The Pembroke Cosplay Tea Parties were created by cosplayers Lolita and SakiB, who wanted to host a themed cosplay social gathering outside of conventions. The tea parties feature elegant food, decorations, and of course costumes which correspond to each year's theme determined by the hosts.
For its third year, Lolita and SakiB chose “Technicolor” as the theme for the Pembroke Cosplay Teaparty, allowing guests an even broader range of options for costuming than last year’s period style. For this theme, attendees were only encouraged to select a main color to represent, in hopes that together everyone would form a rainbow of brightly-hued outfits. Attending cosplayers did not disappoint, and outfits covered the spectrum from ‘80s neon to elegant golds and silvers. Due to scheduling conflicts, the popular tea party moved its location this year from Herring Run Park to Lolita’s house, which still provided plenty of great locations for photos and open space for games. Having the event at home had the added benefit of giving attendees a private space to change and easy access to a kitchen allowed for previously impossible types of food to be available. Christa Newman once again volunteered to photograph the event, and the party was a rousing success.
Once again, I was excited to attend the Pembroke Teaparty, and was happy that this year I would not have to leave early to rush to another event. For my costume, I decided to wear Kaoru Kamiya’s purple kimono from Rurouni Kenshin; I had been working on it for a while and thought the tea party would be the perfect place to do a trial run of the outfit. In addition, purple did not seem to be a popular choice of color among those planning to attend and my outfit would ensure the color was properly represented. Although more difficult to put on than my previous tea party outfits, being able to get dressed at Lolita’s house with help from my fellow costumers made the choice much easier. This year I decided to bring a healthier food option to compete with all the treats, and made a large fruit salad to bring. When I arrived, brightly colored tables were stacked with food and games were being set up on the front lawn. Costumes truly covered all colors of the rainbow, from Crazy Flower’s white Victorian ensemble to ChibiRinoa and Henry’s primary colored Usagi and Seiya outfits from Sailor Moon Stars. AkaneSaotome, Ara-chan, and Christa covered orange, green, and purple with their Paradise Kiss couture, and Stardust was bright yellow as Sakura from Cardcaptors. SakiB arrived as an elegant green and gold Wood Nymph, while Courtney was a blue Siren, Kurthy rocked out a yellow and white Rin from Vocaloid, and Lolita was herself…just completely pink.
The weather forecast had called for rain and thunderstorms, but despite the overcast sky, the rain held off for the entire afternoon and the sun even peeked out once or twice. It did remain quite humid, but the cloudiness and a cool breeze kept everyone comfortable in their costumes. The new surroundings matched the theme quite well with brightly-colored flowers ringing a water fountain and displays of bright strawberries and neon cupcakes. Having the event at Lolita’s house also allowed for new and different lawn games, including some vigorous rounds of ping-pong – a game which takes on an entirely new angle when played wearing a kimono! Christa did a fantastic job getting shots of everyone, utilizing the wooded area around the house, several garden spots and a broken down porch currently being renovated as interesting backdrops. She even got a humerous series of photos involving ChibiRinoa, Henry, and a tractor! Sketch served as a backup photographer, and snapped some great candids of the group.
As the day turned to evening, we slowly tired of our costumes and changed to regular clothes. I decided Kaoru needed a bit more work before bringing the costume to a convention, but it had been more comfortable than expected and I was grateful that it was not sweltering in the humid air. When darkness settles and the bugs began to come out, we packed up the party and took it indoors, where we hung out and played more social games with the entire group, including one where everyone had to wrote the name of a pop culture icon – real, imagined, living, dead, celebrity, politician, cartoon character, etc. – on a scrap of paper and placed it in a hat. The hat was shaken and everyone had to choose a name, without looking at it, and stick it on their forehead so everyone could read it except for its owner. Then we went around the circle, asking yes/no questions until we could successfully guess what was on our forehead. It was hilariously fun, and I had a blast stumping people with names like “The Kool-Aid Man” and “Count Chocula.” We partied until 1am, a new event record. Another wonderful party courtesy of SakiB and Lolita!