Juliette et Justine Tea Party in London: Fashion Show
September 8 saw the first lolita brand tea party in the UK, and Juliette et Justine's first brand tea party overseas.
The central part of any good brand tea-party is the fashion show. A very exclusive showing, the designers can show off their creations to their core customers, many of whom will be watching the show while wearing that designer’s wares. At the Juliette et Justine Tea Party in London, Nakamura Mari wowed the assorted international crowd with a stunning Autumn/Winter collection. Featuring dresses in the darker jewel tones of the cooler seasons, the collection showed off not only Nakamura-san’s love of including classical paintings in the designs but some interesting new spins on classical prints. It was a classic collection in all senses of the word.
The first dress was a stunning Rococo inspired creation in hues of grey and black offset against the deep luxurious purple and gold of the crown print. It was followed by two more subdued dresses in the Princess Lolita vein, that harked back to an older feel of Lolita. Prints were forsaken for detailing in intricate lace and bows.
The classical painting screenprints with which Juliette et Justine has made its name were still prevalent. Two variations in the unusual colours of purple and forest green were used as the basis for a dress featuring a painting of two angels embracing while a gentle pastoral scene featured on a design reminiscent of the historical dress being depicted.
A few of the designs showed the designer taking interesting ideas and playing with less traditional lolita cuts. The accessories the models wore with these designs highlighted a modern, almost masculine approach to the clothing. One empire-waist dress recalled the galaxy prints that have been increasingly popular in the last few years and the femininity of the floaty sleeves and stark golden bow contrasted well with the masculine top hat the model wore. Another design took its inspiration from a circus ringmaster, with red velvet top hat and a coat dress with bustle over a print that contained the words ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.
The eye was not drawn only to dresses though, as the shoes with some designs were real show-stoppers. Amid a mix of Melissa and Juliette et Justine shoes, one design featured a winged black pair, almost a wedge shoe. The tights equally grabbed attention with playing card tights in vivacious red to match the playing card dress, along with elaborate twirling designs that had been created especially for the Tea Party Club event. Not everything worked, though; one dress which utilised Jesus’ face over the chest was too simple and the face too prominent to be desirable.
The highlights were dresses with a ‘library’ design to them and a stunning Marie-Antoinette creation that cheekily featured the notorious queen’s face. With a print of a bookshelf filled with novels replete with small paintings dotted along the shelf, the library designs were subtly stunning. Both dresses shown featured a piece of draped material adding interest to the skirt and the floating half-sleeves lent a classical maturity.
Stealing the show with pure grandiosity however was the closing Marie-Antoinette dress. With a print of swirls identical to the tights, the dress featured grand, frilled sleeves and the chest and front paneling were filled with the portrait of the queen by Martin van Meytens. It was every bit as opulent as the era it paid homage to and a delight for fans of Princess lolita.
Juliette et Justine presented a polished collection that wowed the viewers and neatly displayed the different facades of classic lolita: historic, subtle, old-school and ‘over the top’. It was a collection that had something for everyone and was a great showcase for lolitas who are not yet converts to Nakamura Mari’s work.
There are 33 photos in this visual kei exclusive.