Monday, 29 September 2014

Queen of Snow "Forever" by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I shall be taking a look at a new series from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It is called Queen of Snow and reminds me of a similar Snow Queen series that Baby put out last year. This series contains 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 hair accessories, socks, a necklace and wrist cuffs.

First up is JSK I. The bodice is a nice shape, although the material looks a bit baggy in some of the stock photos. The straps are a bit thin, although the delicate, detailed straps do fit in well with the rest of the dress. The straps are topped with beautiful snowflake themed lace, which sits nicely on the straps and compliments the neckline. The waist is nipped in well by what looks like a line of ribbon but on closer inspection seems to be a line of cleverly placed lace (it is really hard to tell from the photos what is actually there). The waist line also has a ribbon bow. The striped, sheer ribbon is such a pretty choice and I wish Baby had released lace socks which matched this style of ribbon as part of this series. The waist bow is a good size but I would have maybe made the ribbon tails shorter, as I am not keen on how it looks teamed with the ribbon tails from the neckline bow dangling down. The bow does sit well on the dress though. The neckline is topped with wider snowflake lace. The lace is so beautiful and gives the neckline a really soft, fluffy look. The end result is to pretty. The neckline is finished off with 3 ribbon bows, which uses the same ribbon as the waist bow. There are 2 bows at the bases of the straps and one in the centre. The bows blend in well with the lace and are not too distracting. The bows are well placed and a good size. The middle bow has the addition of a gold Baby logo charm, which is a really pretty way to finish things off. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so there is nothing there to conceal it and it doesn't look too appealing. It also means that wearers can only adjust the dress size using the waist ties. The stock photos show the skirt has a good amount of volume and flares out well. It will hold plenty of petticoat. The bell shape is very pretty. The skirt design is kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 ruffles of tulle, which are over-stitched and topped with gold braid. I generally like the fluffy appearance of the bottom hem, I just wish the tulle had been under-stitched. I also feel that the snowflake themed lace could have been used somewhere on the bottom hem.

This is JSK II. The bodice shape is simple, but pretty. It seems well fitted, although the material does look a bit loose and baggy in some of the stock photos. The straps are a bit thin and I think they could do with being a bit thicker. The straps are lined with lace on the outside and whilst the lace is pretty, I don't think the straps have been executed as well as they were on JSK I. The waist area has a massive bow which I feel is far too big. The waist bow is also lined with lace, which only emphasises how large it is. I also don't feel the waist bow shape is that attractive and the bow appears droopy. Overall, the bow just appears messy and I would expect a lot better. I am so glad the waist bow is detachable because the dress looks really pretty without it attached. The neckline is topped with 2 layers of lace. The lace is pretty and a good width. However, I am not too keen on how the lace sits on the dress. It seems to puff outwards. I much prefer the softer neckline on JSK I. The neckline is finished off with a pretty ribbon bow, which uses the same stripy sheer ribbon as JSK I. The bow is a good size and shape, and sits really nicely on the neckline. 

Here we can see what the back of JSK II looks like and the bustle. The back of the bodice has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly by a ribbon corset. As for the bustle, I feel it could do with being a bit wider and spreading across more of the back of the skirt. But apart from that, I think the tiers are well spaced out and layered neatly. The material is very soft looking and doesn't look too bulky.

The stock photos show the skirt is very full and has lots of volume. It flares outwards quite a bit. I do feel the overall skirt shape needs to be a little bit more rounded though. On the front of the skirt the design is kept very simple, so the print is displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off with cute snowflake themed lace.

This is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted, although I'm not so keen on the sleeve shape. The printed fabric part of the sleeves is a bit too long in length and although I can see a little bit of puff, I don't think the shape is that good. I also feel the elastic on the sleeves is very obvious. The detachable chiffon part of the sleeves is very pretty in design, but I dislike the way they attach to the shorter sleeves. I feel the elasticated part contributes to the strange shape too. Overall, I feel the sleeves look very strange. The dress looks a little better with the chiffon parts detached, but I am really not impressed. 

The dress has a very square neckline but the wide lace lining it really helps to soften it. The wide lace has a pretty design and sits very delicately on the dress. I like the use of ribbon bows on the bodice. The bows are a bit big and OTT but I think they help to liven up the bodice. The ribbon used for the bows is very pretty. The bows are also spaced out reasonably well. What I am not so keen on is the chiffon panel the bows are placed on top of. From a distance it doesn't look too bad but I am not so fond of is how it looks like up close. It just looks very wrinkly and I dislike the line of thin gold braid running right down the centre as well. However, I do feel the lace lining the panel is pretty and the overall shape of the panel is nice. I just feel the panel between the lace could have been so much prettier.

The back of the dress offers no shirring and so the dress is lacking for size flexibility. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and it flares outwards beautifully. There is the potential to create a very dramatic, rounded shape. The front of the skirt features a bustle, but it is very narrow and I feel it could do with being a bit wider and spreading across more of the front of the skirt. That aside, the tiers are spaced out well. I think the tiers are layered on top of each other well but also look a bit flat. Maybe they need a bit more material so they could be gathered a bit more. The edges of the bustle are lined with gold braid, which gives it a neat finish. Apart from the bustle, the skirt is kept simple elsewhere, and the print is displayed well here. The bottom hem is then finished off with a tulle ruffle topped with snowflake lace. This bottom hem is very pretty and matches up well with the bustle. I think the OP has my favourite bottom hem.

And finally, here we have a part of the print close up. This series is available in pink, sax blue, lavender and navy. I think all 4 colours work well with the print, although the sugary pink is a bit sickly sweet. I imagine both the blue colour options are going to be popular. As for the print itself, I think it is beautifully drawn. I love the detail that has gone in to the snowflakes. They look so crisp and pretty. The snow globes are also beautiful and are arranged well. There are plenty of different features to each snow globe to keep the entire print looking interesting and not too repetitive. I especially love the snow globe with the castle in the globe and topped with a crown. The scenes inside the globes are cute and fit in well with the rest of the print. I also like the frozen roses at the bottom of the print and love how Baby even managed to put the Northern Lights in the print. The only part of the print I am not fond of is the dolls and bunny toys. I think they stick out a bit and are not really needed.

Overall, I am quite impressed with this series. The print is beautiful, as are some of the dress designs. However, I do feel the Snow Queen series that Baby put out last year may be slightly better than this one. I guess it is also a bit predictable to release another print that is so similar. But if you ignore last year's print, this series is also a pretty good offering. Would I buy this series? Possibly. I do like the print and JSK I is a very pretty dress. I don't think I like it enough for it to go on my wishlist though. I am also very torn between the sax blue and navy blue colours, as they are both very pretty in their own special ways. The sax blue offers that ice-cold look that fits the snow theme, but the print really pops against the background on the navy blue. I personally would prefer to buy the Snow Queen series from 2013 though.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


I have finally recovered from my massive weekend in London! So on Saturday the 20th it was the Tea Party Club's 7th Anniversary event called Revelry! Shalisa, Sammi and I went for just the Saturday event. We decided to make a little mini holiday out of it, so we went down to London on the Friday and stayed until the Saturday. We wondered around some vintage shops on the Friday, although I don't think any of us were that impressed by what was on offer. Sunday was a pretty fun day as well. We went around Chinatown and I ended up buying this cute little doughnut plushie in Artbox. But anyway, back to the Revelry event!

I arrived at Gray's Inn nice and early because I went for the model rehearsals. After helping Kyra unpack boxes full of lots of lovely items, we got down to business and practised our walks. Later on we got sent back out again to queue and stuff.

My outfit for the day was in honour of the main guest, Ms Taira from the brand Metamorphose. Fairy Tale is a print which has very special meaning to me so it made sense for me to wear this skirt. Fairy Tale is a Meta series which never really got that much attention but I love it. I teamed it with navy blue and white. Some day I will wear something other than navy blue to these big events! I just happen to really love lavender and navy blue combinations. I wanted the outfit to have a princess feel to it, so I wore my princess sleeve blouse from Baby the Stars Shine Bright and made myself a navy over-skirt based on the ones by Lady Sariel. The over-skirt took me a week to make as I had to do it by hand (chiffon is a real pain to work with!) and unlike the Lady Sariel ones, I stitched a hem the whole way around the edge to make it look neater. The butterflies on the bonnet were also handmade, although I am not sure I like how they turned out in the end. They also got a bit bashed in my suitcase on the way home so I doubt I will be using them again. My new obsession is wearing gloves with lolita. In recent months I have purchased several pairs with varying quality. I wore a crochet pair this time and covered the lacy wrists with Bodyline wrist cuffs because the lace on the gloves was a bit cheap looking. Overall I have mixed feelings about this outfit. I like it, but I loved the outfits I wore to Frock On and Enchanted a lot more. I am going to have to work extra hard next time!

We got inside pretty quickly and whilst everybody else seemed to head upstairs, we decided to go right to the Bring and Buy room. Straight away, Sammi found a cute blouse for a really decent price. I wasn't quite so lucky though. I have been super picky with my wardrobe lately, so I didn't buy anything unless I was absolutely sure I wanted it. I did come very close to buying a lavender Glass Doll skirt by AP and also an Emily Temple Cute macaron print dress but in the end, I held out. It just means I have more money for Sweetie Violet, which I am currently trying to hunt down. 

During the Q&A all the guests introduced themselves. Ai (in the green) later held a presentation about what it was like to be a lolita in Japan. I missed most of that talk as I was recovering from modelling! I haven't heard any more about the talk, so I have no idea how good it was.

Ms Taira from Metamorphose! I can't thank her enough for letting me model for my favourite brand. Some very interesting questions were put forward about how each of the designers come up with ideas for their pieces and whether they ever have any creative blocks. It turns out that all the designers were very confident in coming up with new ideas. It will be interesting to see if any of them got any inspiration from their visit to England and from meeting the international lolita community. The editor of the Gothic Lolita Bible also got asked about an English edition (I don't think the question asker realised this had already been attempted) and whether an online version could be made. Shalisa and I also had our photo taken for the GLB. Neither of us are confident that our photo will actually get picked, but who knows!

Then it was the fashion show (photo credit- Meshya Nightingale). There were 2 models for Grimoire and 6 for Metamorphose. I think it is a shame that the Grimoire models didn't get more of a chance to pose and be on stage because I know a lot of people were interested in the London special early release dresses that the models wore. The 6 Metamorphose models had to stand on stage whilst Ms Taira went in to detail about the dresses we were modelling. I was the first Meta model on stage and I was wearing a brand new print which had never been shown before. I forget what the official print name is. I think it might be something like Night Carnival? As I was standing on stage it felt like there was this really massive pause before Ms Taira started talking (I heard afterwards that the pause before my outfit was longer than it was for the other models!) but I suppose it is a good thing that everybody had enough time to take photos of the Meta models. Dani and I modelled the first new print. We both got given tights and I was pleased to discover that I do fit Meta tights! I think the tights were my favourite bit of my outfit. There was also another new print (I think it is called Moonlight Astrology but don't quote me on that because I was backstage at the time) which Michaela and Manda modelled. Their dresses had all these beautiful details up close and it is definitely going on my wishlist, especially if it comes in navy blue. I don't care who I have to fight to get hold of it- it will be mine!

My friends were hiding up on the balcony and managed to get a few shots of the whole modelling group. 

Shalisa, Sammi and I took full advantage of the photo booth on offer. We had about 4 VIP vouchers and I think we did about 3 goes. This was by far the best of the photos we took. I am so glad we managed to get Old Spice Guy in the photo!

The goody bags had the usual fliers and discount codes inside. We also got given lace badges, mirrors from Syrup and meta, some Meta badges, hair flowers and a poster. Both the poster and the tote bag were designed by Madeleine, who is a part of the Oxfordshire Lolitas. I really love her swan design! It was very appropriate for Metamorphose.

A little close-up of some of the goody bag stuff.

After Ai's presentation we waited around for the raffle. The way the raffle was held was a lot more efficient this time around and we even got some say in what prizes we got. I got 2 prizes because James' ticket won as well (my poor husband was on photographing duty). I picked a white bow with dangling star from Cherie Cerise and because my second ticket was the last of the small prizes, I got given a pack of stickers as well. I really wanted the macaron charm that Shalisa picked but she got picked before me. It turned out that Sammi had made it! Now I just need to persuade Sammi to make me one too! (Sammi, if you see this, I will totally pay for you to make me one!)

And here is a photo of my haul from the day. I have decided to do a full review of the items I got in another post, as this post is already getting a bit long. So look out for a post on these items soon (probably next week).

So overall, I feel this was a very fun day. I still think Frock On has been the best TPC event but I did enjoy Revelry as well. I have made some new friends and got to see a lot of old friends as well. I can't believe another event is over! I am going to have to start creating some meets myself to get over my post-Revelry comedown!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Musical Cat by Metamorphose

If I have counted my posts right, this should be my first post since the Tea Party Club event Revelry. So this is just a quick note to say my Revelry post(s) will be on here from Thursday. I am having to write this in advance, as I have no idea how exhausted I am going to be after the Revelry weekend. So do keep an eye out on Thursday to see what went on at Revelry! I am so excited about Metamorphose coming to the UK!

And now back to today's post, which is quite appropriately, a Meta print discussion! Today's series is Musical Cat. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, an apron, 4 hair accessories, a blouse and socks.

This is the OP. The overall bodice shape is a bit plain looking. I think it may be because the sleeves lack any real puff. I also feel the sleeves could do with being a bit shorter in length as well. I do like the rose lace used to line the sleeves but that alone isn't enough to make the sleeves look fancy and I'm unsure if a rose theme fits the rest of the dress. The sleeves also feature a button up design, although the buttons are also simple in design. I think gold cat head shaped buttons could have looked really cute here. The main bodice is fully shirred on the front, giving it a slightly lumpy appearance. However, due to the style of print, the shirring does blend in a bit. I am curious to know why Meta chose the front to be fully shirred but not the back. Perhaps it was to give the front a bit of extra depth and make it more interesting. The collar on this dress is quite big, although I do feel it suits the dress. The collar has this little bit of pleated detail to it, which has been executed quite neatly. The collar is lined neatly with the same rose lace. The collar is then topped off with 2 small bows, which I think are a nice cute touch. The bows are a simple, but cute shape and a good size. Judging by the stock photos, they are detachable if you don't like them. The waist area features a ribbon belt. The belt looks a bit simple in design and the ribbon is a little shiny. Overall, the belt looks very simple and a bit cheap. However, it does help to emphasise the waist area quite nicely. As mentioned, the back doesn't have any shirring and just has a zip running up the middle. The zip is very well concealed and the collar looks okay from the back as well. The stock photos show the skirt is very full with the potential to flare outwards well. The length looks generous as well. I think it could do with having a slightly more rounded shape, although I do feel the overall skirt shape does suit the bodice style. The skirt is tiered. The tier join has been done reasonably neatly and is topped with lace, although I am not keen on the way the tiers have been spaced out. In fact, it probably doesn't really need to be tiered at all as it doesn't really contribute much to the design. Aside from the tiers and gathering, the print is displayed fairly well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle of the stripy fabric which is a bit simple, does at least it matches up.

This is the Bustle Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks very well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. The straps underneath the collar are a good width and look very supportive. There is a waist bow, which is a bit big. I would have preferred a slightly smaller bow here. However, the bow shape is cute and lined neatly with lace. It sits really well on the dress and looks quite perky. It is detachable as well, and in the stock photos Meta have even suggested using it pinned to a blouse as a neck bow. The bodice features 4 lines of vertical lace; 2 on either side and 2 rows close together in the centre. I am not too keen on the choice of lace, but overall I think it has been placed well. Inside the 2 middle lines of lace, there is alternating buttons and bows. The ribbon used for the bows is quite shiny, but apart from that I think they are a good size and shape. Meta have chosen golden rose shaped buttons and again, I am unsure how a rose theme fits with the series, but I do think the buttons are very pretty. The bows and buttons have been spaced out well and don't look too overcrowded. Then we get to the collar, which has a bit of a peculiar shape to it. It has sort of been shaped to look a bit like a bow on one of the sides. I can see what Meta were aiming for, but it doesn't quite work. The end result looks like somebody has taken a random chunk out of the collar. It would have probably been better to have just had a normal shaped collar. Apart from that little strange part, the collar is actually quite a nice shape and size, and the ruffle is a good way to finish off the edge. Thankfully, the collar is detachable and although the neckline underneath is a bit simple, I would definitely detach the collar if I owned this dress.

Here we can see what the back of the dress and the bustle look like. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed by a ribbon corset. I really dislike the way the collar looks from the back. I just feel it is a little odd teaming this sort of collar with a dress that sits quite low down the back. It makes me appreciate the fact that the collar is detachable a lot more. As for the bustle, the material used looks nice, although it looks quite full and voluminous, so maybe not a great choice if you are conscious about the size of your backside. Apart from that, I think the bustle has been done fairly well. The tiers are spread out evenly and the layers sit okay on top of each other.

The stock photos show the skirt is super full and it flares outwards beautifully. I love the very rounded shape. There is the potential to create a really pretty OTT shape with this dress. The skirt features the same line of lace that the OP has and again, I'm not too fussed about it being there. Apart from that, the skirt is kept quite simple on the front and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is finished off with a tulle ruffle, which works well teamed with the bustle at the back.

And this is the pinafore Cummerbund JSK. The bodice seems well fitted but the overall shape is a bit plain with harsh straight lines. It just feels a bit too basic. The straps underneath the collar are a suitable width for the dress but are very plain with no detail to them at all. The detachable collar itself is a very odd shape. I don't feel the square shape really works or is very flattering. The collar is very full of detail though, with pleats, a ribbon running around the edge, lace and buttons. The lace is very pretty, as do the musical themed shaped buttons (I am a little confused why the other dresses don't have buttons which match the print theme). The pleats add a bit of added texture and despite the ribbon being shiny, I think it looks quite smart. If it wasn't for the collar shape, it would be quite pretty. The cummerbund is an interesting idea. It certainly nips the waist area in well. However, I feel it would have looked nicer with solid coloured material instead of the stripy material. Also, whilst the lace along the edges of the cummerbund gives the cummerbund a softer appearance, I think more subtle, narrower lace could have looked better. The bodice has 2 lines of lace running up it, but overall the bodice is kept quite plain, probably to make more of a feature of the collar. Which is great, if you like the collar, but if you choose to detach it then the dress looks very plain. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. Like the other JSK there is a gap between the back of the dress and the collar and I still dislike the way it looks. The stock photos show the skirt has a very pretty rounded shape to it. It has plenty of volume and flares out beautifully. The skirt design is kept simple and so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of ribbon and a stripy ruffle.

And finally, here is part of the print close up. This series is available in black, pink and green. The colour choices are very interesting and offer a maturer take on sweet lolita. I think the non-pastel colour choices work well with the print. As for the print itself, it is a very cute offering. I think the cats are adorable! The instruments are well drawn. The placement of the items in the print is good too and well spaced out. The musical note themed ribbon is a good way to break up the border print and the stripy part. The stripy part is quite bold and actually works quite nicely with the border part of the print. I love that there are trails of cat prints and music notes floating amongst the stripes.

So overall I think this is a very cute print, although at times the dress designs let it down a bit. I do wonder if Meta have deliberately kept the dress designs simple because they are trying to encourage people to team them with the matching apron from this series. I have to admit that the apron does work very well with the dresses. It works especially well with the OP and gives it a very cute look. Would I buy this series? Possibly. I think that with the collar detached, the Pinafore Bustle JSK is a very pretty dress. I would probably go for the green or black colour. It is not a perfect series, but I think with the right styling it has a lot of potential.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Take a Theme- Royalty

With all the excitement about the Tea Party Club event Revelry, I have recently been thinking about fancier outfits for these bigger events. You generally tend to see people putting a lot of effort in to their TPC event outfits and going a bit OTT. So I figured that a Take a Theme post based around a fancy theme was in order. So today I am taking a look at some of my favourite Royal themed items.

Potential sub themes- crowns, emblems, jewels, pearls, golden details, sceptres, hime or princess themes, castles

Brand prints of note- Felicia Crown, Grazia Crown (Innocent World), Wonder Queen (Angelic Pretty), pretty much every OTT princess dress Baby the Stars Shine Bright have ever released, Brilliant Princess (Metamorphose).

Chocomint and Paris Kids are frequently releasing crown themed stuff. Baby the Stars Shine Bright are also known for making quite a bit of jewellery that would work perfectly with a princess theme. Pearls and bold colours seem to feature quite a bit. Although the Pizzicato Kei echarpe pictured is out of stock, it is well worth remembering them if you ever want a very regal looking sash. Their echarpes are very popular and frequently sell out quickly. So do keep an eye out for new products! If you wanted to go a bit more OTT, Baby Piggy on Taobao has lots of mini crowns and Rococo Soul are known to put out sceptres from time to time. There are also more expensive options out there with more ornate and fancier designs. It is well worth taking the time to google mini crowns and seeing what turns up.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Bright Starry Night by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today's print discussion will be Bright Starry Night by Baby the Star's Shine bright. This series includes 2 dresses, 2 hair accessories, 2 blouses, socks, wrist cuffs, a barrette and 3 pieces of jewellery.

Here we have JSK I which comes with a matching sash. The sash itself is very pretty and it is nice to have an added extra which you don't have to buy separately. The tulle at the ends of the sash matches up well with the tulle on the actual dress. My main complaint with the sash is some of the gold text gets cut off at the edges. So perhaps the text could have been placed a bit better.

In this photo we can see the bodice without the sash obscuring it. There is a little bit of baggy material visible but overall I think the bodice shape is quite pretty. The straps are a bit thin, but they suit the style of dress. I love how the straps have been lined with tulle. The tulle looks soft and it has been layered brilliantly. The end result is pretty and sits nicely on the shoulders. The front features a ribbon corset design. The soft ribbon used is beautiful and matches perfectly with the tulle. However, the ribbon does look slightly bunched together and a bit messy. It would have also been nice if the ribbon tails were a bit shorter so they didn't dangle so far down the skirt, as it looks a little untidy. But that can easily be fixed by double looping the bow. The bodice has a tulle panel at the top which has been gathered well and looks very neat. It creates a nice ruffle along the neckline too. This tulle panel is topped with 2 lines of star shaped lace, which is very cute and matches with the theme of the print. There is also a detachable pearl chain which I think hangs quite nicely. Although it does look a bit uneven having that random extra line of surplus pearls on one side. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and flares outwards well. It will hold plenty of petticoat. The overall skirt shape is nice, although I do wish it was just a slight bit rounder. The skirt design is kept quite simple and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of tulle topped with star lace. I wish they had under-stitched it instead of over-stitching it, but I don't think it looks too bad. 

This is JSK II. The bodice is reasonably well fitted. The overall bodice shape is interesting, although I feel the scoop neckline goes a little too low. Scoop necklines don't suit everybody and I also think in this instance it looks a bit weirdly executed. The straps are a suitable width. I love how they are topped with this really beautiful lace and then a line of tulle. It has been gathered a fair bit, giving the straps a very frothy, puffed appearance. Although there is a part of me that feels it is a shame to obscure that lace with the tulle! The waist has a large waist bow. The bow is a simple shape and almost looks a bit too plain. I also feel the bow could have sat on the dress a bit better. But with the large bow on the neckline as well, I don't think the waist bow is really needed. The front has a ribbon corset and a panel of shirring. I prefer my shirring to be hidden away at the back, so I am really not keen on this being on the front. The ribbon is spaced out well and the edges of the panel are lined neatly with thin gold braid though. When I first saw the bow on the neckline I felt it was too big, but now I realise it is necessary to hide the shirred neckline. I do feel the bow shape is a little unbalanced though, as the tails look big in comparison to the main part of the bow. The bow edges are lined neatly with lace, but I think the lace could have done with being a bit narrower. The back has no shirring (I see no reason at all why the shirring needs to be on the front) and is quite plain in design, with just 2 thin lines of gold braid running down the back. The stock photos show the skirt is very full with loads of volume. it flares outwards beautifully and I love the dramatic, rounded shape. The front of the skirt features a tulle bustle. The tulle material gives the bustle layers a soft, floaty appearance, which doesn't add too much bulk. The tiers are layered nicely and well spaced out. They sit nicely on top of each other as well. The edges of the bustle are discretely lined with thin gold braid which gives it a nice finish. The one thing I would change about the bustle is I would make it a bit wider width-wise. Despite the bustle, you can still see the print displayed fairly well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple tulle ruffle which I think is a lovely finish.

Here we can see one close up of the print...

... and here is another. This series is available in ivory, lavender, wine and navy. I think the combination of the gold print works well with the available colour choices. Although given the theme of the print, the wine colour is maybe a slightly strange choice. I am really torn between the other 3 colours but I think I am leaning slightly more towards the navy colour as the gold print really pops on the darker background. Some of the detail is a bit lost on the ivory. As for the print itself, I like the constellation theme. Although it is a bit strange to use random items that don't actually have a constellation. Well, at least I don't believe there is an official teapot constellation! It does make the print seem rather random, although I do feel the print has been drawn well. The bunny with the cutlery is cute. I also love the teapot pouring stars in to a teacup. It may not make sense to me, but I like it! All the pictures are framed by ribbon frames and gold swirls. It gives the print a more organised appearance. The stars help to fill in all the empty gaps as well. I love the use of an all gold colour print, as it produces a beautiful end result.

I found myself feeling a bit disappointed with the jewellery that is a part of the Bright Starry Night series. I have come to the conclusion that it is because I personally feel the jewellery from Baby's Twinkle Constellation series looks better. In the picture, the Twinkle Constellation necklace is on the left and the Bright Starry Night necklace is on the right. The designs are quite similar. However, I feel the Twinkle Constellation necklace looks better with the slightly puffier star shapes, the arrangement of stars and the use of just one colour of pearl. Also, I think the Bright Starry Night necklace would look better without the Baby brand name printed all over the stars. I think another factor is that if you look at the Bright Starry Night dresses, the necklace looks too cutesy in comparison and also features colours which don't appear on the dresses at all. Could you imagine wearing the Bright Starry Night necklace with the wine coloured dresses? It just wouldn't work. I think if Baby wanted to make star themed jewellery for Bright Starry Night, they should have gone for golden coloured stars and used just cream coloured pearls.

So overall I think this is a very pretty series and I can imagine it selling quite well. Although I find the print a bit bizarre (if there is a story behind the print then do let me know!) I still think that looks-wise the end product is lovely. I don't think this series will be going on my wishlist, but I do like it. I think that JSK I is the stronger of the 2 dress designs and that is what I would go for if I were to buy this series. I would have a hard time picking a colour though! I think the accessories are a bit of a let-down though, which is a shame. But I am sure there are loads of accessories that will match this series perfectly. I am really looking forward to seeing some outfits with this series!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Celebrating Shalisa's Birthday!

It was Shalisa's birthday on Saturday and so a few of us decided to have a mini casual meet in Reading to celebrate! It feels like ages since I last got to see Shalisa and Sammi and I was so glad to have this fun day out before the TPC event Revelry (just over a week to go!). 

For most of this Summer I have barely worn lolita, as the UK went through a bit of a hot spell. But the night before this meet I was concerned that I was going to get too cold in my outfit! Typical English weather... In the end, I decided that I needed to fit in one last warm weather outfit before it got too cold and went with the outfit I had planned. I wore my Metamorphose March of the Duck skirt and went for a casual feel. I teamed it with ankle socks and loads of bright red Bodyline items to match the bottom of the skirt. 

We decided to go to Ed's Diner which looks just like one of those American 50's diners and plays a lot of music from that era. I got a chilli dog and shared some Atomic Fries with James. Atomic Fries are one of my favourite things about Ed's Diner! It is a shame Shalisa and Sammi didn't like their cheese and bacon fries, but apart from that we all seemed to enjoy our food.

After Ed's we went to the bubble tea stand in the Oracle Centre to discover if it was any better than the bubble tea at Mr Chips. The verdict was that Mr Chips is better! However, I still really liked my passion fruit smoothie bubble tea. Instead of traditional tapioca bubbles I went for blueberry jelly, which was a bit different.

After getting bubble tea, we decided to do a bit of shopping. Shalisa took us to this really cute little vintage shop called Frock and Roll. After getting a bit lost, we located it and I was able to buy some really lovely peachy pink gloves. I randomly found this hobby horse hidden away in the changing rooms. Of course, this was the perfect excuse for some silly photos! The photo I took with the hobby horse was a bit too embarrassing to post though, so here is Shalisa riding the hobby horse instead (sorry Shalisa!). 

Our walk back in to town took us along the canal and we got to make some geese friends. I think they were very disappointed that we didn't have any bread. One of the geese looked at me a bit funny, but maybe that was because I was wearing a print with ducks on it!

A nice little group shot by the canal. There were quite a few people walking by, so it was nice that we managed to get a few decent shots of just us. 

When we got back in to town we did a little bit more shopping. I was devastated when we went in T.K Max because I found a really pretty pair of reduced Melissa shoes in my navy blue. But they didn't fit me properly! I really would love to get a pair sometime. Sammi managed to find some cute boots that fit her, so it wasn't a completely wasted trip. And some random people in the store came up to us and started talking to us about lolita! It is always really funny when members of the public actually know about the style.

By the evening, we were ready to go to a pub for a nice drink. Sadly, the one we intended to go to made us feel really uncomfortable. We walked in to the Pitcher and Piano and everybody in the room turned to look at us. It was such an awkward feeling that we lasted about a minute inside before deciding we didn't like the atmosphere. I think that has to be one of my most uncomfortable experiences whilst wearing lolita in the entire time I have worn the fashion. So we ended up going back to the Oakford Social Club. We didn't have the greatest of experiences in there last time, but this time we settled in quite nicely and had a better time. But the Oakford really need to replace their board games. We decided we wanted to play a game of Kerplunk but when we opened the box we discovered all the sticks were missing and there was only one marble! It was pretty funny but I think some of us were secretly disappointed we couldn't have played it.

After a drink and some nibbles, we headed back home. I had such a good time. It felt good to see my friends again and I had a great time. Whenever I go home after these sort of casual meets, I always find myself impatiently waiting for the next meet to come around! But at least with Revelry around the corner I wont have to wait too long to see everybody again.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge by Alice and the Pirates

Today I shall be taking a look at Le Petit Chaperon Rouge by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a cape, 4 hair accessories, socks, a necklace, 2 blouses, a vest and a pair of shorts.

First up, we have JSK I. The bodice is a lovely shape and seems well fitted. The velveteen part looks a bit loose, although that may be down to the material used. The straps are a good width and the thicker velveteen material makes them seem a bit stronger and more supportive. The velveteen parts give the bodice a dirndl look. It does remind me slightly of Oktoberfest costumes, but at the same time I think the dirndl is a suitable look which matches up really well with the print. The velveteen parts are shaped nicely and I love the pointed waist line. It is also good to see the velveteen is lined neatly with colourful braid, which gives the edges a neat appearance and also looks very pretty. There is a ribbon corset running between the velveteen parts on the front. The ribbon used has a lovely matte look to it with no sheen at all. The ribbon is also spaced out well, without ever looking too bunched together. I also like how the ribbon is held in place by metal eyelets, as it feels like they are very secure. Underneath the velveteen, the rest of the bodice is made up of solid white material. Near the top, this white material is gathered slightly, which stops it from looking too flat. I do think the neckline is a little high up though. The neckline is finished off with a line of thin braid and topped with a rose corsage. The rose corsage is pretty, although I could take or leave it. The back of the bodice is solid velveteen. There is a bit of shirring, which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a very pretty shape. It is very rounded and flares outwards really well. It has plenty of volume to it. The skirt design is kept simple and the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with pretty lace.

This is JSK II. The bodice is very well fitted, although the overall shape is a bit simple. The straps are a suitable width for the dress. The straps are lined with lace on the outside, although I'm not too keen on their choice of lace. I think the lace looks a bit spiky and harsh, and something a little softer would have been nice. It also looks a bit messy. The same lace is used along the neckline as well. The bodice has a line of lace cutting across the bust area, giving the bodice a panelled look. I worry that this line of lace is going to sit strangely on some wearers and I get the feeling the bodice wont fit right on those with a larger bust. The lace used across the bodice is a bit nicer and softer than the neckline lace, although I still feel there are prettier options that could have been used. This panel at the top of the bodice is topped with a large bow. I really hate the bow shape. It doesn't look well proportioned and the shape is very simple too. I also don't think it sits well on the dress. On a more positive note, I do like the look of the bodice underneath the panel bit. There is a ribbon corset on either side of the bodice. The ribbon has been spaced so neatly and the sides are lined with lace too. The design looks very clean and well executed. The ribbon does have a slight shine to it, but nothing too obvious. My only slight complaint is the ribbon tails which run down the skirt. In the front centre of the bodice, there is a line of large rose themed lace running up the middle. The lace has a very pretty design with lots of detail to it. The lace really helps to fill in what would otherwise be a very empty and boring space. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has loads of volume and flares outwards beautifully. There is the potential to create a very pretty bell shape. The skirt design is again kept simple and the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with pretty lace.

And here is one part of the print close up...

...and another part. I can't say I am that impressed with Baby's stock photos for this print! This series is available in beige, red, navy and black (although the black looks very green to me). I am feeling very unsure about the beige colour way as I feel this print works best with a really bold, deep background. The other 3 colours work really well. As for the print, I like how it depicts the darker side of the Red Riding Hood story. The trees in the background are very sinister looking and one part is even shaped like the wolf, which I feel is a nice touch. I even spotted a few bats hanging from the trees! It is really great when you get a print that has a few hidden surprises in it. The characters in the print have been drawn well. My favourite part is Red Riding Hood and the wolf. The print is framed beautifully by the intricate gold at the top and bottom of the print. The non border part of the print features lines of roses and apples, which add an extra little pop of colour on the rest of the dress.

I'm not against tassels in lolita fashion provided they are used in a suitable way. However, I don't think the head bow from this series is a good example of how to use tassels. The head bow would have looked just fine without them.The tassels seem too big and I dislike the way they hang. Tiny little tassels maybe wouldn't have looked so bad. I dislike having them placed over the ear area either side, and I feel it looks a bit peculiar worn on the dress head in the stock photos. I just think it is a shame that AatP couldn't have offered just one simple looking head bow for this series.

I think that overall, this series is very promising. This is a very pretty fairy tale print which isn't too cutesy and sweet looking. The dress designs are also pretty good, although I would change some of the lace on JSK II. Would I buy this series? Possibly. I think it is a pretty series, although it isn't the sort of series I would usually go for. If I were to buy this series I think I would choose JSK I in either red or black (seeing as the black is actually a lovely green colour). I think the dirndl is a good match for this particular print!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sheena's Bella Bows Review- Neutral

 I am a bit late writing this post as I almost completely forgot about it. But today I will finally be reviewing the tricorn I purchased back in July from Sheena's Bella Bows. Sheen's Bella Bows is an Etsy store and can be found here-

There doesn't seem much point reviewing the ordering process, as that is through Etsy anyway so I will just put in a quick mention that the Etsy website is quite straight-forward and the check out process was very fast.

Shipping and Communication

I placed the order on the 1st of July. The Etsy listing said that orders usually take an estimated 1-3 days. I thought this was quite a short time period, so I was expecting it to take a bit longer than that. Sure enough, the tricorn did take longer to make and I got a notification on the 11th of July (If we ignore the weekend then that is 8 working days later) that a shipping label had been created. As I knew the tricorn was coming from the USA, I didn't bother checking the shipping for a couple of days. But after a while, I became a bit concerned. The shipping label had been created, but USPS didn't have the item from the seller yet. By the 21st of July (10 days after the shipping label was created) I decided to send a message, just to double check that everything was okay. Sheena replied very quickly and was pleasant enough in our conversation, although I felt that my concerns were dismissed. It turned out that the tricorn hadn't in fact been ready on the 11th as she thought it would be. I appreciate the time and effort that goes in to making these items, but I felt it was a bit misleading to say that on average it takes 1-3 days to make on the listing, as in fact it was significantly longer than that. I was told that my tricorn would be shipped the afternoon of the 21st. My tricorn was eventually shipped out on the 23rd, which was 22 days after I first placed my order.

After being shipped on the 23rd, it arrived at my local depot on the 31st. That is just over a week, which is a reasonably quick speed for something coming from the US to the UK. 

My tricorn arrived in a sturdy box which was taped up well. The box was slightly bashed in places, although that was probably done during transit and the contents inside were perfectly safe.

Inside my tricorn was wrapped up with plenty of tissue paper, so the hat didn't have much room to move about during transit.

And here is the final product. The hat looks just like the stock photo and the colour is exactly what I was hoping for. However, I was a little disappointed by the quality of the hat. The material is very floppy and thin. I felt it needed to be a bit firmer. Looking at the base hat that was used to create the tricorn, you can tell it is cheap and of a low quality. Looking closely at the stitching, the folded up sides are only held in place with a few tiny stitches, which I think contributed to how floppy it is.

However, the braid around the edge and the ribbon had been stitched very neatly. The pleats in the ribbon are all the same size. The ribbon used is a little shiny, but of a reasonably good quality.

One of the things that really disappointed me about this hat was the elastic. I knew from the listing that the tricorn would be attached to the head with a band of elastic. What I wasn't expecting was such flimsy, thin elastic. It looks like it will break so easily. The hat also didn't feel very secure when worn and slipped about a bit. So I think I am going to have to replace the elastic. I may add some small combs instead to make it feel a bit more secure.

And as a bonus, here is the free gift I was given for having to wait so long. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with it but it is always nice to get free stuff. I was thinking of making a medal brooch maybe? 

So overall, I was left feeling a bit disappointed with my order. The tricorn took a lot longer than predicted and I wonder if it would have taken longer if I hadn't sent a message to prompt her. I found the final hat to be very underwhelming. To be fair the tricorn wasn't that expensive, but I felt like I was expecting something a bit more from it. That elastic is definitely a bad choice and the general lack of stiffness put me off as well. I don't feel these issues are enough to warrant a negative feedback but I definitely can't give a positive feedback for my experience. I wouldn't recommend Sheena's Bella Bows as I have had much better experiences with other stores selling similar products.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Kuma Kumya's Royal Kingdom by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am taking a look at Kuma kumya's Royal Kingdom by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses (2 printed, 1 not), a salopette, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, 2 neck ties, socks, a vest, 2 blouses, 2 rosettes and a Kumakumya pochette.

Here we have JSK I. The bodice looks decently fitted and the shape is interesting. I find the straps a bit odd though. Something about the placement feels a bit off. Baby have chosen to layer 2 pairs of straps on top of each other. The bottom straps are a very standard pair of straps with a good width and lined neatly with a thin line of gold lace. Then on the top is a pair of scalloped velveteen straps, neatly lined with gold braid near the edge. Whilst both sets of straps are done well, I am unsure the 2 pairs work together. However, the velveteen part is detachable if you dislike it. The dress does look a bit basic with them detached though, so I suppose it is down to the wearer's individual preference. Something that puts me off about the velveteen is that it makes up such a small part of the dress and the material isn't used anywhere else on the dress, so it does look a bit out of place. The front of the bodice has been neatly divided in to panels and divided neatly by thin lines of gold lace. The print on the bodice goes from diagonal lines to straight lines, but this seems to work okay with the style of the print. The front of the bodice has a military theme with buttons and braid between them. The buttons and lines of braid are spaced out neatly. The bold colour and golden detail of the braid is so pretty. It has a lovely luxury feel and adds a slight pop of colour to the bodice. The buttons also have a very well suited shield pattern printed on them. The neckline has the same style of pretty braiding as the front of the bodice with the addition of some extra gold lace. The neckline is then topped with a golden ribbon bow. The bow shape is pretty and it looks quite firm too. I think it could do with being a tiny but smaller though. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is full and flares outwards beautifully. It has a pretty sweet shape to it. The skirt design is kept very simple and the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same braid and lace combination as the neckline. It looks pretty and it is good for continuity. 

And this is JSK II. The bodice shape is simple, but nice looking. It seems fairly well fitted too. The straps are a bit thin and don't look very supportive. And despite being lined with some quality lace, they look a bit dull. The waist area has a bow, which looks very big. I do feel it needs to be smaller. The bow is also lined with lace, which emphasises the large size, but at the same time I feel it helps make the bow a bit more interesting. The bow seems to sit well on the dress, but the shape is a bit sloppy. The waist bow is thankfully detachable. The bodice on this dress is also divided in to panels with diagonal and vertical striped parts. But unlike the other JSK, this dress doesn't have any gold lace to line the different panels. It looks very simple and I think I prefer the other JSK with the gold lace. The neckline is lined neatly with gold braid and then a line of lace. The lace is pretty and looks smart. Then the neckline is topped with a large bow on one side with chains leading to a button on the other. The bow looks very big, but the shape is nice and it sits quite nicely. The chains dangle down nicely and are a good length. This JSK uses the same pretty button as the ones used on the other JSK. However, something about the overall bodice feels a bit plain and there are large areas with a lack of detail. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and flares outwards plenty. The shape is okay, with a nice subtle bell shape to it. The skirt design is kept simple so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace, which is one that Baby uses quite a lot. It is a shame they didn't include a line of gold braid at the bottom, just to make more of a feature out of the gold.

Finally, we have part of the print close up. This series is available in pink/red, blue, navy/red and brown. I do feel all four colour choices work well with the print and are also interesting looking. However, a part of me wishes the colours were a bit deeper and bolder in places. As for the print itself, I am loving the British theme! I think it is a bit of a new area as far as lolita prints go and seems to be a bit of a new trend at the moment (Innocent World just released a Union Jack flag print too). Our old familiar bear friend looks very cute dressed as a Queen's guard! The carriage design is also has a very cutesy design. I love the frames around the pictures too. They are so decorative with the use of gold patterns. I especially love the stripy bow and the crown. The stripy background really stands out too. I think this series may be a little too cute for some people but I think it is good to have a sweeter regimental stripe print on offer.

So I feel this is a really cute series with a good print. I think JSK II seems to be lacking something but apart from that it is a decent series with lots of interesting items on offer. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but toy prints have never really been my thing anyway. I still think this series is a good effort. If I did go for this series it would have to be JSK II in either blue or navy/red.

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