The Virtual Summer ILD of 2020

This time last year if you told people that they’d be having virtual tea parties for ILD, they’d laugh you off as mad. That sort of thing would’ve seemed better suited to the earliest days of lolita fashion’s popularity outside of Japan, when there were so few Western lolitas out there that hosting any kind of meetup seemed only possible virtually. Yet here we are, still social distancing and still doing virtual tea parties to keep whatever’s left of our sanity.

| Metamorphose Classical Sister OP | Shinku Rose Tulle Overdress | Enchantlic Enchantilly The Crown of the Rose Princess tights | Irregular Choice Total Freedom shoes | handmade headdress (not by me) | offbrand/vintage jewellery |

Is it obvious that I was feeling this look?

Still very proud of achieving all this hair and can't wait to try it again.

This headdress waited over 2 years for me to finally wear it.

As mentioned in my last outfit roundup post, I have decided to give a random number generator a go. Unless I feel a particular urge to wear a specific main piece, why not eliminate the indecision that way? It really could force me to think outside the box sometimes with the coords. The number landed on this OP and while at first I wasn’t feeling it for ILD, my cheat second try at a random number picked something I was even less keen on. That’s when I realised that I was merely feeding some internalised pressure that ILD coords had to be super OTT, that I had to take advantage of being at home and being able to dress very out-there without having to deal with the public, and that not doing so would be wasting an occasion. The fact is, I’m not wasting an occasion and this was my chance to finally dress this OP up into something fancier, as I wanted to, whilst actually staying comfortable. Truth is, my energy levels weren’t very high that weekend anyway, so this was perfect.

Aaaand then I went super OTT anyway! Despite every genuine intention of going for something simpler, as soon as I thought of wearing this OP with this overdress, my OTT senses took over. Clearly, the meaning of the word “casual” is utterly lost on me, though I’ll say that I was indeed very comfortable in this. And I am very happy with how this outfit came out, it fits the fancy occasion that is ILD perfectly, even one spent at home. Thanks to complete winging it I have figured out a way of doing that Rococo hairstyle, which I’ll be sure to use again in the future. Yes, that is my own hair. It isn’t just hair, but the hair that is there is entirely mine.

Up until maybe two weeks prior to ILD my comm still had nothing planned. Which meant that in true admin spirit of “if you want something to happen, do it yourself” I volunteered to host a virtual tea party with a quiz, just to spice things up. The positive response from the comm gave me the kick up the backside I needed and I actually enjoyed putting that quiz together much more than I thought I would have.

It was wonderful to see how lockdown has changed basically nothing about community dynamics at an ILD meetup. In a good way, of course. It sucks to not be able to have afternoon tea with these people in person, but to see that even at a virtual tea party that everyone joins from home some things remain the same is highly uplifting. Someone is inevitably late. The appearance of a cute animal derails the entire conversation into a load of “awws” and similar noises. One comment of “I’m so full” sparks a chorus of agreement as we’ve all overindulged on whaever we were able to provide for ourselves. Even people who dressed for comfort suddenly reappear having changed or speak of how much they can’t wait to change into pjs or take certain pieces off. We may be apart, but we’re certainly together and to me this ILD felt the same in spirit as every other ILD I’ve attended.

Let's take a moment to appreciate my highly advanced setup. And my being a heathen who uses scones to make sandwiches.

I actually forgot to count how many people attended. It was probably 16 at most, myself included, which isn’t that far off the 18-20 who originally responded to the event. And there were people both new and old, regulars and those we haven’t seen in a while. We’ve also had the next generation in attendance as one of our members is a new mum and despite taking a break to be frilly, had to do some mothering at one point. Many lolitas claim to have been born lolitas, but not many can say they attended their first meetup at the age of three months. Just think about that next time you’re fishing for clout on the Internet.

One point I did make earlier that week was to remind everyone that being able to celebrate something as trivial as frilly dresses is a privilege. I made this point in my last Wunderwelt Libre article as well, but reiterated it specifically to the people who were coming. Our Northern English comms are used to spending an average of £30 for an ILD meetup ‘ticket’ only. For many it’s usually £30+ once you add the costs of transport and maybe something extra or an item for your coordinate. So whilst food, electricity and broadband still cost, virtual tea parties are as close to ‘free’ meetups as we will ever get. I asked everyone to consider donating whatever they could of the money they would’ve otherwise spent on ILD to one of the organisations supporting Black Lives Matter, whether it is a US or UK-based one. Being a comm of very politically inclined people who want to see positive change happen, I know that many of them already have and more still will, which was very inspiring. I too donated to a few organisations based in the UK, as well as kept streaming videos for ad revenue, wrote to my local politician and called out some big companies who proved to be a lot of show and not a lot of substance (namely, and very sadly, Lush).

As I mentioned earlier, we had some people join late. The one who was late the most has given me plenty of notice, so we kept eating and chatting until they joined and we could start the quiz. I was using Kahoot, a website/app which I first learnt about at work. The basic version is free, though if you want more than 10 people participating or any of the fancy question options, you will need a plan which get costly (and Kahoot has had some dodgy business practices in the past). I signed up for a free trial, which I have cancelled since, because I expected more than 10 people. And because I got too invested in that quiz and adding some interesting questions. Knowing that most people probably wouldn’t know about Kahoot or how it works, I set the questions out the following way:

The first 5 were very easy, something you’d expect all lolitas in our comm to know, so that everyone could get used to how Kahoot works. And so that no-one would end up with zero points.

This was literally the very first question. You don't want people missing out on points just because they are using something for the first time and feel like a total boomer about it. The 20 in the circle indicates how many seconds are left to answer.

Then I had 10 questions at medium difficulty. They would have required a little bit of knowledge or a slightly better memory, but were things that the majority would at least be aware of. Because Kahoot only really lets you have multiple choice questions of up to 4 answers, everyone still had at least a 25% chance of guessing the right answer. Throughout the quiz I tried to balance the questions, including some about people, some about releases or events, and some relating to our own community to really keep it broad enough that everyone could find something they might recognise.

I wanted some questionsthat were specific to our comm. There was one later about the number of members on our Facebook group - which the other admin in attendance wildly overestimated.

For the resource that Lolibrary is, how many of us have really paid attention to the URL? By now it's either in our bookmarks or browser history, so it's easy to forget that.

Even if you remember something happening doesn't remember that you will remember the year it happened. And GLB is so prevalent in lolita fashion that some who were still very new to lolita didn't even realise the magazine went out of print.

Then I upped the ante and the next 5 questions were genuinely hard. Whilst people would still have a shot at guessing the answers, the knowledge required was a bit more specific. To account for that, I doubled the maximum points one could get, from 1000 for the first 15 questions to 2000 for the last 10. Kahoot starts with max points for everyone and awards you points based on both whether your answer was correct and how quickly you answered the question. At this point the people who had accrued a lot earlier had a fair advantage, but the double points allowed some who were middling to catch up.

This was a double whammy of knowledge required. You had to know both where each of these brands is based and be good with European geography. Or be lucky and quick when guessing.

Sweet lolitas collectively groaned, while gothic lolitas breathed a sigh of relief when they got it right.

And the last 5 questions were very hard, things I wouldn’t expect anyone to know and things I probably wouldn’t know myself without looking up or if I hadn’t based them around the lolita content that I engage with. Again, people could still guess the correct answer, but judging by how people did, it became much more blind guessing, whereas before it may have been at least partially informed. What surprised me in this last ‘round’ was that while the top 5 had amassed enough points to be basically unshakeable, they didn’t seem to gain much, the few correct answers were mostly from the people who were much further behind. Which I guess shows how sometimes being in the fashion for a long time can make you overthink your answers and skew it towards the wrong one, while someone who is blindly pushing buttons could simply luck out.

Points to you if you know which year these took place.

Making hard questions harder: Baby the Stars Shine Bright Edition.
(Also, whilst looking up dress names to include, I genuinely fell in love with Belle Harmonie. It has the audacity to still be fully in stock on Baby's website - as well as the audacity to cost over 30k JPY!)

This is one of the questions I am particularly and genuinely proud.

There was one final bonus question. It carried no points because it was made purely to end the quiz on a positive note and to have a bit of a laugh. We are all Meta stans in this house and in Leeds comm, so while of course we have people who prefer other brands, no heathen shall disrespect Meta on our watch.

Meta is the god of brand and one day I will make badges to show that love.

What was quite poetic was that the person who won, with an impressive 24k points out of a possible maximum of 40k, was the very same one who also won the BtSSB dress names at the OT-Tea Party. Her lead was also significant, roughly 6k points, so while she claimed to have guessed most of the hard answers, to me that seems like a bit more than just luck. We all have knowledge that we don’t consciously access, so I feel like some of that aided her guessing. Especially as after the first five questions she wasn’t even on the leaderboard.

Congratulations to everyone though! And thank you for not being too mad at me for all those hard questions.

After that we continued to chat, people gradually left as other needs and activities called them. The usual thing at virtual meetups by now. We wrapped only half an hour later than the ‘official’ end time on the event Facebook page, which meant a three and a half hours meetup. After that I ordered a takeaway via Deliveroo, which turned into its own little adventure as I received the wrong order: someone’s £50 worth of sushi and some sides instead of my burger. I did get that burger in the end and Deliveroo said that as the mistake wasn’t mine, I can do whatever I want with the other order. However, sushi is wasted on me as I’m not a fan and with all that social distancing I’m not sure if my neighbours would’ve been keen. So while it was a massive shame, I had no choice but to throw it all out bar two of the sides I used the day after for my dinner. Hopefully the person who was waiting on their £50 worth of sushi was able to sort something out with Deliveroo too, I’m sure they were looking forward to it and I felt bad.

I like post-meetup hair when it's like this, I wish it was even half like this all the time!

Thank you, Deliveroo, for getting that burger to me eventually. And sorry to the other person whose sushi I had to throw out. The sides were good though!

So yeah, my very first virtual ILD meetup. The energy of it was fantastic and will keep me going socially for a little while, although we all miss just going out places. The UK is supposedly going to ease lockdown measures on June 15th, with non-essential retail shops being allowed to open and already more freedom on meeting others outside your own household (only in open spaces like parks and still with 2m social distance), so while I am personally very doubtful that this is the right time to do that, I would like to see people in person again. And it does give me hope that maybe we will be able to host at least some of the meets, particularly the next OT-Tea Party, even if it had to be at reduced capacity due to maintaining social distancing. It’d no doubt do a lot for our collective sanity.

Did you manage to do something for Summer ILD this year, alone or with others? Or has time lost meaning and you forgot about it? Or did you spend your time fighting for justice instead (there were Black Lives Matter protests across the UK that same day, so surely there would’ve been some elsewhere)? However you spent that day, I hope that it was meaningful and positive for you. Stay safe!


  1. Hot damn that coord is amazing! And the hair! Is there a giant rat in there somewhere? Last time I tried hair that big I used balls of wool as a base, and now I want to pull them out (still got them) and try again because oh my goodness you look fabulous!

    I'm also loving the sound of that quiz you put together ^__^

    1. Almost! I cut one of the big hair donuts to be a sausage, rolled the back of my hair into it to pin at the top, then pinned the front over it. That with a bit of dry shampoo worked its magic. Though I can totally see how balls of wool would be amazing too!

      And thank you! It's almost a shame that there are only so many questions you could ask within/about lolita fashion and its community without getting into specific releases or gossip. Otherwise a regular monthly lolita quiz, kind of like a pub quiz, could be quite fun. But it'd probably be very obviously skewed towards those who have been in the fashion for longer.


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