Thursday, 18 December 2014

Yet Another Print Double

Apologies for the bombardment of print discussions lately! In the run up to Christmas, I want to get all the released prints out of the way and unfortunately certain brands *cough*AngelicPretty*cough* are releasing so many prints that I can barely keep up. So today there are 2 Angelic Pretty prints to discuss. Scroll further down to see my verdict on Lucky Key.

First up today is Celestial. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, socks, a bonnet and 2 necklaces.

This is the Celestial Dress. The bodice seems fairly well fitted and the shape is lovely. I like the lace used for the sleeves as it has an interesting pattern and texture to it. The sleeves look a good length and have a suitable amount of puff to them for the design. I am a little unsure with the way the cuffs have been gathered though. I just feel they could have been shaped better. The bodice features many thin lines of lace running up it, which have been done neatly. There is also a row of bows running up the middle, but I don't really like them. The bodice already has a lot of detail to it and I don't feel they are needed and make the bodice too crowded. Also, the bigger bow on the collar obscures them a bit anyway. There is a lace collar, matches up with the sleeves and gives the illusion that the dress is actually a JSK. The lace panel and the lace topping it have been layered beautifully. It all sits well on top of each other and nothing looks out of place. The actual collar part at the neck doesn't look too stiff or uncomfortable either. The lace panel is topped with a large bow. The bow is a very cute shape and sits well on the dress. I did initially wonder if the bow was maybe a little too sweet for the dress, but I think AP have pulled it off okay. There is also an additional smaller bow topping the collar, which is made of velveteen material and has a cross charm dangling from it. I think the dress has plenty of detail without it there, so I personally would detach it. I don't think it looks too bad either way. The back features no shirring so size flexibility is limited to just the waist ties. The lace panel from the front continues on the back and has been done very neatly. The zip is quite well concealed and the print lines up along the zip line reasonably well. The stock photos show the skirt is very full with plenty of volume. It flares out well, although I think the very rounded shape might be a little too cute for the print. The skirt is topped with a chiffon over-skirt. The shape of the over-skirt is pretty and it sits neatly on top of the skirt. The edges of the over-skirt are finished nicely with lace, which has a pretty star design. Overall, I think the over-skirt has been executed perfectly and it finishes at just the right point, so you can still see the print really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with AP logo lace.

Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite pretty. The straps are a bit on the thin side and look quite flimsy, but bulky straps wouldn't suit the style of dress anyway. They are lined neatly with gold braid and then lace used on the outside, which makes them a bit more interesting. I think the lace used is pretty and suits the dress and it sits neatly as well. The waist area features a belt design which helps to bring in the waist area and creates a good shape. I do feel that the bow on the belt is a bit too basic in design and also the style of bow is a bit too cute for the print. It is also quite large in size. The bodice features several lines of lace running vertically up the bodice. This matches up well with the lacy straps and gives the bodice a bit of added texture and detail. The main feature of the bodice is a cross made up on pearls in the centre. I see how it fits in with the dress but if I am being brutally honest, I think the cross is really cheap and tacky looking. I would like this dress a whole lot more if it wasn't there. Perhaps if AP wanted to continue the cross theme on the bodice they could have used a pearl chain design with some cross shaped charms? I don't feel this pearl cross quite works. The neckline is lined neatly with gold braid, which matches up with the straps. The back is fully shirred, which means the shirring is quite exposed and not too attractive to look at. The stock photos show the skirt has loads of volume and will hold lots of petticoat. It is very rounded and flares out well. I am really not a fan of the organdie over-skirt though. Although it is see-through, I feel it obscures the print. It makes the print look more faded and muted. The contrast between the boldness of the bodice and the covered up skirt fabric is quite obvious. I also feel the length is quite strange and I don't like how the bottom looks. I have heard that this over-skirt is not detachable as well, which for me is another massive deal-breaker about this dress. The bottom hem of the dress underneath is finished neatly with pretty lace.

And this is the Celestial OP. I don't feel the bodice shape is all that flattering, judging by the stock photos. There is something about the overall silhouette in the stock photos which makes the bodice area look a lot broader and it also doesn't look very forgiving in the bust area. Here is hoping it is actually a lot nicer in person. The sleeves are a cute, puffy shape. I think AP has got the right sort of level of puff going on with the sleeves, although I wish the white cuff part was a bit shorter. I do think the white cuffs are a good idea though, as it works very well with the white bib. The white cuffs are finished cutely with white lace which again, matches up with the lace around the edge of the bib. The waist area has a thin belt, although it doesn't seem to nip the waist area in much in the stock photos. However, the belt does match up nicely with the bow on the bib so again details on the dress seem quite balanced out. The bib part itself is very big and I feel it is too wide. I don't like how the bib reaches the shoulder area. The collar on the bib also looks as though it might be a bit stiff and uncomfortable to wear. The pleats on the bib are a nice touch though, as it adds a bit of extra texture to what would otherwise be a large area of white. The velveteen bow on the bib is a cute shape and a good size. Despite the bow being quite sweet compared to the print, I think AP just about manage to get away with it. However, once again we see another cross made out of pearls. I feel that this pearl cross looks even more out of place on this dress and it doesn't work with the bib design. Again, I feel it looks tacky. It has been quite hard to gather information about this dress but from what I can tell, I don't think there is any shirring available on the back of this dress. I would be interested to know how the bib looks from the back as well. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume. The shape is a bit lacking though and I don't like it paired with the waist, which I think needs a bit more definition. The skirt design is kept quite simple and so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of the logo lace.

Finally, here we have a bit of the print close up. This series is available in sax blue, lavender, navy blue and black. I feel the colours suit the dreamy atmosphere of the print with the black offering a slightly more gothic looking option. I do feel the print looks a bit faded on the lavender and sax versions though. These colour choices are quite standard for an AP series like this and there are no real surprises. As for the print itself, it is an interesting take on the recent religious trend we have been seeing a lot with lolita. The crosses at the bottom are absolutely beautiful and have been drawn so well. I love the detail. The archways are also lovely and frame the crosses in an interesting way. I am not so keen on the non border part of the print with the windows though. I don't feel the wings surrounding some of the windows has been drawn that well and lack detail. I also don't think the windows are an appealing shape and I don't like the placement of them. The background behind the windows is quite pretty though and if it had just been this background and the border print then I would really like this series. As it is, I think there is a bit too much going on.

So on the one hand, I can kind of understand why this series was so popular, but on the other hand I think this series has the odd flaw which is preventing me from liking it myself. There are definitely certain details here and there which are putting me off this series, which is the sort of series I would usually quite like. AP have timed this print really well though and it is definitely quite on trend at the moment. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but I no for certain that if I did I would be getting the Celestial Dress (the first dress in this post) in the navy colour. That dress design is very pretty and the mini over-skirt also covers up my least favourite part of the print. Sadly, it is not enough to convince me to buy it though! 

Next up we have the Lucky Key series, also by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories and tights. 

This is the OP and here we see a return of the AP sack dress. There is very little bodice to this dress but what is there isn't that flattering shape-wise. I also wonder how this dress is going to look on somebody with a large chest. This doesn't seem like the sort of dress that would be very bust friendly. I think the sleeves are a bit of a strange length and they are going to end at an awkward place on some wearers as well. I dislike the way the main part of the sleeves joins with the white cuffs, but the white cuffs themselves are quite smart looking. They are lined with gold braid and 2 gold buttons, which livens them up a bit and stops them looking so plain. The short bodice features 3 small gold buttons and a pleated design. Given the lack of room, there is a good amount of detail here. The buttons are well spaced out and feature a cute emblem design. The use of smaller buttons mean they don't dominate the bodice and fit in well. The collar is a bit stiff looking and boring in appearance but on a more positive note, they do match up well with the sleeve cuffs. The collar also has a detachable bow tie. The good thing is, the user can adjust the bow how they like. The stripy material used for the bow tie is colourful and matches up well with the colours in the print. Unsurprisingly, there isn't any shirring on the back. There is a long zip, which is hidden fairly well and the print lines up okay along the line. The skirt has plenty of volume to it, although it isn't very flattering. I imagine it would be a fine balancing act to create the perfect shape and it is quite awkward. The skirt design is kept simple and the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished neatly with gold braid and pretty crown themed lace.

Here we have the High Waist JSK. The bodice is quite well fitted. I think the overall bodice shape is quite pretty, although I am a little undecided about the way the main bodice meets the rounded neckline. The straps are a suitable width for the dress. I like how the rounded neckline and straps has a pleated design. The pleats make it more interesting and have been done very neatly. The gold braid in the centre is lovely too and the pleats sit well around it. At the back, the round neckline turns in to regular JSK straps and are lined neatly with pretty lace. The waist features a very wide belt, which nips in the waist area perfectly. The stripy material is much wider this time, so it is a lot bolder. I actually think the belt may be a bit too wide, as it means the bow you tie at the front ends up quite large and bulky. It is just a bit domineering. I feel the dress looks a little too plain without the belt though, so I would still use the belt. The bodice has a yoke, which is made from the same printed material and blends in quite well. It adds just a subtle amount of detail and helps discreetly fill in the empty bodice area. The yoke is lined neatly with lace and features a small ribbon corset. The neckline is topped with a velveteen bow. I think the bow is a cute shape and size. It sits well on the neckline too. The back features a panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and flares outwards well. It is so plump and has a great rounded shape to it. The skirt design is kept simple so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the pretty crown lace again.

This is the Standard JSK. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and the bodice shape is quite cute. The straps look a suitable width. They are lined with thin lace on the outside, which adds a slight bit of extra detail to them without being too distracting. There is a velveteen waist bow. The bow has such a cute shape to it and it sits beautifully on the dress as well. I think the sizing of the bow suits the dress as well. The bodice features 2 lines of gold braid running vertically up the bodice. It looks quite smart, although I am not convinced it has been placed in the best location. I think the 2 lines could do with being a little bit further apart. The gold braid also lines the neckline and insides of the straps, so it finishes off the neckline smartly and keeps the lines looking quite sharp. I definitely think this was the right way to go, as lace wouldn't have worked quite as well here. The bodice also features velveteen covered buttons, which helps to balance out the velveteen used for the waist bow. The buttons are well positioned and spaced out. The neckline is finally topped with a small bow made of the stripy fabric. I like this much more subtle nod to the colours in the print. The bow is also a very cute shape and a good size. The back is fully shirred, which means the shirring is quite exposed with nothing concealing it. The stock photos show the skirt is very full with plenty of flare to it. It will hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt also has a pretty shape to it. The skirt design is kept simple and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with the crown lace again.

And here we have the print close up. This series comes in mint, wine, con and black. I really dislike the mint colour as I don't think it is the most appealing shade to use and doesn't go with the print as well as the other 3 colours. In my opinion, this print works best against the rich jewel tones, so the wine and con are my 2 favourites. As for the print, I think it looks very classy and is quite mature looking. If AP collaborated with Jane Marple I think it would look something like this. I adore the keys in the print with their little details. The ribbons, flags and emblems offer that beautiful pop of colour that really stands out. It is quite a simple print idea but the end result is very effective. The non border part of the print works well with the border part as well. 

So I think this series does deserve to do well. The print is pretty and apart from the OP, the dress designs are quite lovely. I like how it is quite a mature series. Would I buy this series? Possibly. It would definitely fit in with my current wardrobe, although it wont be going on my wishlist. If I were to buy this series I would pick the Standard JSK in either wine or con. I think the wine colour might be slightly more appealing, as the blue shade looks as though it may be hard to co-ordinate. So overall, a very lovely offering.

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