So what actually is a “Lolita’s” tea party gathering?
There seems to be an inseparable relationship of Lolita culture and the world of “tea parties”.
An “Ochakai” refers to a meeting between Lolita style enthusiasts who enjoying meeting one another in a cute stylish café whilst dressed in Lolita fashion where they can exchange ideas, advice, news and stories regarding the world of Lolita whilst enjoying sweets and tea in a similarly cute atmosphere.
When often it is difficult to confidently wear Lolita style fashion around town without attracting unwanted, uncomfortable sideway glances from fellow pedestrians’, the “ochakai” tea party appears to be a welcomed relief!
Yet what actually goes on at an ochakai / tea party? Where are they held and who attends them?
To answer these questions and more our intrepid reporter Roki was on the scene to bring you the latest down-low of the Lolita ochakai!
Gothic / Lolita Community 『Dolly Girls』
With beginnings founded over 5 years ago, The “Dolly Girls” Gothic & Lolita enthusiasts hold regular monthly meeting in which our fashion correspondent Roki was allowed to join their latest meeting. That said, however, their meeting are not only held in the fashion capital of Tokyo yet also in the internationally acclaimed town of Hakone via a chartered limousine bus / coach.
Following http://dollygirls.net/entry/ is the link to the official “Dolly Girls” homepage in which registration is necessary to participate at their exclusive tea parties.
(Applications and participation is usually strictly reserved for female Lolita, yet a special exception was allowed so that Roki could cover the event!)
The Venue : Harajuku’s Jardin de-sur-Seine
In true European style this quaint, intimate Brahms classic restaurant “Jardin de-sur-Seine”, served as the venue for the recently held ochakai / tea party.
With antique furniture and tableware, this truly is the perfect setting for Lolita attire.
In the corners of the room is a piano, antique gramophones and vinyl records, reminding us of a time when phonographs were still being used. It is possible for guests to use and play the piano that is available. On another note, the antique gramophone was made in the 1920’s!
The gradual, steady increase of Lolita’s
As this ochakai / tea party began at 2pm, participants began arriving.
There were 13 attendees at this event with 5 of those being their first time. Furthermore, a security guard and Roki bought up the total number to 15.
The start of the ochakai / tea party
After a brief introduction from the organizer, the ochakai / tea party began effortlessly!
First on the agenda, a short self-introduction of those in attendance.
Stating ones name with a simple profile of interests, introductions also contained information on favorite brands and coordinated looks. However, as today’s event was held in the theme of Valentine’s Day, a reoccurring motif of chocolate inspired fashion was prominent.
Once formal introductions were over, free conversation was held whilst enjoying the meal and tea.
As to be expected, more than any other topic, the subject of clothes was the primary source of discussion. Building on from the various favorite brands mentioned in the self-introductions, emotions ran high as more details and advice flowed. Other topics which included Disneyland (which of course goes hand in hand with Lolita fashion), Universal Studios, other theme parks as well as stories of family and work were prevalent. All in all, girls having fun talking about “girly” topics!
The menu for the day, was sandwiches, British scones, tea, cakes and apple tart for dessert.
Scones are not usually available on the menu, yet was offered specially for the “Dolly Girl” Lolita’s! The typical English method of eating scones is to daub with clotted cream and jam as desired.
The long-awaited photo shoot!
As all attendees had lovingly spent much time and energy in arriving in their latest favorite fashions, they were all eagerly anticipating the chance to leave with some splendid photographs. Therefore, the second half of the ochakai / tea party was devoted to a photo session where each person had the opportunity of personal, individual photos as well as group pictures.
Getting advice from a senior Lolita on how to pose elegantly whilst sitting and the angle of legs so that the perfect photo can be achieved.
Suggestions of sitting lightly on the edge of the seat, with torsos turned, heads tilted and legs at a certain angle were key elements of guidance.
Which resulted in the following finished pose! Gorgeous right?
Focusing on this style, yet changing positions and locations, several photos were taken.
Of course, multiple photos of each other were taken!
With so many fabulous backgrounds to choose from, it was hard to choose where to take that perfect shot!
Time flies when you’re having fun!
Despite everyone still wanting more without exhausting all avenues of conversation, the time to bring the ochakai / tea party to a close unfortunately rolled around.
In closing statements, the organizing Lady-san thanks everyone and remarks on the cute fashions, delicious sweets and tea and fun conversations that took place over the three hours of complete satisfaction.
So in response to this first report of a Lolita’s ochakai / tea party, how was it? We hope that just slightly even, you could get a feeling of the wonderful atmosphere and uniqueness of an ochakai!
There are in fact many, many other ochakai / tea party communities nationwide, apart from “Dolly Girls”. Numerous leading fashion brands also organize their own ochakai for fellow enthusiasts.
So why not dress up in your favorite Lolita style fashion and try and attend one of the many ochakai’s that are on offer!
The organizers of “Dolly Girls” would like to thank all those who kindly participated for their valuable time and cooperation, as well as the distinguished staff of the restaurant Jardin de-sur-Seine. “Thank you everyone!”
Added bonus! Jardin-sur-Seine Lolita special discount ticket!
The gracious staff of the restaurant Jardin de-sur-Seine, where we held our latest ochakai, have kindly agreed to provide a special discount ticket for Lolita enthusiasts, which is available below.
If whilst dressed in Lolita fashion you present the above image, (a digital image from a smartphone etc, will suffice) you are entitled to a 10% discount of your meal / tea. Furthermore, if photos taken which also feature the venue are uploaded to a credible blog site, then a further 105 discount may be achieved!
The staff at restaurant Jardin de-sur-Seine are very accommodating and welcoming to Lolita and to various photo shoots, so why not either participate in a tea party there of even organize and hold your very own event at the wonderful restaurant Jardin de-sur-Seine!