But first up today is Swan Lake by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories, socks, a blouse and an apron.
This is the Standard JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape looks quite interesting. I wish the neckline shape was just a little bit softer though. The straps are a bit thin but wider straps probably wouldn't have suited the dress as well. The straps are lined with a ruffle and then further finished with lace on the outsides. I think it is quite a pretty design for a ballet themed series and the lace used is very pretty. I do worry they may look a bit bulky though, especially if the wearer already has wide shoulders. I see in some of the photos the straps are worn off the shoulders, which is an interesting idea. Hopefully if they are worn on the shoulders they wont slip down though. The waistline is a bit of an unusual shape but the band of wide lace really helps to soften it. The lace has a pretty design to it and it sits well on the dress too. The bodice features lines of lace running up it and it gives the bodice a panelled appearance, which I think suits the design. What I really love is the decorative lace placed between the lines of vertical lace. The more decorative lace has a beautiful floral design to it. The neckline is then lined with lace, but it doesn't do much to soften the harsh neckline. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has enough volume to create a lovely subtle bell shape. It flares out well. The skirt design is kept simple and so, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some good quality lace, although I thought the choice of lace was a little boring.
Here we have the Mini Sleeve JSK (so, an OP?). The short bodice is quite gathered but despite this, the bodice still has a relatively nice shape albeit a bit simple. The neckline is very square and doesn't look like anything special. My main concern with the bodice is the waistline looks very high up and on some wearers it may sit across the chest area, which could look quite awkward. The short sleeves are very basic looking but have a nice amount of puff to them. The sleeves are finished off with some pretty lace. The waist area is topped with a ribbon belt, which will help nip the under-bust area in nicely provided it sits on the right place of the wearer. I love the design of the ribbon used for the belt and the ribbon only has a slight sheen to it. The neckline has a line of wide lace running along it. The lace is pretty but I don't think it has really been used that well. Overall, the bodice is quite underwhelming. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring but it is not topped by anything, so it isn't really well concealed. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of length to it and it flares outwards gently. It has probably got enough material for it to hold a bit more petticoat but I think the petticoat used for the stock photos creates a pretty shape. The skirt is again kept simple and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with beautiful lace, which looks a lot more interesting than the lace used on the bottom of the other JSK.
And here we can see the print close up. This series is available in pink, green, purple and wine. Maybe it is just my monitor, but the pink looks very brown to me. The colours in the background have a bit of an ombre thing going on, which I think looks very pretty. I think all 4 colours work well with the print, but some colours definitely work better than others. As for the print itself, I think the ballet scenes have been drawn well. There are lots of different scenes going on which gives the print a more interesting appearance. One of the parts of the print I really love is the pillars separating the ballet scenes with the roses twisted around them. They are well drawn and romantic looking. The curtain part is lovely, although I feel it looks a bit flat. The print layout is good, with the bottom set out like a stage. The one thing I don't understand is the random bits of tree just above the curtains. I think it really looks out of place. The background has a mottled textured look to it. I think this is an interesting idea because it makes the background look less flat and empty, but without cluttering it with loads of floating objects like a lot of lolita prints do.
So I feel this series is nice enough, but I think it could have been done better. The print is gorgeous and I love the use of colour in it. But the Mini Sleeve JSK is quite underwhelming and I feel it lacks something. The other JSK is a bit more interesting. I feel this series could have done with a third dress with a more elaborate design to it. Would I buy this series? Possibly, but for me it would have to be the Standard JSK in green or nothing at all. There are aspects of this series I do like though and would like to see being used again in the future.
Next up today is Juno's Bouquet by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 4 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, 8 hair accessories, 2 blouses, a corsage, socks, gloves and a few pieces of jewellery.
Here we have JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is generally quite lovely. I am a bit unsure on the low waistline though. The straps are a suitable width and look quite supportive. I love the way the wide lace has been used on part of the neckline and on top of the straps. The lace is pretty, well gathered and sits well on top of the straps. It gives the straps a very soft fluffy appearance too. The waistline is topped with a line of lace. I think the lace used is pretty but it makes the waist area look a bit clunky and emphasises the lower waist. The bodice has a panel of tulle overlaid over the bodice material. The panel is well shaped and I like that the tulle material isn't laid completely flat. The polka dot design of the tulle is cute too. I love that the edges of the tulle are lined neatly with lace too, as it keeps the design looking tidy and also, the lace used is beautiful. The centre of the panel is topped with a line of pearl buttons. The buttons are well spaced out, although I think Baby could have possibly gotten away with one or two less buttons. The neckline is topped with a bow which I think is a bit too big. It is a cute shape though and looks very perky. This bow is detachable and I think I prefer the dress with it detached. Perhaps it is because I think the photos of the dress co-ordinated with the rose corsage on the neck area works really well. The back has a panel of shirring which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt flares outwards plenty and has a decent amount of volume. I am not overly fond of the skirt shape though and I think that is because of how it looks with the low waist. The skirt design is kept simple and so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with pretty lace, which matches the lace used elsewhere on the dress and so shows continuity in the design.
This is JSK II. The bodice shape looks a bit simple and also quite tube-like. It would be interesting to see how well the bodice fits in person. The straps are a suitable width and look supportive enough. The straps are lined neatly with wide lace. The lace used for this is again very pretty but with all the lace going on at the neck area it looks a bit too much. There is a waist bow on this dress which I think is far too big. The lace around the edges of the bow just emphasises how large it is and if it needed to be lined with lace then perhaps much thinner lace would have been a better option. I am not overly fond of the bow shape either but it does sit quite well on the dress with minimal drooping. Thankfully the waist bow is detachable, and I definitely would detach it. The main part of the bodice is kept simple, with just a few lines of lace running vertically up it. Given the OTT neckline, this is understandable and at least the subtle lace stops the area from being completely empty. As for the neckline, the lace has a pretty design but it is far too wide. It makes the area look very messy and unkempt. This lace is then topped with a ribbon bow, which is a cute shape and size, although the ribbon is a bit shiny. If the neckline lace was less domineering then the neckline bow would probably look a lot better. Underneath the bow there are 3 buttons but they don't really contribute much to the design and are hidden away by all the other details anyway. The back has a panel of shirring which has been well concealed by a ribbon corset. Thankfully the messy looking lace doesn't continue on to the back of the dress, so the back actually looks quite neat and tidy. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume to create a pretty bell shape. The skirt flares outwards nicely. The skirt design is again kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a wide line of tulle. The width of this tulle line is good, as it helps to balance the neckline a bit. But something about the tulle at the bottom doesn't quite look right to me, and I think it is because the material is more sheer and looks quite contrasting with the rest of the dress design.
And here we have the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite cute. It is very old-school looking. The short sleeves are cute and work with the detachable sleeves. I really love the detachable sleeve part. They are almost identical to the sleeves on several of Baby's princess sleeve blouses. The shape is perfect and the lace is pretty. As mentioned, this part of the sleeves is detachable, but I feel the dress looks much better with them attached. The bodice features multiple lines of lace and a sheer panel overlaid on top. The lace is again very pretty and the floral design fits in with the overall theme. The panel is topped with many large bows. The smaller ribbon bows are well shaped and the ribbon is matte with no shininess to it. However, I am not as keen on the larger bow on the neckline. I think it is too OTT and too big. Without it, the bodice would look a lot less crowded. I also feel the wide lace along the neckline would look better without the neckline bow there. Thankfully, the neckline bow is detachable. The lace used for the neckline is also very pretty and of a good quality, but I am a little unsure I like the way it looks. The back offers no shirring, so the sizing is quite limited. There doesn't appear to be any waist ties either, which further limits the sizing. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and flares outwards loads. There is enough petticoat room and the shape is very pretty. The skirt design is kept fairly simple and so once again, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem has a scalloped edge and usually I wouldn't be so keen, but in this instance I love the scallops! The scallops are quite subtle and very gently shaped. The tulle used along the bottom hem further softens the scallops. The tulle is further topped with rose ribbons which are beautifully shaped. In my opinion, the bottom hem and sleeves are the best bits of this dress.
And finally, here is the print close up. This series comes in ivory, pink, mint and navy blue. The 3 light colours work really well and contrast with the deeper pinks used in the print. However, I feel the navy blue looks a little bit unusual. It offers something a bit different to the other 3 colours but I am not a fan of it myself. As for the print itself, it is very cute. It reminds me of a lot of old-school floral prints. There are a couple of modern hints though, like the crosses, which seem to be a big thing at the moment. The best bit in my opinion is the rose heart filled with more roses inside it. It is a nice arrangement. The sweeter elements like the bows and brand logo heart are cute too. It is a very busy print with a lot going on, but I think it works.
So overall this is a lovely series. There are a few small things I would change about each dress design, but overall the dresses are quite good. I love the romantic feel with all the lacy elements teamed with the floral print. It is also lovely how it is reminiscent of older sweet prints but wouldn't look out of place worn today. Would I buy this series? Possibly. It wont go on my wishlist but I would consider getting it if I saw it at a good price second-hand. If I were to choose a dress I would probably pick the OP in pink or possibly JSK I if I think I could pull off the shape. The thing I really love about this series is the hair accessories and I already have my eyes on one of the veils.