EGL at a STEAMPUNK EVENT!
Danielle and Pahl in matching outfits. Photo Credit to Ben Jordan.
We look like we have just gone out for our afternoon walk around the property.
That's right. I have so many pieces in my elegant lolita wardrobe now, I will not confine myself to wearing it only at my local community meetings. In fact, I will wear it anywhere I please, so you'll be seeing more adventures that may be for other groups or purely just for fun! I really wanted to wear the Infanta Mermaid dress (the one that came in the Lucky Pack) for the first time.
I had heard about the steampunk tea crawl events back in February (after the steampunk convention). The first tea crawl event was at a Gothic Revival homestead known as Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, CT. Just one look at the house on the website and I absolutely HAD to go there. It's actually on the National Registry of Historic places and was the SUMMER home of Henry Chandler Bowen. This was a really nice place for a summer home in 1846! On this adventure we not only got to fully tour the interior and grounds of the homestead, but also afterwards we got to have tea and light snacks together AND a photoshoot. TOTALLY WORTH the drive (90 minutes each way for me).
The Infanta Deep Sea Mermaid Lolita Dress version from the lucky pack did not include the rose decorations at the waist nor did it have crossover straps at the back. It seems to be an earlier design with partial shirring in the back. Its pull over design doesn't allow for greater cinching at the waist. Be that as it may, it still included the "mermaid tail hem" and the pearl decoration that are both removable. It's quite stunning in real life though. The dress is a dark navy blue with silver streaks running throughout the skirt and the bodice. The front upper part of the bodice has a shell on the chest which is embroidered with black lace as well. The pearl chain hangs over this part. When you stand in the sunlight, the whole bottom of the skirt shines like glass/water and you can see the "petals" of fabric carefully sewn together to appear like scales. It's a clever design.
As far as coordinating this jsk, I took ideas from the listing on 42lolita.com which included a black shirt with black leg wear. Not owning the matching KC, I decided to also pair it with a half black bonnet, (that actually matched the bonnet style of one of the portraits in the dining room of the cottage!) I chose off white shoes because I was wearing an off white lace-like steampunk choker and bracelet (which sadly you can't even see with the bonnet tie around my neck). Also cue the debut of the black lace parasol. This has been very helpful for gothic themed photoshoots. I recommend everyone to have both a black and an ivory parasol at their disposal at all times. I can't accompany you to every opportunity you may have to use it.
The belle and beau of the day with their lovely attendants.
Photo credit to Ben Jordan.
These lovely folks stuck around for the photoshoot portion of the event and they are all killing it! Pahl is actually dressed in Victorian fashion with all of the details like his white cravat, waist coat (which cleverly matches my dress down to navy blue and black brocade design with silver buttons), his pants, riding boots, tail coat and top hat. I mean even his cravat matches my shoes. We look REALLY put together.
But as you can see, steampunk fashion has less "rules" in the way outfits are put together than elegant lolita fashion. And there was no particular theme for this event. The couple on the left similarly heard "gothic revival cottage" and said yes we will be steampunk goths. Barbara next to them looks like an airship pilot in traditional steampunk browns and off whites. The ladies to our right seem to evoke three entirely different motifs. Amaryllis has an almost asian style dress with a chartreuse green corset, giving off major springtime floral vibes. Jessica looks like a gothic Alice in Wonderland themed pirate. Lisa looks like she just was on the set of filming a production of King Arthur. One thing for sure with steampunk is that TIME TRAVELING is always in, so if it looks like an assembly of people from different time periods, then you're doing it right.
Sweet Lolitas at the Zoo
Some people in my community ONLY wear sweet style lolita on their EGL fashion journey, so some meetups just do not work for them. However, everyone was on board with dressing as a sweet style lolita when we went to the Beardsley Zoo, the only zoo in Connecticut. It is not a large zoo, but it has a variety of animals in the best cages they could manage for such a small zoo. They have a neat rainforest area with animals and plants of the rainforest, a long meandering path around the park to walk through and gaze at the animals, a fabulous green house exhibit with koi in the center, as well as a central area with a small, but whimsical looking carousel. We spent maybe 2.5 hours here. It's definitely catered more to young children, but adults can still learn interesting things and see animals not native to our local habitat. All ticketing is done online as an advance purchase OR you can get a pass from your local library (and show the pass to the entrance kiosk) to get 50% off your tickets for up to 4 people. But if you're a Bridgeport resident, select Saturdays are free entry.
FYI when you wear sweet lolita and look like a living Victorian Doll, regular people at places tend to go gaga over you. They lose their minds. They ask you to take pictures with their kids. They ask if you work at whatever establishment you are visiting that day, as if someone PAID you to dress up like that on your day off from work. Well here's news to you, YES we do dress up like this, FOR FUN, on the weekends. No we are not getting paid, in fact we pay a lot of money to dress up like this. So yeah we probably got asked by 6 or 7 parents to take photos with their kids (as a group).
I mean really, we do look stunning as a group. Barbara and Ave both paired a more simple shirt with sweet fun patterned skirts, and Margot, Jax and I are going for more traditional sweet lolita jsk's. Margot chose pink and lavender while Jax chose yellow pastels to work with as their primary colors, while I chose navy with a hint of pink and blue. The colors and the themes of our prints all register as sweet style.
[Wait a second, who's that guy in the middle? Oh, that's Pahl. He's a new addition to my life. He likes to dress up too. He's been collecting costume pieces from different time periods for awhile now (and he's lucky his body hasn't changed size to boot!). You'll be seeing him periodically in the blog too now. Here he is dressed as an early American gentleman, supposedly inspired by the Planters Peanut man. This match to sweet style was particularly challenging, as he has much better costumes for gothic and classic styles already in his wardrobe].
Enough about Pahl, let's talk about my coordinate. The coordinate suggestion of the day was "j-fashion with an animal theme". This was the very first dress I had ever ordered from a Chinese Indie brand. I bought this dress back at the end of May with my first purchase from Devil Inspired. This is the Star Paradise jsk dress from the brand Dreaming and Burning the World. It actually came in 4 different colorways, but the navy seemed the best option with seeing the details on the print. This is definitely one of the less expensive Chinese indie brands. You can tell by the somewhat cheaper lace and the grade of the printed polyester if you get up close. However, from photos it just looks pretty awesome! I paired it with a polyester shirt I had bought a little later that has wonderfully sewn poof sleeves that always stay in shape (even after going in the washing machine!). The head piece I had to purchase separately from the coordinate, but it does match it in the printed polyester design and lace. I am also wearing wrist cuffs for the first time. [Boy do these things take forever to be made]. But they do really bring an outfit (with short sleeves especially) together! The completely matching tights and shoes were a bit odd. I honestly didn't know that they matched perfectly until I was wearing them in broad daylight. I would have swapped the tights for white over the knee socks (but I did not due to considerations in the outdoor temperature that day). Light rain was predicted and I know I will still get cold despite all the polyester layers. It did in fact rain a bit that day, and I was glad to be wearing tights even though it wasn't my #1 choice. I really liked wearing this dress and look forward to wearing it again!!