First up is Whip Show Case. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, socks, tights, a head bow and 2 pieces of jewellery.
This is the tiered JSK. The bodice is not that well fitted, but then it isn't intended to be. It has a loose shape that fits the rest of the dress silhouette. I am not a fan of the ribbon belt on this dress. Usually, belted designs make the waist area look smaller, but on this dress it has the opposite effect. The ribbon belt just sits there, not really doing anything. I don't think the thin belt is the best design choice for this particular dress and if you wanted to nip in the waist area you would probably need to use another wider belt. Also, the satin ribbon is incredibly shiny. The straps are a bit thin but wider straps would not suit this style of dress. The neckline is decorated beautifully with lace. It looks very neat and well presented. The small ribbon bow is cute and is a nice, simple finishing touch. The back has not got any shirring in it but the sizing is fairly generous for AP anyway. However, it does limit smaller wearers who only have the waist ties to make the dress smaller and risk looking swamped by the material. I wouldn't say the skirt was the nicest shape but it is fairly cute looking. I get the impression it will look a lot nicer in person. The tier design is pretty and spaced out well. The area where the tiers join is also done well and doesn't affect the overall silhouette too much. The print is displayed fairly well, although looks a bit bunched up at the bottom because of the tier design. The bottom hem is then finished off with very cute ribbon themed lace. AP could have used cake themed lace to match the print but maybe that was a bit too predictable!
This is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice shape is quite bog standard. It looks fairly well fitted, although in a few pictures the material looks a tiny bit baggy in places. The straps on this dress are very thin and could probably do with being a bit wider. They are decorated beautifully with colourful pearls though, which I do like.
I can see what AP was aiming for with the bodice detail but I think it comes off a little messy. The wide white lace running up the middle goes well with the print and sort of mimics the icing theme. The thin white lace running down the sides also looks like piped icing and works well. But I don't like the wide white lace teamed with all those bows. The top bow especially looks messy and could do with being shaped a bit better. It looks sloppy and rushed. The smaller bows are cute and at least a nicer sturdier shape, but get obscured by the white lace underneath. It is like the bows and lace are fighting for attention. I think there are too many bows and they have not been paired together well.
Fortunately, this dress does have a shirring panel. It is also concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. It may not be as large as the other dress but I think it is good to be able to control the dress size to suit the wearer's needs. The skirt is beautiful and full. It flares out nicely and will hold a generous amount of petticoat. The print is displayed beautifully as the skirt is kept free of clutter. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same bow themed lace.
And here is the print. It comes in sax blue, yellow, pink and ivory. I think all the colours work very well but my favourite is the ivory. I would have chosen the yellow as my favourite, but the yellow Ribbon JSK has blue bows and I didn't think it looked that good. The print is drawn beautifully. AP excels at drawing cute cakes and this print is no exception. I really love the cake with the sliced strawberries carefully placed on the cake. The icing design is also very cute.
Overall, I do think this is a cute series. I wont be putting it on my wishlist but I wouldn't mind having this series in my wardrobe. I personally think the skirt looks better than both the dresses, but out of the dresses I would pick the Ribbon JSK because of the shirring (although the bows would definitely annoy me). Sadly, it looks like this series is going to be a bit of a slow seller because of a certain other print AP have put out...
The second print I am looking at today is the very popular Day Dream Carnival. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt a sallopette and far too many accessories to list. Put it this way, there seems to be every accessory you could possibly wish for in this series. Hmm... something tells me that AP were expecting this to sell very well! I didn't even see it go up on the website because it sold out that quickly!
This is the OP. The bodice is a pretty shape and appears to fit well. I really love the tulle sleeves as they look so soft and dream-like. They have a really cute puffy appearance and are topped neatly with cute bows. I personally would have liked to have seen the tulle used elsewhere on the dress though. The neck straps help finish the neckline nicely, but are detachable if you don't like that kind of thing.
The use of the gold part of the print around the waist gives the illusion of a belt. It helps nip the waist area in a bit and looks very neat. I like the use of gold lace here too. The waist bow is the right sort of size, not looking too big. This bow has a really firm, solid shape. It doesn't look droopy at all. The criss-crossed ribbon is very pretty. It is spaced out nicely and doesn't look too bunched up. It is a bit on the shiny side though. The use of lace is also very clever. I love how the wider lace on the outer edges sits on the dress.
The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a lovely, slightly rounded shape to it. It flares outwards beautifully and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The print is displayed very well and is not cluttered by too many details. The bottom hem is finished off with adorable pony shaped lace.
The tulle belt matches the straps well, although it maybe could have looked a bit neater. I do like the way it brings the waist inwards though. I adore the star shaped buttons though as they are very cute. The patch lined with gold lace on the neckline is nice and I like the starry themed chain that dangles from it. The chain sits nicely between the star buttons and doesn't look too cluttered. I like how the bases of the straps are covered with 2 small tulle bows with pearls on them. It really neatens up the area. With so much detail on the bodice, there is a risk of the dress looking too cluttered, but I think AP have gotten away with it here.
The back is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset, making it look very tidy. I love the plump, rounded bell shape the skirt has. It is so full and pretty. The skirt is once again kept free of clutter and so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of the cute pony lace.
This is the tulle JSK. The bodice shape is beautiful, although the material does look a bit loose and baggy in a few of the stock pictures. The neckline is pretty too. The straps are maybe a bit on the thin side but suit the style of dress. I possibly would have preferred them to be a tiny bit thicker. The outer edge of the straps is lined beautifully with lace though, which looks so soft and layered well.
The waist is decorated cutely with 2 tulle bows on either side which are topped with pearls. They top the tulle panel on the skirt in a really pretty way and are the right sort of size. The cute gold star buttons feature again, which work so well with the print. The lace used is very pretty. My only slight complaint is the use of ric-rac on either side of the buttons, but thankfully it blends in a fair bit and is not that noticeable. The neckline puts good use to the gold part of the print and is very pretty. I like the shape of the neckline bow. It may be a bit big for some people, but I actually quite like it. I think it sits nicely on the dress too.
The back is fully shirred the whole way across. It has been left very open and exposed, but with a dress like this I would be more than willing to overlook this. The skirt is once again very full and rounded. I really love it. It flares out loads and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The tulle overlay is stunning and really works well with the print and the overall theme of the series. The tulle is shaped perfectly and importantly does not obscure the border part of the print. So the print is still displayed very well underneath it, although maybe not as well as the other 2 dresses in the series due to the amount of gathering. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of that cute pony lace.
And this is the print. It comes in ivory/pink, sax blue, lavender and black. I totally love everything about it. It's like a pimped up Sugary Carnival. The colours are gorgeous and all the different colour versions work so well. My favourite by far is the lavender, with sax being my second choice. I would quite happily own any of the colours though! The ponies are so beautiful. I love the details. They are all decorated perfectly with ribbons and feathers in their manes. The golden parts add a special touch to it.
Although some people have come out saying they hate this series, it is pretty obvious that this is a series which has a huge fan base. Am I a part of that fan base? Yes I am! I would love to own the tulle JSK in lavender, with my second choice being the almost equally gorgeous sax version. And the tights have been added to my wishlist too. Although I am an AP fan, it has been a while since my excitement levels have hit this level for one of their series. There have been quite a few prints I liked recently, but none that got an instant place on my wishlist like this one. So I have been taken in by the Day Dream Carnival hype. I just hope I am able to find it second hand without making my bank balance having a heart attack!