Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mermaid Jewellery Box by Alice and the Pirates

Today I will be taking a look at a recent series from AatP called Mermaid Jewellery Box. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 hair accessories and 2 pairs of socks (2 different lengths).

This is the OP. The bodice looks like it is well fitted and I like the shape of the neckline. The sleeves look a bit slouchy though. I think puffier sleeves would be too sweet for a print like this but I definitely think the sleeves could have been done nicer. The lace used on the sleeves is pretty but I think it is a bit too wide. The bodice has been kept very simple, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. The neckline has been finished with a line of ribbon and some thin lace. It is a nice finishing touch without being too distracting. The ribbon used has a slight shine to it, but isn't too bad. In the middle there is also a ribbon bow which is a suitable size and has a good shape to it. The back doesn't have any shirring and so is kept plain, with just a zip. It is a shame that in the stock photos the print doesn't appear to line up properly along the zip. It makes this area look very wonky. I like how rounded and full the skirt is. It flares out nicely and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The skirt is kept free of cluttering details, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of ribbon and some thin lace. This is a nice touch, as it matches the neckline well.

And here we have the JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and an okay shape. The straps are a decent width, without looking too bulky. The outside edge of the straps are lined with thin lace too which is a good finishing touch and softens the edge nicely. I think the waist bow is too big for this dress though. The shape is pretty and it doesn't look like it would droop too much, but it is just too big for my liking. Thankfully, it is detachable. Underneath the bow the waist has a simple line of ribbon, which I think is an improvement on the bulky bow. The neckline is lined with ribbon and lace like the other dress, only this time the lace is on the outside. The lace used is wider and less subtle than the other dress. I do like this lace because I think it has a slightly 'frothy' appearance to it and it goes well with the mermaid themed print. The base of the straps have ribbon bows. They are shaped well. I think the size is okay but I reckon it would look even better if they were a tiny bit smaller. The back is fully shirred and so the shirring is not concealed. It looks very messy and exposed. The skirt shape is very pretty. It is nicely rounded and flares out well. The print is again displayed well because there are no details cluttering it up. The bottom hem is then finished off with some very pretty lace.

Finally, this is part of the print close up. This print comes in ivory, sax blue and black. It's a shame they decided to only do 3 colours (a navy version could definitely work well). I am not entirely convinced by the ivory colour but the other 2 work wonderfully with the print. As for the print itself, I think it is very pretty. I love all the drawings in the circles. My favourite is the 2 mermaids picture, as I love the way their hair is flowing wildly in the water. All of the drawings are done beautifully. The circles are framed nicely with the swirly lines and I like the inclusion of sea shells and crowns. The circles are joined together by beautifully drawn jewellery. Overall, I think this is a wonderful print.

So I think this is a lovely small series. I think the print is lovely. It seems that AatP are trying to recapture the success of Melty Mermaid Princess and I actually prefer this new series. Would I buy this series? I probably would. I would choose the JSK in sax blue, or possibly the skirt. I hope that this series does well.

Monday, 27 May 2013


A few weeks ago this photograph was published on AP's Tokyo blog. Straight away, I was captivated by one thing...

That Melty Moon bag! I was mega hyped at the thought of a moon shaped bag. In fact, about a year ago I was secretly planning to make my own moon shaped bag. I tried looking up how AP make those 'sandwich' style bags and looked at materials too. After a while I gave up on the idea, put my sketches aside and completely forgot about it. But this photo has reignited my excitement and I am ecstatic that AP are releasing a Melty Moon bag as part of their Dream Sky re-release (which is also pretty exciting!). The design is just as cute as I imagined it would be. My only slight concern is the size, as I imagine it wont hold a massive amount.

Only, it would seem that a lot of shopping services have already had their slots for this release filled. I guess all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that I am able to get this bag.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

An AP Double Berry Print Post!

I seem to be getting behind again. I have been putting off discussing these prints because there have been so many berry prints lately that I am actually starting to get really fed up of talking about them! Apologies for the length of this post. Skip past Freshly Picked Strawberries if you want to see Drained Cherry.

Freshly Picked Strawberries

First up is Freshly Picked Strawberries, which has already been out for a few weeks. This series includes 3 dresses, an apron style skirt, a blouse, a cutsew, a head bow, wrist cuffs, a bag, 2 different length pairs of socks and a few pieces of jewellery.

This is the OP. I thought the bodice material looked a bit baggy in the stock photos. I also felt that the overall bodice shape sometimes looked a bit frumpy. The waist bow is a good size and the shape is cute. The bow looks quite perky and the lace along the edges finishes it off nicely without adding too much bulk to it. However, I am not a fan of the polka dot material for the bow. I feel that the use of polka dot on this dress is a bit unbalanced, as if there isn't really enough of it. So to me, the waist bow looks a bit out of place. I know there are polka dots in the print background, but those are more subtle and blend in, whereas the waist bow stands out more.

I also dislike the gathering on the front of the bodice. I don't think it is gathered enough and it sort of looks like there was a half-hearted effort to gather it. I do think the sleeves are suitably puffy though and I like the cute small bows that finish them off. I do think the lace used along the neckline is pretty, although I think the dress could have worked just as well without it.

The back is fully shirred the whole way across, so it isn't concealed. I think it is a bit messy looking. However, the detachable neck ties tie in to a massive bow at the back which if nothing else, helps to detract attention away from the shirring. The skirt has a very pretty rounded shape to it. It flares out beautifully and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The skirt is kept free of clutter, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with adorable berry themed lace.

This is the JSK. The bodice looks like it is more well-fitted than the OP at least. The shape is fairly nice too. The straps are slightly too thin for my liking but I like the way AP have used the stripy material for them and they have the printed bows on them. They are also lined neatly with lace. I really dislike the waist bow on this dress. AP have again gone with polka dots for this bow, which I again don't feel quite works. But what I really dislike about this bow is the shape. The shape is really sloppy looking and it doesn't look as though it has been tied neatly. I also don't understand why they have chosen a scalloped edge for the bow ends, as scallops are not used anywhere else on the dress. On a more positive note, I do like the use of stripy ribbon up the bodice and the way it is topped with cute stripy bows. The lace used underneath is lovely too. It is neat and spaced out well. I also like the stripe running across the neckline and the use of lace. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a lovely, exaggerated round shape to it. It looks very full and plump. The print is displayed brilliantly as well, as the skirt is not cluttered with details. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of the stripy ribbon and the same cute berry lace.

This is the Shirring JSK and as the name suggests, the bodice is fully shirred the whole way around. I usually really dislike the way full shirring looks and this dress is no exception. I just feel it makes the bodice look lumpy and is not that attractive. The waist has thin ties, a bit like the ones found on AP's Dream Sky skirt. I suppose at least the ties help to nip in the waist area a bit and you can adjust them to your own personal tastes. The neckline is decorated with layered wide lace. The lace is pretty and it is layered neatly. The ribbon threaded through the lace is a nice touch.

The interesting thing about the straps is that both sets are detachable. So you can wear them in any combination you like. After looking at the stock photos I came to the conclusion that I prefer both sets of straps attached. I feel the inner neck tie straps look too plain on their own. The outer lacy straps don't look too bad on their own, but it still feels like there is something missing. I really like the way the outer straps have been done with the way the ribbon ties in to bows on the shoulders and the use of lace, which matches up with the neckline. 

As we already know, the back is fully shirred too and I still think it looks messy. The skirt flares out lots, but looks a bit triangular in shape. The skirt is split in to two tiers and the tiers have been joined well, without affecting the skirt shape too much. If I was being picky, I don't like how the print doesn't line up properly. Due to the amount of gathering on the bottom tier, the print is not displayed as well as the other 2 dresses. I don't think it looks too bad though. The bottom hem is again finished off with the same berry lace.

And here we have the print close up. As we can see the print comes in white, pink, red and black. All the colours work reasonably well with the print but I think my personal favourite is the white. I do like the red version, but I think all the red in the print makes it blend in a little too much. The strawberries are drawn beautifully and are very nicely detailed. I love the use of daisies dotted among the strawberries too. The use of stripes on the ribbon and also in the background is also a nice touch. I can take or leave the polka dot bows though and the polka dots in the background only really show up on the red and black colour ways. I think it is a good, solid effort but maybe is not the best berry print we have seen recently.

So I do like the print but I think the dress designs have put me off this series. It is hard to pick out one dress as my favourite because I have things I dislike about all three of them. In fact, I would probably go for the apron skirt over any of the dresses. Overall, this is quite an average effort.

Drained Cherry

Next up we have AP's other recent berry print- Drained Cherry. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, a cutsew, a head band, a ribbon clip, socks, tights and a few pieces of jewellery.

This is the OP. The OP doesn't really have a defined bodice shape but you can just make out where the skirt begins. This dress does have waist ties and I wonder how that will affect the shape of this particular dress. I am not normally a fan of this sort of dress shape, but I actually quite like this particular one and wouldn't bother with the waist ties. The sleeves are cute with the right amount of puff to them. They are finished off with small bows as well, which adds interest but thankfully does not look too bulky. The lace on the neckline is soft looking and matches well with the chiffon. The detachable bow on the neckline is adorable. It is the prefect size and really finishes off this simple dress well. The skirt shape is very cute. It is not your typical lolita dress, but it would be good for a cute, casual outfit. The bottom hem is finished off with polka dot lace, which keeps things nice and simple.

This is the Halter JSK. The bodice has that lovely, typical retro look to it. The bodice also looks like it will fit nicely. The slightly heart shaped neckline is cute and fits the retro theme too. I love the belted design. The enamel belt used is a bit simple, but it is the right sort of width and it nips the waist area in brilliantly. I think a heart shaped buckle would have looked really cute though. The dress has a normal set of straps and then some detachable neck ties. The straps are thin, but really suit the style of dress. I actually prefer the neck ties to the actual straps though, and I wish AP had just gone for halter neck straps instead. The one thing I am unsure about is the line of ribbon which cuts across the chest area. I think on some people this line of ribbon may sit awkwardly on them and that the dress would have looked fine without it there. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt is lovely and full. Although this is not really a lolita series, you could still probably get a nice lolita-esque silhouette from it. The bottom hem is kept plain, but it does work in this case.

This is the High Waist JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted. The bodice is a bit of a peculiar shape, especially the waist line. I am not really a fan of the semi-circle shaped waist and it is a bit too unusual for my tastes. I really love the shape of the neckline though. The neckline and thin straps are lined very nicely with soft looking lace. The lace compliments the soft chiffon well and it sits nicely on the dress. The back is fully shirred and so the shirring is left open and exposed. However, with the style of print the shirring does sort of blend in a tiny bit and doesn't look as bad. I'm still not a fan though. Considering the odd waist line, the skirt shape doesn't turn out that bad. It is very slightly rounded and flares out well. The bottom hem is then finished off with polka dot lace.

And here we have the print. It is available in white, pink, lavender and black. Although it has been done before, I think the unusual combination of lavender with a berry print is lovely. And so, the lavender is currently my favourite. All 4 colours look great though. There is not really much to say about the simple print. The cherries are drawn well and are very cute. I love the subtle inclusion of small bows on some of the cherry stalks, which helps to add a bit of interest.

I really hope to see more head bands like this in the future. I love the way the soft chiffon falls down the side. It goes really well with the retro feel this series has too. Also, it is a bit more casual than standard lolita head gear and quite easy to wear. The interesting thing about this particular head band is you can remove the chiffon bow and just wear it as a normal head band. This makes it quite a versatile piece, as you can wear it in more than one way.

So I think this series is simple, but works really well. I love the chiffon teamed with the cherry print. The dress designs are basic, but cute. I really like how this series looks like it can be casually thrown on. It is effortlessly cute. I would definitely be tempted to buy something from this series for those lazy Summer days. I would probably go for the Halter JSK in lavender, but I do like the OP and also the short length skirt. I don't think I will be buying this series soon, but I am a fan!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cambridge Satchel Company Review- Positive!

Today I will be reviewing my first ever order from the Cambridge Satchel Company. I have been fangirling over their satchels a lot lately and when I saw the new Chelsea Collection I knew I had to get one. Their website is here-

Ordering Process

I found their website very easy to browse. They have a very useful help section which helps you pick out what size you need (most of their satchels come in at least 2 sizes) and general advice. I was able to order my satchel with ease and was very confident that I knew what to expect from my satchel. They also offer embossing, but I chose not to do this. I ordered my satchel on the 8th of May and got a confirmation email. Surprisingly, I got an email with a tracking number just 2 days later. They give guidelines on how long you should expect your bag to take and 2 days is significantly less time than I was expecting. My guess is that they had already made up a satchel for their store or something and sent me that. My satchel arrived on the 13th- just 5 days after I ordered it. Not bad considering these satchels are handmade!


Their satchels are sent out using FedEX and luckily, Cambridge Satchel were doing a free shipping offer when I ordered. Normally it costs £5.99 in the UK. That may seem a lot, but it is shipped securely in a box and I find FedEX offer an excellent service.

The box was very secure and taped up well. The box size was a good match for the satchel so the insides did not really have any space to move about and get bashed during shipping.

Inside the box, the satchel is placed inside a tote bag for a bit of extra protection. There was also a bit of plastic to help pad the box a bit. My satchel arrived to me in perfect condition with no signs of damage. I also got a voucher for my next order!

And here is my satchel! I got the Chelsea Collection satchel in Lavender. The materials used are of good quality. It is made of real leather. The tags include care instructions, which is useful.

The stitching has been done so neatly. The design is sharp and crisp. I can tell that a lot of love and hard work has gone in to making this bag. This is exactly what I was expecting Cambridge satchels to be like.

I ordered a 13 inch bag. It is not a massive bag but it will hold my essentials. It looks tiny in this photo, but I promise the space is there! I used the website's measurement guide to work out how big the bag would be before ordering and I was satisfied. If I could change one thing about the entire bag though, I would want a slightly bigger depth.

And finally, a picture of the bag with the handle out. I absolutely love the colour. The website warns that the bag colour may be slightly different in person, but this is exactly the colour I was expecting it to be. I am very impressed.

So overall, I think it was well worth me ordering this satchel. The ordering process is easy and informative. The satchel I got was exactly what I was expecting and I really love it. I can't wait to use it! I would highly recommend Cambridge Satchel to anybody who is looking to buy a satchel.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Juicy BABY Love Love Berries by BABY

Today I am looking at a recent release from BABY. This series is called Juicy BABY Love Love Berries (possibly the most dodgy sounding print name to date). The series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a mini hat, a head bow, a bag and 2 pairs of socks.

This is the Scalloped JSK. The bodice is a nice shape and looks reasonably well fitted. The straps are a very good width. They are lined with thin lace which doesn't add too much bulk, but at the same time makes the edges look more interesting. The waist bow is also a good size and doesn't look too big for the dress. It is a nice shape and sits well on the dress. It is also lined with lace, which matches up well with the use of lace used elsewhere on the dress. However, due to the style of print the waist bow does blend in a bit and doesn't really stand out. The lace used vertically up the bodice is pretty and again fits in well with the rest of the dress design. The bodice has a raised panel with a scalloped edge. I have in the past been a bit wary of using scalloping in this way, but I actually think it looks good on this dress. The scallops are nicely shaped and a good size. The panel is topped neatly with non-shiny ribbon and a cute bow. I am a bit surprised BABY decided to leaved this scalloped edge blank though, seeing as all the other edges of the dress at least have thin lace lining them. I suppose that may have looked too bulky though. The back has a small panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly with a ribbon corset. The ribbon used here is also dull, which I think looks a lot nicer than shiny ribbon. The skirt has a lovely rounded shape to it. It flares outwards quite a bit but without looking too OTT. The skirt is kept free of cluttering details, which is probably a good thing as they would probably blend in to the print anyway. The print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem has a scalloped edge. The scallops are again nicely shaped and spaced out. Underneath the scallops is some wide lace, which gives the bottom a softer finish. I think it is important to have the lace there to stop the scalloped edge looking too harsh.

This is the Babydoll JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and is a nice shape. The neckline looks a bit low in some of the stock photos but I reckon that is due to the camera angle. The waist has a solid coloured ribbon belt. This dress uses the same dull ribbon as the other dress and I think this ribbon suits the dress well. The ribbon belt pulls in the waist area nicely and the cute ribbon bow stops the belt from looking too plain. The neckline is lined with some very pretty wide lace. It looks very soft and of good quality. The bases of the straps have a small ribbon bow. It is the same dull ribbon used and the bows are a nice shape. The size of the bows is good too. The straps are a little on the thin side but I don't think wider straps would suit this style of dress anyway. The back is fully shirred the whole way across, so it does look a bit exposed and open. But the style of print does help to make it look a tiny bit less messy. The skirt has a very subtle and demure shape to it. I do kind of like it like this though. I think it will hold a decent amount of petticoat and flare out nicely. The skirt details are kept quite simple and so the print is displayed beautifully. Near the bottom there is a line of the dull ribbon which blends in well with the print. The bottom is then gathered slightly, which is nice as it adds a bit of movement and make it look a bit less flat. The bottom hem is then finished off with some thin lace. I thought the style of lace was a little odd looking, but this is such a minor thing that I wouldn't let that put me off this dress.

And here we have the print close up. This print is available in ivory, pink, mint and black. All 4 colours work really well with the print but I think the best version in the pink. There are parts of the print which remind me of another BABY series called Chained Berry Memoir, like the swirly chocolate writing and the way the berries have been drawn. Then again, I think CBM was a good print, so I am not complaining! The berries do indeed look very juicy, like the pint title suggests. They look very pretty and i like the way they have been arranged in the print. The chocolate writing is a very pretty and clever way to include the brand name in the print without it looking too obvious. The bows at the bottom of the print are so detailed and look very pretty. I love the lace underneath the bows as it has been drawn so well. I don't think there is really anything in this print which I dislike.

So I think that if you can look past the silly name, this series has a lot of potential. There are a lot of berry prints out there, especially at this time of year, but I think BABY have done a good job with this one. Would I buy it? It is not going on my wishlist but I wouldn't mind owning it. I am a fan of strawberry prints after all! I would probably pick the Babydoll JSK in pink. The dress designs are strong and the print is very pretty too. Hopefully this will be a successful series. I still think the name is stupid though...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Outfit Post- Casual Sunshine

Today I am doing a very quick outfit catch up. The sun finally came to pay the UK a visit... and now it has gone away again! But I was able to get a few outfits in.

For the Bank Holiday Weekend I went for a very casual outfit using my Angelic Pretty Sugar Hearts items. Chiffon seemed the best choice, seeing as this was the hottest day of the year so far. I also wore my DreamV cutsew and Primark plimsols for a more relaxed feel. It was a very comfortable outfit to wear and I adore Sugar Hearts! 

A few days later I opted for my strawberry Bodyline skirt. I teamed it with cream socks and a cutsew. It was slightly colder, so I wore my red cardigan (believe it or not, it started heavily pouring with rain not long after this photo was taken). The combination of red and sax blue is starting to grow on me a bit. I used to think that it wouldn't work and then I got this skirt! The heart shaped bag is from Topshop and I used AP and off-brand accessories. Sunny days seem like the prefect time to dig out my strawberry prints, which happen to be one of my favourite motifs.

So that was my mini outfit catch up. I kind of hope to post more of my outfits online in the future, as I don't always photograph all my outfits and only seem to post my meet outfits on this blog. Although it would be great if the weather could turn nice again...

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Seven Colors Prism Alice Chan by BABY

Today I am looking at a recent release from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It is called Seven Colors Prism Alice Chan. This series includes a lot of non-printed items and I will just be looking at the 3 printed dresses today. But there are also socks, several bits of jewellery, 2 blouses and bunny ears, along with other items. Funny how last time I was saying that the recent BABY Wizard of Oz print was a nice change from an Alice print and then they go and release another Alice print!

This is the printed OP. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted. I am not a fan of the sleeve shape though, as I feel they could have had a bit more puff in them. They look a bit droopy as they are. It is good that the sleeves have the same lace that they have used elsewhere on the dress, but I think it is a bit too wide for my personal tastes. I like how the waist has a thin belt design as it pulls in the waist nicely, but I think the choice of ribbon is terrible. The choice of ribbon colour is a bit odd, especially on the lemon and black colour ways. I also don't think polka dotted ribbon is the best choice for this particular series and I don't really see how it fits in. But ignoring the ribbon colour for a second, the use of ribbon is cute. The ribbon bows down the front are a nice shape and the spacing is good. I probably wouldn't have bothered with the bows on the sleeves though. The collar is an interesting shape and I love the card suit embroidery on it but something about it seems a bit.. off. I think the collar size could have been a bit smaller and maybe having a wide continuous collar is not the best shape. The back doesn't have any shirring and so is quite plain looking. The skirt has a cute flared shape to it but I hate the way the skirt is sort of cut up by the line of lace and ribbon near the bottom. Underneath the lace and ribbon, the skirt continues for a bit and then finishes with a scalloped edge and lace. Something about it just looks a bit awkward and I think I would have gone with either the lace or the scallops, but not both together. As it is, I think the bottom of the skirt is too fussy. I personally prefer the scallops as they are shaped well and the lace underneath softens the bottom hem nicely.

This is the printed sun dress. The bodice material looks a bit baggy to me and the overall shape is quite bulky. The sailor style collar is a lovely idea but for some reason, something about it feels a bit odd. The use of ribbon and bows on the collar is cute though. I think that maybe the collar would look better if it is not teamed with the ridiculously huge waist bow. The bow is massive and the lace around the edges only adds to its bulk. Thankfully, it is detachable and I would be tempted to replace it with a nice belt if I had this dress. The collar is also detachable, but I feel the dress looks horribly plain when it is detached, as the dress design underneath is very basic. The back has a small panel of shirring which is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. I think from the back view, the sailor collar ends a bit strange, as it looks very straight and angular. I think a softer finish to the collar would have been better. I am not a huge fan of the skirt shape. Overall, it has a pretty rounded shape but the use lace gives it a slightly bumpy appearance. I think the spacing with the line of lace and bows is a bit off and could maybe do with being a tiny bit further down the skirt. I also think this lace line is quite distracting and takes attention away from the print. The bottom of the skirt is finished off nicely though, with a line of ribbon and a ruffle finished with thin lace.

This is the printed JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and is a nice shape. The use of lace is quite interesting, as it gradually gets thinner as it goes down to the waist. At first I thought this was quite a strange idea, but I suppose it does mean that there is no unnecessary bulk added to the waist. The straps are a good width and the lace continues along them, making them look a bit softer and more interesting. There are also 2 horizontal lines of lace with ribbon threaded through, which are topped with ribbon bows. I still think the choice of ribbon colour is generally quite hideous but the design is quite cute. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly with a ribbon corset. The skirt is an interesting shape and flares out beautifully. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The line of lace from the bodice continue down the front of the skirt until it meets a horizontal line of ladder lace with ribbon threaded through it. Where these lines meet, the join is concealed by more ribbon bows. At first I thought this dress had a lot of bows, but I am warming to the idea. The sides and along the back have layered ruffles, which I think are very pretty. The ruffles are a good width and spaced nicely. It adds volume and texture to the skirt, so it looks a lot less flat. You can still see the print fairly well too. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace. I personally don't think it is the best choice of lace here, but it looks okay.

And here we have the print close-up. This print is available in lemon yellow, sax blue, pink and black. I personally think the black version works best because the soft pastel colours look a bit washed out on the other colour versions. However, due to some icky ribbon colour choices, I have to pick the pink as my favourite colour. As for the print itself, I think this is one of the best Alice prints out there and it is a shame that the dress designs are not better. It is drawn beautifully. The white rabbit is so cute! I love the way all the characters have been drawn, especially Alice, who looks very sweet. I think the use of bubbles is a bit random, but I like it. It is certainly an interesting way to fill the empty gaps.

So overall I think this is a wonderful print which is let down by the dress designs. Yes, there have been a lot of Alice prints released over the years, but I think this print is definitely one of the better ones out there. Despite being an Alice fan I probably wouldn't buy from this series. But if I had to go for something I would choose the JSK, as that dress design is not that bad. I definitely prefer the skirt though. The ribbon is one of my main reasons for not liking this series and I think BABY need to rethink how they team colours together. For me personally, I am disappointed.

Monday, 6 May 2013

My Lolita Journey Through My Dream Dresses

I recently got asked what my first ever dream dress was. I remember it very clearly. It has been 9 years since I very first discovered lolita now, but it wasn't until late 2008 that I actually discovered my first true dream dress. And seeing that item was a huge part in me deciding to make the jump from an admirer of the fashion to actually starting to wear it in 2009. And it got me thinking about how my dream dresses say a lot about my lolita journey. I think my favourite dresses at the time show the different phases I went through and how my tastes have changed. So this is my dream dress journey so far.

And the first dream item of mine was Angelic Pretty's Fruits Parlour, but it HAD to be the heart apron style skirt and it had to be the red/pink colour way. I was already a huge print fan! I had seen the print before but it was when I saw it in one of the English Gothic Lolita Bibles that I truly felt I wanted it. The model in the GLB looked very much like a waitress, but a very cute waitress. I think I was drawn to it because I had a really bad ita phase when I first got in to lolita and I liked the costume-like appearance in the photo. I was drawn to the more OTT styles of lolita at first. I guess at the time I was feeling very nervous about wearing lolita in public and so, wearing such an OTT outfit seemed like an unobtainable goal. My social anxiety at the time was pretty bad and Fruits Parlour represented something I wanted- to be the person I felt I should have been.

Believe it or not, I was a huge gothic fan at the start of my lolita journey! So whilst Fruits Parlour satisfied my sweet lolita craving, this was my first dream gothic dress. And it is a bit of an odd choice... I really wanted this dress from the Metamorphose Summer 2008 special set (sometimes known as Feathercross). Even today, I am not quite sure why I love this dress so much and yet I still really want it. Despite liking gothic, brands like Moi Meme Moitie never really appealed to me and Metamorphose was definitely my favourite brand at the time. So I guess I just preferred Meta's take on the gothic style. I thought the idea of a cross with wings was quite cool and it was a bit different from all the gate and cathedral prints. Whilst my enthusiasm for Fruits Parlour has waned slightly now (although I still do want FP, just not as much) my love for this Meta dress is still very strong and it ranks pretty highly on my wishlist today.

I have to confess that I didn't discover Bodyline straight away when I first got in to lolita, but when I did I went a bit mad and spent loads! Although I had ordered from Bodyline previously, I suppose the first Bodyline print I fell in love with was their Alice in Wonderland print. I know some people think Alice is overdone in lolita but I couldn't get enough of it! I remember raving about this dress and then I went and got the skirt (it had to be the sax blue version, of course!). Although I had previously worn lolita outside before, this was the skirt I was wearing for what I feel was my first "big" trip outside in lolita. I had been very secretive about me wearing for lolita for quite some time and it was about the time I started this blog that I became more public. I remember writing a post about how I had gone to London and worn my Bodyline Alice print skirt. I was so proud of myself because I felt this marked a significant change in my life. I was becoming more confident. Sadly, I have since fallen out of love with this print and I sold my skirt on a while ago. But it will always be a significant part of my progress.

About the same time I was madly in love with the Bodyline Alice print, I was wondering if there had been any lolita prints made with ducks on. You see, ducks have always been my favourite animal. You can't move in our house without seeing loads of ducks. I decided I wanted to expand my love of ducks to lolita as well! So imagine my delight when I discovered a duck print existed already! I still remember the very first time I saw a picture of Meta's March of the Duck. I went absolutely crazy for it. However, it felt like this print was out of reach for me. At the time I was a month or two off from purchasing my first ever brand skirt and this duck skirt seemed like an unobtainable dream. I was going through a tough time with money and I focused more on building up my wardrobe with Bodyline. Little did I know at the time, that I would go on to obtain the skirt in March 2011. This was a huge deal for me because although it wasn't the first of my dream prints I had managed to obtain, it was the first time I had obtained one from a brand. I was so happy and proud that I had to wear it to a meet straight away. Luckily at this stage the Oxfordshire Lolitas had started to host monthly meets. I had already had another outfit planned, but instead I chucked together anything I could so I could wear March of the Duck. I still remember the feeling today. March of the Duck will always have a special place in my heart.

And then came the biggie. I fell in love with Alice and the Pirates' Midsummer print as soon as it was released mid 2010. Up until now, I hadn't been too fussed by classic lolita and was constantly wearing sweet. But Midsummer Nights Dream changed all that. I started to see the appeal of classic lolita more and I realised there was more to classic than floral prints and beige. It really opened my eyes and classic lolita started slowly seeping more and more in to my wardrobe. I loved the butterflies and windows. Although I have loved many lolita dresses, I think the first time I saw Midsummer was one of the only times I actually gasped. I knew straight away that I had to have it. As soon as I obtained March of the Duck, this dress was my top priority. Unfortunately this series turned out to be very popular and it was selling for over retail price. It took me until mid-2012 to get this dress; the longest I have so far had to wait to obtain a dress. But I guess in a way that made the feeling of finally obtaining it that much more satisfying. If I have learnt anything from this dream dress, it is that you shouldn't give up.

And finally, there came Meta's Fairy Tale print. It was mid- 2011 and my 2nd wedding anniversary was approaching. The wedding had been the best day of my life. We had decorated the venue with bird cages, roses, ivy and butterflies. All of these items appeared in this Meta print. This print instantly reminded me of my wedding day. This dress didn't remain a mere dream for long, as for the first time ever I brought an item on its release. I created an outfit that was based around my wedding day memories and to this day, I think it is one of the best outfits I have done. I even used decorations from the actual day. I think what made this series a dream for me was that I didn't just love what I saw. It actually stirred up feelings inside of me. And to this day the lavender skirt I own is my favourite item (well, joint favourite with my Midsummer dress!).

So that is my dream dress journey so far. My current wishlist is incredibly long and I still have lots of dresses I dream of owning. But the dream dresses in this post are the main landmark ones that have influenced me the most. I think it is nice to have something to aim for. So after purchasing some of my dream items and making those dreams reality, what is my current favourite dream dress? At the moment it is Day Dream Carnival by Angelic Pretty, although Meta's Feather Cross is still pulling at the heart strings after all this time as well!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Flower Bottle by Metamorphose

Today I am looking at Flower Bottle by Metamorphose which already has all its pieces available to buy on the website. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 skirts, a blouse, 3 hair accessories, socks and a parasol.

This is the Circular Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and is an interesting shape. The waist bow has been kept to a reasonable size and does not look too big, which is probably a good thing considering how busy the bodice looks. The bow has a nice, simple shape and sits quite nicely on the dress. The front has a ribbon corset detail, which takes up a large portion of the front. The ribbon does not look too shiny and is spaced out well. The outer edges of the corset are lined with lace to keep the edges looking smart. However, I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but in a few of the stock photos I thought the ribbon corset looked slightly messy. I don't think it looks awful, it just could have been done a bit neater. There is also a detachable brooch (shown on the neckline in the photo). The brooch design is fairly simple, but I think it looks pretty. I love the use of tulle around the edges around the brooch and the lace dangling from it matches up with the lace on the rest of the dress. The dress has a normal set of straps and then also has neck ties. The normal straps are a bit thin, but when teamed with the neck ties you wouldn't want them being any thicker. I love the use of tulle on these straps as it gives them a soft, floaty appearance. I am not too fussed by the neck straps and I think they could do with being a bit thinner as they look bulky. But thankfully they are detachable if you don't like them. The back has a panel of shirring which is not covered by anything and is quite open and exposed. I normally don't like the look of shirring like this but here I don't think it looks too bad and it may have been overkill to have another ribbon corset on the back, what with there being one on the front. The skirt has a lovely full bell shape to it. It is wonderfully rounded and flares out brilliantly. The skirt is kept clutter free and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a lovely line of soft tulle.

This is the Shirring Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks a surprisingly okay shape for something fully shirred, although it still looks a tiny bit bumpy. The straps are a decent width and are lined with pretty rose lace. The lace gives the straps a softer appearance and also make the straps look more interesting. The waist bow is a bit big but doesn't look too out of place. It has a nice shape to it but looks like it may be slightly droopy. It is thankfully detachable, so hopefully the wearer will be able to put it on a bit straighter than some of the Meta stock photos! I am really not a fan of the fully shirred bodice as I tend to think fully shirred bodices look a bit messy and lumpy. Strangely, the front has a straight line in the middle topped with buttons. I think it is a bit odd having a fully shirred bodice and then having this random buttoned part in the middle.The line is topped with small bows, which I don't think are needed because the bows at the bases of the straps are enough. The 2 bows at the strap bases are cute and a nice size, but they do blend in a bit. But I do think these bows are a nice finishing touch. Unsurprisingly, the back is fully shirred too and I don't think the shirring looks any better than it does on the front. The skirt has a beautiful flared shape to it. It is not as rounded as the other JSK, but I still think the skirt is pretty here. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat too. The tiered design of the skirt has been done well. The tiers are spaced out well and there is no lumpy bits where the tiers join. It looks very neat and the end result is pretty. The top of the first tier is finished neatly with a line of lace. The print is still displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is kept plain, but sometimes simplicity can be good and I think the skirt of this JSK is beautiful.

This is the A-line dress. It is very hard to see where the bodice ends and the skirt starts. I understand this is an A-line shape, but I think I personally prefer a more defined waist line. I think the sleeves could do with being a bit shorter. They could also do with being a bit puffier as they look very flat. I am not too keen on the white part of the sleeves either and the dress would look fine without it. The lace used here is cute though. The front has a square yoke with a wide collar layered neatly on top. I think this detail is very cute. The lace around the edge of the yoke matches the sleeves well and the yoke is pleated and topped with lace, which stops it looking too flat and plain. The collar is an adorable shape, although I wish it was a tiny bit narrower so it didn't meet the sleeves. The lace on the edge of the collar is cute and the simple ribbon tie finishes the collar well. I do think the collar shape on the back is a bit too big and bulky though. The back has no shirring. I suppose the skirt shape is quite cute, although I think Meta could have gotten away with it flaring outwards a tiny bit more. As I said before, I also wish the waist was a bit more defined, as it adds extra bulk. The rest of the dress is kept simple and so, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a cute frill. I think it was a good idea to keep this dress simple, as the collar and yoke is enough detail on its own. 

This is the High Waist Pinafore JSK. The bodice is a pretty shape and looks reasonably well fitted. The straps are maybe just a slight bit too thin for my liking, but I do love the way they are decorated with tulle and lace. It gives the straps a very frothy appearance and suits the use of tulle elsewhere. However, I am not a fan of the waist line and use of lace. I think it would have been nice to have a solid coloured belt here to nip the waist in, maybe in tulle so it matches? The bodice has two buttons on the front which are a bit dull looking and are clear anyway, so don't really show up that much. I don't really see the point of the buttons being there. I love the use of tulle and lace along the neckline as it matches up perfectly with the straps. It is simple, but pretty. The bows at the bases of the straps are cute too. They are a good shape and size and the ribbon used does not look too shiny. The back is fully shirred, so it is left very exposed. The skirt has a nice fullness to it, but I think I would have preferred a slightly more traditional, rounded shape. It looks slightly triangular in a few of the photos. The skirt has a tiered design. I think 2 tiers would have been enough but the 3 tiers are spaced out nicely. I think the bottom tier looks a bit too gathered compared to the other 2 higher layers though. It gives the silhouette a slightly bumpy appearance towards the bottom. However, I really love the use of tulle on the tier edges. It is so soft and floaty and gives the dress a really feminine feel. Overall, the dress has a light and breezy feel to it which I find quite appealing.

And here is what the print looks like. This print is available in pink, cream, mint and blue. These are all very soft colours and they all compliment the print brilliantly. The lavender is my favourite though. The glass bottles have been drawn very beautifully and I like all the different shapes as it makes the print more interesting. The bottles are filled with lots of beautiful flowers. The colours used work really well together. I think it is adorable how one of the bottles has a rabbit hidden inside it! The small bows and flowers help to fill in the empty gaps of the print well, without taking focus away from the main part of the print. Overall, it is quite a simple print but at the same time it is quite effective.

Overall, I think this is a very pretty series and quite underrated. I think it has a lot of potential. The colours are pretty and brilliant for Spring. If I had to pick a dress I would go for the High Waist Pinafore JSK in lavender. Would I buy from this series? Yes, I probably would. I don't think this is wishlist worthy but I do like what I see. I would probably wait and get it 2nd hand instead of paying retail though.

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