But first up today is Melty Berry Princess. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a hair accessory and socks. I expect we shall be seeing further items, such as some jewellery, soon but at the time of writing this is what was available.
First up is the OP. I am a little put off the appearance of the bodice. I think that despite the huge amount of size flexibility, the appearance of the shirring does not appeal. The neckline shape is okay but it looks very casual. The sleeves are a good length though and have a suitable amount of puffiness to them. The sleeves are finished neatly with cute lace and ribbon bows. My main complaint here is that the ribbon used for the bows is very shiny and the bows could do with being a little smaller. The waist area has a solid coloured belt. I am really torn about this belt. On the one hand, it defines the waist area and I do feel the dress looks a bit odd without the belt there. On the other hand, the matte ribbon is in contrast to the shiny ribbon used elsewhere on the dress and the shade of red used for the belt on the white and red versions is different compared to the reds used elsewhere on the dress. The belt also looks very basic, as though somebody has just taken a length of ribbon from a craft store and not really done anything else with it. I personally feel the more casual details are in contrast to the OTT print. I think this isn't the sort of print you can use with a more casual design. The bodice is divided halfway down by a line of lace with ribbon threaded through it. This could cut across the wearer's chest awkwardly, although I think the line could be low down enough to avoid this on most wearers. The neckline is lined with more of the lace with ribbon threaded through. I think because the neckline is so gathered, it makes this lace look a bit messy. The neckline is then topped off with a small shiny ribbon bow. The bow is a cute shape and size. This bow is detachable and weirdly, there is a thinner ribbon bow left underneath if you do detach it. I would probably leave the detachable bow on, although I dislike the way the long thin tails of the bow underneath poke out from underneath the chubbier detachable bow. The choker that comes with the dress is kept quite neat and simple in design. It is a good match for the dress and I would definitely consider wearing it. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility. It does mean the shirring is quite exposed though, with nothing covering it, and I really dislike the unattractive lumpy appearance. The stock photos show the skirt has more than enough volume and it will hold a very generous amount of petticoat. The skirt flares out well and creates a beautiful full, rounded shape. The skirt design is kept simple and so, the print is displayed very clearly. The bottom hem is then finished off with cute bow themed lace. I was a bit surprised AP didn't use strawberry themed lace but to be fair, there are bows in the print.
This is the JSK. The bodice looks quite well fitted, although the overall shape is a bit blocky and square. I think a less straight neckline would be a bit of an improvement. I feel the straps could have been a tiny bit thicker but the width does suit the style of dress. The straps are lined neatly with lace on the outsides, which has been well gathered and creates a nice shape. It also makes the straps a bit more interesting. There is a waist bow which is a bit on the big side. Perhaps the tails of the bow could have been a bit shorter. The bow is well formed though, with a good shape to it and the thin lace lining the edges has been done quite neatly. I don't like the wider lace on the ends of the bow tails though. The bodice features a line of lace with ribbon threaded through it running across the chest area. Unlike the OP though, the JSK has less shirring and the measurements are not as generous. Large chested wearers should proceed with caution. This line of lace is topped with a shiny ribbon bow which is a cute shape and size. The neckline is topped with a line of lace, which means it a bit more interesting, but doesn't seem to soften the harsh straight neckline all that much. The bases of the straps are then topped with 2 small ribbon bows. I think the bows look very cute and they are small enough to add an extra finishing touch without being too distracting. The back is fully shirred, which means the shirring is quite exposed. The skirt is again very plump with a lovely full, rounded shape to it. It flares out really well. The skirt is simple in design so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same bow themed lace.
And here we can see the print close up. This series comes in white, pink and red. The colours are pretty good choices for a berry print. It is a shame there wasn't a 4th colour offered though. Maybe mint or black. As for the print itself, I love the big berries at the bottom. They are drawn very well with a good amount of highlighting and shading to make them look a bit more realistic. The daisies are positioned well around the berries too. As for the lines of whipped cream, they look very cute but I feel there is too much of them. The print looks overcrowded and cluttered as a result. The bows in the print look very sweet. I am a little unsure about the circles at the bottom though.
So overall I think it is a nice enough series, but I don't really get the hype behind this print. The dress designs are okay but there are definitely things I would change. As for the print, I like the bottom bit but not so much the cream part. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because I can think of many berry prints I like a lot more than this one. If I had to, I would go for the JSK in red.
Next up today is Dolly Cat. This series includes 3 dresses, a head bow, a beret, wrist cuffs, gloves and socks.
This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and is an cute shape. The sleeves are an interesting length but what I really like about them is the lace overlay. The lace material gives the sleeves a really pretty shape and also gives the sleeves an interesting texture. I also feel the lace makes the sleeves look quite mature. The sleeves are well gathered at the cuffs and finished neatly with lace. I am not overly fond of the band of solid coloured material on the sleeves and the bows topping them though. There is a waist bow, which I feel needs to be a bit smaller. The shape and design of the bow is pretty though and it is very well formed. The waist bow is further topped with a cluster of pearls, which I feel is a bit too much. The bodice features many lines of lace. The lace towards the sides of the bodice is subtle and helps fill in the empty space in a soft way. The wider lace in the centre of the bodice is well gathered to create some interesting shape and texture. The lace collar around the neck area combined with the lacy sleeves give the illusion of this being a JSK with a blouse worn underneath. Further lace along the edge of this detail sits well on the dress and looks very elegant. The line up the centre of the bodice is dotted with bows and buttons. The bows are a cute shape but the material used for them is too shiny. The buttons have a pretty design but they are too cluttered around the neck area and overall they are spaced out weirdly. I feel the ruffle around the neck is a bit messy looking, although looks as though it wouldn't feel too tight against the neck. The neck area also features a detachable bow. The bow is a cute shape and I actually quite like the large size. I think if the waist bow had been a bit smaller the bows would have looked a bit more balanced. The neck bow features a pretty cameo in the middle too. Despite being detachable, I would leave it on because it covers the cluster of pearly buttons underneath. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is quite limited. The zip on the back is very well concealed and the print lines up along the zip line reasonably well. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards well. I really love the shape of the skirt and I feel it is a good match with the bodice. The skirt design is kept quite simple and so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with some pretty bow themed lace.
Here we have the Standard JSK. The bodice seems fairly well fitted and the shape is quite lovely. The straps are a decent width and look very supportive. The straps are lined both on the insides and outsides with lace, which has been done very neatly. I like how the straps are topped with a line of pearls as well. It adds an extra finishing touch without adding loads of bulk to the straps. There is a waist bow, which I think is a bit large. It does have a good shape though and it looks very perky, sitting well on the dress. The bodice features a wide lace yoke. The lace is of a good quality and looks quite pretty. The size and shape of the yoke suits the dress too. The yoke is topped with 2 small bows which are a bit shiny, but otherwise help to break up the large area of lace. The neckline is topped with 3 bows. The size of these bows is quite generous. I personally would prefer them to be a little smaller, but I don't think they look bad at all. The bows still have a slight sheen to them though. The bows are cutely shaped and I like the cameo in the middle of the centre bow. This cameo is detachable but I would personally leave it on. I think the bows really add something to what is a fairly plain neckline underneath. But my favourite bit is all 3 bows are detachable so you can play around and combine the bows in any way you wish. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a lovely full bell shape to it. There is loads of volume and it flares outwards well. The skirt is again kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same pretty bow lace.
This is the Low Waist JSK. I personally am not a fan of the bodice shape, especially the low waist. I feel this sort of dress tends to only look good on certain body shapes. I also feel the bodice on this dress looks quite tube-like and I don't like the straight neckline shape. The straps are quite thin and look a bit flimsy but I feel thinner straps suit this style of dress. The straps are lined neatly with lace on the outsides. The lace is gathered well and it creates a nice frothy look. The dropped waist features a large bow. I think the dress would look a great deal better without any waist bow at all. I think the large bow emphasises the dropped waist. The bodice has 2 lines of lace running up the sides which helps to break up the plain space, but I feel it looks a bit weird on this particular dress. This JSK also features a lace yoke. The lace is pretty and used well. I think the yoke is an okay shape and size for the dress. However, I think the large bows and buttons topping the yoke are far too OTT. The bows are far too big and the ribbon used is too shiny. It makes the bows look really cheap. The line of bows and buttons is also over-crowded and the pearl buttons just get lost underneath the big bows. The neckline is lined with a thin line of lace which helps to soften it a little bit. I like the 2 tiny bows at the bases of the straps too. They look so cute! The back has a panel of shirring, which is concealed by a ribbon corset. Considering how short the skirt is, the skirt still has a decent amount of volume to it and it flares out well. The shape reminds me more of a salopette than a JSK though. The print is displayed quite well on the skirt too. The bottom hem is again finished with the bow lace.
And finally here is what the print looks like. This series comes in pink, sax blue, lavender and black. I think all 4 colours look great with the print. There are plenty of different pastel options and the black offers something a bit different. As for the print itself, it looks like a more detailed version of Vanilla-chan. The cats are sweet. I like the way the cats are posing with one cocking its head to the side and another looking up. It makes the cats look cuter and gives them more personality. I love how the cats are wearing bows and bonnets too! The one thing that puts me off about the cats is the one that at a quick glance looks like it has a giant butt (it is actually its tail...). The boudoir background and mini stools compliment the fancily dressed cats too. As for the non-border part of the print, I like how the ribbons and bows are shaped and twisted. It looks like a cat has been playing with the ribbon. I am not overly fond of the lines of circles though as I think it makes the background look a bit crowded. Overall though, I have to say I prefer this print to Vanilla-chan. The cats really make the print.
So I feel this series is pretty cute. It is nice to see AP do a very pastel themed series that doesn't look overly immature. I feel the dresses also offer some very different options and they all look different from each other. The print is also very sweet, but the black colour version helps to break up the pastel if you dislike the pastel colours. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but only because this isn't really my sort of thing. If I were to choose I would go for either the OP or Standard JSK in lavender. I like the way that the lace adds a touch of elegance to the OP but the Standard JSK has a great design too. The accessories for this series are lovely too.