This is the Princess Sleeve OP. The bodice seems to be well fitted, but I am not overly fond of the overall bodice shape. However, I am a fan of the chiffon sleeves. They have a nice shape to them and the ruffles at the end finish them off well. I think the sleeves have just the right level of flare. The sleeves are not full length, but I don't mind the shorter style of sleeves. The waist area is too busy for my liking. I don't mind the 2 tiered chiffon overlay so much, but the chiffon waist bow makes it look too bulky. Thankfully, the chiffon bow is detachable. I also think the 2 lower ribbon bows could have been placed nicer. But to be honest, I am not really a fan of any of the 4 ribbon bows and the ribbon corset detailing on the bodice. They are too fussy on what is already, a very OTT dress and don't contribute much to the design. The ribbon corsets on either side, look bunched together. If the ribbon was spaced out better and the stain bows were much smaller, then it maybe would have looked a bit better. I am also not keen on the studded part of the bodice. I appreciate this series is meant to have a steampunk theme but for me personally, I think it would look a lot better without the studs. The ruffled neckline is pretty, but again looks very OTT and maybe isn't needed when you have details such as the choker. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and there is the potential to create a lot of volume. However, in some of the stock photos the skirt length looks a bit short (are Meta going the same way as AP with the shorter skirts?). The chiffon overlay obscures the top of the print a little bit but apart from that, the bottom half of the print is displayed quite well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a chiffon ruffle, which at least matches up nicely with the rest of the dress.
This is the Zipper Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the bodice shape is interesting. The leather strap across the neckline and the leather straps have been done very neatly. Unlike the OP, I think the steampunk influences work pretty well on this dress. I actually really like the 3 strap and buckle design on the bodice. The straps are spaced out beautifully and work well with the print, without going too overboard. Overall, the bodice design looks very neat with clean lines. The back has a small panel of shirring, which is concealed by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a good amount of volume to it, even with the zips zipped up. It flares out well and will hold more than enough petticoat.
And this photo shows how dress looks with the zippers open and the underskirt underneath. I still do not get the appeal of doing this. By wearing the dress like this, you end up obscuring the print. And the obscured print sticks out like an eyesore in my opinion. I feel that if you are wearing a dress with a print on it, you should do your best to display the print as best you can. Meta obscured the print on one of their Sewing Lesson series dresses as well. Meta, please stop doing this sort of detail with printed dresses!!!
This is the Waistcoat Pinafore JSK. Well, I say JSK, but it is indeed more waistcoat than dress! The bodice looks fairly well fitted, although in a few of the stock photos the front part looked a bit loose. I am not keen on the shape though. Something about the waist line just doesn't look right to me. It would appear that since these photos were released, Meta have decided to go for a waist line that comes down in a triangular shape instead of going straight across, like in this picture. But straight or pointed, I am not a fan. It just looks awkward in my opinion. As for the waistcoat details, something about them looks a bit bulky. Despite the use of piping, something about it almost looks 'unfinished'. I also think the buttons running down the centre are too plain. The button colour works well, but the design is too simple. I do however, like the buttons on the lapel parts. They may just be simple gold buttons, but they look a bit more dressy in comparison to the buttons in the front centre. I think that overall, the bodice is reasonably smart looking, but that it is missing something. It needs something to liven it up. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly by a ribbon corset.
For the "skirt" part I thought I would include a picture of how it looks with an underskirt underneath. This photo also conveniently shows what the pointed waist looks like. The photos show that the skirt has the capability of fitting well over a fairly puffy underskirt. I think it works quite well with the very rounded underskirt and the overall shape is pretty good. The skirt part of the JSK is a bit plain looking though. I also think the way the print cuts off at the edges looks quite harsh. The listing on Meta's website suggests that the underskirt does not come with the dress and you have to pay for that separately. I personally feel that the amount that Meta is charging for this "dress" is too much, especially if you want to buy the underskirt from this series as well (which itself is pretty expensive for what you get). If it was me, I would have just made a waist coat and matching pants instead of bothering with this waistcoat dress design.
This is the Dropped Waist Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the bodice shape is interesting. The straps are a bit plain, but the width is good. The dropped waist area has 2 satin ribbon bows. The ribbon used isn't shiny, which is good. The shape is a bit simple but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing I would change about the bows is that I would move them slightly up and further apart from each other. The placement looks a bit 'off' as it is. The bodice has a ribbon corset on the front. The ribbon is spaced out well and doesn't look bunched up. However, I dislike the look of the ends dangling down as it makes it look messy. But that is easily remedied by tying the bow a bit differently. My main concern is that the hoops holding the ribbon in place don't look very appealing and could have been done neater. The neckline is decorated with a line of braid. I think Meta could have gotten away with doing something a little bit more decorative, but I suppose it doesn't look too bad. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly with a ribbon corset. The skirt has plenty of volume and flares out well. The dropped waist may not suit everybody though. I like the very rounded shape of the skirt. The skirt is kept reasonably simple and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple ruffle.
And here we have the print close up. This series is available in beige, olive and blue. The beige and olive both compliment the style of the print well, but I am a fan of the really bold blue. I love the combination of the antique gold in the print and the blue. As for the print itself, I really like the idea behind it. All the clocks are very detailed with lots of swirly details. The egg timer is also drawn in a very pretty way. I like all the keys in the background too. Nothing in the print looks out of place and it all works well together. I especially like the line of gears at the bottom and the clever way Meta have incorporated their brand name in to the print. I love how all of the letters are made up of gears and it blends in with the print. It is quite subtle in comparison to some of the ways brands put their logos in the print! The only thing I am not fussed by is the rough looking background. I think it fits in well with the print but I am not a fan.
So overall, I have very mixed feelings about this series. I do really like the print. I think some of the dress designs are much stronger than others. Some of the dress designs just let the print down and I don't think it shows off the print to its full potential. Would I buy this series? I am not sure. If I did I would go for the Dropped Waist Pinafore JSK in blue. This JSK may look a bit simple in comparison to the other dresses, but I am not really a steampunk wearer! I do like the Zipper JSK, but only with the zips closed. But I am pleased to see that Meta is moving in the right direction again (let's just forget about Candy Shower!) and it seems like this series should do fairly well.