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Love from the North: a Grand Northern Tea Party Report

The first Love from the North tea party took place on March 10th at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. It was a collaboration between admins from the Leeds and North-West Lolita communities. In the end it attracted attendees from all across England, as well as Scotland, Ireland and even from continental Europe.

Love from the North group shot

All the wonderfully dressed Love from the North attendees. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

The tea party celebrated all things Northern and also those related to White Day. The name Love from the North encouraged all kinds of coords, whether they matched the theme or not. On the day many delivered beautiful and clever all white, chocolate and North-themed coordinates. Especially the last kind was a true show of people’s ingenuity and love for their part of the North.

Chocolate coords

Chocolate themed coords with Northern influence. (For audiences outside the UK, people in East Midlands often call others “duck”.) Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

Shiro Lolita

Gorgeous Shiro Lolita coordinate with some Oldschool vibes to celebrate the White Day aspect of Love from the North. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

Everyone received a set of event goodies. A special Love from the North pin, a zine with a pen and two bingo cards waited at every seat. The zine had several activities to complete such as a crossword or a print generator. The crossword was especially relevant and included some current, topical prompts. In addition, the pins also meant to give wearers a discount for drinks at the afterparty venue later that evening.

The table setting and the event freebies. The bingo dabbers were added later with a warning because they could potentially stain the tablecloths.

 

Love from the North zine page

The zine taught us all the different words for bread that are used across the UK because even in the North we can’t agree on what to call it. It seems almost as much of a heated debate as what goes first on a scone: cream or jam. Or how to pronounce scone, since we can’t agree on that either.

 

The Midland Hotel provided exquisite afternoon tea service, as well as stunning surroundings, perfect for outfit shots. This was probably the best afternoon tea service I have ever experienced. The staff clearly identified trays for guests with special dietary requirements and catered to them all. They also offered helpful advice to those undecided over the large tea menu. Finally, they ensured that everything food-related went smoothly.

 

The event organisers created something really special. The atmosphere was wonderful, everything ran smoothly and the bingo was a lot of fun. The UK indie brand, Peacockalorum, even created a bespoke JSK and tights set! It features a Manchester architecture print in a stunning pink-grey gradient pearskin material. Attendees were able to place pre-orders for it during the event and one set was the main bingo prize that day.

Peacockalorum dress.

The Love from the North JSK by Peacockalorum was made out of soft pearskin fabric and looked stunning in person! Photograph by Peacockalorum.

 

Peacockalorum tights.

Because the matching tights are subtle, they would suit many different styles. Photograph by Peacockalorum.

 

Although the weather that day was typically Mancunian – cloudy, rainy and windy – inside the atmosphere was warm and bright. The tea party was the first opportunity since the Winter International Lolita Day to see friends from further afield. For many, this was the first big event since Dream Masquerade Carnival in London in August last year. It was exciting to catch up with friends and spend the afternoon in such an exquisitely dressed company.

Nadina and Jo, Love from the North organisers.

You know the event is fabulous when even the organisers have a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy themselves. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

White Goth

Love from the North organiser Jo, from the Leeds community, rocked a white Gothic Lolita outfit. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

Wa-Lolita

While Nadina, the North West community admin, stunned in intricate Wa-Lolita coordinate. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

On the day we had the privilege to welcome Anh Binh Truong from Anh Binh Photography as our official photographer.  He has photographed large Lolita events before, like Omnia Vanitas in Barcelona in March 2017. Thanks to his expertise and help with posing, everyone was able to get a stunning coordinate photo from the day. As a result, the queue to be photographed by him extended through the whole room!

Demon ouji at Love from the North

From the fanciest demon princes… Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

Decora Lolita

…to the most whimsical decora, the photographer helped everyone look beautiful and feel comfortable in front of the camera! Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

Everyone left Love from the North smiling and elated, but the fun did not stop there. The afterparty in the evening provided more opportunities to spend time with friends and enjoy other styles of J-fashion. The organisers did a wonderful job and the entire event was a success. As a result of their fantastic work, many even expressed hopes that this will not be the last Great Northern tea party.

This was a day of reunions… Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

…and meeting new friends. Photograph by Anh Binh Photography.

 

If you’d like to read a more personal report from the event, you can read one on my personal blog. There are also a few video reports on YouTube, like this and this one, which I encourage you to check out too!

Love from the North zine back cover

27-year-old Capricorn, Polish-born, UK-based and in love with Japanese fashion (predominantly Lolita). I enjoy a good bargain, OTT coords, cats and baking, and when in Japan I’m a self-confessed purikura addict. When I don’t blog, I work in the education sector, overseeing international exchange programs, and sometimes I get to do some exciting freelance translations on the side.