badges were a gift by my Sunday partner-in-crime, who works with girl guiding and gave everyone on Saturday some as a thank you for helping out. They absolutely didn’t have to do that, which makes this gift even more precious and I love the amount of thought that went into those, as everyone had something unique to them. The necklace was purchased on Sunday from the other lolita we hung out with - they already had some things at the bring and buy table, then brought that over on Sunday, which I basically snatched up straight away. It was a 100% impulse buy purchase, but the necklace is gorgeous and it will most likely become my accessory for this Saturday’s OT-Tea. And then, of course, is the Kenji elephant, but I forgot about that, which is why it was pictured separately.

Tiny yet meaningful haul.

Wow, this seems like a lot of words to say that the con happened, our parts went very well, but I’m tired and don’t think I’ll do it again. So I guess this is your TL;DR. And big thank you to everyone who read through the entire thing, you are awesome!

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.