I want to start this by saying that this was the first Moi-même-Moitié Tea Party ever (from what I can find online). I've debated on how to write about the Tea Party. To only write about the good parts and not the problems would be disingenuous. From lack of responding to questions, not providing any information to hostile insults directed towards people who had questions, there were real problems on how this was handled. I do not think the problems originated with Moi-même-Moitié but were from those who were in charge of setting the tea party up. From things not happening timely to a lack of basic customer service skills, there were issues. Even if someone is a volunteer, it doesn't mean it's okay to not give out information or not respond to simple questions. By not responding or in one case posting hostile insults, it only made the situation worse.
I'm writing about this here because it did affect me and other people who attended or wanted to attend the tea party. I won't go into details because that would take up all the post. Like others who attended this event, we wanted to focus on those who were there, the guests of honor. The ladies of Moi-même-Moitié and it's creator, Mana.
The day before the event we were finally told it would be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Slowly people gathered at the location. Many of the people attending knew each others, some members of local lolita groups. They gathered together for a photograph, while I and others waited on the periphery. I had a bit of trepidation about attending this event, knowing I would be a little older than many here and not dressed in "full lolita fashion". I did not think this should be an issue since Mana has fans of all kinds, and his clothing is appreciated by many, not just lolitas. In fact it's well liked by people who are into elegant goth fashion.
So we waited outside a ballroom at the Grand Hyatt for someone to arrive with the list of attendees. They were very late with this. Finally we were let into the room. Inside were large round tables covered with blue table cloths, candles for centerpieces and plastic folders which were our gift for the event. A sound track of Moi dix Mois music was playing.
Looking around the room I can say everyone was well dressed. As people found places to sit, I decided to sit near the front since I wanted to be able to see and hear well. After a time, a few other ladies joined me there. I have to say I really enjoyed their company during the event. We all found something of interest to talk about. We also shared the same nervousness about spending time with Mana. None of us knew what to expect but a couple of the ladies had attended other fashion related tea parties so it was nice to hear their comparisons to this one.
The Moi-même-Moitié ladies introduced themselves and spoke a little. While we were able to take photos when we came in, at this point we were told no photographs. Then we were told to go ahead and get food and drink from the small buffet set up at the back of the room. The drinks were coffee and tea, along with blueberry scones, small roast beef sandwiches, tiny chicken tarts topped with blueberries, and tiny custard tarts, also with blueberries and raspberries. Yes, three of the four items had blueberries. I do not know why.
Part of the way through eating we were told the person we had been waiting for had arrived. You could feel the anxiety rise in the room. After a few minutes, Mana came into the room. He walked along the side, stopping and turning and then walking a bit more. Almost like he was dancing. As people applauded he came to the front of the room. There was an introduction and he then sat at the Moi-même-Moitié table looking at his phone and taking selfies. That was a little amusing since he does post selfies on Twitter and sure enough, he did that. I don't know if the photo was taken at the Tea Party or at the earlier autograph session but this is what he was wearing.
(From Mana's Twitter)
All of the sudden they said that Mana was going to give each person a rose so we were told to line up. Everyone became very nervous. I got in line with the others from my table. I was not sure what I would say. I had thought there would be a possibility but since I was so tired from lack of sleep I did not think about what I would say if it did happen. At my turn Mana handed me a rose like he did for everyone there. I said "はじめましてMana" (Nice to meet you) and my name and I don't know what else. All I could think is there were these people behind me waiting, even though it was only a few seconds. Such pressure.
Following this the Moi-même-Moitié ladies picked three of their favorite outfits and each person was given a signed handkerchief and a pouch. Mana then took photos of the room and left.
We ate and people chatted. The Moi-même-Moitié ladies talked about the new dresses which they were wearing. They helped people take photos and we all engaged in friendly conversation until it was time to go. We were able to take what we wanted from the centerpieces. Since I was driving and I needed a new candle...
The actual event was nice and I am glad I went. After hearing about different events Mana holds in Japan, it was enjoyable to be able to participate in something like that. I, like others there, wished Mana had stayed longer but it was nice to meet him and the Moi-même-Moitié employees. I wish circumstances had been better for me, given I only had four hours of sleep the whole weekend due to a very noisy hotel room, but at least I did what I wanted to do which was to go to Seattle and take part in this event. I did miss the autograph sessions. I wish I could have gone to one. But I did enjoy my time talking with different people at the convention including the lovely ladies that shared a table with me at the tea party. Maybe in the future I will have another chance to attend an event that has less problems. I hope so. It is important to remember that this is the first tea party they did as and it is only a few months after the change with the company. I am sure things will improve as time goes on. Thank you to Moi-même-Moitié and Mana for coming to America and taking part in this.
And I forgot to mention what I wore. I had on my new Yosuke shoes, black with blue Altar Moitié socks, my Moitié Cathedral print op, tulle Moitié arm covers, and a Moitié bracelet and the older candelabra necklace. And my black and blue lace gather ribbon bag. Because of the weather I wore my Kambriel full length stripped black coat, which got a few compliments.