Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Lace Up! 2017 in my eyes (An organizer's point of view)

It's been two weeks since we wrapped up our first ever lolita fashion mini-con, Lace Up! and as the head organizer, I'm still processing how something as visionary as this has finally been realized. I found myself putting off my thoughts and feelings from this experience because as cliche as it sounds, it felt surreal! I had my doubts and although hopeful, I kept my expectations grounded because I believe that we can dream but we also have to be realistic on what can be achieved at a time.

One thing I am sure of though, Lace Up! started with a dream. My dream 10 years ago was to find a safe place where someone like me who have quirky tastes in fashion and style can have a sense of belonging. A place where we can celebrate our uniqueness and differences and still feel alike and the same. It took time. A total of 8 years to forge what Philippine Gothic and Lolita Community is all about and two weeks ago it has finally been realized. I am grateful for all my friends in the lolita community both old and new for letting me experience your company and friendship and letting me achieve a long time dream. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


(Sorry I can't help it huhu. My heart is just overflowing with gratitude with the amount of support everyone is extending. It's a privilege to experience the kindness of everyone. Really.. thank you!)

Lace Up! logo designed by Pearl Kaminski

The Philippine Gothic and Lolita community presented "Lace up!", a mini lolita convention to celebrate the community's 8th year anniversary. Lace-up! was held last October 14 2017 at Venture Space PH, Shaw blvd. Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

"Lace up!" aims to promote and celebrate one of the most popular japanese street fashion and subculture which is lolita through education, entertainment, and exhibition of local talents. Expected activities and highlights will be a fashion show and art exhibit featuring local artists and designers, merchandise booths featuring independent small-time businesses, panel discussions, workshop and a styled photo area.

Fun fact for those who didn't know, Lace Up's pre-production was only 3 months. Yes! You read it right. I felt like I was back in college doing my thesis again. The stress is real! It also occurred to me that all of my educational background was maybe actually meant for something unconventional as events planning for an alternative fashion community. I finished a bachelor's degree in Production Design and working on production was my very first dream job. I always thought that the traditional path was both toxic and boring that is why I strayed away. However, this also made me remember the advice my costume design professor once told me - that I don't have to be a production designer because that is what is expected of me. That I can design my own path using the knowledge I acquired from college. Back then it didn't made sense for a wee 20-year-old me. I finished college in 2009 and the memory is still stellar clear. Maybe a reminder that it's meant to be. 

A collective effort

Introducing the unofficial team! Unofficial because at the time we don't really have a core team yet and I was only surviving from the collective effort and contributions of these people. We are improving this aspect for next year though so we can deliver a better event.

A photo booth was set up by favorite interior decorator, Razel Ann! So grateful for having to collaborate with someone as passionate and kind as her. Her working for Lace Up! meant sleepless nights, getting into uncomfortable negotiations so we can borrow equipment, and going out late in a stormy night even if it means risking her safety. She didn't ask for anything in return even though i offered to reimburse her time and effort. Thank you Razel for your sacrifices!

And thank you for manning our booth!

Me with Ger. My ever bestest accomplice on all my kawaii life x career endeavors. From ocular inspections, to pre-production work, tech booth babe, ingress to egress. All without anything in return. Especially for helping me keep my sanity by being my venting vessel lol.

Franz volunteered to be our host for the event and I am floored on how skilled she is! I literally left the program flow with her and she handled everything exceptionally well from entertaining our guests and helping feature the highlights of the event. Thank you, Franz!

Monique helped a lot on creating our online promotional and educational materials + managing our social media duties. Education is the very core goal of Lace Up! and with her help we were able to achieve our goals. Thanks, Monique!

Registration babe, Mayi (on the left) and impromptu assistants, Kristina and Lisa! Thank you for taking care of our guests~

Mami Abie, our den mother! She provided all the printing necessities and assisted on the program flow. Also, kept us from starving on the event day by bringing lunch for the crew. Thanks always mams!

Aside from the necessary shout out and recognition. I am writing this as a reminder that PGLC allowed me to meet such awesome people. People that I can call my tribe.. my friends.

A showcase of local talents

Various booths were also set up which showcased products from local indie brands, artists and some second hand items.


Selected local artists showcased their works for us to admire and adore.

Knowledge were passed on as Sanakanin shared styling tips. 

And the program was concluded with the main highlight - a fashion show featuring a couple of designers, Trisha Montero and yours truly, Dorotee Sweetlips 

A festival of personal style

Attendees took the effort in coming in their best lolita and jfashion attire which made the experience really magical. Everyone has their own interpretation and personality. 

A community

I think the best thing I witnessed from the event is how everyone was just having fun in the company of each other, supporting one another, creating new relationships and forging old ones.

A life lead by frills

I guess the reason why a lot of us chose a life lead by frills is not only because the dresses are pretty and fun to wear but because it's also a medium for self growth and an opportunity to experience life in different ways. It only takes mindfulness.

and this is Lace Up 2017 in my eyes..