This was the second year of the, what seems to be now annual, OTTea Party in San Francisco and the second year I have attended. Last year I filmed a vlog, and I did the same for this year. You can watch it at the end of this post.
First off, I have to thank the organizers Elize, Katie, Ana, and Ha-Anh for all the time and energy they poured into the party. It is always such a blast, and this year we had a vendor room and double the number of guests. It was amazing to see friends from other cities and states and get to buy things from indie brands I don't normally get to.
First of all, the vendor hall was amazing. There was only a handful of tables, but I think the selection was pretty good for a small space and no big brands. We had Lipton Cunningham, Moss Märchen, Lolita Collective (with lots of indie brands like Voodooodolly, Moss Badger, Peppermint Fox, etc.), a local tea house, Leila Maria, Paradise Rose Shop, Midnight Affair, and My Dear Charming.
I did a little bit of damage (although less than $100 yay me!) here. Check out my haul to see what I bought at OTTea.
The tea service was standard fare, nothing extraordinary. Perhaps I've been spoiled from the amazing tea houses in my area, but somehow hotel tea services are just so-so to me.
The tea itself consisted of tea bags hanging in metal pots left on the table for self-service. I believe we had a fruity green tea and an orange black tea.
I couldn't eat any of the sandwiches because every single one had either cream cheese or sour cream, which really annoyed me. I always forget to ask for a "dietary restriction" plate because I can eat dairy, but I really hate sour cream and cream cheese. Usually there is a chicken curry or tarragon and an egg salad option, but there were none here. The scones were lovely however, there was copious amounts of lemon curd, and the desserts were really quite good. You probably can't see form the photo above, but the chocolate the strawberries were dipped in was a little glittery!
Meeting friends was by far the best part of the day. Because we were able to double the size from 70 guests to over 100, we were able to get people from all corners of the country. I got to see people I hadn't seen since Rufflecon last year and meet people I'd only seen online.
The creativity of everyone's outfits was unbelievable. I saw such variety and unique themes, I couldn't stop smiling the whole afternoon. The most memorable outfits for me was a friend's voodoo themed outfit (you'll see a clip of her in my vlog, she's wearing a white jsk and a brown headcovering with an animal skull); someone's Mariachi themed outfit with a giant black and gold sombrero, a purse shaped like a musical instrument, and a donky/horse plush in a matching hat; and a vapor wave themed outfit with a glowing pink dolphin plush that played music.
Personally, I kept my outfit relatively simple. I wore the fanciest OP I have (which was a lifesaver in the Indian summer SF is in the middle of) but kept accessories simple. I spent maybe 5 total hours crafting my headdress and flowers to pin on my dress, but that was simple compared to many of the other guests.
My headdress was inspired by Mucha. I've seen these side flowers before in lolita coordinates and I wanted to make some myself!
The dress is BTSSB's Icing Princess OP, and I have to say I never understood "good raschel lace" until I bought this dress. The lace is soft and silky and silver threads run through the design. My socks and shoes are also from BTSSB, and my floral accessories are obviously handmade. The wig I wore is Lockshop's Starlet in Vanille, but it is from the new supplier (which I like a lot less than the one I have in Flax from the old supplier...)
I really enjoyed myself at OTTea this year, and I encourage you to go next year if you can make it. You won't regret attending!
Photo credit Lens Collective