PrettyPrincessClub presents Royal Vegas Retreat 2021: An Attendee's Perspective

It's been such a long time since I've been here, but I'm back to share my experiences with you. I hope everyone is doing well in the new year and taking care of themselves as much as possible! With the return of conventions and J-Fashion events, your favorite bluehead blogger (me; that's me, haha) will be busier than ever, so I hope you'll stay around, :) 

As I mentioned in my packing post, I was graciously invited to attend the first-ever Royal Vegas Retreat, a fashion event hosted by a group known as Pretty Princess Club.

PPC logo, I don't own! 

This three-day event took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have family in Vegas so I didn't have the pleasure of staying in the hotel during the event, but I had the immense pleasure of seeing my family (and my precious baby nephew!) so it was great to see family and friends in the same city!

The Venue

The MGM Grand, I don't own this photo.

For starters, the MGM is gigantic. It's one of the premier hotels on the Las Vegas strip, and for very good reason -- this hotel hosts some of the biggest events in the US. While we were at the convention, they hosted the Latin American Music Awards in the same space; if that gives you an idea. There was always something going on in the hotel, on top of our own event.

The actual event was hosted in the meeting space at the back of the MGM. We had our own "section" of meeting rooms, which made it easy to find everything. While I didn't stay in the hotel, I drove up every day and parked in the massive parking garage. I learned some shortcuts by the end of Day One, but that still didn't prepare me for the amount of walking I had to do. By Day Two, I had to borrow some "convention sandals" from my big sister. RIP to all my cute Lolita shoes, haha.

The Program - Day One

Day One Coord!
Coord Breakdown:
Bonnet - Sweet Dreamer
Wig - Vanyar Wigs
Blouse - Cat and Bellflower
JSK - Angelic Pretty Star Night Theater
Tights - Red Maria
Shoes - Seven Dreams

On the first day of RVR, I showed up with my ID and vaccination card to pick-up my badge at Registration. The VIP Shopping time had already started, so those of us with regular badges just chilled out until it was time to go into the Vendor Room. I took my time to get the lay of the room and scope out what I wanted to buy on Day Two. 

Entrance to Vendors.

Vendor booths.

More Vendor booths.

Lief and Evillive booths.

Look at all this cute merch!

There was a great selection of vendors, and plenty of cute things to buy! After I walked around for a little while and chatted with old and new friends, I decided to take a break to go eat lunch. During this time, there were some panels going on, but I believe I missed most of the earlier panels because I went to grab some food. 

After that, it was time for the first fashion show. There were two fashion shows at RVR, which I loved! Each show focused on wonderful pieces from each brand, and most of the items were available for purchase in the Vendor's Room!

Puvithel on stage!

An outfit from Fluffy Tori!

Once the fashion show had ended, there were more panels! I enjoyed the ones that I attended, especially Fluffy Tori's Action Lolita panel. It was super cute, and also very informative.

Fluffy Tori during her panel. Isn't she the cutest? :)

Next up, the Coord Contest. There were two coord contests as well, which I thought was a fantastic addition to the programming. The first contest was for brand clothing and the second contest was for handmade coords. I was so surprised by the coords on display -- everyone looked so great! I'm sure the judges had a hard time making a decision!

Day Two

Day Two coord.
Coord Breakdown - 
Headpiece: Yu Xi Xi Xi
Wig: Princess Wigs
Blouse: Amazon
OP: Enchantic Enchantilly Queen of the Rose Garden
Tights: Haenuli x Mossbadger Mystic Wandering Spirit tights
Shoes: Modo

I was running late on Day Two so by the time I arrived to the MGM, the swap meet was in full swing. There was a lot of great stuff available from the various Lolitas that were attending the convention. It took a while to go around the massive room, but I saw so many wonderful items. See for yourself!

This was our Metroplex Comm swap table! We had lots of pieces available.

More swap goodies.

Yeehaw! 

So many wigs!

An adorable Lolita with her wares.

After the swap meet, we had more panels, and the second fashion show. I managed to get some better seats, but I feel like my pictures turned out worse than the first day, whoops. Here's a few looks.

A model wearing a coord from Enchanted Dream Couture.

Another model from Enchanted Dream Cotoure.

After that, there were a couple more panels, and then we watched the Handmade Coord Contest! I loved all the pieces, and I appauld everyone that bravely entered. Handmaking a coord takes a very long time!

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

There were more panels, but at this point, I was starving, so I decided to call it a night. I went to eat with some friends in an amazing district near the Strip, and we had a lot of fun just hanging around. 

Say hello to my friends!

We're winding down to the final day, which featured my favorite event at every con I attend: the tea party!

Day Three

My Tea Party coord!
Coord Breakdown - 
Headpiece: Cyan Lolita
Wig: Offbrand
Overdress: Your Highness
JSK - Metamorphose Temps de Fille Dreamy Egg
Tights: Roji Roji
Shoes: Seven Dreams

The hall was buzzing with excitement as we waited for the tea party to begin. Most of us made our final rounds in the Vendors Room. I was able to get some great pictures of several coords during this time; please enjoy them! :) 

Look at that card crown!

I'd say this coord fits right in with the theme!

Coord details.

The cutest bunny ever!

Finally, the doors opened and VIP members were instructed to pick out their seats first. The normal tickets were able to sit down afterwards. This room was bigger than all the other rooms we had seen so far. There were plenty of tables and chairs, and lots of room for people to spread out, if they wanted to! Since this was a meal, we were allowed to take our masks off at the table. Everyone was very respectful, and made sure to put their masks back on any time we stood up.

The face of a gal that's ready for food and tea!

Waitstaff brought us tea and our first course. This was the first tea party I've ever been to with this much food. I was actually too full to finish my dessert! Take a look at what we had.

First course!

Second course.

Such pretty and tasty desserts!

Once the tea party had concluded, we were herded over to another area to take a massive group photo. Here you can see just how many of us had gathered for this event!

All the attendees in one place!

We even managed to take a Metroplex Community group photo. Aren't my members lovely?

My comm members!

Afterwards, the event was concluded for nearly everyone -- staff, guests, and VIP members were invited to attend one final Happy Hour/mixer type of event. They were kind enough to allow me to attend as well; thank you so much for that!

This event had even more food, as well as coffee, tea, and a few more desserts. The food was sooooo good, but I expect nothing less from the MGM catering.

Moar food!

After adding as many people as possible on Instagram and saying my final goodbyes, my amazing weekend at the Royal Vegas Retreat had ended! I got so many pictures and made lots of new friends; I couldn't have asked for a better trip.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up: I had an absolutely amazing time, and I would go to RVR again, with no hesitation. I'd even pay the extra coins for a VIP badge, because the perks were worth it, especially the VIP seating during all the shows and contests. If I hadn't known that this was RVR's first year, I would have never believed it, because everything was just so well thought out and put together. I loved everyone I met, and I had a blast! Each attendee I spoke to told me much of the same.

But, it wouldn't be me (or my blog) if I didn't voice my concerns. Mainly, RVR's biggest strength and weakness this year was the location of the event. First of all, the MGM is huge, as I mentioned earlier. The only reason why I was able to find the meeting spaces where the event was held was because MGM employees and guests stopped me, or commented that they had seen other people "dressed like me" walking in a particular direction. I can't blame staff for that in any way; there's nothing that can be done about the sheer size of the MGM.

I just feel that a lot of us underestimated the size of the venue, and we weren't prepared for a 10 to 15 minute walk from one side of the building to the other. Another disappointing aspect of the MGM is the costs of everything associated with it. Food is expensive, parking is expensive, I didn't stay in the con block (thanks to my big sister for housing me the whole time!), but I heard that was a tad pricy too. Again, not the event's fault in anyway; we were in Vegas, on the Strip, at one of the oldest, most well-known casinos, so these aspects came with the terriorty.

However, because the event was in Vegas, attendees were more tempted to leave the venue at all hours to go do other things. As a result, some panels had low attendance because attendees were out walking the Strip, going sight-seeing, and visiting other venues. Basically: there was more reason to leave the con, than there was reason to stay. I'm not sure if this could have been resolved by hosting the con at a less popular Vegas hotel, or if it's best for them to choose a new venue all together, but that was probably the only real "issue" I noticed. I want to reiterate that this isn't the fault of the staff at all; merely the nature of the beast that is Las Vegas.

Still, I found that these factors didn't work in the event's favor as much as one would hope. Thankfully, everything went well, and I'm sure many attendees were so pleasantly surprised by this amazing event! Also, their COVID protocols were fantastic. I felt 100% safe the entire time I was at the event.

RVR vs Paradiso vs Rufflecon

Another question I've gotten since attending RVR is how it compares to Paradiso. Let me start off by saying both of these events are absolutely needed within our fashion, and I would never put them against each other because there's enough room for all of us!

That being said, these two events are decidedly different experiences. To give you an example, it's the difference between going to a "fashion convention" and a "fashion event" such as New York Fashion Week. Both events are all about J-Fashion and fostering our community, but Paradiso doesn't have panels, and is decidedly more of fashion-based experience. You can check out my Paradiso reports here and here

I also feel like Paradiso would appeal to people in other fashion styles, outside of Lolita fashion. While someone into Fairy Kei might enjoy RVR, nearly all the panels at the event involved Lolita and Lolita content, so it's core audience is a bit more limited.

By comparison, I've never been to Rufflecon, so I can't speak on it at all. I find that both of these events are different than J-Fashion programming at an anime convention (i.e., Katsucon, Tekko, or even my events at A-Kon), because those conventions appeal to much wider audiences, while creating pockets of events that cater to the community. I recommend that my fellow frilly folks try them all out, and see which event they enjoy the most. I enjoyed the specific fashion focus of Paradiso, but I had a lot of fun learning about all the amazing aspects of our community at RVR.

I want to take this time to wholeheartedly thank the RVR staff for all that they've done, and for inviting me to witness your first year. You put together a fabulous program, and I can't wait to come back again! I know planning huge events like this isn't easy, and y'all did one hell of a job. Thank you all so much for everything you've done for the Lolita community, and I hope all of you are getting a well-deserved break! 

And thank YOU, my dear readers for paying this little blog a visit. I'm always happy to see you guys at events, so if you see me walking around, please say hi! I'm totally down for a chat at any time. 

I took a trip up north to attend Katsucon last month, so expect to see a blog post about their J-Fashion programming soon! I still have reviews I need to work on too -- I'm so behind schedule, X_X 

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post, and I hope to see you next time too! See you then, everyone!

Stay beautiful, stay true,
~J

Comments

  1. The nature of the beast is a good way to put it. And whilst I have heard that Las Vegas is generally full of good food, I also wonder if the RVR organisers picked a more premium venue not just for the prestige and the fanciness, but also to have a guarantee that attendees would receive good food during the tea party instead of risking a lesser venue at the cost of having a more disappointing food experience. But like you said, there is so much to consider with big events like this that compromises have to be made somewhere.

    You looked fab in all of your coords, hope you managed to give your feet a hot soak after each day with all that walking! And fingers crossed the world will calm down enough that maybe one day I could attend RVR, that sounds like such a fun event to go to!

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