Monday, 16 October 2017

Lady Victorian Rose Jewelry by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am looking at Lady Victorian Rose Jewelry by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses, 6 hair accessories, 2 lace robes and 2 blouses.




First is the Long JSK. The bodice seems very well fitted and the shape is very pretty. I think the straps are a suitable width too, although I am a bit unsure about the wide lace used on the outsides of the straps and the neckline. It is of a good quality, but I think it needs to be reined in a bit, as it comes across as a bit messy. The bodice features 2 ribbon corsets on either side. Despite the ribbon being quite bunched together, I am a fan of this detail. The ribbon has a pretty design, albeit a bit shiny, and I think the final look of the ribbon corsets is quite stunning. It reminds me a lot of the bodice of one of the Fragrant Rose Memories JSKs. The ribbon corsets are lined with lace, which keeps the edges looking tidy. There is a line of pearly buttons going up the middle, which are well spaced out. The bodice is roughly divided in to two parts, with the chest area being slightly gathered. This is split with another line of ribbon and a bow. The bow shape is quite simple, but given how busy the rest of the bodice is this may actually work in its favour. It sits nicely on the dress as well. I think the gathering on the chest area has been done okay. Personally, I would have liked more gathering. I really like the ruffle along the neckline though. It is so frilly looking and has an interesting texture. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares out reasonably well. As the name suggests, this skirt is indeed very long. It has a good amount of length to it and almost reaches Midori's ankles in the model photos. The bottom hem is raised to reveal an under-skirt underneath. I am not sure I like the shape of the line between the main dress and the under-skirt. In some of the photos it looks okay, but in others I think it looks too straight and should curve a bit more. Despite the under-skirt taking up a large proportion of the front of the skirt, the print is still pretty decently displayed. The under-skirt tiers are layered neatly and are well proportioned. I could take or leave the lacy details on the top tiers, but otherwise I think the under-skirt looks amazing. There are some small ribbon bows as well, which is a lovely finishing touch.




Next we have the Princess JSK. The bodice looks well fitted, but I think the bodice shape is a bit weird. It is almost as if the neckline is too high? It makes the dress look a bit stuffy and uncomfortable. I also think the straps look a bit too thin and they are left plain, which is disappointing. The ruffle along the neckline is beautiful though, and helps to soften things a great deal. The bodice is divided up in to panels, which are marked out with lines of thin lace with gold braid threaded through it. I think this looks quite smart, but in comparison to the details on the other JSK it feels a bit underwhelming. There is a vertical panel going up the middle, which is lined neatly with wider lace. This lace is of a good quality and sits well on the dress. At either end of this panel is a ribbon bow. Again, the ribbon used is a bit shiny, but the size of the bows is good. Although the shape of the bows is a bit simple, I think it works well. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is again topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is plump with volume and it flares outwards a lot. I really love the full, rounded shape created in the stock photos. There is a bustle on the front of the skirt. I like that the bow at the waist conceals the top of it. The bustle tiers have been well spaced out, although I think the width of the bustle could have been a bit wider. I like the soft chiffon used, but the lace overlay used on the bustle looks really cheap in my opinion. It sadly looks really tacky. Also, some of the tiers have been over-stitched and I think under-stitching would have looked tidier. Despite the bustle being there, you can still see the print pretty clearly at the sides. The bottom hem is then finished off with a chiffon ruffle, which helps to finish off the bustle neatly.




This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the overall bodice shape is very dressy. I sort of feel like the OP is more worthy of the name Princess than the JSK. The neckline could have been a little bit lower, but otherwise I am impressed with the shape. The sleeves are full with the chiffon parts at the bottom having an interesting bell shape. I love the use of lace on the sleeves too. My only complaint about the sleeves is the ribbon bows. There are simply too many of them and I also think they are a bit too big anyway. The bows on the shoulders really need to go. The bodice features a solid coloured opening, which then goes down the skirt with lots of layers near the bottom. On the bodice there is a line of pearl buttons on this part, which are well spaced out. There are also 2 ribbon bows on the waistline on either side of the solid part, which look pretty. I would have probably liked these waist ribbons better though if there were less bows on the sleeves and elsewhere on the dress. There is a large bow on the chest area which is made from the printed fabric. I like that this bow is made from the printed fabric, as that means it blends in to the background a bit more and so the massive size of this bow is less obvious. Despite not being a fan of its size, I do like how this bow has been shaped. It looks very interesting. It is finished off with a fake rose, which I personally feel could have been of a better quality, but it looks passable. The neckline features many lines of lace and chiffon, which are expertly layered. It looks really neat and has the most fantastic texture to it. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and flares outwards brilliantly. It should hold an ample amount of petticoat. Aside from the opening at the front, there is also a lacy over-skirt which goes about a quarter of the way down the skirt. This lace over-skirt is my absolute favourite thing about this entire dress. It looks stunning. It is really delicate looking and pretty. I also think it compliments the neckline details well. It ends far enough up the skirt so that it doesn't conceal the print at all and it is well shaped. The opening on the skirt again features that cheap looking lace fabric, which is a huge disappointment. Some of the ruffles near the bottom have been over-stitched as well, which I am not a fan of. The chiffon going along the bottom hem is pretty though. Apart from the opening at the front, the print is otherwise displayed very beautifully at the sides. There are then some further ribbon bows near the bottom. In comparison to the bow overload on the bodice and sleeves, I actually don't mind these bows on the skirt.




Finally, here is one part of the print...




... and another shot of the entire print. This series comes in ivory, pink, green and beige. These are all quite soft, delicate colours but given the style of the print I can completely understand why Baby chose them. My only slight criticism is that I think the green is a little too bright and I don't think the grey ribbon with this colour way quite works. As for the print, it is a bit of a jumble. The border is cluttered with loads of photographs in frames and a lot of flowers. The photos and the frames themselves look okay, as do the roses, which are drawn beautifully. But there is also a lot of random clutter going on. There are feathery wings, earrings, ornate bows, small flying animals, more random feathers flying about and single rose petals. It is quite chaotic! It sort of reminds me of when you go to grandma's house or a particularly eccentric charity shop. I am not really a fan of the pearl chains on the non-border part of the print either. These chains look a bit too flat and the addition of diamantes to these chains make them look cheap. 

I get the impression that Baby wanted to do a series similar to Fragrant Rose Memories (arguably one of their best ever and most popular prints) but a little bit sweeter. However, there are aspects of this series which slightly miss the mark. I don't think the print is quite as appealing. Also there are aspects to the dress designs which I think have room for improvement. So this is not a series that I personally would buy. My top choice would be the Long JSK in beige. It would have been the OP and that awesome lace over-skirt, but the bows really put me off choosing that dress. Still, I can see this series being somewhat successful. It just doesn't measure up to Fragrant Rose Memories in my opinion.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

September 2017 Haul- Casual Bits and Bobs Edition

Happy Shopping! Knowing that I will probably have to start thinking about Christmas present planning soon (urgh...) I decided to try and get one last haul in before all the holiday madness kicks in. The under-current of this month's haul was 'Will I, or Won't I?' because of customs fees, but I spread out my ordering so that I was always prepared to get hit. Luckily, only my Lolita Desu order got hit. Anyway, these are the J-fashion related items I purchased...




First today is a bag I ordered from Spreepicky. I would have ordered this bag from Taobao, but I was having difficulties locating it. So Spreepicky was the easier (although slightly more expensive) option. But the service was very convenient. I went for Airmail rather than EMS, because the EMS fees seemed ridiculous for ordering just one bag. This meant shipping was a little bit slower, but my bag arrived well within the estimated shipping time. The bag was well packed and there was a protective mesh bag inside for extra protection.




I absolutely adore this tarot card design! The embroidery parts are done neatly and the design is very crisp. I was torn between ordering the white or black bag, but I am happy with my choice. I like the gold colour on the white version. 




The bag is fastened with one simple popper. This is probably the biggest disadvantage to this bag. It doesn't feel overly secure and there are open bits at either end. This means that I probably wont be able to use this bag in very wet weather, as the rain will just enter the bag at the ends. 




The bag is of a reasonable size. It is meant to be a clutch bag. When fully opened up, I was able to fit 3 fingers width inside. So it is big enough to hold the absolute essentials, but not a lot else. The bag is well lined and has an inner pocket. I was also impressed that the bag didn't have any strange odors coming from it, as a lot of my Taobao bags have been a bit dodgy smelling on arrival. The little silicone packet inside was obviously doing its job well!




The strap and chain feel very sturdy and I think it will hold up well. It is a decent length and there is a bit of room for length adjustment too. I am now debating whether or not I want this bag in black... I was given a store discount coupon, although it doesn't last very long. I would say this bag was worth the price paid, even if I could have gotten it a little bit cheaper with better Taobao sleuthing. 

I also placed an order with Lolita Desu, as there were a few bits there which caught my eye. I got a few bits to make the order and shipping price more worth it. I went with Airmail again, which was just a few days longer than I would expect if I had gone with EMS. The tracking still worked, so I was happy with the service. Also, because I am a repeat customer, I got a slight discount. Nice bonus!



This order was also well padded and wrapped up. I even got a little thank you note, sticker and free candy in the order (although I purchased the Blueberry Cheesecake Chupa Chup because we don't have that flavour in the UK and it sounded nice). This made the order feel a little bit more personal, which is unusual for a company of this size.




The first thing I got was this Strawberry Jam Jar brooch which is by Swimmer. I really am going to miss Swimmer now they are closed... Their accessories were so affordable and the designs were very cute. This brooch was quite well made. The embroidery is well executed. I love the little details such as the ribbon and bow on the lid. There is even a little fake pearl on the polka dot bow. The stitching around the edge keeps things neat. As this is a felt brooch, the material is quite flimsy and bends easily. But with reasonable usage, this is not really an issue. The back has a simple badge pin. A 2-way clip on the back would have been a nice touch, but I am happy with just the badge option. I will be keeping my eye out for more Swimmer goodies on Lolita Desu in the future, as they seem to get quite a lot of their stuff and I imagine it will get harder to find as time goes on.




I also got this skirt by E Hyphen World Gallery. This was out of curiosity more than anything else, because it was super cheap and this is my first item from the brand. As I am getting in to Larme more, this is a brand I keep hearing about. The skirt is made out of very stretchy fabric. It reminds me of cutsew style material, but even stretchier and slightly thicker. The colours are really lovely. They remind me of mint ice cream.




There is no opening or shirring in the waistband, but it is so stretchy that sizing is not an issue. I had no issue stretching the skirt to get it on. It probably wouldn't be ideal for larger wearers though, even though it can stretch further. 




It is very fitted and clingy when worn. Obviously I wont be tucking my top in when I wear it properly, as it causes an unsightly bump in the fabric. I am generally quite happy with the skirt for casual wear. My only disappointment is in the length. It ended a lot higher up my leg than I thought it would and I kept having to pull it down at the back. It did keep all the essential bits covered, but I like a little bit of length at the back for added security. The skirt came with the original tags attached, so I could see how much it originally cost. It was quite cheap to begin with, but I admit I wouldn't pay full retail price for this skirt. I am happy with the skirt, but only because of the really low price it was being sold at. It is a fun design though, so I will be keeping an eye on E Hyphen in the future, even though I am not 100% convinced.




Finally, I got a F.i.n.t skirt for casual wear. I first saw this months ago, and the store discount was enough to convince me to take the plunge. The ivory colour was a bit darker than I was expecting, but otherwise I really like the colours. The material this skirt is made of is very strange though. It is very lightweight, but the strange part is that it reminds me of the material used for umbrellas. It has that sort of weird feeling when you touch it. 




I bet you can all guess what drew me to the skirt! I love the print so much. The moons and stars are well dispersed.




There is a ruffle of tulle at the bottom. I am sad that it is left unfinished. Hopefully it wont get damaged. The tulle used also feels quite cheap. This definitely seems to be one of those skirts which looks good, but when you get up close and handle it you realise it is cheap.




This skirt also doesn't have an opening, but there is shirring this time. It stretches quite far. I found I was able to pull it over my hips with ease with a bit of room to spare.




The skirt is lined. Given how cheap some of the other skirt details are, this was a pleasant surprise.




And a worn photo. The skirt felt comfortable to wear. I was surprised that it almost reached my knees. Seeing this picture, I think I would wear a light petticoat with it. It looks a bit sad and droopy here! 

And so ends another haul post without any obvious lolita in it! There hasn't been a great deal available that I have really wanted lately. I am thinking about saving up for a bag that I want, but otherwise I am focusing on casual daily wear more. But as a lover of all things strawberry related, I am sure you will be seeing the brooch in a lolita outfit from me soon!


Monday, 9 October 2017

Queen Chocolate by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Queen Chocolate by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, 2 hair accessories, a blouse, tights and a rosette.





First is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is very cute. I really like how the dress has been made to look like a JSK with a blouse underneath. The arms are nice and puffy, with gathered cuffs. It is a lovely contrast to the more fitted bodice. The cuffs feature the chocolate part of the print as well, which is a nice touch. It is a nice bit of continuity but also looks very smart. I like the small ruffle on the cuffs too. There is a waist bow, which I feel is a bit big. But its large size does sort of suit the dress and I am impressed that a big bow like this is able to hold its shape this well. It sits well on the dress and looks very perky. The bodice features some emblem themed gold buttons. Whilst this is a nice idea, it feels a bit too bunched together and cramped. Maybe if the waist bow sat a bit lower and the 'neckline' was a bit higher up the buttons would have a bit more room to properly spread out. The fake halter-neck 'neckline' is well shaped and lined very neatly with a thin line of lace. I like its size too. There is another bow here, but given how large the waist bow is, I think this bow could do with being smaller. The 'blouse' part features several lines of lace, which sit neatly. This lace is of good quality and I love the added texture it gives to the chest area. The collar doesn't look too stiff or uncomfortable. There is also a line of gold buttons and this time they are well spaced out. These buttons are a very simple round design though, which seems in contrast to the emblem buttons lower down. There is also a detachable stripy bow. Although the bow is a cute size and shape, I don't think the use of stripy ribbon works here. There is not enough usage of stripes on the dress to warrant it being there. A solid coloured bow would have made more sense in my opinion. So I think I would definitely detach this bow. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I am impressed with how neatly AP have lined up the print along the zip line in the stock photos though. The stock photos show that the skirt is plump with volume and it flares outwards brilliantly. I really love the full, rounded shape created here. The skirt is kept quite simple, so the print is displayed wonderfully. There are a couple of stripy bows at the bottom, which I still feel look very out of place. Bows aside, I love the cake themed lace lining the bottom hem.




Here we have the JSK. The bodice again looks very well fitted and I think the bodice shape looks quite smart. It is very mature looking with a slight military feel. The straps looks a suitable width and very supportive. I like how the straps feature a 'lapel', which continues down the bodice, giving the bodice a look of a tuxedo jacket. These 'lapels' are lined very neatly with lace, although I think a less 'frilly' lace choice or maybe even braid could have worked better. I am also not convinced I like the positioning of the buttons on the 'lapels'. I do wonder if they could have gone on the middle part of the bodice instead, as they make the 'lapels' look a bit fussy. There is a waist bow, which I think is the perfect size for the dress. It sits well and there are no signs of sagging. There is also a small solid coloured peplum at the waistline. I was initially a bit unsure about this peplum, but I think it makes a nice break in the OTT print. It does help to define the waist a little bit and I also feel it balances out the 'lapels' on the bodice. This peplum is decorated with some lovely lace, although I think the buttons overload the peplum slightly. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that once again the skirt is very full and has lots of flare. It will hold a lot of petticoat. The skirt is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. Once again we have some stripy bows on the bottom hem. I think the stripes make even less sense on the JSK, because at least the OP has the other bow to help balance it out. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the cake themed lace.




Finally, we have the print. This series comes in ivory, pink, mint and red. Although the other 3 colours are quite typical for a chocolate print, I think the red colour is the real star of this series. It offers something a bit more unusual, but it also looks quite bold and mature. For some reason, the print feels a bit less busy on the red colour as well. As for the print itself, it is like Chess Chocolate and Wonder Queen had a lovechild. There is nothing particularly new or exciting about this print. The diamonds are set out neatly and the hearts are lovely. I like the piping around the edge of the hearts. The royal themes inside the hearts are well drawn too. But when you look at the print on the dresses, it just feels far too OTT. I think for me, the part of the print I dislike is the wide vertical bars of chocolate. I personally think this print would be nicer if it just had the diamond part of the print and didn't bother with the hearts or wide stripes of chocolate at all. It would look a lot less cluttered with just the diamond part, but still very bold and striking.

It is well known that Angelic Pretty chocolate prints are usually very popular. Therefore, it is very telling that all of the dresses for this series are still available a week after being released. I think it is because the print looks too cluttered and overall, the designs are very OTT and overwhelming. I also feel that AP have gotten a bit too repetitive with their chocolate prints lately. So it is safe to say that I would not buy this series. My top choice would be the JSK in either red or possibly the ivory. Sadly, I think this series is a bit too try-hard. If it had been simpler, I think this series would have sold out quickly.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Artist Inspired Outfits

So this post is actually a couple of months old, but I completely forgot to post it at the time. I hope you all enjoy it!

Taobao brands love to throw the odd curve ball now and then. It usually gets given a lot of 'ha ha' reactions when it gets posted to Lolita Updates on Facebook and you will get a few who love it enough to actually go ahead and buy it.




My initial reaction to seeing Vincent Van Goat by Cherry Bomb was to laugh. The idea of an artist depicted as a goat seemed like such a bizarre thing to put on a lolita dress! And yet, I find it weirdly endearing. It could certainly be worked in to a serious lolita outfit without looking too comical. It also reminded me of the Juliette et Justine painting dresses, but this dress is a much different take on art inspired lolita.

As I saw this dapper goat dressed as Vincent van Gogh I wondered to myself how various different artists would look if they were to wear lolita. So just for fun I have created outfit collages inspired by different artists. This is how I imagine the artists themselves would want to wear lolita.

Degas


I couldn't do this post without including my absolute favourite artist (there is a new exhibition in London on his work soon and I am very excited!). As he painted a lot of ballerinas, that was the obvious direction to go in here. I initially was going to do an outfit with the Emily Temple Cute Toe Shoes JSK, but I didn't feel the available colours truly reflected Degas. His colours are more soft and muted. So I decided to choose a dress that is soft and floaty with a lot of movement to represent the dancers. Therefore, I went with this Juliette et Justine chiffon dress. The rest was relatively simple. A lot of the ballerinas in his works feature floral hair pieces, but nothing too big (they have to be suitable for dancing in, after all). The tights may not be very practical, but I thought plain tights were a bit too bare.

Klimt



I will be honest here- I have never been a fan of Klimt, but I happened to stumble across the dress in this collage at random. When I saw it I instantly thought of the backgrounds of a lot of Klimt pieces. His work features a lot of black and gold. There is also a lot of swirls and trees. I tried to imagine what his muse from The Kiss would wear. For a Klimt outfit I think an up do is best for the hair and maybe some coral lipstick.

Roy Lichtenstein



The first of two Pop Art artists I am looking at today. Lichtenstein's works feature loads of polka dots. Dolly Dot felt like the most obvious dress choice. I tried to keep the retro and kitsch vibe going throughout the outfit. I think the key thing here is bold, yet simple. And lots and lots of dots!

L. S. Lowry



I included Lowry because I studied him when I was in primary school! For those of you who don't know his work, he is from Manchester and he painted a lot of industrial scenes. The figures in his paintings were also known for wearing clogs, hence the inclusion of them. He used a lot of muted, neutral tones and browns. As business men in suits feature a fair bit, it seemed fitting to include a bowler hat and bow tie! I was going to include a briefcase as well, but I was unable to find one that matched well enough. Hopefully you get the general gist of what I was aiming for!

Monet



I remember when Baby's Labyrinth print first came out that I instantly thought of Monet when I saw it. It features a scene by water and the details are a little bit blurry ( which I feel reflected his short-sightedness in later life). This outfit was inspired by what I felt a young maiden walking through his paintings would be likely to wear. I imagined a massive floppy bergere hat, a parasol to protect them from the sun and extravagant sleeves. Also, I finally found a pair of sax blue shoes which are not tea parties, so that was a personal achievement as well!

Warhol



Finally, I decided to do an outfit for Andy Warhol. I think Warhol would have leaned more towards Otome. You can't really have a Warhol outfit without a cool beret and thin turtleneck. The look is very 60's art scene. Whilst fruit-wise Warhol is probably better connected to bananas, alas this is not a theme which appears in Japanese fashion very much! So I took the safer option of going for cherries. The dress features fruit cans, which is a small nod to Warhol's famous soup can work.

So that is what I came up with. I tried to do artists which were a bit different to the typical painting dresses we are used to seeing in the fashion. My favourite is the Warhol outfit (I bet you all thought I was going to pick Degas!). Maybe it is because the Warhol outfit could be worn casually and I could see myself actually browsing a gallery whilst wearing it. From time to time you will see smaller indie brands release dresses with famous paintings on them. I purposely didn't go a Van Gogh outfit because a dress with his Starry Starry Night already exists. These are a bit different from your typical Juliette et Justine painting dresses too. But at least there are many different options out there if you wish to pay homage to your favourite artist.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Twilight Gymnasium and the Seven Wonders by Alice and the Pirates

Today I am looking at Twilight Gymnasium by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a beret and socks.




First is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted. Although the shape is simple, the bodice looks really smart. It is a sharp design and seems to fit the 'feel' of the print. The straps are a decent width and very supportive. There is a belt, which nips in the waist line perfectly. I do think the buckle used on the belt is a bit basic though. The bodice features 6 buttons placed neatly in lines. Maybe the buttons could have been spaced a bit further apart though? The neckline features folded down flaps which are decorated with a line of ribbon and a ribbon bow in the middle. This is a really smart looking design. I do think the flaps could have been a bit smaller in size, but the shape is lovely. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair bit of volume and flares outwards a lot. It should be possible to create a lovely, mature A-line shape to fit with the bodice. The skirt is kept very simple, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is left plain, which is a little bit disappointing. At the very least they could have added a thin line of ribbon to finish the dress off nicely. That would have matched the neckline details too.




This is JSK II. The bodice seems a little bit loosely fitted and the shape is far too simple in my opinion. The straps are a good width. I think the use of clips and buckles on the straps is interesting. It certainly livens them up a bit. The waistline has a band defined by 2 lines of braid. This does help to define the waist, but not as much as the proper belt on JSK I. The bodice features a yoke, which is a simple semi-circle shape. It features pleats inside and a row of pleats lining the edge, which give a bit of added texture and depth. There is also a row of buttons and a bow on the yoke. It makes it look more detailed and interesting. The buttons work well, but I am not convinced by the bow. I just feel the bow is a bit too cute looking. The back is fully shirred, so there is a lot of size flexibility but it also means the shirring is left exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards plenty. It should be possible to create a great shape. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is finished off with a line of pleats, which I think works brilliantly. This would have been a good way to finish off JSK I without looking too cutesy. It is definitely an improvement on a completely bare bottom hem.




Here we have the OP. The bodice seems quite well fitted but I am unsure about the shape. Something about the shoulder area looks very wide and a bit frumpy looking. I worry it wouldn't be too flattering. Even in the model photos the OP made the shoulder area look quite bulky. I think it the top printed part of the sleeves which throws things off. The arms are a generous length though and I like the smart buttons on the cuffs. Judging by the listing, it looks as though the solid part of the sleeves is not detachable. I like the dress with the full length arms anyway, but it would have been nice to have the option to wear this dress with shorter sleeves too. The bodice features a sailor style collar and a modesty panel going across the chest. This is set out very neatly and I think it looks very smart. I like the sharp lines of braid, which emphasises the lines. The modesty panel is emblazoned with the AatP logo, which mimics a school logo. It is very fitting! There is also a bow finishing off the collar. It is a bit sweet looking, but I think AatP just about gets away with it. The AatP logo charm is a nice touch too. My only complaint is the ribbon used for the bow looks very shiny. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I think the print lines up well along the zip though, and the collar is a tidy shape at the back. The stock photos show that the skirt has a load of volume and it flares out really well. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is once again kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. Sadly, the bottom hem is kept bare again, which is a bit of a disappointment.




Finally, here is one part of the print...




... and another part. This series comes in bordeaux, navy, green and black. These are very mature colours and are quite typical choices for school uniforms. Therefore all the colours look very suitable for the print. I am curious to know how a lighter colour option would have looked though. As for the print, it is very smartly set out. The building is well drawn and does remind me of a fancy school building. It is a bit too posh looking compared to the schools I went to, but I would have loved to be on a campus like this! I like how the building is covered with leaves as well, adding an extra point of interest. The school children are good as well, but I think they could do with a bit more definition to their features. I like how you can see inside the buildings. It would have been easy for them to just add a bit of sheen to the glass, but showing what is behind the glass adds depth.

So overall this is a nicely set out series. The print is nice enough. I am not sure if this is the sort of series that many would go out of their way to get hold of though. It is lovely, but nothing special. So I would not buy this series personally. If I did, my choice would be JSK I in navy. Out of all the dress designs I think that one is the most interesting and fits the school uniform vibe nicely enough. I think I prefer solid coloured school themed dresses over this print though.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Brand Inspired Decor

Work was a bit slow for a couple of days, so to break my boredom I decided to have a bit of a play around and make some brand inspired bedrooms. I don't really have the option to decorate a room based around a brand so I am having to live vicariously through other people's Pinterest boards. Oh well, it was fun doing a bit of window shopping and I enjoyed putting these 'looks' together. Could we maybe pretend that all of the colours match up? These collages are meant more as mood boards rather than finalised room designs. It is really difficult to get things like colour right when you are looking through a laptop monitor! As for further inspiration, I guess I would suggest checking out your local charity shops and maybe checking out antique markets. Sometimes you can find some cute kitsch stuff from a few decades ago which could fit the aesthetic. Touring places such as stately homes can be inspiring if you are a classic lolita. There has been a rise in adults adopting 'childish' (their words, not mine...) culture as well, and you can find some really cute articles which may offer inspiration.

Alice and the Pirates



There were lots of different ways I could have gone with the AatP room, but I remember an old interview (I think it is in one of the English GLBs) where the designer was talking about her inspiration for setting up the brand. I love the idea of Alice from Alice in Wonderland going on adventures beyond Wonderland. So this collage is very piratey. I didn't feel the pirate colours truly reflected the whole AatP 'feel' so I added in some dark red as well. 


Angelic Pretty



Pink, pink and... more pink! My inspiration for this collage came from the actual Angelic Pretty stores in Japan, which are very pink! I also decided to go for a cute, retro look. When I saw the stripy bow shaped cushion, I instantly thought of AP. This being AP, I decided to add a touch of Paris to things as well. Looking at the finished collage, I suppose this is more late 2010 era AP rather than present day AP. Maybe I should try giving that a go... I could see that being a massive challenge though!


Baby the Stars Shine Bright




There is still a touch of the pink, but in more muted tones than AP. I wanted to do something a bit 'dreamy' and soft looking. So I went for light, delicate layers. A lot of my inspiration here came from the print Twinkle Dreaming Princess, which features clouds and bedroom furniture. It just seemed like the ideal print for this collage. Please excuse the rabbit jars, which are not really the right colour. I added them because I thought I couldn't do a BTSSB room without at least acknowledging Usakumya-chan. I love my little Usa pochette, but I know some lolitas out there have massive Usakumya collections. Having a gathering of them piled in one corner of the room is definitely how I envisage a BTSSB room!

Innocent World



This has a more classic, European look. It is well known that the IW designer is a massive Europe lover and her travels have inspired several IW prints. I felt it was only right to acknowledge some of the more popular aspects of Innocent World. So the collage features a deer wall decor to represent Lotta, Fleur de Lis details which crop up in a lot of IW prints, a crown chandelier which is a nod to Grazia Crown and a cherub tray to represent that cherub IW print whose name I can't think of right now. There is also some florals thrown in, because IW do release a lot of floral prints.

Moi Meme Moitie



Out of all the collages, this one was the easiest to do! There are so many pages dedicated to gothic decor, that I was really spoiled for choice. So I tried to go for styles which reflected Moitie. Can you imagine Mana doing a photoshoot in this room? That was my main objective! I feel the bed frame and screen have a similar style to popular MMM gate prints, such as Iron Gate. Obviously, there had to be some vivid blue in there too! The coffin shelving unit is a nod to the old Moitie physical stores, where the changing rooms were shaped like coffins. It is a shame the lining is not blue though!

So this post was really just for fun, but I hope you have all enjoyed it. You may have noticed I didn't do one for Metamorphose... I did try to do one, but it was so all over the place and nothing really complimented anything else. They are so diverse style-wise that it would be hard to do a Meta room without focusing solely on one particular print, which really wouldn't reflect on the brand as a whole. I had a leopard print chaise longe saved and everything! 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Holiday Collection by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Holiday Collection by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, a blouse and socks.




First is the OP. Considering the fabric choice, the bodice looks quite shapely and well fitted. The arms have a suitable level of puffiness to them and I really like the fitted cuffs. The cuffs are neatly decorated with emblem themed buttons, braid and some crown themed lace. Although I personally think the lace is too wide, I do appreciate how wonderful the crown lace looks. It is so apt for the overall theme as well. There is a ribbon belt, which helps to define the waist a little bit. I like that the ribbon chosen is matte, but if I am being honest the ribbon looks like bog-standard ribbon you would find in any craft store. For a brand release, the belt just doesn't feel that special. The bodice has a large square shaped yoke. I think this looks a little flat and boring. Some pleats could have been nice here. I do like the braid and lace lining the edge though, as it keeps it looking smart. There is also 2 small star charms with a chain dangling between them. I really dislike this detail and I don't think it is necessary at all. It doesn't really add anything to the design and it gets a bit 'lost' with all the other bodice details going on around it. There is also a ribbon bow topping the yoke. I like that the AP ribbon matches the brand name at the bottom of the print. The bow shape is simple, but well constructed and a decent size. The only thing I dislike about this bow is the teddy charm in the middle. I find it a bit too 'cutesy' looking. This bow id detachable, but I feel the dress looks far too plain with it removed, so I would leave it on. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I am impressed with how well the print has been lined up along the zip line in the stock photos though. Fingers crossed it is this well executed on every dress. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume and it flares outwards plenty. I think there is a lot of potential to create a fantastic shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of the crown themed lace.




Next we have the JSK. The bodice material is a bit loose and baggy and I am not completely sold on the bodice shape either. I think the neckline shape could have been a bit softer and that overall, the bodice looks too 'square' in shape. The straps are a little on the thin side, but the style of the straps fits well with the rest of the dress. They are lined with the crown lace on the outsides. I like how this lace has been gathered and shaped, making it look a bit more interesting. This dress also has a ribbon belt and my feelings about it are exactly the same as the belt on the OP. The bodice features lines of metallic lace running vertically upwards. This helps to break up the empty space without looking too OTT. The neckline features a 'collar' which has an unusual shape. I quite like it though! The shape is further emphasized by the neat lines of braid and lace lining it. The neckline is then topped off with a bow identical to the one on the OP. I know there is a teddy bear in the print, but I still dislike that charm on the bow. This bow is again detachable but I would leave it attached. Out of the 2 dress designs though, I think the JSK pulls off the bow-less look better than the OP. The back is fully shirred, which means loads of size flexibility but also that the shirring is left exposed. However, because of the style of print, the shirring sort of blends in a bit and isn't as noticeable. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards wonderfully. It should hold plenty of petticoat to create a full, sweet shape. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of the crown lace.




Finally, this is the print. This series comes in ivory, red, green and grey. I think the ivory, red and green colours look very traditional. The grey is a bit more unusual and I am a bit unsure about it. I do wonder if black would have been better, as black would have been bolder (or at least easier to co-ordinate). As for the print itself, I really like how you could get away with wearing this for a Christmas themed outfit, but it is not specifically a Christmas print. Tartan is very popular around Christmas time but with the exception of the pile of presents, the print is generic enough to be worn outside of the holiday period. I really love the tartan and I think the frames are well set out and decently positioned. The frames themselves are very intricate with fun designs. The items inside the frames have been drawn well. I don't really have anything negative to say about the print at all. I think it has been really well executed.

So this series has proven that the old days of the AP bloodbath are not gone forever (this series sold out a lot quicker in comparison to a lot of other recent AP releases) and I can see why this particular print has done so well. Although I would change a couple of things about the dress designs, these changes are only minor and overall the dress designs are very strong. Would I buy this series? Possibly. I wont be adding this to my wishlist but that is not to say that I wouldn't consider it if the price was right. My top choice would be the JSK in green. I think the fact that I would even be considering getting a series with a strong hint of Christmas is a sign that I think AP have done very well!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...