Monday, 31 October 2011

Devil nails for Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody! I hope everybody is having a fun time today. I decided to have a little fun and painted a devil design on my nails in celebration.

I painted this design fairly quickly and it is very simple. The mouth was a zigzag with a semi-circle painted underneath, and then I filled the space in. The eyes were 2 diagonal lines which I fleshed out to look more eye shaped. It is pretty hard to mess these up because if it goes wonky, it just makes the face look more creepy!

I used red and black for a devil design. I think an orange and black pumpkin design could look cute too. Originally, I intended to do the red and black colours the other way around but it was only when I was half way through doing my first hand that I noticed my mistake! But it still worked out fairly well! My only concern was making sure I used the red nail polish first, just in case it didn't show up that well if I painted it on top of black.

So this was very easy. It probably would have looked a lot nicer if I had spent more time on it, but I just wanted something quick and fun to do.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Toffee Apples!

I really enjoy Halloween so I thought it would be fun to share a toffee apple recipe. Around this time of year, I really crave toffee apples because they remind me of my childhood. When I went to fairs around this time of year, I had a hard time choosing between toffee apples and cotton candy!

This recipe was originally published in Good Food Magazine (2009)


8 Granny Smith apples
400g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp Golden Syrup


  1. Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
  2. Lay out a sheet of baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C or 'hard crack' stage. If you don't have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
  3. Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.

If you give this recipe a go, do let me know how you get on. Be careful not to burn yourself on all that boiling toffee!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My Sweet mate Kumya's Honey Hunt by Baby

Today I am discussing the new Baby print. To save time, I am going to call it Honey Hunt from now on. The full print name is in this post's title! This series has 2 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, socks, 4 different hair accessories and some jewellery featuring Usakumya's friends. After looking at all the print close-ups, I am not sure that Usakumya features in this print at all (unless Kumya features without the bunny hood). The print focuses on Usakumya's friends instead.

This is the Judy JSK. The shape of the bodice looks good, but I couldn't help noticing that the material looks a little loose and baggy around the front. It might cause unflattering gaps when worn. Smaller lolitas should have a look at the other JSK. The waist bow is generous in size and looks a pretty shape. I wouldn't have put lace on the waist bow, because it is big enough already. I think the waist bow would make a good emergency headbow, so thankfully it is detachable. The bodice has a raised panel, which gives the dress a bit more depth and will add volume to smaller busted ladies. The raised part has a printed bow theme, which is finished with a real bow in the middle. The little bow fits in well with the dress and I prefer it to the waist bow. The lace used on the bodice is very pretty and the rose lace matches the flowers in the print. The straps are a little thin, but the lace helps to add some width. There is a panel of shirring on the back, which is hidden well by a ribbon corset. The shirring panel is finished off neatly with 2 lines of lace. The waist ties could have had rose shaped buttons to mix the floral part of the print, but the heart buttons used are cute. The skirt part has a pretty rounded shape. It will probably flare outwards well and will accommodate lots of petticoat. The skirt has a lot of gathering but it doesn't obscure the print too much. I like how plain the skirt is, because it means you are more focused on the print when you look at the dress. The bottom hem is finished off with a tidy line of pretty looking lace.

This is the Sophie JSK. In a few of the stock photos, the outline of the bodice looked a bit lumpy but in others it doesn't look so bad. This dress takes advantage of the stripy ribbon part of the print. I really like the waist on this dress because the print makes it look as though the dress has a belt and it gives the impression of a small waist. The front has 3 bows made of stripy ribbon. It matches well with the dress and they are well spaced out. There are also vertical lines of lace running up the bodice. While the lace looks cute and doesn't look out of place, I think I would like the dress more without the lace. the lace may be pretty, but I prefer the lace used on the other dress. The straps continue the stripy ribbon theme. The straps on this dress are a little thicker and the lace is nicely shaped. The back has a decent sized shirring panel and it is covered by a ribbon corset. The ribbon is well spaced. The skirt has a good, generous shape to it. The overall shape is affected a tiny bit by the horizontal line of lace, but the lace is heart shaped and it looks very cute. Cute items are a good idea for an Usakumya series! The print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is finished off with some nice quality lace.

This is one of the print close-ups, here shown in Chocolate/Strawberry. Other colours avaiable are ivory/caramel, brown/brown and black/black. The chocolate/strawberry and brown/brown colourways are beautiful. I think my least favourite is the ivory. The colours used in this print are pale, and look washed out on ivory. I think having a darker background means you can see the bears a lot better. The print is very cute! The bears are doing different things, so there are lots of different things to see. I like the detailing on the glass jars. The bits at the bottom features names of different types of honey, so it features words like 'manuka'. My only complaint is the lack of Usakumya. I don't think Usakumya's friends are as popular as Usakumya. However, the print is still very pretty and hopefully Usakumya fans wont be put off buying this.

The socks for this series are adorable. They feature one of Usakumya's friends (I forget all their names!). I like the chocolate hearts and the 'Baby' part made of swirly honey.

Normally I dislike animal style hats and headpieces but surprisingly, I do like this furry bear headbow! It looks so warm and inviting. The ears are shaped well and I like the positioning of the bows. I don't think I suit pieces like this but I can think of several people who would look adorable wearing this.

I think this is a very cute series! I hope Usakumya fans will like it. The dress designs are good but I prefer the first JSK (the Judy one). I think the brown/brown colour looks the best. Would I buy from this series? Possibly. I think this series may be a little too cute for some people. It wont be going on my dream print list, but I wouldn't mind owning it.

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Western Take On the BB Cream?

BB creams. They have always been a mystery to me. BB creams are huge in Asia, some dubbing it some sort of "miracle product" that has so many different uses. In the past I have considered buying an Asian BB cream. A lot of people appear to like Skin79 Triple Function and I came close to purchasing this one from YesStyle-

There is one thing that has always held me back. I dislike how a lot of Asian BB creams claim to whiten the skin. Considering how pale my skin is, I don't want my skin getting any whiter! I know that there are exceptions out there and I would love to hear about them!

Just recently, it appears that BB creams have spread to the West. I figured that these products were unlikely to have skin whiteners in them because there is less demand for this over here.

So I decided to try the Garnier BB cream. It comes in 2 colours and I chose the lighter colour. It costs about £10 in most UK stores. However, I held out buying the cream and sure enough, Garnier's website started offering free samples (yes, I know how cheap I sound, but I like to try before I buy!).

If you are in the UK or Ireland and would like a free sample too, you can get it here- and if you live in a different country, do look for your own country's Garnier website because they may be offering samples too. In your sample pack you get 3 sachets of BB Cream and a voucher for money off your next BB purchase.

I have not tried the BB cream yet but I did open one of the sachets very quickly just to see what it looked like. I placed a little bit on my finger and it felt greasy and despite being called light, the product looked quite dark. I am a bit dubious about putting it on my face.

Once I have tried the product, I will see how good it really is. I will let you all know how I get on with it. I am desperate to do a comparison with an Asian BB cream, so if anybody can recommend one without whitening, please share!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Meta's Marguerite Wreath

Today I will be discussing the new print by Meta. This series is called Marguerite Wreath and it it is already available for reservation. The series includes 3 dresses, a shirt, a skirt, socks, a bonnet, a headbow and hair combs.

This is the short sleeved OP. The bodice part is a nice shape. It is also interesting how the lines in the print run up the bodice. The lines are curved, giving the illusion of a larger bust area and a smaller waist. I suppose if you have a small bust this could be useful to help even out your figure. Unlike the typical waist ties, this dress has belt style ties which tie at the front. There is a ruffle running along the front but it is fairly flat and blends in with the print, so it doesn't really add to the design. It is hard to see but apparently, this dress has a flower braid running between the 2 bows. It suits the print, which has daisy chains in it. Normally, brands would stick a line of pearls between bows like these, so it is fun to see something a bit different. The bows themselves look nicely shaped. I think the chiffon part under the bigger bow looks a bit lifeless. It probably could have been gathered more and the tiers spread out better. The short sleeves are slightly puffy and looks nicely elasticated. I would have liked this dress more without the halter-neck straps, but those are easy to tuck away. The shirring panel on this dress looks very small and appears to be in a V shape. This means the top of the shirring may stretch more than the bottom half. The shirring is well concealed by a ribbon corset. The skirt part is very full and rounded. You could put a lot of petticoat underneath this dress. The chiffon over the skirt is pretty and the gathering makes it look more interesting. The bottom hem is finished off with a simple ruffle. Considering the use of chiffon, it is probably best to keep the rest of the skirt plain. What I dislike about this skirt is that it has a tier and where the top of the skirt meets the tier, the print does not line up that well.

This is the bustle JSK. The bodice is well fitted and a good shape. Like the first dress, this dress uses curved lines to make the wearer's figure appear more shapely. The waist has a fairly big bow which appears to have a good sturdy shape to it. Although it would look a bit plain, I think I would remove the waist bow if I was wearing this dress. I dislike the corset on the front of this dress. I can't decide whether it is the shape I dislike or the dull colour of the satin ribbon. The straps are a good width, maybe a tiny bit on the thin side. The back has a shirring panel which thankfully, is a bit wider than the panel on the OP. The shirring is hidden well by a corset but again, I dislike how the corset looks.

This dress has a bustle on the back. Unlike some bustle dresses, the bustle is layered on top of the print part instead of layered underneath. It gives the skirt a lot of volume on the back. And the bustle is exactly why I would not wear this dress. It would make my bum look huge!

Despite this the skirt part is a good shape. It flares out well and would hold a large petticoat. I also think that this dress displays the print the best. The skirt part has 4 small satin ribbons on the front. I think they look cute. However, the bustle is still a huge minus.

This is the A-line JSK. There is no defined bodice, but the top part looks decently fitted. This dress has a yoke, which looks pretty. The yoke is finished with a small satin ribbon right in the middle and a pretty bow at the bottom. The straps are a little thin but thicker straps might not have worked well with the shape of this dress. The dress has a low back to it so maybe it wont give as much support. This dress has a panel of shirring running along most of the back. The panel is very exposed but somehow, it works well. It does mean that larger lolitas will probably have a good amount of stretch room. I find the overall shape of this dress a bit odd, especially teamed with the lines of the print running in different directions. On Meta's site this dress looks good on the model, but it is not your stereotypical lolita dress shape. The skirt has a ruffle midway down the skirt. The dress does not have a lot of details added on to it, so the ruffle looks good. It doesn't affect the dress shape too much either.

This is what the print looks like.

And this is a closer view. I have to say, that I think the colours in this series are horrible. The brown and grey colours look dull. Instead of rich colours, they look washed out. The brown is a muddy shade and looks odd beside the brighter blue. The pea green does not look too bad. In my opinion, the only exception is the red colourway (I believe it is the one they called Agatt on their website). The daisy chains are beautiful, the ribbons look pretty and I like the bluebirds. However, I find this print so underwhelming. There is nothing particularly original about the print and other brands have done similar designs a lot better.

So overall, I am not that impressed. I can't see this being a huge seller and will probably end up in Meta lucky packs or heavily reduced in a future sale. If I had to buy something, I would avoid the dresses and buy the skirt instead. I will be giving this series a miss.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Yes!!!! Bodyline flat rate shipping is back!

Bodyline have brought back their fixed shipping rates! Air is fixed at $20 and sea at $10. Considering how slow sea can be, I am very grateful to see the $20 air rate back. I guess this means that more people will be holding Bodyline group orders again.

So this is brilliant news! Bodyline, please keep the $20 rate. I love you a lot more when I am getting cheap shipping.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Edgar Degas, Laduree and a new banner!

Friday the 14th October 2011- This day will always be special to me. I finally managed to make one of my life goals come true, and it is thanks to lolita!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a lolita meet. The idea was to visit the Royal Academy of Arts in London for an exhibit about Edgar Degas. As soon as I saw the word Degas, I started to hyperventilate. Edgar Degas is my favourite artist of all time. I first discovered Degas when I was about 7. My dad had purchased our first computer and he got me this set of computer games to celebrate. In one of the games, you had to stop a burglar from stealing paintings from 3 artists. One of these artists was Degas. When you finished the game, you got to see the paintings. I instantly fell in love with Degas. I kept researching him and discovered more of his beautiful works. I find it hard to explain why I love him so much. Degas painted a lot of dancers and ballerinas, and it is these paintings which he is most famous for. The dancers look graceful, and I love the way Degas captured their effortless grace. The exhibition in London focused on the way Degas captured their movement. I sometimes wonder what Degas would have thought about lolitas and how he would have captured lolita in his art. If I were to pose for any artist, it would definitely be Degas. And I only found out about this exhibit because I was a part of a lolita facebook group!

Despite being unable to attend the lolita meet, there was NO WAY I was missing the chance to see some of Degas' most famous work in person. The Royal Academy of Arts was buzzing with excitement and there was a bit of a queue to get in.

The lolitas going to the meet are in for a treat! If you are reading this post before the 11th of December 2011 and would like the chance to see the exhibit in London, you can find details here-

There was one particular part of the exhibition that I was really excited to see-

This is Dancer Posing for a Photographer (sometimes the title for this painting varies a little bit). This is my absolute favourite painting by my favourite artist. This painting normally hangs in a gallery in Russia. Considering how unlikely it is that I will go to Russia, I simply had to see this painting. It was one of my life goals to view this painting and now I can say I have seen it. When I first saw it, I felt my heart clench with excitement. It is so beautiful. I can actually feel my eyes tearing up just remembering this special moment.

I spent ages in the gift shop looking for my favourite painting. I was hoping for a print (in fact, this has now gone down on my Christmas wishlist, so I am holding out hope of at least getting a poster). Sadly, I could not find Dancer Posing for a Photographer but I did find this print. I am now trying to figure out where I should put it. I also got a few postcards and the Royal Academy's magazine. I did spot a beautiful umbrella with a Degas print on it (it would look beautiful with classic lolita) which cost £30, but I decided I would be sensible and so I saved it to buy a few Christmas presents. I would have snapped it up in an instant if Christmas wasn't coming up!

I also decided to go to Laduree for macarons. Laduree macarons are famous so in the interest of research, I went and got a box of 8!

This is the macaron tree which greets you outside their shop. I went to the Burlington Arcade branch because it was very close to the Degas exhibit. Inside the shop, it is like a sparkly grotto. In this photo you can see the gold underneath the macaron tree. The entire shop is covered with this gold decoration. The shop itself is small, so it is best to go in very small groups or by yourself.

This is the box my 8 macarons came in. I think this is their standard packaging which in itself, is still very pretty. If you want a fancier box I think you need to buy more macarons.

Left to Right- Rose, Lemon, Raspberry, Granny Smith Apple, Black Forest, Praline and Violet and Blackcurrant (I had already eaten another rose macaron). As expected, they were expensive but I can honestly say they are the nicest macarons I have ever tried. They have a wonderful crispy but chewy texture. The flavours in the store are varied with a few standard flavours such as raspberry, and the more exotic flavours like Green Apple. They also do special flavours from time to time. If I remember correctly, the black forest macaron is not part of the regular macaron menu.

My favourites were the Black Forest (perfect mix of chocolate and cherry), green apple (unusual, but in a good way), and the Violet/blackcurrant (simply amazing). But I was amazed by every single one I tried.

Finally, I have some new banner art!

This banner was made by the very lovely Beau. Beau based the banner on the outfit I wore to the October 2011 Oxfordshire Lolita meet with Meta's Fairy tale print. Beau has gone to a lot of effort to capture my outfit including the ivy wrapped around my leg, the print details and even my black Bodyline bolero. I absolutely love this banner! So a huge thank you to Beau for making this for me.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A really HUGE valentine thank you!

I almost fell off my seat when I saw the Lolita Valentines go up today. I got 6! 2 are group and 4 are individual. This is my biggest Valentine haul to date! Seriously, I cannot thank you guys enough. As this is my biggest amount, I would like to think that this means people really liked my Meta Fairy Tale outfit (which features in all 6 Valentines). That makes me so glad, because I think it is one of my personal favourite lolita outfits out of everything I have worn.

I am in numbers 10, 13, 15, 22, 23 and 25.

So thank you Valentine makers!

P.S- Whoever said I was the "Princess of Meta's Fairy Tale", I just want to let you know that comment really made me smile! I see what you did there!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Shoe Love- Secret Shop Crown Shoes Replica

Technically this is Friday's post because tomorrow I am off to London. I am going to Camden, an exhibit, shopping and to Laduree for macarons! I have wanted to go to Laduree for so long. I can taste the macarons already! I will fill you all in about my experience soon.

I have a new item to add to my want list. After being invited to a group order, I discovered these shoes on Clobba. At the time I didn't have enough money to pre-order a pair because I had brought a birthday present (I hope my friend liked that present!).

These shoes are a Secret Shop replica of the AP crown shoes. I have been in love with the AP shoes since they appeared on the cover of one of the Gothic Lolita bibles. But while I would love to own the AP shoes, I have to admit that I have been tempted by the Secret Shop version in the gold colour. I think it would be fun to flirt with a princess or regal theme, but I don't necessarily want to do a full Hime Lolita outfit.

I was thinking that maybe you could pair the shoes with this Innocent World bag, but maybe the shades of gold are a bit different? The gold on the bag looks brighter. It is a shame, because I would love to pair the 2 items together. Maybe, once there are more photos of the shoes, I may be able to make a better comparison.

Then I thought that I could potentially try to make an outfit with Chess Party by Metamorphose. There is red in the print, which could help if you used the crown bag. There is a lot of imagery within chess like the king and queen, so that could fit a royalty theme. However, I am still unsure if I could pull off the shoes with this outfit. Despite this, I still want to buy the shoes!

I guess what my pondering is leading to, is an idea for a classic lolita outfit with a hime twist. I don't want the stereotypical princess look. I think for now I need to get some more inspiration!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

That had better be a typo AP... the Country of Sweets re-release

So I was browsing the English Angelic Pretty site when I came across the Country Sweets re-release. Only, I got a little distracted when I saw that AP appear to be making skirts out of urine...

Up until now, I had no idea that there was a material called urine! If anybody has a better idea of what AP are on about, then do fill me in because I am feeling a little disturbed right now.

Wee jokes aside, I did want to discuss the Country Sweets re-release today, mainly because it took me by surprise. Of all the possible prints AP could have released again, I wouldn't have thought Country Sweets was that good a choice. I didn't think it was that popular to begin with.

I can understand why AP may hold back re-releasing certain prints because with less dresses, the demand is more intense. And then if they do re-release these prints, they sell out instantly. Just look at Melty Chocolate and Sugary Carnival. People wanted them so badly, that there was a huge rush to get them at retail price instead of the hiked-up re-sale prices. However, I am still holding out for a Starry Night Theater re-release. (Hint hint, AP!)

Despite not finding Country Sweets particularly special, I do actually think it is good that AP are re-releasing an older print. If this re-release goes well, AP may consider re-doing other older AP prints. I know that some people prefer older AP, back in the days where prints were not so overcrowded.

This re-release has led to AP releasing some jewellery too.

This cake ring is huge! It looks comically over-sized but I think it suits AP. However, I can't help but feel that it looks like something you could pick up from Claire's for a lot less money.

My favourite item is the Gingerbread man ring. It looks good enough to eat! It is a very cute ring and it would work with a lot of sweet prints or maybe a Christmas themed outfit. But I do think it would be even cuter if AP hadn't used the little gems and did a line of little chocolate drops for the buttons.

So whilst I think this re-release is okay, it doesn't look as if AP fans are rushing out to grab these items this time. As I have already mentioned, I would love a Starry Night Theatre re-release but I would love to know what re-release other lolitas would like to see!

Monday, 10 October 2011

October 2011 Oxfordshire Lolita Meet!

The Oxfordshire Lolitas had their October meet on Saturday! This is the first Ox meet I have been to since the one I hosted in July. It felt odd not writing about the meets over August and September. The dress theme was trick or treat and many of us did gothic. As you probably already know, I FINALLY wore my Fairy Tale skirt and bonnet by Meta. In the end, I had to give up my ideas for a more elaborate outfit. I had to make sure I was able to walk because we were going on a ghost walk in the evening. So the outfit may not be as crazy or exciting as people were hoping. I can assure you that my wilder ideas have all been written down for later use!

So here it is, my not-so daring-but-hopefully-still-pretty outfit-

The rundown-
Bonnet and Skirt- Metamorphose
Bolero and blouse (not shown)- Bodyline
Everything else- offbrand

I decided to wrap ivy around my leg and I was very impressed that I did not ladder my tights at all! There was also some ivy tucked in to my bonnet. I don't really know where I got the idea for the ivy. It just sort of came to me. Originally, I was meant to have flowers and butterflies running down the ivy but I thought it might make my legs look bulky. The ivy and the flowers with my bonnet were actually decorations from my wedding. Considering that this print reminds me of my wedding (I had a pink/purple theme with butterflies and cages) I thought I should include more of my wedding influences. So this outfit holds a lot of special meaning to me. I layered my Meta skirt on top of the black Bodyline skirt I recently got in the sale. I did this because I wanted to show off the crown lace. I thought the best way to do this would be to have a dark background.

This picture shows off the bonnet details the best. Pulling silly faces is compulsory for an Oxfordshire Lolita! Here I am with Jenni, one of the 2 co-hosts (Naomi being the other host). Jenni wore the Oo Jia Vampire Requiem replica. I can honestly say that it was a lot nicer than I was expecting. The fabric feels lovely and soft and only slightly shiny. The print looks just like the original.

We ended up walking around Christ Church and then we went down to the river.

And here is the group shot!
Back row left to right- Jenni (in VR replica), Niamh, Roxy (in Miracle Candy. I forgot to ask if it was real or replica. I have never seen MC in person!), Me in Meta, Raine, Amber, Louise (in Putomayo. Again, I forgot to ask if it was real or replica!) and Beau, who was not in lolita this time, but I was soooooo happy to see her!
Front row- Naomi and Michelle (in Circus Tutu by BABY)

We went on a ghost walk hosted by the amazing Bill Spectre. I highly recommend his tour, which starts at Oxford Castle. It was an amazing tour and Bill Spectre was so funny. He kept calling me Bo Peep! In fact, a lot of people called me Bo Peep that day, but I didn't mind. When we were walking to the train station later in the evening, I even got offered free sambuca! Sadly, we had to catch the train! Michelle loved Beau's outfit so much that she went out, bought it and then put it on in the Pizza Hut toilets!

Jenni made us all gift bags. I loved everything I got but my favourite item was this purple butterfly ring. I even put it on during the day!

I think it is fair to say, that this was a brilliant meet. I had a lot of fun, even though my bloomers kept falling down (embarrassing!). I probably wont be attending the November Ox meet but I will make sure I can be there in December. I can tell it will be great!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

2 Valentines! :)

Well, that was a nice surprise! I read the Lolita Valentines every weekend (I am obsessed and if they have not been posted, I keep refreshing the page!) but I wasn't expecting to get any... but I did! I have 2 today; both of which were using photos from the June Oxfordshire Lolita meet. So I think I know who you are!

So thank you for 10 and 12.

By the way, I totally agree with Valentine no 7!

Friday, 7 October 2011


I apologise for not doing a proper post today. The reason is, I need to do a lot of planning for an outfit I am wearing to a meet tomorrow. The picture is very related...

I am having a few last minute hitches, but I reckon I should be fine tomorrow. I keep making extra additions. I think that wearing this particular outfit could be risky. If I go too far with the detailing, it may end up looking like a costume. But I like to do things which I think are fun, and I am definitely having fun with this print!

Do keep an eye out on Monday, where if things go to plan, you will be able to judge my outfit for yourself.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lock the Pandora's Memories by AatP

Today I will be looking at the latest release by Alice and the Pirates. This one is called Lock the Pandora's Memories. I was mega excited about the idea of a print based on Pandora's Box. This series contains 2 dresses, a salopette, pants, a vest, a mini hat, a necktie, socks, a bag and jewellery. That is a lot of stuff! But today I will just be looking at the 2 dresses because not all the proper stock photos are up yet.

This is the JSK version 1. The bodice part has a good shape to it. This is probably due to the corset detailing around the waist. The corset part looks nicely presented. The ribbon looks to be of a good quality and the lace is neat and not too ruffled. Although I do like the corset, I think a black solid colour corset could have looked interesting instead of a printed one.

The bodice also has a fake vest detail. It is shaped well. Although there is a lot of lace on this dress, the lace has not been gathered a lot and the lace is not too wide, so it doesn't look too bad. My favourite part of this dress is the chain finished off with rose buttons and an AatP logo charm.

The back has a very tiny, squished up panel of shirring. I think it may have looked better if they had made the back to look like the dress has a vest over the top, like how on the front the dress looks like there is a vest. I know some wearers need shirring to fit into brand, but on this dress the shirring panel looks so small that I doubt it will stretch much further anyway. I also dislike the waist ties on this dress. Although the corset detailing may be a little loose on some, the idea of putting waist ties on top of a corset seems a bit strange to me.

The skirt part has a good shape. Although it is slightly rounded, it is not too OTT for the usual style we see used in gothic lolita. The skirt has been kept plain, apart from a line of lace running midway down the skirt, which doesn't really add much to the design. The bottom hem is finished off with small lace, like the rest of the dress. I think if the dress design had more detail, it would look too much so I think AatP got the balance right.

This is JSK version 2. I would first like to apologise, because the pictures don't really show off the details on this dress very well so I will just have to do my best. The bodice looks a good shape but it doesn't appear as well fitted as the first dress. The front of this dress has a corset. The corset is very narrow, so you can't really see the detailing in the corset that well. Maybe it could have done with being a bit wider. The lace used along the neckline is wide, but pretty. I think the lace used on the other dress would have looked nicer here. At the bottom of the straps there are 2 bows, which look like they are made out of very soft material and have a nice shape to them. I think the bows look pretty but I wonder if some gothic fans may find them a bit too cute for this dress. I would have preferred one set of straps instead of 2 very thin sets of straps. I just think that straps like these sit a bit awkwardly on the shoulders. As you might be able to see in the next picture, the inner straps are sitting okay, but the outer straps are a bit loose and are likely to move about.

The back looks like it has a good panel of shirring compared to the other dress. It is also well concealed by a ribbon corset. I thought I would use this picture to show that the dress has a bustle on the back of the skirt. It is a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but I think the bustle looks a good shape and hopefully, it is layered nicely. On the side of the dress, there are 2 bows where the print meets the bustle. They blend in a bit so they don't stand out much but they do look to be nicely shaped. The skirt as a whole, looks wide and rounded; perfect for fitting a good amount of petticoat underneath.

This is the print close-up. In all honesty, I am a bit disappointed! It is not as if I dislike this print, but I don't think it is very imaginative. I think with a theme like Pandora's Box, Alice and the Pirates could have come up with something more interesting. I think you could have a lot of fun designing a Pandora's Box print! However, the print is still pretty. I like all the decorative keys and the roses. It is available in grey, black and engine (purple/red kind of colour). The colours appear a bit dull but I do like the engine colour, so that is my favourite.

I can imagine that this series will sell well, but I am not a fan. I think I was expecting a lot more from the designs. I wouldn't mind owning the 2nd JSK, but it is not something I would strive to own. I do however, like the look of the key and lock earrings, which I have not included because there is no proper picture at time of posting. So overall, I think the series is okay, but it could be a lot better.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Kitchen envy!

I am going to do a small post today because I have a headache. After a rubbish Summer, England is suddenly having a mini heatwave and I wilt at the first sign of warmer weather!

So on Saturday I went to Beau's birthday party, which was held at her mum's house. Not only was the food provided absolutely amazing (Beau's mum is indeed the queen of puddings!) but I was stunned by how much effort and detail was put in to the day. It was brilliant to see everybody, especially Sammi and Beau who I have both missed a lot.

And I now wish I could have a kitchen like Beau's mum's kitchen. I should have taken more photographs because I loved everything about that room!

Cupcake shelf! I loved the cupcake selection. There was an even bigger cupcake, which is not in shot.

Sorry Michelle, but this was the best photo I had of this part of the kitchen! I could have spent all night reading at the amusing fridge magnets on the fridge and I love the tins on top of the fridge. The kitchen was filled with Cath Kidston and Marks and Spencers pieces.

Someday, I will have a kitchen like this!

This was the best photo of what I was wearing. I know it is not a whole outfit shot, but you can probably tell I was wearing Wonder Cookie. I look a little dead because I was daft enough to wear lots of heavy clothing on a very hot day.

I had a really great day and I think Beau's mum is amazing!
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