Sunday, October 4, 2015

An Emotional Thought Piece: Rufflecon 2015

I love Rufflecon.

I just experienced one of the most amazing weekends of my year. I attended Rufflecon, a fashion conference of all things frilly in Stamford, CT. I can't even believe it all happened. I met so many amazing people, saw so many extraordinary outfits, and felt so overwhelmed with feelings from it all that I just had to take some time to recollect it.

I'm home now and I'm literally crying writing this right now because of all my feelings. It's just that real.

Though I am tired, energy spent, socially exhausted, and it's all spiraling into a blur, I'm still over the moon and overjoyed that I was able to be a part of it.

First off, I must say that this weekend was a serious challenge for me. I have discussed it before, but I do experience moderate levels of social anxiety, which can make it difficult for me to be completely okay at large scale events like these. I tried very hard this weekend to talk to as many people as possible, interact with strangers, give compliments where they were due, and uphold a level of composure while facing my biggest fears. Though I wish I did better, I also have to accept the fact that I shouldn't push myself past my limits and only do what's within my means.

Sometimes were quite hard. I find that I over analyze my actions and always feel that I'm not interacting as well as others are, but it's probably all a mental thing. I hope that everyone I talked to this weekend didn't notice! Usually I am really afraid, but that heart-racing and gut wrenching feeling I usually get wasn't as bad this time around.

It's bittersweet. I wasn't able to talk to everyone I planned to, at least not as much as I wanted. Since everyone was demanding everyone's attention at all times, it was hard to hold extended conversation with people. That of course is no ones fault, as there was so much going on that it proved very difficult to hold a conversation with anyone for any longer than three minutes most of the time. Because of that, I won't hold any hard feelings. I will cherish even the smallest of moments I got to experience with people, even if they were awkward or didn't go as I had planned.

You can't plan out all the interactions you're going to have with people. We are just, people.

We are individuals, and you can't connect with everyone on a deeper level even if you desperately want to. It just doesn't work that way. If it doesn't happen naturally, then it's not as nice anyway.

But lets not be melancholy. Let's talk about the good things for a little bit.

I have to sincerely thank everyone who complimented all my handmade outfits, and all my dear friends who wore my handmade pieces this weekend and praised my work to others. Even though I wasn't vending or showing in the fashion show, I still felt like I left an impression on very many people with my creations. Just the thought of it is bringing me to tears again as I write this because I feel so encouraged to keep creating amazing things.

One of my favorite moments was when my dear friends Andrea and Susan walked on the runway for the coordinate contest in this amazing twin look featuring my Virgin of Guadalupe JSK and Skirt. They both looked so perfect, and were the embodiment of what I envisioned them to be. I wanted to cry when I saw them on stage, but I managed to hold it in, I guess why I'm crying now! 

I also have to mention my friend Aly, who was wearing my Robin's Egg Blue Bustle Skirt in an OTT classic coordinate, and she looked so amazing and perfect that I couldn't believe it. 

Photo courtesy of my friend Crystal Winterdream
My friend Chris wore her Walking Museum skirt too, and seriously, all of you guys really have brought me so much happiness that I don't even know what is life anymore. 

I am so motivated to really kick it up a notch with all the sewing work that I do and really push myself to keep creating and stay inspired. Next year my goal is to make Lilith et Adalia a more well known brand, both online and in person, in both the women's and children's markets.  

Another iconic and memorable moment of this weekend was getting to meet and chat with Shin Haenuli, head designer and owner of the Korean brand Haenuli. She is just the sweetest most genuine person and I was deeply honored to have met an talked to her on several occasions, first after the Designer Q&A panel, then in the Marketplace, and also at High Tea where I sat at the table she was at. I told her how I made my own dresses and accessories, and she was astonished and blown away and praised my talents every time (and even joked how she would bring me to Korea to work for her!) I was also humbled by her stories of the difficulties she had to face leading up to her now blossoming success as a well known Lolita brand globally, lessons that I'm sure I will learn in the task that lies in front of me in designing for and becoming a well known brand someday. The pieces I own from Haenuli are that much more special to me now, I hope to get more in the future!

Then there was the Fashion show, and I'm so impressed by the work of all the designers. Triple Fortune was a show stopper, Haenuli was magical, Morrigan NYC was just mind-blowing, I Do Declare - simply amazing as usual, there was just so much talent and amazingness. I really look forward to being a part of all that next year. To have my work appear on the same stage as these amazing people, well just the thought alone of it brings tears to my eyes again, tears of the utmost joy. I really hope I can do it!

Brilliant Kingdom, the band formed by Triple Fortune designers Kaie and Babi, performed on Saturday night and it was a life changing experience. They just captivate my spirit. I felt like I was living in a dreamland. I loved their music so much. Their costumes were mind-blowingly amazing, and they are just as themselves, on some other otherworldly level of awesome. I'm a new fan of theirs no doubt. I was able to nab a pair of tights from them! No bonnet, but maybe someday! They are just so over the top and inspiring. I was happy to experience being pulled into their world of merriment. They evoked the same feeling I felt at the Kamijo concert, which really says a lot.

I just adore them, plain and simple. I hope they keep coming back year after year!

Though there were a few small things that brought me down, mostly due to social exhaustion, the fond memories will keep me happy for many years to come. Rufflecon 2016 here I come, I hope you are all ready.