Monday, 30 April 2012

Ox Loli Meet April 2012!

It is time for another Oxfordshire Lolita meet post! We were meant to be having a picnic but sadly, the weather was not being nice to us. I had made these really nice cheesecake brownies and now my husband and I have a whole batch to ourselves! I even dyed the cheesecake bits pink! Have you ever eaten pink cheesecake before? It is definitely more fun. Sadly, the weather stopped a few people from coming, which is  a shame.

I wore my Bodyline strawberry cream skirt. As you can see, I was wearing the bow my friend kindly made for me. Sadly, because of the wind I was unable to do my hair in the way I wanted, so please be aware that I know the bow looks a little bit unbalanced! I also think that the colour is a bit unbalanced but I didn't leave enough time to go and change my bolero for my red cardigan. Aside from those 2 points, I do quite like this outfit. It is pretty much all Bodyline and off-brand.

I own so many bits of strawberry themed jewellery, that it was great to actually use some of them! My favourite is of course my Angelic Pretty Strawberry Chan bangle. It is one of my favourite pieces. The sparkly bow ring is Chocomint and I am also wearing my Lyrical Bunny gumdrop ring. The rest are off-brand. The Swablu bracelet was a little off-theme but I wanted some blue jewellery to match my skirt!

I was so happy to see Beau in lolita again. And of course, I had to get a piece of her bag! Nom!

Oxford is a beautiful city, but we struggle to find sheltered areas to take photos. Stupid weather! We ended up outside the Ashmolean Museum in this little pathway bit. It has these alcoves, so we were able to pose in them.

Considering the wind, I think it was pretty brave of us all to put our parasols up. There are actually some silly photos of me on Facebook attempting to put up my Baby parasol and failing miserably... Now, I forgot what some people were wearing so I can only do the people I remember for this. Here it goes...

In the middle- Raine in DoL Fantastic Dolly
Clockwork (starting from me)- Me (Bodyline), Sammi (AP Happy Garden), Nicola (handmade), Roxy, Amber (Bodyline Antique Clock), Beau (AP Polka Dot Chocolate), Olwen (Bodyline floral dress) and Louise.

I didn't get any good shots of my nails until the following day and they were looking a bit rough by then! I basically used my nail art pens to draw dripping cream on to my blue nails. Then to finish off, I drew a strawberry on both of my thumbs.

It was a real shame about the picnic being cancelled but hopefully, we will be able to have a picnic some other time. But it was really great to see everybody again. I didn't go to the March meet and the February meet feels like ages ago now. I did have a good day and hopefully, so did everybody else there.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Busy busy busy...

Sorry about the lack of post today. I am rushing about like a mad woman ahead of a meet tomorrow! Some day, I will be one of those uber-organised bloggers who has a back-up of posts available. But I am not that organised yet as my life has been a bit hectic. I will be back on Monday as normal. Sorry sorry sorry!!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Lolitas Who Help Each Other Out

I have met a lot of amazing people through lolita. I have been getting a lot of reminders lately about how lucky I am to have my friends. I have quite a lot of lolitas on Facebook and it is fair to say that I know some lolitas better than others. But despite this, I have discovered that people are willing to help you out.

An example would be when I recently discovered that one of my dream dresses was going cheap on a Japanese auction site. It was one of those dresses that is very popular and normally sells for well over the original retail price. The only problem is, the dress was a bit damaged. So I posted a status update stating what was wrong with the dress and asking people if I should take a risk and bid on it. I thought somebody would just give me a 'yes' or 'no' answer and that would be the end of it. But what I wasn't expecting was several different people offering to fix the dress for me. It was really great to get these offers and it made me feel good about myself. It showed that people were taking an interest and wanted to help me. I was really grateful for this unexpected help.

Then a few weeks ago, I came to the sudden realisation that I didn't have a matching head bow for an outfit I am wearing to a meet. Me being the Facebook junky that I am, I updated my status. I started searching all the sales communities for a suitable bow, but then somebody commented on my status saying they would make a bow for me.

And here it is! I can't thank my friend enough for her kind generosity. She even re-did the bow after I was unsure about one of the details. The bow was also neatly made and I can tell a lot of thought and effort was put in.

The skirt I want to wear it with!

And then this week I got a message asking me if I wanted some bow brooches that somebody didn't want. She didn't want to see them go to waste and so she gave them to me because she thought I would find somebody to do with them.

I really want to do something nice with them now, otherwise I feel like I would be letting her down!

Now aside from this post showing that I spend far too much time on Facebook, I think it also demonstrates that there are wonderful people out there who are willing to help out a friend. I would like to think that this is a sign that our friendship goes beyond a common interest in lolita fashion. And I want you all to know that I am very grateful to everybody that has offered me any help.

I would like to think that in turn, I am trying my best to be a good friend too. So here are some suggestions of things you could do to say 'thank you' to those who have selflessly helped you out. I already do a lot of these things myself.

1. Make a Lolita Valentine- Pretty straight forward. Sadly, this is something that I don't do as much as I should! But even if I don't make a Valentine, I do try to leave nice comments on photos that I like or on Daily Lolita posts. It is easy enough to do at any time.

2. Look out for your friend's dream items- If I spot an item I know my friend is after, I will tell them about it. Sometimes I will do a specific search just for their item, instead of casually browsing for myself. It is really great when you do eventually find an item because your friend may not have spotted it.

3. Make/bake something- I am not an excellent crafter but I do enjoy baking. So if I have been doing some random baking, I will usually take some over to my friends or family. Nobody has complained yet!

4. Offer to host meets or volunteer to help out a host- It is really nice being able to plan out all the fun things your group can do. But due to work/school/money etc, sometimes people don't feel up to hosting a meet. I think that by offering to host, it takes pressure off of the people who usually host a lot and it also shows you are willing to give something back. However, you should never take on more than you can handle!

5. Check with people before throwing something out- Like the person who gave me the bow clips did, you could try and see if anybody wants those items you were about to throw out. Somebody with a crafty or imaginative mind could find something to do with it, even if you can't think of anything.

6. Give people a hug- Simple, but it says a lot.

7. Lend a hand when getting dressed up or be somebody's guinea pig- Are you one of these people who is really good at hair styling, make-up? Or do you have a friend who is? Whatever your strength is, you could try helping out by styling your friend. Alternatively, if your friend wants to try out a new hair/make-up style but wants to practice first, let them practice on you. It is good to practice because it gives you more confidence.

8. Show people how to order from websites- This is something I actually get asked about a lot. I have helped people navigate websites such as Bodyline in the past and they have managed to get the hang of it. Foreign sites and those you are new to can be very daunting, so getting help can be very reassuring.

I am sure you can think of more ideas than I can. I am feeling a bit tired today, otherwise I would probably add more to this list. But more than anything else, I think it is important to just say 'thank you' to people. How you go about this is completely up to you.

Monday, 23 April 2012

AP's Little Bird's Symphonia

I apologise for the increased volume of Angelic Pretty posts lately! Today I will be looking at the new AP print called Little Bird's Symphonia. This series has 2 dresses, a skirt, a bonnet, a head bow, a valletta, an eco tote, socks and a few bits of jewellery.

This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and it has a nice shape. I understand that some people dislike bell-shaped sleeves but I think it suits this dress. The OP is very dressy and full of detail, and so the sleeves help to balance the design. It does look OTT but considering the size of some bell sleeves I have seen, I am just relieved that AP didn't make them any bigger! I do like the lace used on the cuffs, but I wish they had left the shiny bow ribbon off. The waist bow is big, but it does have a very interesting shape to it.

There is a lot of lace used on the bodice. However, the lace is good quality and it doesn't stick out too much. The lace has been used neatly and I think it looks more OTT than costume-like. The lace curves around the arms and gives it a cute look, as if the wearer is wearing a bolero. However, I dislike the bows. The ribbon used is shiny and despite it being a sweet print, it almost looks a little too cute. I believe this dress could have worked without the ribbons there.

I think the choker on this dress is very stuffy and frumpy. It just doesn't appeal to me at all! I don't think it will flatter the wearer that much and I would also be concerned that it wouldn't feel very comfortable. Plus the lace may be good quality, but I would hate having that lace at the top tickling my chin!

The back has a panel of shirring concealed well by a ribbon corset. Also on the back, there is this ruffle detail. The ruffles are spaced out well. The use of the printed fabric does mean it blends in a bit, but it does give the back a bit of extra texture and detail.

Just like the rest of the dress, the skirt shape is also OTT. The skirt flares out so much and it will hold loads of petticoat. Halfway down the skirt, there is a horizontal line of lace which doesn't cause a harsh break, but I do worry about whether the print will be lined up properly. The bottom hem is finished off with beautiful bird lace, which looks very cute. For some reason, this dress comes with an additional drawstring pouch. I am sure you could find a use for it but it seems like a strange item to include! One of my main concerns about this dress is that OTT sweet is not as popular now as it once was. Is that going to limit the appeal of this dress?

This is the JSK. The bodice is a nice shape to it. There is rose shaped lace running up the bodice, but due to the lace in the print, it does blend in quite a lot. The horizontal lace does stand out a bit more. It is good quality lace and it looks soft. This lace is also used along the neckline. I think this dress does need a bit of lace here to stop the bodice looking too dull. However, the bodice does also have the large bow on the neckline. The bow is very nicely shaped and it looks very sturdy, not floppy at all. The bow is decorated with lace and pearls. The pearls are a nice finish to the bow and they work well with the print. The waist is plain but it would look a bit ridiculous if there was another big bow there as well! The straps are fairly thin, but are decorated with the cute bird lace. The back has a shirring panel concealed by a ribbon corset. The skirt is once again, very flared. The good thing is, it will hold a decent amount of petticoat underneath, but I was hoping the skirt shape would be a bit rounder. The waist does have to small ribbon bows and a line of lace continues down the skirt from these points. It does blend in a lot but it does have small bows running down it. The bows are very shiny and I don't think they add that much to the design.

Like the OP, this skirt is divided in to two parts by a line of lace. I couldn't help noticing that the lace changes with rose lace between the bows and different lace used for the rest of the way around the dress. I am unsure I like this detail. Again, I think the print doesn't line up exactly, which is a shame. The bottom hem is finished off with the pretty bird lace.

Here is the print close-up. I fell in love with this print from the very first time I saw it! This is definitely my style of print! The combination of bird cages and roses is a great success in my opinion. The birds in the cages and flying around are very cute. Despite being a very busy print, I think everything fits together so well that I am not worried about it looking too OTT. I really wish AP would use roses in their prints more often. I love the alternating roses and lace lines in the print. All four colours look beautiful but for me, the sax blue is my favourite. The sax blue just stood out to me. However, I would be quite happy to get any colour!

There are 3 different hair accessories released for this series but I think the valletta is my favourite. I like how it is a little bit different from the standard AP hair accessories. The bird perched on top of the roses is just so cute! The valletta focuses on the main features of the print and it looks beautiful.

I was talking about the free gift necklace event on Friday, but I have to admit that I prefer this necklace! I do love this style of jewellery. However, it is worth noting that you could probably find similar pieces on the high street. The AP necklace is still lovely though.

So overall, this series is one that I am very excited about. However, I do think the OP design lets the rest of the series down. I would definitely go for the JSK or skirt and I would try to go for the sax blue colour. Ever since I first saw the scans, I have been waiting desperately to see all the items go up on the AP website. This series gets my seal of approval and I have already added it to my wishlist!

Friday, 20 April 2012

AP Symphonia of Spring Fair Bird Necklace

From tomorrow until May the 6th you can get a special bird necklace from AP with any order over 15,750yen (stock pending).

I really really REALLY want it! But sadly, I wont be placing an order with AP before the 6th of May.

I love how you can see little feather details on the wing. Plus, I am currently obsessed with bird items and prints. 

I often wonder... if you are placing an order anyway, it is worth adding a bit more to get the free items? Obviously the free items are not always worth it. I understand that people like to collect the big brand's catalogues or even cut pages out and frame them, but I have never understood the hype around getting a catalogue with an order over 12,000yen or whatever amount. But then I look at items such as this necklace and I know I would definitely use them and I like it enough to want it.

Even though I like the free items, I tend to think that some people will sell them on anyway. Hopefully the sellers wont charge too much. It just depends whether you think it is worth bulking up your order or waiting and then buying the free item off somebody. This time I will be waiting patiently in the hope that I find this necklace later on.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

AP International Site Shopping Review- Positive

Despite owning various bits of Angelic Pretty, this was actually my very first time using the international website. I placed a fairly small order but I thought I would do a review anyway. I kind of wished I had made a bigger order because my friend got the free strawberry parfait glass and it looks really cute!

Ordering Process

Desperate to get things correct from the beginning, I decided the best thing to do would be to read the 'Shopping Guide' page. This page is very easy to find and read, although I did have a bit of an issue at one stage. On this page you will see a bit under the headline "Ordering" which says about getting a User ID and page for JP Stores and they provide a URL on this page. So I clicked on it and signed up. I then attempted to order my items, only to find out that this link was actually incorrect. You need to register with Japan Stores and not JP Stores (they are different). The correct link to set up your ID is actually on the shopping page. I quickly realised my mistake and corrected it, but I don't think AP have set that out clearly.

Once I got through that little issue, I re-added my items to the cart and this time I was successful. Adding, removing and adjusting quantities is very easy to do and the shopping cart system is very straight forward. When you go to the checkout you can see your progress at the top of the page. I got all the emails I needed quite quickly too. I can't really comment on AP's communication because I never needed to contact AP.

Shipping Process

To find my tracking number I had to get it via my Japan Stores user page. This was very straight forward. I always knew where my package was. Even Parcelforce's website was being surprisingly helpful! (I hate Parcelforce so much and I know many other UK lolis do too!) The package did take quite some time to get to me but this was in part due to the Easter holidays. The package got to the UK quickly but sadly, the UK customs were being very slow. So I am only holding UK customs and my local Parcelforce branch responsible for this!

The outside packaging was a bit of a surprise. It was in an AP shopping bag. Initially I was worried that it wasn't very secure but when I got my scissors out to open the parcel, I realised just how thick and strong AP's shopping bags can be.

I was unable to save the shopping bag that it was sent in, but AP provided another AP shopping bag inside! AP must realise their customers love their cute little shopping bags. The jewellery I ordered was in a small, slimline box and was wrapped well in bubble wrap. There was no rattling inside, so the jewellery had no room to move about during shipping.

And inside, more bubble wrap! It was very secure. Can you tell what it is yet?

I ordered a Chess Knight necklace in antique gold to go with my Nostalgic Chess dress and on a whim, I also got a Lyrical Bunny drop ring in pink.

The Chess Knight necklace is just as beautiful as I expected it to be. It is very detailed. It is not too heavy but it does have a bit of weight to it. So it doesn't feel fragile at all.

As the name of the colour suggests, AP have given it a "fake antique" look to make it look as though it has been worn and is a lot older than it really is. I really like this because I think it gives the necklace a nice touch. I don't think I would have liked it as much if it looked too polished in appearance.

I never realised this necklace was hollow, so that was a surprise!

When I discussed the Toy Drops print I was a bit unkind about the print, but I did say that I thought any jewellery had the potential to be very cute. And I am very pleased to say that I believe I was right! I love the idea of having gum drop themed jewellery. I preferred the Lyrical Bunny ring to the bear one. I am sorry if the photo is blurry but it is very difficult to photograph something so transparent! You will have to take my word for it that it is cute. The ring feels quite solid with a gold ring for a base. The base is also adjustable, although I am unsure how much bigger it will go.

So overall, I am very happy with my order and I think this was a positive experience. The items were just as described and I adore them. After some initial confusion, I found AP easy to order from and I will be ordering again in the future. My issue here was not with AP, but with the UK's shoddy postal service! So I do hope to order from Angelic Pretty again soon. I highly recommend them.

Monday, 16 April 2012

AatP's Poison de Lamour

So today I will be taking a look at the new series by Alice and the Pirates. This series is called Poison de Lamour (with an accent above the 'a'). It has 2 dresses, a skirt, a shirt, a bonnet, a headdress, a necklace and socks. Additionally, there is the Romeo items which include a vest, pants and a shirt.

 This is the Princess JSK. The bodice is very nicely fitted and has a good shape to it. At first, I thought I had gotten the dress pictures the wrong way around! The front bustle is nicely spaced out and the tiers look very even. The chiffon is not actually plain, but covered in little dots (you can see this better in the next picture). I am unsure whether I like this or not, but it is less noticeable on certain colour-ways.
Running down the side of the chiffon is this lace. This does help to soften the area where the chiffon meets the main dress. Whilst the lace looks like it is good quality, I think there could have been prettier fancier lace used here. The rose part of the lace is lovely though. The ribbon criss-crossing over the front is spaced out well. I dislike the way the neckline has that bit of material which looks like a very triangular bow. I understand that there needs to be a bit of solid material there at the neckline, I think the way it has been done looks a bit awkward. Maybe it just isn't the right shape. The straps are a good width. The lace continues along the straps, but I think this looks a little bulky. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed really well by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a very beautiful bell shape to it, which has a good classic feel. With such a strong feature like the front bustle, I am pleased the rest of the skirt has been kept relatively plain. The bottom hem is finished off with some good quality lace. Overall, I feel this dress does have little hints of Tudor stylings, which is quite appropriate for a Shakespeare themed print.

 This is the Juliette JSK. The bodice looks well-fitted but I don't think the placement of the chiffon layers on this dress quite works. It elongates the bodice. Although the neckline has lace going along it, the lines look very harsh and pointed. I think a softer heart shape would have been nice here. The bodice has criss-crossed ribbon in the centre, but it is bunched quite close together. I think the ribbon could have been spaced a little bit wider to stop it looking like a random cluster of ribbon. The bodice also has 2 lines of vertical lace running up it, which is quite bold against the darker colours. The lace is pretty, but I am unsure if I like it or not. There is just something about it which doesn't appeal. The straps are a bit thin but maybe thicker straps wouldn't have suited this dress. I have already said that I think the chiffon layer is placed a bit strangely and maybe it could have been where the actual waist is. However, the chiffon itself does look pretty. Well, at least it does from on the front...

Sadly, on the back it is a different story. The chiffon just looks bunched up and baggy. The thin ribbon bows placed on top don't help either. The shirring panel is covered neatly by ribbon. Despite the chiffon part, the skirt has a really beautiful bell shape to it. The print is displayed well and the rest of the skirt is plain. The bottom hem is finished neatly with some good quality lace.

This is part of the print close-up. The print comes in Rose (pink), Rosario (red), Raphael (navy) and Noir (black). For a very long time now, I have been saying that there needs to be more Shakespeare inspired prints in lolita and I am very pleased that AatP has chosen Romeo and Juliette. I know there is another Romeo and Juliette print out there by a smaller brand, but it is great to see a bigger and wider-known brand is taking notice. I love the imagery used in this print. The balconies are decorated beautifully by trailing flowers and little birds. The poles are also decorated beautifully with flowers and there is a lot of detail that has gone in to this print. I think my favourite part of this print is Romeo and Juliette meeting by Juliette's balcony. And I never thought I would see the day that a donkey would be included in a print! It is hard to choose a favourite colour for this print because I think each colour has its own strengths. At a pinch, I would probably choose the navy colour, but I do appreciate the red colour with its rich golden colours too.

The bonnet for this series is very beautiful, but it is actually the headdress which caught my attention. This headdress does not come in different colours for each colour-way. However, if you have chosen the red colour-way then this could be a nice option. I like the luxurious appearance that the gold lace gives this headdress. I reckon that some will say that this headdress looks too period costume-like, but in this case I would give the headdress a chance.

Overall, I am very pleased to see Alice and the Pirates do a Romeo and Juliette print. It is a very beautiful print but to be honest, it doesn't really excite me in the same way that the Midsummer Night's Dream print did when that came out. That is not to say that I wouldn't get this series, because I think it has potential. Out of the 2 dresses I would probably go for the Princess JSK in navy, but I actually prefer the skirt. I really want this series to be a success because if nothing else, it might encourage AatP to do more Shakespeare prints in the future!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Laduree Team up With Hello Kitty!

One of my favourite places to get macarons has decided to team up with Hello Kitty! You can now get a box of limited edition Hello Kitty macarons. You get 8 in a box.

It comes in very cute packaging, which I simply adore. Being limited edition packaging, these boxes are a bit on the expensive side at £14.10 for 8. If I were to get one, I would definitely wash the box out and keep it for cute storage afterwards.

They look so yummy and cute!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Luna's Musings on Charity and Lolita

This post wont be to everybody's tastes but... I am going to write it anyway. If anybody has any opinions on this post then I would love to hear them.

Recently, I saw something online and I have to admit it did irritate me. This person was saying that if lolitas are buying $300 dresses, then they should also give to charity. In my opinion, it is nobody else's business what I or anybody else chooses to spend their money on. I have noticed other comments online which sort of give off the impression that lolita is a very selfish hobby. I think that there are a lot of lolitas out there who do donate to charity but they don't broadcast this information. Whilst I can understand what the commenter is saying, I have to say that it has gotten me thinking about things. You see, for a while now I have been thinking of holding some sort of charity event. It is a good cause and the charity is one close to my heart. But I am a little concerned that my intentions wont come across well.

The bit that worries me is that I intend to wear lolita whilst doing so and I will openly admit that this is so I get more attention. When I wear lolita in public, I get a lot of attention. So why not use this attention and get it to work in my favour? As bad as it sounds, I think people will be more likely to come over and donate if I grab their attention. Surely getting more money for a good cause is a positive thing? This is literally the only reason why I would even think of wearing lolita to a charity event. I worry that it sounds like I am manipulating the general public.

So this is what I have been pondering- is using lolita as a gimmick a bad thing to do in this particular situation? Is it going to come across in a negative way? I would essentially be treating lolita like a costume too.

I have decided that if I go ahead with this event I am going to follow my heart and trust my intuitions. I know that deep down, my only intention is to raise money for a good cause. The attention grabbing is not for my own benefit. If I truly believe I am doing the right thing, then I can handle any backlash. In all honesty, I don't think I have been put off wearing lolita for a charity event.

I don't know if my idea will go ahead or not. If it does, I may need a few people in the UK on hand to help me out. It will be for Cancer Research UK because I think this charity is the one that has affected me the most. I am not going to reveal my plans right now but I will give you a clue- it involves a popular retro toy...

Monday, 9 April 2012

Strawberry Crown by Crown Label (Metamorphose)

Today I will be looking at Strawberry Crown by Crown Label. This series includes 3 dresses and an apron style skirt. Yes, here we have another fruit themed print! You always seem to get massive amounts of fruit prints released at the same time.

This is the OP. The bodice is nicely fitted. I wish the waist was a little bit lower though. I also think the sleeves would look a bit nicer if they were slightly puffier. The waist bow is unfortunately large, and Meta have said that this is not detachable, which is a shame. Not only is it protuberant, the lace also makes it look very OTT. The rest of the bodice is fairly simple, and the little details here look cute. I like the 3 red buttons, although I think Meta missed a trick by not using strawberry shaped buttons. The neckline on this dress is a bit too high for my tastes.

There is this pretty lace detailing going along the sleeves, which I think works well with the rest of the lace on the dress. I am not a fan of OPs, but I do appreciate a bit of detailing on the sleeves, provided it doesn't look too bulky. I dislike the use of ribbons here though.

The back has a large and very exposed panel of shirring, which looks a bit basic. The skirt part has a slightly odd shape to it, although this is possibly down to the way that the skirt is split up in to 2 parts. Also, because the waist on this dress is high, I think Meta had to make the skirt very long so it will hit the knee. The top of the skirt has 2 lines of lace which have ribbon threaded through them. It looks very cute. These bits of lace end when they meet a horizontal line of lace. I think the way the skirt is spaced out would look nicer if the horizontal line of lace was a bit lower down. The bottom hem is finished off with some lace that compliments the lace on the rest of the dress.

This is the high waist pinafore JSK. The bodice is a good shape. It will fit well because the shirring makes this dress more flexible. The waist bow is still big, but it looks a lot better than the OP's waist bow and this time, the bow is detachable. I think this bow looks better because the edges are not covered with fussy lace and the overall shape is more appealing. Despite its size, the bow is very perky and doesn't droop. The base of the straps is decorated with 2 more bows, but these are kept simple, so they blend in well with the dress.

I really dislike the use of shirring on the front of this dress. I appreciate some people need a bit of extra shirring, but I think the shirring panel on the front has been done very messily.

Here is a back view of this dress. The bustle back sticks out quite a lot, so might not be suited to those whose bodies are bottom heavy. The tiers are quite wide and there was probably enough room to add another tier in the bustle part. From the front, the skirt shape is very flared, although the gathering right at the bottom gives the skirt a puffy appearance. If the bottom ruffle wasn't as gathered, the overall skirt shape might have flowed a bit nicer. The bottom hem is finished off with some good quality lace, but the lace is a bit boring.

This is the pinafore JSK. The bodice looks very nicely fitted and the waist is tied in nicely by the ribbon belt. The ribbon for the belt is a bit shiny, but it blends in. The bodice part is plain, some will say it is too plain, but I like it. It makes your attention is drawn to the print and you are not distracted by an overload of detail. The bodice has one simple line of lace running horizontally across it. The lace looks good, but I do think some more interesting looking lace would have been a nice touch, without spoiling the simplicity of the dress. The straps are a nice width and are complimented well by the small cute bows. The back has a panel of shirring and this time it has been concealed by a ribbon corset, which I think looks a lot better. The skirt shape is very rounded, almost a little too round, but it displays the print so well. Therefore, I really like it. The bottom hem is finished off with more of the same lace. Yes, this dress is a lot simpler compared to the other 2 dresses in this series, but I think this is a case of "less is more".

And here is the print close-up. I have always felt that Meta are really good at doing strawberry prints, and I don't see this print as any exception. The strawberries look good enough to eat, although I don't like the inclusion of the white crown and bow placed on top of them. I like the way the strawberries are positioned because they are not in a straight line and that makes it look a bit more natural. The striped part helps the strawberries stand out. The ribbon and bows also look cute. The print comes in black, pink and green. I like how Meta released this print in green because that is one of the things that distinguishes Meta from the other big lolita brands. They use different colours, and I think the green is the best colour way for this series.

Overall, I do like this series. However, there is no denying that this series looks an awful lot like Strawberry Cream, which Meta released some time ago. They even used the same green on this older set.

Strawberry Cream was popular, so maybe Meta was trying to capture that old success again with Strawberry Crown. The main differences is that Strawberry Crown has stripes in it and Strawberry Cream has cakes and pink bows. Strawberry Crown will probably be too similar for some people, but if you struggled to find Strawberry Cream, then maybe this series could be a compromise. I actually think the strawberries look more realistic on Strawberry Crown. Sorry if this last paragraph confused anybody- the names are too similar!

I can actually see this series doing well, especially compared to other recent Meta sets. It is not exactly original, but I don't blame Meta for trying to capture some of the old magic. I would definitely go for the pinafore JSK in green. However, although I do like this print, I don't think I love it enough to buy it. Well, at least not enough to buy it at full retail price. This is one of those dresses that I can picture picking up if I saw it going cheap in a second hand shop. I do hope that this series will sell well though.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Valentine Thank You xxx

I was very pleasantly surprised to see I had 2 Valentines today! I am no 15 and 56-

Thank you so much to whoever made my Valentines! It is also nice to see so many UK lolis getting love today. Today's Valentine post is HUGE and filled with lots of pretty lolis! I was sat here nodding my head in agreement as I read each one.

Thanks again!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Today my husband and I are off to enjoy our 4 day weekend. I have been so tempted to eat my Easter egg already, so I am glad Easter Sunday is almost here! I wont be doing a proper post today. I might post on Monday as normal, but I will have to see how things go.

To celebrate the Easter weekend, here is a random picture of me hugging a giant Easter egg! (Technically, it is more of a hover-hug because you are not meant to touch the eggs!)

If I look tired, it is because this picture was taken later on in a day which was filled with giant egg hunting! For the Queen's Jubilee year, London put a load of these giant eggs all around London (210 eggs, to be precise) and a bunch of my friends decided to see how many we could hunt in one single day. I lost count of how many we found, but it was over half! We were exhausted! The eggs are being auctioned off for charity and the cheapest egg is currently about £500. The egg in the picture is the Giant Moshi Egg by Moshi Monsters. It goes well with my Tokidoki hoody! There was no lolita for me that day, because it is not practical with all that walking and running!

You can also enter a contest by texting egg codes by the eggs. The prize is this Jubilee Faberge egg. I have to give the shop staff at Faberge a huge thank you because they let us go in and actually hold the prize egg. It is valued at over £100,000!!!

So last weekend was very tiring and my legs STILL hurt today! But I intend to have a lovely Easter weekend. I hope all of you have a good weekend too. See you soon!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Meta Nostalgic Chess Review

Ever since its release, I have missed several opportunities to own Nostalgic Chess, but I finally got it! I got it from Mbok and I used Japonica again. I wont review Japonica again today, so do look up my Starry Night Theatre review if you want to know more. After begrudgingly paying a customs charge, I got my new dress on Monday. At first I was a little worried because my package was very light and it felt too light to be a dress! Thankfully, I did indeed get the right item.

I got the high waisted pinafore style JSK in black. Navy was my first choice but I got black as a compromise. True to its name, the waistline is high and it sits a bit above my waist. However, I found that this doesn't affect my wearing of the dress too much and the dress still ends by my knees. The dress fitted very comfortably and the measurements given for this dress are accurate.

The material used for the main body of the dress is a little on the thin side, which is probably why my parcel felt unbelievably light. It would have been good if the material was a bit thicker. I only tried on the dress briefly but I don't think you can see through the material. Despite getting the black dress, I could probably wear this dress in the Summer without feeling too uncomfortable. The dress has 2 linings- a stiff one and a softer one. Having the soft material between the stiff lining and your skin is very useful as it stops me getting itchy.

The material is fairly soft, especially when compared to other Metamorphose pieces I own. The print itself is gorgeous. However, I did spot that you can see lines in the print. I think this print has a lot of similarities to Old Emblem (which I also own). I knew the chess boards were brown. I can't make up my mind if I should wear this dress with black or brown shoes.

I love the use of stripy material instead of lace because it is quirky. The dress has buttons running down the front and 4 buttons for the waist ties. The waist tie buttons have the print on them, so they blend well. The bows by the straps are detachable and I might use them as a hair accessory.

The shirring does not have anything covering it but it blends in well with the dress anyway. I am a little confused as to why the straps have buttons. You can undo them on the back, but the straps are still attached to the front! They also don't have any more button holes so it is not as if you can adjust the length either.

The waist ties are also decorated with stripy frills. The print is on both sides of the waist ties so that is good. Although the frill running up them is only on one side.

So overall, I am mega happy to have another dream print of mine! I really can't wait to put an outfit together!
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