Monday, 23 June 2014

Crystal Dream Carnival by Angelic Pretty

Today I am taking a look at Crystal Dream Carnival by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses (one is a dress, choker and bonnet dress set), a skirt, a head bow, socks, a blouse, wrist cuffs and gloves. Some of the accessories have yet to be released by AP at the time of writing.

This is the Tiered JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the overall bodice shape is very interesting. The diamond pointed neckline is certainly a bit different. The straps are a bit on the thin side, but bulky straps would not work with this style of dress. The straps have these beautiful detachable tulle shoulder parts. The tulle is shaped well and it drapes really nicely. Even the little straps with the star buttons used to attach the tulle are cute looking and full of detail. Although the tulle parts are detachable, I feel the dress looks so pretty with the tulle shoulder parts attached. There is a waist bow, which is a bit big but seems to suit the dress. The bow is a really pretty shape. I wouldn't have bothered with the star lace running through the bow, as it blends in a lot anyway, but the gold lace used around the edge of the bow is a nice finishing touch. The hints of gold give it a real luxury feel to it and it has been used so neatly too. The waist bow is also very perky looking and sits boldly on the dress. The bodice features a bold, gold braid diamond pattern. The diamonds are spaced out well and the design just fits in so well with the rest of the dress. I like how the corners of the diamonds are topped with pearls too for that added extra bit of detail. There is also 2 lines of wide lace on either side of the bodice which blend in quite a lot, but help to give added detail to an otherwise plain part of the bodice. At the top of the bodice, the gold braid forms an outline around a neckline bow, topped with further pearls and dangling crystals. It all fits in so beautifully and has been done neatly. The only thing I would change is I would make the neckline bow a bit smaller. The back has a panel of shirring, which is concealed very neatly be a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has more than enough volume and flares out beautifully. There is more than enough room to create an OTT shape. The overall shape is so lovely. The skirt is split in to tiers, but the tier join has been done so neatly, that you barely notice its there. The tier join is topped with a line of lace, which blends in well and sits perfectly on the dress. The main feature of the skirt is that beautiful tulle overlay. The overlay is so soft looking and well shaped. The tiered design and gathering give the tulle overlay plenty of volume and I really love the way it sits on top of the dress. The lace along the edges is kept simple, which I think is the best option. The end result is so pretty. I especially like how you can't really see where the tulle overlay attaches, as it has been executed so neatly. I definitely prefer this dress with the tulle overlay attached, but it is detachable if you wanted to wear something a bit simpler. I really like how you can detach all the tulle parts on this dress and play around with how OTT you want to go. The bottom hem is then finished off with pretty carnival horse themed lace.

This is the Regular JSK. The bodice looks very well fitted again. The bodice shape is simple, but looks interesting enough. I like the heart shaped neckline. The straps are a good width for the style of dress. They are also lined very neatly with thin gold lace, which stops them looking too plain and just generally looks more luxurious. The waist is topped with a bow. I think the bow size is good, although I am a little unsure about the shape. The shape sort of makes the bow look like it has been stretched outwards. It does sit well on the dress though, and the gold lace lining keeps the dress details consistent. I really love the panel of fabric sitting on top of the skirt, which continues up on to the bodice. The part around the waist area is such an interesting shape and the gold braid lining it has been done so neatly. The gold braid hides beneath the waist bow and then continues up on to the bodice. The shapes created on the bodice are so pretty and really different. The design has been so well thought out. The solid coloured part in the middle of the bodice looks a bit plain in comparison to the rest of the dress but it does serve as a nice contrast to the rest of the bodice and really highlights the interesting lines and shapes. The centre of the bodice has 3 cute looking star buttons running up it, which are well spaced and help to fill in the empty solid part without overdoing things. There are also 2 thin lines of gold lace running up the bodice, which reach 2 star shaped buttons at the base of the straps. This detail doesn't really stand out too much, but again helps to make the area a bit more interesting and not so flat. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a beautiful full bell shape to it and it is great how the waist details sit so well on top of it. The skirt flares out beautifully and has plenty of room to hold lots of petticoat. Aside from the waist area, the skirt design is quite simple and the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with the pony lace again.

This is the OP which is part of the dress, choker and bonnet set. I wont go in to much detail about the choker and bonnet, but let's just say I feel the bonnet is a very good match for the dress with plenty of detail. I'm not that fussed by the choker though. As for the dress, I feel the bodice is generally well fitted but it looked like some of the material was a little baggy around the sides in some of the stock photos. The overall bodice shape is okay, but I personally think it is a bit frumpy looking. The sleeves are an interesting length and I think they have a suitable amount of puff for the style. I really love the use of lace running down the sleeves and then how it is layered at the bottom of the sleeves. The lace is layered so well and it adds so much detail. I'm a little unsure about the tulle parts on the shoulder though, as I feel they make the shoulders look wider and draw attention to them. The bodice is divided up by the use of gold braid, giving the bodice a panelled look. It keeps the waist area looking crisp and neat. The shape of the waist line is interesting looking as well. The gold braiding is again used to create interesting shapes on the bodice. I am very impressed by how neat the braid lines look. The neckline has a solid coloured panel and the line of braid lining this panel is topped with pearls. The pearls are a really good finishing touch. The solid coloured part is topped with more of the cute star shaped buttons, which are spaced out tidily. I love the deep heart shaped neckline and the lace used along it gives it a softer appearance. Lower down on the bodice, there are 3 bows running down the centre. The bows are a good shape and the spacing is good, but I feel they could do with being a bit smaller. These 3 bows are not lined with gold lace, but I think that would have been too OTT in this case anyway. The bodice is finished off with a detachable chain that attaches by the shoulders. I think the chain is cute but could do with being just a tiny bit shorter in length because in some photos, the chain was a bit obscured by the neckline. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed well by a ribbon corset. Like the tiered JSK, this OP also has a tulle overlay. The overlay design is essentially the same, although I don't feel it works as well as it does on the JSK. I don't think it sits as nicely on top of the dress and looks a little bunched up. I also don't think with the OP you have the option of detaching the tulle overlay, which is a bit limiting. But the one thing the OP does have over the JSK is that you can see a bit more of the print underneath. From what we can see of the skirt underneath, the shape looks pretty and full. The skirt flares out well and has loads of volume. The skirt is tiered and like the JSK, the join is hidden neatly with a line of lace. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of tulle, but I personally prefer the pony lace on the JSKs.

And here we have the print close up. This series is available in navy, pink, lavender and blue. Unsurprisingly, both the blues have proved far more popular than the pink and lavender. There is just something really magical about the navy colour. The lavender is okay, but I feel the pink is very obviously the weakest colour way for this series. As for the print itself, I think it is beautiful! Yes, it is another carnival horse themed print, but I feel it is different enough to keep people's interest. The ponies in the print are drawn so well. I especially like the way the pony manes have been coloured and how the tails have that curled shape. Even their saddles are full of detail. The use of gold is very bold and is not for the faint hearted. The diamond background is very eye-catching too.

So if you are a fan of OTT Angelic Pretty, this series is probably a winner. They may overuse the carnival theme, but AP know what their fans want and they have delivered a really strong series. I especially like seeing a carnival print with darker colour ways. Would I buy this series? Yes, I would and it has been on my wishlist since I first saw the Kera scans. Although I am not going to get my hopes up about actually obtaining it! My top pick is the Tiered JSK in navy. I actually gasped when I first saw that dress design and that doesn't happen very often. It is really not surprising to see this series is already causing a huge bloodbath and I expect to see this series sell above retail price for quite some time. The carnival hype shows no signs of dying yet.

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