Meetup Report: International Lolita Day at Serenitea

Meetup Report: International Lolita Day at Serenitea

I love these instant pictures! This was from a small printer instead of an Instax.

I always feel nostalgic about International Lolita Day, but I don’t often remember to celebrate it. I love that there’s a rallying day for the fashion community, and I wish I gave it more attention when it comes around—especially since it occurs twice a year, on the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in December. That should mean that I at least remember one of them, but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way!

This year a dear friend of mine reminded me about the upcoming event and invited me to afternoon tea in time… and not just any friend, the very person who initially came up with the concept for this frilly “holiday” back in 2005 and organized the first celebration with the EGL community on ye olde Livejournal! 💖

The event on this first Saturday in June was hosted at Serenitea in Oak Park. Although it isn’t located in Chicago, it was easily accessible from both the Metra commuter train and the CTA green line. (I rode the L to and from; I prefer to take public transit when it’s available.) The tea room is a very short walk and fairly easy to identify. The location is rather small, but it still has a separate room for parties, which in general I prefer for meetups.

I regrettably forgot to take any pictures… I wore a pair of new shoes that savaged the backs of my ankles and distracted me from collecting a good record, so please forgive my lack of thoroughness in this “report”.

The afternoon tea menu is available with options for vegan and gluten-free needs, which our party appreciated. The gluten-free items were served on the same plates as the items containing gluten, so guests with very strict needs may benefit from making additional requests and confirming that there is no cross-contamination. The selection of finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts seemed like pretty standard fare for a tea menu. It had a more rustic and homemade appearance and feel than hotel tea service. Each guest selected their own tea from a fairly large list of loose leaf options that were served in petite teapots. The teapots are cute, but they are extremely difficult to pour from without sloshing half of the tea all over the table; better teapots, possibly equipped with drip-catchers, would immensely improve the experience!

The seatings for our group involved small tables that sat four at each. This can make the group seem divided, but it did make conversation at the individual tables a bit easier to follow and participate in. We did an introduction round-table and milled around a bit, particular between courses and after most of the food items had been consumed. There was an attached shop room with vintage-themed tea goods that several people used as a spot for photos; it was possible to do this without bothering any other customers or guests. One attendee brought a small printer and graciously provided instant photos for everyone else! 📸 I love those cameras at meetups.

When our reservation ended we took a few pictures outside. There was brief discussion about extending our time together, but the ominous clouds overhead caused most people to vote for heading home. I managed to just barely beat the rain other than a few sprinkled droplets during the walk back to the train station! ☔

Overall, I had a lot of fun celebrating International Lolita Day this way (despite my injured ankles that are still slowly healing…), and I enjoyed getting to see several friends that I hadn’t spoken to in a few months as well as meeting some others for the first time! Perhaps I’ll remember to see what’s planned for December… ❄️

Meetup Report: International Lolita Day

Meetup Report: International Lolita Day

I really enjoy celebrating International Lolita Day, both the summer and the winter versions. The concept of the day was actually created by a friend of mine, but several years before I knew her well. The summer date is the first Saturday of June, and the winter date is the first Saturday of December. The reason it occurs twice a year was to provide opportunities for both warm- and cold-weather coordinates. ♥ For a hobby based around clothing, I think that is quite fitting! It also allows for people in different hemispheres to enjoy it both ways, as well~

This year the International Lolita Day celebration was relatively small. It was on June 4, and another meetup had already been planned for June 5. I know there were also other girls who had other obligations, so in the end it wasn’t a giant and crazy celebration. I like smaller meetups so that I can talk to everyone, so it all worked out~ I brought the borrowed DSLR with me, so I had a great time taking pictures. It rained while we were in the restaurant, but magically brightened up by the time we got outside!

All Together
There were only four lolita in attendance, but we still had a great time~
Near the Art Institute there are some really beautiful gardens, one on each side. The Gardens to the South are my favourite, and the sky was providing really lovely light, so I asked if the lolita present wouldn’t mind posing for me so that I could practice taking pictures of people. I was so happy that they were all brave enough to not mind the any dampness or puddles from the storms that had raged while we enjoyed tea inside.

Summer Garden

Summer Garden

Summer Garden
I think I like being behind the camera much more than I like being in front of it! I had so much fun taking pictures of everyone~ I definitely have a ways to go, in terms of photography skills, but I’m trying my best. The level of control with a DSLR really enthralls me. It takes some getting used to, but now that I have a teeny-tiny bit of an idea of what I’m doing I want to learn and practice more! I feel very lucky that my friend was willing to let me borrow such a nice camera.

I am also very happy to celebrate International Lolita Day with friends! ♥ I hope that the December date is one where I can spend time with even more lolita. It’s fun to have another excuse to get together and do something frilly. I hope that everyone else had a wonderful International Lolita Day, regardless of how you were able to celebrate it~ ♥ I wish I had been keeping up with my posts so that I could have said such a thing on a date much closer to the actual event… Maybe I’ll be more prepared next year! (Or in December!)