So about two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a great little convention, Anime Midwest, in Chicago, Illinois. I'm used to attending the larger anime convention a few months before, Anime Central. This convention was a blast though! Plus they had a very important guest to me... Baby, the Stars Shine Bright!
Baby's CEO/president, Akinori Isobe, and designer Masumi Kano were in attendance, along with having a pop up shop in the dealer's room at the convention. There were three events planned by Baby for the convention, the tea party on Friday, the Q & A session on Saturday, and the fashion show on Sunday (I got to model for Baby! More details later in the post!)
Besides getting to attend all of the Baby events, I visited the Lolita Collective booth at Midwest. The Lolita Collective is a grouping of indie and sometimes brand lolita designers. They attend events like Midwest, bringing lots of awesome lolita items including dresses, petticoats, blouses, accessories, and more! I work for them as a web designer and I provide my brand's items (Sugared Tea), to be sold by them. Be sure to follow the Lolita Collective on Facebook for more details as to brands they will be carrying and what events they will be attending!
Browsing through the dresses at the Lolita Collective booth with my friend, Isabella!
There were a bunch of other lolita panels including a swap meet panel, it was a lot of fun! So many lolita-related events at a smaller con, yay!
I also got to see some friends and meet new ones at Midwest! I stayed with Kate and Alexa during the con~! Kate is my penpal of about a year now, and it was nice to meet her in person! Here is a photo of us together during the tea:
And me and Alexa!Beck at the con, she's so super sweet and we even ended up wearing the same dress in a different cut and color for the Baby fashion show, and we twinned in Misty Sky on Saturday. I commissioned her for this super cute drawing of me in Misty Sky!
Beck and I twinning on Saturday!
Anyway, time to talk about the Baby events!
Day 1: Tea Party
On the first day, Baby held their tea party. This is the first brand tea party I've been too, I've missed past ones sadly. I was super psyched! Before the tea party, we added pictures and signatures to the scrapbook gift that Nina and some others had been working on. It contained pictures of the Chicago and Milwaukee girls, drawings, thank you notes, and photos of Kuma Kumya visiting important landmarks in Chicago~ Some girls brought their instax cameras (I want one now! <3) to take instant photos of our tea party coords. We also signed a large banner made by PinkSpiderHime, it was so beautiful! We planned to present it before Isobe and Masumi left on Sunday. I also submitted some art! It's of me wearing the dress I wore to the tea party:
And my coord rundown! Photo by Kim~
Dress is My Sweet Mate Kuma Kumya's Honey Hut JudyHeadbow, JSK, OTKs, bag, key necklace: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Rose and pearl hairclip, scepter shoe clips, : My brand, Sugared Tea
Blouse, necklace: Offbrand
I made the scepter to match the bottle on my dress, and I even made matching nails~
At the tea party we were served finger sandwiches, mini pastries, chocolate-covered strawberries, and tea. Masumi and Isobe walked around to each table and gave us each a beautiful Baby key necklace and a post card, and they talked to use. Masumi liked my flower hair clip I made!
My awesome table mates! Ina, Kate, me, and Alexa~
And us with Masumi and Isobe!
At the end of the tea party, one person was chosen for the best coord. Jeanette was chosen, Masumi liked that she wore a rare dress that she designed. She was given a prize pack containing various accessories and novelty items by Baby.
We also presented Masumi and Isobe the scrapbook at the end of the tea party. Isobe was so moved that he started tearing up. It was so wonderful! They both really liked it and later posted some pics of it to the official Baby twitter: Group shot of us (I'm in the middle wearing a sax colored coord), and some thank you notes!
Day 2: Fashion Show Fitting and Baby Q&A:
The next day I had to wake up a little early to arrive for fitting around 9:30am. A week before the convention, I was notified via e-mail that I was chosen as a backup model for Baby or AatP if someone dropped out. As it turned out, two models, one from Baby and one from AatP dropped out. I was chosen for Baby and the other alternate model got chosen for AatP. I was really surprised that I got picked to begin with, and now I was going to get to model for Baby! What a dream come true!
I only knew a few of the models there, but everyone was so nice! Masumi placed the coords we would be wearing out on chairs with our name and the picture of us that we submitted in our application on them. The dress chosen for me was Baby's "Wonder Story comes in the rose blooming night ~ Alice’s Halloween through the Looking-Glass" print in pink. I was super excited! I also got to wear an old school-styled flat headdress, I've always wanted to try one~ Beck was my twin in the show, she wore the same print in sax, and a different cut.
After the fitting, I went to the Baby Q&A. A lot of good questions were asked, like if they would open more stores in the US (possibly, depending on the success of their brand, and how much the surrounding community wants it and tries to help), how they choose to re-release an item (most popular items that people demand), but perhaps the funniest was a day in the life of Isobe (wake up at 12pm, eat, go to work at 4pm, play with his dog Popo at work, go home, eat sashimi, drink sake and watch TV, and go to sleep) haha!
My Saturday coordinate was AP's (gasp the shame with Baby as a guest, but I don't actually own a lot of clothing by them!) Misty Sky. I tried coordinating it with black, which most people seemed to like. The bonnet wouldn't stay up right, but it was my first time wearing one!
JSK, OTKs, purse, hair clip, necklace: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Secret Shop
Underskirt, blouse: Offbrand
After the Q&A, I mostly hung out with friends. I chatted for a bit with some Chicago comm members, ate delicious lunch with Alexa, then I went with a bunch of Milwaukee comm members (all so friendly!), a couple Chicago comm members, and Kate to a nearby mall for some food/snacks. Funs were had! :D
Day 3: Fashion ShowThe next day was the big day! I had to arrive to the fitting area at 8am this time to get ready. After getting ready, the models chatted for a bit, snapped photos, until rehearsal time.
Me and Sylvia! She is so sweet!
We rehearsed a few times, and the show started a little late due to some audio/video issues. The show was amazing to be in! I had a very minor wardrobe malfunction during the show, as I bowed lightly for one of my poses, the head dress slipped forward, but I quickly slipped it back on and kind of went with it as a pose, haha. I was a bit embarassed about it, but people said I handled it well and it was cute so yay I guess?
Anyway, below are some photos of me from the show! Sorry, I don't know who took them all, as I saved them off of Facebook a few weeks back. If any of them are yours and you want credit or for them to be removed, please let me know!
Video by Abby (I'm at 2:34!):
After the Baby Fashion Show, we got to watch the Indie Fashion Show while wearing the coordinates we modeled in which was amazing. We had first row seats and I didn't expect that I'd be sitting right next to Isobe and Masumi during the show! '///'
A photo of fellow AM Baby model Sylvia, with Masumi, me, and Beck after the shows~
And this is the amazing banner PinkSpiderHime made, everyone signed it with thankful messages for Baby!
The next day I wore the key necklace from the tea party to work... it's just so beautiful! And my Kyary Pamyu Pamyu shirt from the concert I went to in March...I still need to blog about that haha~
Other Baby and AatP freebies I got!
Overall I had a great time at this con! I hope in the future Baby comes back to Chicago!