Today I will be taking a look at a recent release from Alice and the Pirates. I am calling this series Elisabeth for short. This series includes 2 dresses, an over robe OP, a skirt, a headdress, a bonnet, 2 blouses, pants, socks and a hair pin.
This is JSK I. The bodice is a nice shape and appears fairly well fitted. The bodice has 3 bows on the front with one sitting on the waist and then 2 on the bodice. The bows are spaced out nicely. I would probably normally find this kind of detail a bit too overcrowded, but I do think the bows work quite well on this particular dress. That being said, I also think the dress would work without them there. The bows are a bit big, but suit the dress. The shape of the bows is good and they don't droop much. My one complaint about the bows is that the ribbon used is very shiny. The bodice has been given a panelled appearance with the edges lined nicely with a pretty looking thin ruffle. However, I am not a fan of the shape of the panel. I am unsure why, but I think the shape is a little awkward. The straps are a good width for this dress. There is more ruffle on the outer edge of the straps, which gives them a softer edge and is also good for continuation, as it matches the ruffles elsewhere on the dress. The back has a panel of shirring, which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a beautiful full and plump shape to it. It's maybe a bit plumper than we are used to seeing from Alice and the Pirates, but I like it. I think the shape suits the rest of the dress. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat underneath and it flares out well.
The front of the skirt has a solid coloured chiffon bustle. I think the bustle could have done with being a bit wider width-wise on the skirt as it does look a bit narrow and squished. That aside, I do like the bustle a lot. I like how the added tiers of lace and chiffon don't start until nearer the bottom of the skirt. If the bustle tiers started higher up, I think it would add too much bulk and would be too OTT. I think it is more flattering this way. The lace is of a good quality and the tiers are spaced out nicely. The material looks soft and drapes well. I also like how the edges of the bustle area have the same ruffle used on the bodice and gives the main dress material a softer edge. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality lace which matches quite well.
This is JSK II. The bodice is a beautiful shape and looks well fitted. I like how the waist has a band of the more detailed part of the print as it gives the illusion of wearing a belt. It's a very interesting trick of the eye!
This JSK probably looks a bit less extravagant compared to the other JSK, but there is still some nice detail. I love the use of lace on the bodice. The lace is of a good quality and is layered nicely. The lacy yoke has a nice shape to it too. Underneath the lace is a small ribbon bow. It is a nice shape and size. I don't think it really contributes much to the overall look, but it is a nice little finishing touch. The straps are a good width and suit the dress. I like how the lace continues along the inside of the straps, as it makes them look a bit more interesting. I also think it looks better than plain straps would have.
The back has a panel of shirring, which is concealed well by a ribbon corset. It keeps everything neat and tidy. The skirt shape is very pretty. It is a lovely subtle bell shape and it flares out beautifully. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat. It may not be as full and plump as the first JSK, but I think this skirt style really suits this JSK. The skirt is kept free of cluttering details and so, the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is finished off with pretty lace.
And here we have part of the print close up. The print is available in in beige, red, navy and black. It is very hard to pick just one favourite colour. I love both the red and the black colour ways. I probably like these two colours more because the I like the gold in the print against these bold colours. As for the print itself, I love all the detail to it. It looks very luxurious. The pictures of the lady are very pretty and drawn beautifully. I love the image of her posing with her parasol. The gold swirls that frame the lady, and are also a huge part of the rest of the print, are beautiful. They have a very regal feel to them. The fans, eagle emblems and keys are all drawn with a lot of detail. I especially like the fan. I think my favourite background item is the crowns though. I like how they have been drawn and the use of bold colour (here shown in red on the black colour way).
The head wear for this series is suitably decorated. I love the use of fake flowers on the bonnet. I especially like the use of gold which delicately lines the edges of the black rose. However, I am unsure I like the use of lace on the bonnet. I think the very wide lace on the inside covers up too much of the main bonnet material. I would probably prefer it if the inner lace wasn't there.
I know rectangle headdresses are unpopular, but I do like the way the one from this series looks. There is just something about it which seems to match the theme of the series quite well. The fake rose looks very pretty, although I wonder if it maybe looks a bit unbalanced only having the rose on one side. After comparing the two, I would probably choose the bonnet, but I would want to do something about the lace on the bonnet.
Overall, I think this has the potential to be a very strong series. I think it has a very elegant and luxurious feel to it. Out of the 2 JSKs I would probably choose JSK II in black. Would I buy from this series? Yes, I would. I am not adding this print to my wishlist, but I am not ruling it out. I think the print is beautiful and there are loads of options for co-ordinating with it. I reckon this will be a success.