Today I shall be taking a look at Dark Night Guardian by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses (one comes in 2 different lengths), 2 skirts, a cape, 4 hair accessories, wrist cuffs, socks and an under-skirt.
First up is the Cross Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape of the bodice is quite pretty. The straps look a supportive width and also suit the dress. I really like how the straps are topped with crisscrossed ribbon too, as it is neatly spaced out and well executed. The ribbon used here doesn't look that shiny either. The waist area is topped with a line of very bold lace. The lace is quite pretty and it sits fairly well on the dress. I do feel it could have been shaped a bit better though. The waist area also has chains dangling down and sitting on top of the skirt. The chains are well spaced out and are light enough not to weigh the skirt down. I would have liked this detail a lot more if the chains were a bit more obvious though, as they really blend in to the background. These waist chains are detachable. I think I would leave the chains attached but I am still disappointed they don't stand out more. The bodice is topped with some thin lines of trim and topped with some frog hook buttons. The details are pretty and fit in with the style of the dress, but once again I don't feel these details stand out that much. Maybe it will look bolder in person. The top of the bodice then has a slightly raised panel which is an interesting shape. The edges of this panel have been lined with a subtle line of thin lace, which looks very neat and tidy. The panel features lines of thin lace and some crisscrossed ribbon in the centre. The details have been well laid out and the ribbon is neatly spaced. There is also a detachable brooch made up of a bow, fake rose and pearl chain. The bow part is well shaped and the fake rose is of a very good quality. The pearl chain dangles in a subtle manner underneath the rose. This brooch is detachable but I think I would leave it on, as I quite like it and thinks it fits the dress theme. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very rounded and plump. There is the potential to create a very full bell shape with the skirt. The skirt design is kept very simple and the waist chains are tucked neatly away at the sides, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of very wide lace. The bottom of the lace has a pretty design to it but I wish the line of lace was a bit narrower, perhaps with a bit less of the polka dot part of the lace showing. I think polka dots are a bit too sweet for this dress anyway.
This is the Vest-like Dress. The shape of the bodice is quite pretty and fairly well fitted. The pointed waistline looks interesting and I love the neckline. I think the straps are a suitable width and look very supportive. The straps are lined with very thin lace which is not that obvious but at least finishes off the edges in a neat way. The shoulder part of the straps is also topped with this folded over fabric and a button, in the style of an epaulette. This detail has been done neatly and the button design is lovely and suits the theme. However, it is quite hidden away so is anybody really going to notice this detail? The bodice is broken up with a few lines of lace, which gives the bodice a nice paneled appearance. I really like how the lace has been used in the centre to make it look a bit more like a buttoned up vest. This line of lace is lined with a row of buttons. The buttons are a pretty design and are well spaced out. This gold lace continues on to the neckline, which makes the neckline look a bit more interesting, but is subtle enough that you still get that sharp neckline shape. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. To be honest, this panel looks so small that I can't see it offering a great deal of stretch. The ribbon topping it just looks bunched together and this is one of those rare instances where I don't think this ribbon is needed. Either that or they should have made the panel just a little bit wider. What I really dislike about this dress is that you don't get a whole skirt and so, you are expected to pay out extra for an underskirt. I would understand if this dress was a great deal cheaper than the other 2 dresses, but it is only a few thousand yen less than the Shirred Pinafore JSK below and then it is recommended that you buy the matching under-skirt, which is an additional 17,000 yen. If you do buy the under-skirt with this dress then it is by far the most expensive dress and I just don't feel it is worth it. But back to the dress itself, it would appear that the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume to fit over an under-skirt. Despite the opening at the front, the print is still displayed quite well elsewhere on the skirt. The bottom hem is then finished off with a subtle line of thin lace, which is probably a good idea for this style of dress.
Here we have the Shirred Pinafore JSK. Shown here in the mini length. The bodice material looks a little bit loose in places and I feel the shape could have been a little bit more appealing. I think I dislike the shape because of the scoop neckline teamed with the quite thin straps. I feel the straps need to be a little thicker and perhaps then the overall bodice shape would look a bit more balanced. The insides of the straps and along the neckline is topped with a bold line of gold braid. The braid is pretty but the gold colour is quite bold and perhaps the braid could have been used elsewhere to help balance it out a bit better. There is a waist bow which is a bit big, but seems a suitable size for the dress. The shape of the bow is quite pretty and well formed. The bow sits quite nicely on the dress too. This waist bow is detachable but I think I prefer the dress with it attached. The bodice is mainly kept quite plain and simple, but there is plenty of details around the neckline area to keep it interesting. Perhaps some thin lines of lace running up the bodice could have livened it up a bit and broken up the plain bits. The neckline features a detachable double brooch, with a chain between 2 bows, and one bow topped with a fake rose and some feathers. The bows are well formed and are a cute shape. I think the chain between the 2 bows is a good length and drapes quite nicely when used. The fake rose used to top one of the bows is of a good quality, although I feel better quality feathers could have been used. The feathers also stick out at an odd angle in the stock photos, but a bit of readjusting would sort that out. The brooch is of course detachable, but I quite like it. I feel the dress looks far too plain without it. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which is great for size flexibility but does not look that attractive. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards well. It will hold more than enough petticoat and there is the potential to create a pretty shape. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same lace as the Cross Pinafore JSK.
And finally, here we can see the print. This series is available in ruby, emerald and charcoal. Although the colours do suit the print, I feel the colours could have been a bit more vibrant, as they look a bit washed out in some of the stock photos. Proper deep jewel tones for the ruby and emerald versions would have been so pretty. As for the print itself, it is an interesting design, but I am not convinced I like the way it has been laid out. The bendy castle looks a bit odd to me and I think the lions could have been a bit more lively instead of just laying there. The birds in flight are pretty though. I wish the birds and trees had been a stronger feature in this print. The moon phase is a good idea, but I don't think it quite works here. The feathers dangling from chains is interesting, but I think free-floating feathers would have been better. There are loads of interesting ideas in this print, but it doesn't quite work.
So this is quite an interesting series, but I don't think Meta quite manage to pull it off. The 2 dresses that are actually proper dresses are pretty enough and there are only a few small things I would change. As for the print, I did quite like it when I initially saw it on the dresses when the magazine scans came out, but when I actually properly looked at it, I began to like it a lot less. It is an interesting print, but I don't think it has been executed in the best possible way. So this probably wouldn't be a series I would go for. If I did, I would choose the Cross Pinafore JSK in charcoal. If the red colour on the ruby had been a bit deeper I would probably choose that colour instead.