Monday, 12 January 2015

Alice Contraption Watch Orchestra by Alice and the Pirates

Today I shall be taking a look at Alice Contraption Watch Orchestra by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 hair accessories, a brooch and socks.

First up is JSK I. The bodice shape is a bit simple and I think it is lacking something. The straps are quite thin, but they suit the dress. I like that the straps are lined with lace on the outside and it adds a subtle bit of extra detail, although I think the choice of lace is quite average. The waist bow is a bit large and I think it definitely needs to be smaller. Maybe it is because it is teamed with 2 other quite large bows. The shape of the waist bow is quite cute though and it sits well on the dress. The ribbon and lace help to give the bow a bit of interest, but at the same time it adds extra bulk to an already large bow. If it had been done exactly the same way, just smaller, I would have liked it more. The 2 bows on the bodice are also quite large. I think these 2 bows also need to be smaller and maybe have 2 thin lines of lace running up the sides of the bodice to help break up the empty space. The ribbon used for these 2 bows is also quite shiny. The ribbon used is that check pattern ribbon that you see used by a lot of Taobao stores. I suppose the ribbon choice does go with the dress but I would expect something of a bit better quality from a big brand. The neckline features layered lines of lace. The lace has been layered neatly and it sits well on the neckline. But again, I feel the lace choice is a bit boring. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. I was a bit surprised by the choice of colour used for the ribbon on the back (this is based on the stock pictures of the sax blue version) because it stands out and draws attention to the shirring. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and should hold plenty of petticoat. It seems to flare outwards well, although it is a bit hard to tell with Baby's dodgy stock photos. The print is displayed really beautifully at the front. On the back of the skirt there is a bustle. I don't think the bustle has a pretty overall shape and the lines are too straight. The tiers are spaced out and layered well on top of each other though. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace.

This is JSK II. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and I think the overall bodice shape is very cute. I think the straps are a decent width and really suit the style of dress. I love the way the lace sits on the neckline and then on top of the straps too. The choice of lace is quite average, although it does look very pretty and has been used in a really good way. The waist has a sort of belted design, which helps to give the waist a little bit of definition. Although the 'belt' is made from the same material as the main dress fabric, so it does blend in quite a lot. It does keep things looking neat though. I quite like the size of the waist bow as it fits in well with the rest of the dress design. The bow design itself is quite simple and boring, but it has a good shape to it and it sits really well on the dress. The bodice features a line of lace which goes from the waist and meets the lace and bow at the neckline. The lace is very pretty and I love how the end result looks. I am not so fond of the pearl buttons on top of it though. I feel the buttons are just slightly too big and I hate the way they alternate between ivory and white colours. The neckline is topped with a ribbon bow which is very shiny and I think needs to be a little bit smaller. It is very cute looking though. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt seems to have a good amount of length to it. It flares out a reasonable amount and has enough volume to create a decent shape. The skirt design is kept quite simple and so, the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is finished off with ribbon threaded lace and thin ribbon bows. It looks very pretty and has a touch of the old-school about it.

Here we have the OP. The main part of the bodice seems fairly well fitted, although the overall bodice shape feels a bit frumpy and awkward. I really hate the sleeves. The main fabric part of the sleeves is too long and lacks any real shape. The connection between the main dress fabric and the white fabric also looks awful and unflattering. It is quite dull and flat. The white part of the sleeves is detachable and I do feel this looks a bit better, although the remaining sleeves are still unappealing. They need more gathering and puffiness to them, as they look like bog-standard shirt sleeves. The main bodice has been kept quite simple, although with the apron and neck details you don't really need any detail here anyway. The dress has a bib which is neatly pleated and lined well with lace around the edge. Again, there are alternating buttons. This time it alternates between gold heart buttons and pearl buttons. I think it looks a bit messy and they should have just used one type of button. The collar part is quite nicely ruffled and doesn't look too stuffy of uncomfortable. The bib is topped off with a large bow tie, which is detachable. The material used for the tie is lined with pretty lace and the pointy ends are well shaped. I personally prefer the dress with the bow tie on. The back offers no shirring so size flexibility is limited. The zip is quite well concealed, although I don't like the way the print lines up on the back of the dress in the stock photos. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and flares out well. There is plenty of room for petticoat underneath and there is the potential to create a really cute shape. The skirt is topped with an apron and I am really in two minds about whether I like it attached or not. The apron design itself is quite cute and it really matches the rest of the dress well. However, the problem with the apron is that it obscures a lot of the print. On the other hand, when the apron is detached I feel the gold buttons used to hold it in place stick out too much, because the dress colours are quite muted in comparison. You can clearly spot that something has been detached. I think I would leave the apron on, but only because I think the dress looks too dull without it. When the apron is not used, the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is finished with a ruffle of the main dress fabric.

And finally, here is one part of the print close up. This series is available in pink beige, sax blue, emerald and black. All 4 colours are quite pretty. I was quite surprised to see myself most drawn to the pink beige colour. It is not a colour I would usually go for but I like how it looks in this series. As for the print itself, my first reaction was to sigh when I saw it was yet another Alice in Wonderland print! The clocks in the print are drawn really beautifully and I really like the clocks teamed with the floating piano. The clocks feature some really ornate details and you can tell a lot of effort has gone in to them. The piano keys are quite quirky and I like how the keys go in a wavy line. I feel that if the Alice characters were not in the print, I would like it a lot more. I do feel that some sort of character is needed in the print though, but I would just replace the Alice characters with something else. But despite not liking the Alice theme, I do admit the characters have been drawn well and look very cute. The swirls of musical bars and notes in the background is a nice finishing touch.

So overall, I feel the dress designs could have been better and the print could have been a lot better. I understand Alice in Wonderland is seen as a key theme in lolita, but it is so overdone. The print really didn't need to have an Alice theme and it could have had a lot more potential. For me it is the dress designs that really let the series down though. I wouldn't buy this series but if I did, I would go for JSK II in pink beige. I feel this dress design does actually work and looks a whole lot better than the other 2 options. But in all honesty, I think I would rather go for the skirt than any of the dresses. Skirts are a lot harder to screw up! Here is hoping that the next AatP series is a bit more exciting.

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