This is the OP. The bodice is a decent shape and looks well fitted. Because of the style of print, the waist ties also blend in very well. The short sleeves are very cute. They could have maybe been a tiny bit more puffy. The sleeves also appear very well elasticated and are finished with a simple ruffle. This is a good idea, because the print is very busy and you don't want to overwhelm it with fussy details. The bodice has 3 small satin ribbon bows on the front. They are a good size. I also think it is good that they are black ribbons (apart from the off-white colourway, which has white ribbons) because they help tie in the small amounts of black that are in the print. So it helps balance the colours a bit better. The dress also comes with a detachable collar. The design of the collar is very basic, but it does suit the dress and it ties in well with the cuffs (see below). There is a panel of shirring on the back, which has nothing covering it. Luckily, because of the style of print, the shirring blends in a bit anyway. I am very pleased to see that the skirt shape is not like recent crazy Meta shapes! The shape is a bit rounder, which I think looks better, but it still flares out quite a lot. So it will hold loads of petticoat underneath, without looking too straight or triangular in appearance. The skirt is thankfully kept plain, but to stop it looking too boring, there is a ruffle at the bottom and another tier layered underneath. These bits are lined with thin lace which is pretty, but modest. This is ideal for the type of print.
The OP also comes with these cuffs. They would be a cute addition to any Alice themed outfit. In fact, I am a little disappointed that there appears to be no plans for these to be sold separately! Meta, you should totally do it!
This is the JSK, which handily has the apron outlined so you can see the shape!
Just to show the dress better, this is what the JSK sketch looks like.
The bodice looks a good shape and very well fitted. The straps are a bit thin and plain, and maybe could have been a little thicker. I think the fact that Meta needed to include an outline of where the apron sits is a bad sign. If anything, it shows that it blends in too well with the dress and it is not noticeable. Perhaps a solid coloured apron would have stood out a lot better and it would have provided a break in the busy print. However, I do think the heart pockets on the apron look very cute. Obviously, the apron is detachable if you dislike it. The bodice has 2 lines of vertical lace which conceal where the fabric panels end and makes it look neater. The neckline also has a little bit of fabric folded over to make it look like a collar. I think it helps make the neckline look tidier and also more interesting. It also stops the bodice looking too flat. The bodice also has some card suit buttons which is a cute touch. I could take or leave the ribbon at the base of one of the straps. I don't think the colour chosen for the ribbon bow matches as well. Maybe they should have done what they did with the OP and used black ribbon instead. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed by a corset. It helps to keep it looking neat. The skirt flares out quite far, but thankfully keeps its very rounded shape. It is definitely an improvement. The skirt is tiered and is broken up halfway down by a line of ribbon. Luckily, it doesn't affect the silhouette too badly, nor does it look too OTT. The ribbon line has 2 bows on top of it, but it is not too distracting. If I am being very picky, the ribbon is a bit shiny. But overall, I think it has been presented well. The bottom hem is finished off with some thin lace.
Out of the 2 pairs of socks, I like this pair better. The cards running down them reminds me of the time I actually pinned a load of playing cards to my leg to wear with my Bodyline Alice skirt! I also love anything with a card suit theme because it is usually quite a versatile design to wear. However, I do think the cat at the bottom looks a bit strange. I think the shape of the cat is a bit odd.
And finally this is the barrette. Despite there not being any proper pictures of it at the time of posting, I like the idea of there being a cute cat playing card on it, just to continue the card theme. It is a bit different from your standard head bow.
I think Meta really needed to release a series like this after releasing quite a few weak series. Meta prints don't tend to cause a stir and I don't think this will be any exception. But I believe this sort of print is what Meta is good at and I am a fan of it! This wont be high on my list of priorities but I would be happy to own something from this series. I think I prefer the JSK, but I would leave the apron off. I like this print in the black colourway most of all. I would really like this series to be a hit. Whether it will be a hit or not, is hard to tell.