Thursday, 31 October 2013

Ox Loli Halloween Meet 2013- Terror Tuesdays at the Castle!

On Tuesday I hosted this years Oxfordshire Lolitas Halloween meet. I wanted to do something a bit different this year, so I booked us in to one of the Terror Tuesdays being held at the Oxford Castle.

I didn't really leave myself enough time to create an outfit so in the end I recycled a fair bit of my outfit from last year's 'Kuro Bride' outfit. Only, this time I was a witch! My outfit is made up of Bodyline and off-brand pieces. 

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside of the castle but that is understandable considering that they want to preserve the castle as much as possible. So I will just have to describe what happened instead! We were led around inside the castle by people wearing ghoulish costumes. Our little tour included being locked in one of the castle's old padded cells (it used to be a prison) and being led down in to the crypts which are meant to be haunted. At one point we got given dust masks, which made for some interesting photos when we got outside. For some reason, my camera thinks that Michelle is a ghost! I think it adds a special touch to the feel of the photos though! I have kept my mask as a memento.

Afterwards we went to the pub (where I ate far too many chips) and then it was time to go home again. The castle was a great deal of fun. I heard a rumour that one year they did ghost hunting in the crypts which I hope they do again some time because I would definitely love to do that. The crypts definitely had a spooky atmosphere when we went in them. Although Michelle grabbing my arm in the dark may have contributed that...

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tea Time Nostalgia by Alice and the Pirates

Today I am looking at Tea Time Nostalgia by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 blouses, 2 hair accessories, socks, tights and a few pieces of jewellery.

This is JSK I. The bodice looks like it may be reasonably well fitted, although it is hard to see with all that lace in the way! The bodice shape is a bit basic though. The straps are a decent width and suit the dress. The waist has a ribbon belt. It doesn't seem to define the waist area very much but it does neaten things up. The ribbon used is beautiful and of a good quality. It has a pretty rose pattern on it which works well with the rest of the dress. The neckline has 2 layers of very wide lace. The lace used is very pretty. However, I am not really sure how I feel about the lace. It adds a lot of interest to the dress but at the same time I wonder if the lace is too wide for my liking. The bases of the straps have fake roses and between the roses there is a double pearl chain. Whilst I like the idea, I dislike the way the pearls sit on the dress. It is an interesting design but to me, there is something about the bodice as a whole which doesn't quite work for me. The back is fully shirred, so it is quite exposed and not particularly attractive looking. The photos show that the skirt shape is quite subtle and has a decent length to it. However, it looks a bit dull and lifeless to me. It doesn't look like it would accommodate much petticoat either. The skirt is kept clutter free and the print is displayed fairly well. The bottom hem is finished off with tassel style trim, which I don't think goes well with the rest of the dress.

This is JSK II. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and the shape is interesting. The gathered straps are a bit wide, but they don't look out of place on this dress. The gathering on the straps and the lace used give the straps a very soft, pretty appearance, although I can imagine them falling off shoulders quite easily.

The bodice is divided up in to different panels. The bottom part is more fitted, and I like the use of vertically placed lace. The rose shaped lace is especially pretty. I also quite like the ruffled panel with its pretty lace yoke. The yoke is very detailed with lots of texture to it. I think the squashed together pearls and the bow on the neckline spoil the yoke a little bit though. I am hoping the bow is only wonky in the stock photos and in reality is much nicer. But what I really dislike about the bodice is the way the silhouette looks quite chunky and doesn't flow very well. It just doesn't appeal to me.

The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very tidily by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has the potential to look very full and rounded. However, the skirt length looks a bit short teamed with the long looking bodice. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat though. The skirt is kept clutter free and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality lace, which AatP uses quite frequently. 

And here we have the print close-up. This print comes in green, bordeaux, navy and black. I think my favourite has to be the green version because the pink and gold in the print goes really well with the green. I think all 4 colours work fairly well, although I am not that fussed by the bordeaux and navy options. The print itself is very pretty. I love the use of the darker colour and gold swirls in the background. The teacups, plates and teapots are so detailed. They look beautiful! I especially like the rose shaped teapot and cup. However, I do have one issue with this print- the spacing on the dress. Whilst the print looks okay in the picture of the print, when you look at the print on the actual dresses the more detailed part of the print seems to finish quite high up. So you end up with a lot of space at the bottom where there is less detail and it looks a bit plain. It's a shame that the darker, more detailed part of the print doesn't end a bit lower on the dresses. I just feel that the pretty crockery deserves a bit more attention and space!

So overall, I think this is a pretty series but it does have its flaws. I don't feel the dress designs do the beautiful print justice and it didn't reach its full potential. Would I buy from this series? Despite being a bit unsure about it, I wouldn't rule it out. I would probably go for JSK I in green if I did. One part of the series which I definitely would recommend checking out is the jewellery. It is very heavily detailed. My favourite piece is the cake server pin, which can be turned in to a necklace.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pixie Bunny Giveaway Winner!

Pixie Bunny recently held a Cats Vs. Bunnies give-away and I was very excited to win the cat prize! If you are interested in the items from this post I highly recommend that you take a look at their website here- 

After giving my address, my prizes arrived super fast and they were packaged well. I even got a Pixie Bunny sticker and a little congratulatory note!

First up is the Floral Cat Ears Headband, which I think is very cute. The flowers are a lovely shade of pink and sit well inside the cat ear frame. They didn't feel flimsy or as if they were going to break, so I am confident I am going to get a decent amount of wear out of them. The pearls go really well with the flowers too.

Here is a shot of the back of the ears. Obviously they don't look as pretty as the front, but I don't really think this is an issue. But if somebody didn't like it, then it wouldn't be too hard to hide the back with some clever hair styling or a wig.

I also got some wonderful cat print tights. The colour is more of a peach than pink, although it has got a slight pink tone to it. When I put them on the tights were not 100% opaque but hardly anything was showing through. The material is a decent thickness and they didn't feel like they were going to ladder. The tights are one-size. I am about 5'4'' and a bit bottom heavy and the tights did fit me. However, if you are tall or plus-sized then you may find them a bit too small. The tights do have a bit of stretch to them but I don't think they would go much further.

The last prize was a cute pair of Little Twin Stars ankle socks. The design is very cute and the quality seems good. The colours are very vibrant! The packaging said the socks were meant to fit up to 24cm feet. I usually wear 25cm shoes and they did fit me. If you are 26cm you might just be able to wear them too, although that might be a bit of a stretch. I suppose 22-24cm is quite typical for Japan though. On the Pixie Bunny website you can make out the sizing listed in the photograph, although as a suggestion to P.B it may be worth making this a bit more noticeable.

And finally, a worn photo of the tights and hairband. Annoyingly, it has been raining here loads so you are going to have to make do with a photo of my hall... I thought the cat ears were a perfect match for this Bodyline skirt. I intend to wear the tights with my beige Meta dress, because I think the colours will work quite well together.

So I would definitely recommend checking out the Pixie Bunny website. The items I received were of a very good quality. The website has some very cute items available. Finally, I would like to thank Pixie Bunny for the wonderful prizes!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Holy Lantern by Angelic Pretty

Apologies for the blogging break. Today I will finally be looking at Holy Lantern by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a cutsew dress, 3 cutsews, socks, tights, 2 hair accessories, wrist cuffs and lots of pieces of jewellery.

This is the OP. Due to the free-size waist, there isn't really a defined bodice shape but overall I would say the shape is very pretty. The sleeves are a good length and the solid coloured cuffs match up well with the collar. The lace used on the cuffs also matches up well, although I think AP could have gotten away with it not being there. The pearls on the cuffs are a nice touch too, although I would have used fewer pearls because it looks a bit too OTT.

I tend to find collars like this a bit stuffy and uncomfortable looking, but I think this style suits the dress. I would have probably not used that lace around the neck though. The overall shape of the collar is pretty and I like the ruffle around the edge because it gives a touch of cute. AP have done a really good job of balancing the creepy and cute elements of this series. The detachable neck tie is also another cute touch. I think the star shaped studs on the neck tie are an interesting idea, but don't really add much to the overall design. As mentioned the neck tie is detachable, although I personally think it looks better with the neck tie left on. Underneath the tie is a line of pearls. Again, I feel AP have gone a bit overboard with the number of pearls and having fewer would have worked better.

The back doesn't have any shirring which isn't great for plus-sized AP fans, but in my opinion shirring really wouldn't have worked with this particular dress. An interesting inclusion on the back is the ends of the waist ties. They are shaped like crosses! I wouldn't say I was a fan of them though, and if they wanted to liven up the ties then a cross shaped charm would have maybe looked a bit classier.

As for the overall shape, although it may look like a shapeless nightgown to some, I actually really like it. It gives off a really creepy cute vibe. The waist ties will hopefully help to adjust the shape well enough and there is lots of room for a decent petticoat underneath, if desired. The print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with some lovely custom AP lace.

This is the JSK. The bodice looks well fitted. Although the material is a bit loose looking, you would probably expect that when working with chiffon like this. The heart neckline is very shapely and I like it a lot. The tulle used along the neckline helps to soften the edge nicely. The straps are thin and look a bit flimsy, but bulky straps really wouldn't suit this dress anyway. The front has corset style detailing. The ribbon has been done very neatly here and is spaced out well, although I think I would have preferred criss-crossing ribbon instead of the style AP have gone for. I am really undecided on the 2 zips on the front of this dress. On the one hand it gives the dress a very punky edge, but at the same time I don't think the zips look very attractive. However, I do think the cross charms on the zips are a nice touch. The back is fully shirred, so the shirring is quite exposed. It does however, blend in quite well on the darker colourways. The waist ties have the same crosses on the ends as the OP does. The photos show that the skirt has the potential to flare out really well. The skirt shape is quite rounded. The print is also displayed very well. The bottom hem is finished off with more custom AP lace.

And here we can see what the print looks like. As we can see, the print comes in ivory, lavender, wine and black. For me, the lavender is instantly the stand out colour. I love the way the black print details look against the lavender colour and it really is a lovely mix of creepy and cute. The wine version looks gorgeous and the print really contrasts well against the ivory. The black however, is a bit of a let down for me. The print just blends in too much for my liking and it is not as striking as the other 3 colours. As a moons and stars fan, I really love their inclusion in the print. They actually work really well teamed with the lanterns and crosses. The crosses are drawn beautifully, with lots of detail. The chandeliers are wonderful too. I am actually not that fussed by the lanterns in the print, but I think they fit in well with everything else. It is an interesting print and nothing really looks out of place.

I know Angelic Pretty have had a lot of success with their 'melty' styled products and sometimes it can work very well. However, I feel the 'melting' part at the top of the socks spoil what is otherwise, a very cool pair of gothic socks. I don't feel it works well with the rest of the sock and I don't really see the connection of 'melting' with the rest of the series. The 'melty' part just feels really out of place. If I were to buy matching leg wear for this series, then I would probably choose the tights over these socks.

So overall, I think this is a good series. There are a few tiny little bits I would change to the dress designs but overall, I am impressed. I doubt this print will be going on my wishlist but I would be very happy to own it. I love it when AP makes chiffon dresses! If I were to buy a dress, I would go for the OP in lavender. I think a lot of the jewellery and accessories for this series are wonderful too. The cross jewellery especially, would match lots of different series and are very versatile, despite the AP initials on them. I can definitely see why this series has sold so well!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Two Week Break

I am very sorry, but I need to take a two week break. Life has been a bit hectic as of late and I am having some issues. October is turning out to a very crazy month! As much as I love lolita, sometimes real life has to take priority. I am hoping by taking this short break I will be able to return feeling a bit more refreshed.

I will still be on Tumblr, Facebook, Poupee Girl etc. over the next 2 weeks. I will see you all back on here in a fortnight!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dollhouse of Alice by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am looking at Dollhouse of Alice by BABY. This series includes 3 dresses (one is non-print), a skirt, a blouse, a bag, 2 hair accessories, 2 pairs of socks and an outfit for Usakumya.

Unfortunately, the pictures for this Babydoll JSK seem to have been taken down so I can only really go on what I can see in this one picture I managed to salvage. The bodice shape is pretty standard but the fit looks like it may be a little loose. It looks slightly baggy in the photo. The straps are a decent width for the dress and have been lined with lace on the outside, which makes them look less plain and gives a softer finish. The waist bow is a bit hard to distinguish as it blends in quite a bit. It appears a bit on the big side but because it blends in, it doesn't look too bad. The bow looks quite perky and sits well on the dress, with no obvious signs of droop. The lace on the neckline looks fine, although I think I would have preferred it to be a bit narrower as it looks a bit bulky. The bow on top of the lace is cute and a good shape and size. I think the dress could have worked just as well without this small bow, but it doesn't look too bad. The official measurements suggest the shirring has a fair bit of stretch to it. Such a shame I can't see the back to see what it looks like. The photos show the skirt has the potential to flare out quite well. The skirt looks very full and the slightly rounded shape is pretty. I would have maybe preferred it to be slightly more rounded, but it is pretty as it is. The skirt is kept free of cluttering detail, so the print is displayed well. The bottom is finished off neatly with a subtle line of lace and a simple ruffle, which looks very cute.

And this is the Ribbon JSK, which I thankfully have pictures for! The bodice shape is good and is well fitted, with a very defined shape. The straps are a good width for the dress and like the other dress, are lined with lace for a softer finish. The lace used is a good match for the neckline too.

The bodice has a line of ribbon running across. Hopefully it is low down enough to sit underneath the chest area, otherwise it is probably going to sit awkwardly on some people. The ribbon used doesn't appear to be shiny, which is great. The ribbon is topped with some very cute card suit shaped lace, although I wish the lace hadn't been used on the solid coloured bow as well because something about it looks a bit off. The solid coloured bow is quite cute though and has a lovely, sturdy shape to it. I personally am not a fan of the large bow on the neckline. When teamed with the smaller bow and other details, it is too over-powering and the bodice looks a bit crowded. I think the dress would have looked fine without the neckline bow there. The neckline lace is pretty standard for BABY and something we see a lot from them. They have however, included the card suit lace along the neckline as well, which helps to liven things up a little bit.

The back has a panel of shirring, which has been concealed very neatly by a ribbon corset. The photos show the skirt can flare out well. The overall shape is very rounded.and full, which is brilliant. The print is displayed well too. Towards the bottom of the skirt there is another line of card suit lace, which is then topped with 2 small bows. The bows don't look too overpowering and if the neckline bow wasn't there, it would all go together quite nicely. The bottom hem is then finished off with the usual good quality lace.

And here we have part of the print close-up. This print comes in ivory, pink, navy, brown and black. Surprisingly for me, I think my favourite is the brown version. The brown has quite a mature look to it. I also think the navy version looks quite vibrant. As for the print, I like the idea of combining Alice in Wonderland with a doll house and I think it works quite well. The print has lots of different rooms to explore and each room has had a lot of detail put in to it. The characters are drawn well. Even I have been getting a bit sock to death of Alice prints recently, but I do think this is quite a strong effort. Hopefully the print is good enough to keep people interested.

I'm not sure how I feel about BABY releasing all these different Usakumya outfits. I can't say that I have ever felt the urge to dress up my Usakumya. BABY have done some lovely items designed for ball jointed dolls but I think the Usa costumes are a waste of money for what you get. Still, for BABY's loyal customers, I suppose this is yet another set of items to start collecting...

So overall I think this is a reasonably good series. I think it is about time BABY gave Alice in Wonderland a bit of a rest but I suppose the print is quite interesting. The series itself isn't bad, it just doesn't seem very exciting or creative to see so many Alice prints in such a short space of time. It is not a series that I would personally buy. If I were to go for something I would choose the Ribbon JSK in brown and then remove the bow on the neckline.

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