June 28th, 2008
Pembroke, Massachusetts

Event Stats:
Location: Lolita's House
Event Year: Third
Attendance: 30
Theme: "Technicolor"
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Kaoru Kamiya, Rurouni Kenshin
Event Photos:

Photo Credits:
Christa Newman Photography

The annual Cosplay Tea parties were created by cosplayers Lolita and SakiB, who wanted to host a themed cosplay social gathering outside of conventions. For its third year the organizers chose “Technicolor” as the theme, allowing guests an even broader range of options for costuming than last year’s period style. Attendees were encouraged to select a main color to represent, in hopes that together everyone would form a rainbow of brightly-hued outfits. Due to scheduling conflicts, the 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. The venue change also gave attendees a private space to change into costumes, provided access to a kitchen to heat food, and allowed for lawn games which were not permitted at the park, such as badminton and ping-pong. Christa Newman once again volunteered to photograph the event.

Sketch and Shiva's Event Breakdown:
When the tea party's theme was announced, Shiva immediately decided to wear Kaoru Kamiya’s purple kimono from Rurouni Kenshin; she had been working on it that spring and thought the tea party would be the perfect place to do a trial run of the outfit. She also noticed that purple did not seem to be a popular choice of color among those planning to attend on the event forum, and decided wearing Karou would ensure the color was properly represented. Shiva also decided to bring a healthier food option which would fit with the colorful theme, and made a large fruit salad. Sketch wasn't particularly interested in creating a costume for the event, but packed his camera to help photograph attendees.

Shiva finished grad school and moved home the week before the tea party, so she was especially excited to be able to make it to the gathering and spend time with friends. Now that she'd be living in the same state as everyone else, she hoped to be able to spend more time with everyone going forward. Shiva was also relieved to have the option of changing into her costume at Lolita's house, as it was more complicated to get into than most of her other costumes and ended up needing help from a few fellow cosplayers to get into it properly. By the time she was ready, Sketch had just arrived, games were being set up on the front lawn, and the last of the food was being arranged on brightly colored tables. The center table featured a large chocolate fountain and baskets of delectable strawberries on wooden sticks, ready for dipping.

Cosplayers' outfits truly covered all colors of the rainbow, from 80s neon to gold and silver. Crazy Flower wore a stunningly white Victorian ensemble, while ChibiRinoa and Henry wore bright, primary-colored '90s outfits as Usagi and Seiya from Sailor Moon Stars. AkaneSaotome, Ara-chan, and Christa covered orange, green, and purple with their Paradise Kiss couture, Ellystar stood out in bright yellow as Sakura from Cardcaptors, SakiB looked elegant in forest green and gold as a wood nymph, while Courtney was a siren in light blue. Kurthy rocked out a yellow and white Rin from Vocaloid, while 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. We had an enjoyable afternoon chatting with each other and playing some new and different lawn games, including several vigorous rounds of ping-pong which Shiva found especiailly challenging to compete in while wearing a full kimono. There was even an impromptu dance party, including a group rendition of Caramelldansen. 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.

As the day turned to evening, we slowly tired of our costumes and changed to regular clothes. When the bugs began to come out we packed up the party and took it indoors, where we hung out chatting and playing games. One game consisted of everyone writing the name of a pop culture icon on a scrap of paper and placing it in a hat. The hat was shaken and everyone choose a name without looking at it and stuck it on their forehead so everyone else could read it. We then went around the circle, asking yes/no questions until we could successfully guess who or what was on our forehead. We had a blast stumping people with names like “The Kool-Aid Man” and “Count Chocula," and the fun continued until almost 1 in the morning!

Overall, despite the humidity and overcast weather it was an enjoyable event that allowed for a lot of great socializing in a relaxing atmosphere. The lack of a more coherent theme made the photoshoot aspect more of an individual pursuit rather than a group endeavor, which was a little disappointing as the fun and collaborative photoshoots had served as great ice breakers and helped cosplayers feel comfortable with each other as they bonded over their shared hobby. This did reflect socially as guests tended to gather in groups of those they knew best rather than overly mixing. Hopefully a strong theme next year may remedy some of that.