Sunday, 4 May 2014

Ave Maria Heavenly Princess and Madonna Lily by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Apologies for publishing a day early. I am out most of Monday and I wont be online.

Today I am taking a look at Ave Maria Heavenly Princess and Madonna Lily by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories, a blouse and socks. There is also a non-print series also called Ave Maria, which includes non-printed dresses and lots of pretty accessories, so that is worth checking out too.

This is the Lourdes JSK. The bodice looks a bit baggy and not that well fitted but the overall shape is nice enough. The straps are a good width and look very strong. They are lined with pretty lace on the outside too, which helps to liven them up. The waist bow is quite big, but suits the dress style. The bow shape is simple, but cute but did look slightly wonky in a few of the stock photos. The bow sits quite well on the dress. The bodice has a line of pearl buttons. The number of pearls and the spacing between the pearls is really good, but in some of the stock photos the line of pearls is wonky. Here is hoping this wont be a problem with the actual dresses. The neckline has many layers of layered wide lace. The lace design is very pretty and the lace has been layered well. I am really unsure about the bows at the bases of the straps. The bows themselves are made with lovely material and are a lovely shape, but I wonder if they maybe look a bit too cute for this dress and make the neckline look too OTT. However, the bows do match up with the colour at the bottom of the dress and if you take the bows away the colour might look unbalanced. Hanging from the bows is a pearl chain, which sits well on top of the dress and is finished off with a very pretty charm. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. The skirt is a good shape, considering this is a longer dress. I would have maybe liked to have seen a little more volume though. The one thing that puts me off about the skirt shape is the way the bottom of the printed fabric is gathered and there appears to be a big droopy bit of fabric that falls down. Perhaps the bottom hem of the printed fabric is a bit too tight? I also dislike the way the printed fabric bottom hem is finished off with a line of bright white lace. The white colour is quite harsh and sticks out and I also don't think the lace used is that pretty. I don't think this line of lace is really needed. I do really love the layers of tulle and lace at the bottom though. All the layers are layered well and sit nicely on top of each other. It gives the dress a very OTT yet soft and floaty appearance. My only slight niggle is I wish the very bottom line of lace was just a tiny bit narrower.

This is the Medaille JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted but the shape is a bit simple. This dress has 2 thin sets of straps with a line of lace on the outer pair of straps. I think I would have preferred one set of straps instead. Something about the straps looks a little too casual in my opinion. The waist has a lace belt which helps to define the waist a bit better. The belt also has a detachable bow made of the same material. This bow is a very pretty shape and sits nicely on top of the belt. It is nice that you can detach or re-position the bow too. The bodice has a lace yoke which is a nice shape, but I am unsure about the size. There seems to be a lot of plain, empty space on the bodice and I think the bodice needs something a bit more to finish it off. But the lace yoke itself is very pretty. The lace used is lovely and the edge is kept neat with a line of thin gold lace. The yoke is topped with a pretty, soft looking bow, which has a lovely charm dangling from it. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the long skirt has the potential to create a lovely shape. It has a good amount of flare and volume to it. The bell shape is lovely too. There is also a good balance between the printed fabric and the fancy bottom part. I think the gathering on this skirt looks a bit neater than the other JSK and the material sits a bit better. The bottom of the printed fabric is gathered well and gives a subtle scalloped effect. The lace used for the bottom hem of the printed fabric is lovely too. The bottom of the dress with the layers of chiffon and lace is beautiful. The layers all sit well on top of each other and the spacing looks pretty good. When I first saw this dress I thought the skirt part looked a bit like a lampshade, but I have definitely grown to like it more.

This is the OP. The bodice is a pretty shape. I like how the sleeves are covered with lace in a different colour to the main part of the dress. The sleeves are a cute length and have a complimentary shape. The sleeves are finished off with wide lace which is pretty and gives the sleeves a softer, floaty finish. I think the solid coloured belt with lace overlay is a pretty idea, but I am unsure about the placement. The bow tied part of the belt doesn't sit that well on the dress and the belt loops are quite chunky. It also seems like the belt is placed not on the actual waist of the dress, but a little bit downwards on the skirt. The bodice has a line of coloured organdie ribbon running across the bust area of the bodice which is then topped with a bow. It does look a bit slouchy and messy, but the looser organdie does mean that hopefully it wont sit tightly across a wearer with a large bust. I really dislike the spiky looking lace which lines the organdie though. I just don't feel it looks that appealing. The bow is a cute shape, although maybe a little big. The bow is then finished off with a pretty charm. The neckline is topped with pretty lace, which sits really well on the dress and the thin gold braid finish is lovely too. There are quite a few different types of lace on this bodice, but I think they work reasonably well all together. The back doesn't have any shirring. The back has more of the organdie ribbon, so at least it doesn't look too plain. The long skirt is a pretty shape with a reasonable amount of flare to it. I think it has a good amount of volume for the style of dress. What I really love about this dress is that is has a crepe chiffon overlay, which gives is a really soft, romantic feel. The print is still easily visible underneath too. The overlay sits brilliantly on top of the dress and blends in well and really flows with the rest of the dress.. It actually took me a few moments to work out that the overlay was there! The bottom hem is then finished off with further chiffon and a line of wide lace. I personally think the dress would look good without the bottom line of lace but it still works okay.

And finally, here is part of the print close up. This series is available in ivory, pink, sax blue and light green. Aside from the odd detail, there isn't actually that much difference between the 4 colours. I think my favourite is probably the pink though. As for the print itself, I really like the lacy main part of the print. All the lace is heavily detailed and you can see a lot of effort has gone in to it. I am personally not a fan of the religious imagery and some of the objects in the print look like they have been randomly slapped on top. The flowers add a pretty pop of colour. I like how the ribbon adds more colour to the print, but I think it looks oddly placed.

Overall I think the longer, classical dresses are really pretty. There are a few tiny things I would change, but I think the dress designs are generally very pretty. I am very undecided about the print though. I like parts of it but not others. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but I do like some of the Ave Maria series accessories. If I were to buy a printed dress I would probably go for the Medaille JSK in pink or maybe sax blue. I can see why this series has already had a re-release (that was quick!) and I don't doubt it will be very popular. It is just not for me.


  1. I had such mixed feelings about this dress! I liked OP the best but I think it is way too long for me, I would preffer to have choice of adding underskirt to it. I like second JSK but there is something wrong with the top bodice.... But I love the bottom with layers of lace!
    The print is lovely just there seem to be not much difference between colurways... Maybe they need to be a bit darker to tell the difference?

    1. Me too, I have things I like and dislike about all 3 dresses. I agree about the colourways. They all look very similar and it's a shame there isn't at least one darker option.


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