Today I shall be taking a look at Mercator Antique Shop by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 4 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories and tights.
First up is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape it quite pretty. The bodice is divided with the main print fabric and then a chiffon panel making up the top half. I feel the "neckline" where the printed fabric ends is an interesting shape. It has been lined neatly with gold braid and the little dangling stars have been placed so effectively. The only thing I dislike about the use of gold braid here is the way the line ends so harshly when it reaches the arms. I think the sleeves look quite generous in length. However, I really hate the way the wrist area and cuffs have been gathered. It creates these really weird pleats going up the arms, which I think looks peculiar. Also, the way the main arm connects to the shirred part and to the lacy cuffs looks awkward and clumpy. The design doesn't really 'flow' and the bows on the shirred part just add to the awkward appearance. The waist area has a velveteen bow which is a nice, simple shape and a suitable size for the dress. I am a little unsure about the use of velveteen though, because although the sleeve bows are also velveteen, I think the velveteen looks a little out of place. The main part of the bodice is pleated which adds a little extra depth without adding an overload of detail. The dress already has plenty of detail elsewhere. I love the lace used for the neckline on this dress. It has been layered and gathered in a lovely way and sits so well on the dress. The neckline is topped with a generous sized bow. I think it is a little big, but it does suit the dress. The shape of the bow is pretty and I love the use of gold braid on the bow. I am a little unsure about the fringe used on the bow tails though. This bow is detachable and I think I actually prefer the dress with the bow detached, as then you can really see the lace and dangling stars that are hiding underneath. The back offers no shirring, so the size is quite limited. The zip is very well hidden, although I don't feel the little velveteen bows on top of the zip and back of the collar are really necessary. The stock photos show the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares out fairly well. I like the shape, although it is somewhat obscured by the over-skirt. I am not really feeling the over-skirt on this dress though. I don't think the overall shape of the over-skirt is that pretty and is a bit lacking. I also hate the ruffle around the edge of the over-skirt. The over-skirt still leaves a reasonable amount of the print well displayed at the front but I would have liked to have seen a bit more. The bottom hem is finished off with chandelier themed lace. The lace is very pretty but given what we have seen from AP before, I am surprised they didn't pick a lace which fits in with the print theme a bit better.
Here we have the Bustier JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. I feel the straps are a bit thin and despite the use of lace on them, I feel they also look very plain. In fact, I am not sure I would have bothered with straps at all and just had it as a strapless dress. The waist area is topped with 2 bows. The fabric used for the bows is shiny, but I actually quite like the way it looks here. The bows are quite simple in design but still have an okay shape to them and they sit fairly nicely on the dress. My only real complaint is I think the 2 bows need to be spaced a bit further apart. The bodice features a velveteen ribbon corset. The ribbon has been really well spaced out. I like the pleated panels on either side as well as it adds extra texture to an otherwise simple bodice design. Although most of the bodice is quite simple, I feel with the heavy detail at the neckline it is better to keep the rest of the bodice details more subtle anyway. The neckline has a couple of layers of lace. The lace has been layered in a way that gives lots of volume. This might be a good option for a smaller busted wearer. I think the lace here looks quite pretty. The neckline is then topped with another bow made of the same material as the waist bows. Again, the bow shape is quite simple but still quite nice to look at. It sits well on the neckline and has a good size, which suits the dress. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been concealed very neatly with a ribbon corset. For some reason, AP have decided to add bows to the bases of the straps on the back of the dress. I feel this adds unnecessary bulk and also looks a bit messy. The stock photos show the skirt is quite full and it has plenty of flare to it. I think the bell shape is very pretty and there is the potential to create a really lovely silhouette. The skirt design is kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same chandelier lace.
This is the Regular JSK. The bodice looks well fitted. I think the bodice shape is a bit too square though. The straps are a good width and look quite supportive. I do wonder if they will be prone to slipping off the shoulders though, as they are pointing outwards. The straps are topped with generous ruffles, which run down the bodice and meet as a V shape at the waist. The ruffles are so well gathered and shaped brilliantly. The ruffles are lined with gold braid on the inside, which creates a triangle shape where it runs along the neckline. I do feel the lines are a little too harsh and straight. Maybe it will look better when actually worn. The triangle part of the bodice is pleated for extra texture and detail. The centre has pearl buttons, which are well spaced out. These details are subtle enough that it doesn't take attention away from the large ruffles. The neckline is topped with a cute shaped bow, which is a good size and placed well. It is made of velveteen and it doesn't seem like there is velveteen anywhere else on the dress, so it does look slightly out of place. The bow is detachable, but I am undecided about whether I would detach it or not. The back is fully shirred, which means there is nothing to conceal it and looks quite exposed. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and has a fair amount of flare to it. The overall skirt shape is quite cute. The bottom hem is then finished off with lace layered over a chiffon ruffle. It gives the bottom a very cutesy look and matches up well with the bodice ruffles.
And here we have the Long JSK. The bodice looks a pretty shape, although there appears to be some baggy material around the waist area. The straps are a good width and suits the style of dress. They are lined with pretty lace on the outside which stops them looking so plain. The waist area is a bit plain and empty, although I suppose the neckline is interesting enough that lots of detail isn't necessary. There are lines of lace running up the bodice which blends in nicely. There are also lines of gold braid which help break up the solid colour of the rest of the bodice adds a bit of interest. The neckline is also lined with gold braid which helps to continue the detail and make it more balanced. The neckline is topped with a large bow. Despite its size, I think it is a very pretty bow and works well on the dress. The shape is gorgeous and it sits well on the dress. It is perfectly formed. There are also further bits of gold braid on the bow as well for continuity. Underneath the bow is a lace jabot. The lace is layered really nicely and helps make the bodice look more interesting. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped very neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt flares out really well and is very full. The shape is very rounded. I probably would use a little less petticoat than AP have used in the photos but it is good to know it will hold plenty of petticoat. The main part of the skirt is quite simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem features a line of lace and then 2 layers of chiffon underneath to create a long underskirt effect. I don't think the layers sit too well on top of each other. There is a bit of a strange gap between the lace and the chiffon layers which doesn't flow that well. I also feel the chiffon is a bit too gathered. The bottom hem is topped with ribbon bows. The ribbon used is quite shiny and I would have preferred it to be a bit more matte. They are nicely positioned and an okay size though.
Finally, here is the print. This series is available in lavender, wine, navy and black. I personally dislike the wine colour as it is a bit unusual and I think the other 3 colours fit the theme of the print better. The navy and black are absolutely gorgeous. As for the print itself, it is a very pretty idea, although it is quite clustered and some of the items in the print seem a bit random. I don't really get the point of the crosses and the ponies. It feels like the crosses are just there to be "trendy" and the ponies do not fit in with any of the other part of the print at all. It is as if AP have attempted to include every one of their popular regular themes. The jars at the bottom are a cool idea for a print though. I think the teddy bears are a bit too cute and AP could have included something a bit more magical looking. I absolutely love the globe and stars in the print and I think they are my favourite part. Overall though, I think this print is a bit unbalanced and too clustered.
I think the pattern on the bonnet from this series is very pretty and interesting. But am I the only one who feels the shape looks a little odd? I don't feel the line of lace around the bottom is too appealing either. Luckily, the head bow for this series is quite pretty. It is a shame though, as I think the bonnet could have looked very pretty if executed just a little bit differently.
So overall, I think this is quite a pretty series but it does have its faults. I think the dress designs do fit in with the print theme though. The OP definitely reminds me of a magician's costume. I think I prefer the less costume-looking Bustier JSK and that is what I would go for if I got this series. As for the colour, it is a close call between the navy and black. But I think there are parts of the print which stick out and should not have been included. So this is probably not a series that I will be going for.