On Saturday November 17th Hotel Tryp Atocha in Madrid Spain welcomed the finest crowd of lolitas. Dressed in their best Russian-inspired outfits – or just their best frills – they flocked to The Grand Embassy event for the day.
Organised by a team called Amor Barocco, The Grand Embassy was everything one could want from an international lolita event. It had wonderful special guests, a splendid fashion show, delicious buffet, great shopping and an amazing raffle. What’s more, the event also gave attendees the time to socialise and make new friends by not overstuffing the programme.
The name ‘Grand Embassy’ came from a diplomatic mission across Western Europe, which Tsar Peter the Great carried out between 1697-1698. Because this theme was quite vague, it allowed for great freedom of interpretation. That in turn meant that no matter your preferred lolita substyle, you could create a coord matching the theme. From folk dresses and royal attires to quirky and kitschy nods to Soviet Russia, no Russian avenue was left unexplored.
Amor Barocco made a conscious decision to celebrate indie designers at this event. Therefore, the main guests were all prominent lolita brands from Russia: L’esprit de la Noblesse, Faerybird Tale, My Inspiration, Miss Danger and Lovely Lotta. If you don’t know any of these, make sure to check them out. And follow them on their social media, because based on the previews from The Grand Embassy they will bring some exciting releases!
The day kicked off with a fashion show. It was a great choice, as it maximised the space, but also allowed everyone to truly focus on the show. No distractions like shopping or another thing in the programme. More than 20 brands were showcased in the fashion show, representing a wide variety of styles. Some creations received gasps of wonder and awe when they entered the stage, they were so gorgeous! Below is but a small selection of some of my favourites, as can be seen on the photographs by the wonderful and talented Rocio Ponce. To see more of her work, check out her website, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Moreover, you can find more photographs from the event on the Amor Barocco Facebook page, as well as under the #thegrandembassy hashtag on Instagram.
After the fashion show we enjoyed a much needed break with a delicious buffet. The organisers arranged some traditional Spanish delicacies for everyone to try and enjoy. While there are many opportunities to try manchego cheese and serrano ham when in Spain, it was delightful to be able to try other treats such as the croquettes and salmorejo soup. The dessert section included some healthier options, like fruit and yoghurts, as well as mini French pastries and cakes. Everything was delicious and the guests had an option to choose an alcoholic (wine) or non-alcoholic drink with their food, which truly catered to everyone.
It is at this time during The Grand Embassy that many were able to socialise. The buffet took place in a different part of the hotel, with more soft seating options, which created a very relaxed atmosphere. The Spanish lolitas were the majority, however, the Russian community represented very strongly at the event too. Furthermore, there were also lolitas from Portugal, France, Germany, the UK and even a few from the USA!
Once the food and wine settled a little, the vending has opened to all guests. Judging by how fast people ran to the most popular stalls, you would think that Angelic Pretty was in attendance. Even the MC’s had to urge everyone not to run! The Grand Embassy organisers provided everyone with a map in their event tote bag. Together with sneak peeks from the previous part of the day, it helped to identify which stall was where. This was a simple, yet incredibly helpful idea. Thanks to that, you could reduce wandering time and make a beeline for your favourite brand’s stall. Afterwards, should you forget where a purchase was from, you could refer to the map and jog your memory. Genius!
The atmosphere was relaxed throughout The Grand Embassy. Amor Barocco have thought of everything and provided plenty of extras for our comfort. There were seats in the shopping area to rest, a secure cloakroom for your belongings, a special photography set for those beautiful outfit shots… The Grand Embassy MC’s even made the effort to do the announcements in Russian, as well as Spanish and English.
The Grand Embassy concluded with a raffle, selecting the best dressers and a group photo to commemorate the occasion. For those hardcore enough there was the afterparty that same evening – The Dark Embassy with more raffle prizes, DJs and exclusive cocktails. For the rest of us, we simply cherished all the new memories and friends. Amor Barocco can be proud of themselves as they made The Grand Embassy an incredible event. In other words, if you ever organise another event in the future, count on me to come again!