Monday, 20 July 2015

Brand Print Double

I would just like to say a quick thank you for the birthday valentines I got this weekend. It was weird seeing my face pop up on the Facebook preview! I am in number 1 and 21- Valentines It was also great to see so many other lolitas with birthdays this week get valentines too!

Today I am taking a look at 2 recent brand prints. First up today is Classic Fairy Tales by Angelic Pretty, but scroll further down to see my views on the recent Alice and the Pirates release.

So first up is Classic Fairy Tales by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a head bow, socks and a cape.

This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. I think that the short part of the sleeves are really well shaped for this particular style of sleeve, which has detachable longer parts. I especially appreciate the ruffle at the join where the longer detachable bits attach. The detachable long part of the sleeves is also a lovely shape and I like the subtle flare to the cuffs at the bottom. There are 2 thin ribbon bows topping the cuffs which are a suitable size and I think they look quite cute. I have to say, the style of the bodice and sleeves looks very old-school (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). There is a large waist bow which is well shaped, but I feel it looks too big. In fact, the dress could have easily worked without the waist bow there at all. I like that the bow is lined with thin lace, as it matches up with the lines of lace running up the bodice. These line of lace on the bodice are well spaced out and I like the lace that has been used. In the centre there is a ribbon corset, which has nicely spaced out ribbon, which also isn't too shiny. However, the ribbon does blend in to the background quite a lot. It is a nice finishing touch, but it doesn't really stand out. The bib and collar are a lovely shape and size. I love the way the bib has been set out with the line of rose buttons and the ruffle. The buttons are distributed very evenly and it all looks very tidy. The good quality lace used around the edge of the bib and collar are beautiful too, with a really lovely design. There is a detachable ribbon bow on the collar, which looks very cute and is a suitable size. It is detachable, but I think it really pulls the design together, so I would leave it attached. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. The zip on the back is very well concealed and the print lines up very well against the zip line. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares out beautifully. The shape is beautiful. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with some lovely lace with an interesting design.

Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks very well fitted, although the shape is a bit boring and quite simple. The width of the straps suits the style of the dress and they look reasonably supportive. The insides of the straps are lined with ribbon threaded ladder lace, which continues down to the waist area. There is also an additional line of lace with a pretty design, which ends at the chest area. Whilst I like this lace, I dislike how the lace ends abruptly at the chest area and to me, this really sticks out. There is a waist bow which I again feel is a very pretty shape, but is too large. It sits really well on the dress though, with no obvious signs of drooping. There is a ribbon corset in the centre of the bodice, which stands out a bit more than it does on the OP. The ribbon is well spaced out and does not look bunched together at all. The edges of the ribbon are concealed very neatly with thin lace, which gives the bodice a very tidy appearance. The neckline is lined neatly with lace, and then topped with a ribbon bow which matches the ribbon used on the bodice. The bow is a cute shape and the size is pretty good. This bow is detachable, but I would leave it attached, seeing as it matches the bodice ribbon so nicely. In fact, I think AP should have made this ribbon more of a feature elsewhere on the dress. Perhaps a line of ribbon at the bottom of the dress, just above the lace, would have tied in nicely. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so the dress should have plenty of stretch, but it does mean the shirring is quite exposed. However, with the style of print and dark colours, the shirring doesn't look as obvious. The stock photos show the skirt flares out loads and there is plenty of room for petticoat. I love the full, bell shape and the amount of volume there is to the skirt. The skirt is again kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace.

And finally, the print close up. This series is available in green, wine, navy blue and brown. I personally really dislike the navy blue and I also find the wine version a bit overwhelming colour-wise. However, the other 2 colours are quite pretty and I am quite fond of the green colour. As for the print itself, it is cute but I think it is too crowded. It is very busy, and the non-border part reminds me of grandma curtains. The border bit doesn't look as bad, as it isn't so cluttered. The animals are very cute and are well drawn. Unfortunately, the animals do blend in to the background quite a bit because of the colours that have been used. I think that individually, every part of the print is well drawn, but thrown all together it looks messy.

So I feel this series could have been lovely and I like the subtle old-school feel to the series. But the print just doesn't work for me and it is really obvious that AP are out of their comfort zone. This series probably would have been amazing if Baby the Stars Shine Bright had done it. I think this is one of the rare occasions where I prefer the OP to the JSK, and I think part of that is because there are more white parts to balance out the printed fabric. This is definitely not a series I would go for but if I had to I would choose the OP in green. I am writing this post the best part of a week after this series was released, and a lot of the series is still available. In times when we are used to seeing stuff sold out in an instant at AP releases, this really speaks volumes.

Next up today is Sheherazade One Thousand and One Nights by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 2 hair accessories, a hair pin, a necklace and socks. 

First up is JSK I. The bodice looks quite figure hugging, but I feel the overall bodice shape is quite awkward. I feel the neckline shape is quite harsh and needs a softer line. The neckline is lined with thin lace, but it doesn't soften the neckline at all. I also hate the way the straps attach to the neck and feel the straps are far too basic. They are as plain as can be and I feel they need to be a little wider, and also lined with some thin lace. The bottom half of the bodice features 2 lines of lace at a slight diagonal. I don't like the lace used at all and I think the lines of lace being here looks odd. I wouldn't have bothered with this lace at all. The middle of the bodice features a line of ribbon cutting across the bodice. The ribbon used is a bit too shiny for my liking, but I like the bold colour used and the way the edges have been lined neatly with gold lace. I do worry that this line of ribbon will sit weirdly on some wearers though and cut across the chest area in an awkward way. The ribbon is topped with a large ribbon bow. The bow is a cute shape and I like that the ribbon has been double layered. The gold themed ribbon overlaid over the other ribbon has such a pretty design to it and it is a lovely finishing touch. However, in some of the stock photos the waist ribbon looks a bit droopy and I feel maybe some discreet stitches are needed to hold it in place. The neckline has a double gold and pearl chain dangling from it, which I think looks beautiful. The length of the chain and the spacing is lovely. It is just a shame it has been paired with that neckline. The chain is detachable, but I would leave it on. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which is topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a decent amount of volume, but I think it needs to be a bit longer in length. The skirt flares outwards fairly well and the overall shape is okay. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with this very spiky looking lace. I do feel the lace goes well with the theme of the print, but I am not overly keen about how it looks on the dress.

Here we have JSK II. The bodice is fairly well fitted and the shape is quite cute. The straps look a supportive width and I like how eye-catching they are. The 2 lines of lace topping the straps  and continuing along the neckline has been very well gathered. The lace is so structured and it creates such an interesting shape. I like the gold colour of the lace too, as it brings out the hints of gold in the print. The waist line is topped with a line of lace, which sort of mimics a belt. It helps to emphasise the waist area, and the lace used has an interesting design and look to it. There is also a double chain dangling from the waist area with a pretty charm in the centre. The chain definitely stands out more on some colour ways than others. This chain is detachable but I would definitely leave it on. The main part of the bodice is kept simple, with just a bit of gathering, but the neckline makes quite a big statement anyway. The top of the bodice has a subtle line of gold lace running across it which doesn't detract attention away from the statement lace on the neckline. I think this lace is pretty and it sits on the dress nicely. The neckline is topped with a ribbon bow with a gold brooch in the centre. The bow has such a cute shape and I actually think the large size works better here. The gold brooch on the centre has a pretty design too. The ribbon used is a bit too shiny though. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt flares outwards reasonably well. There seems to be plenty of volume, so hopefully there is enough petticoat room. The skirt is simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of pretty gold lace, which I feel looks a lot better than the lace on the other JSK.

And finally, here is one part of the print close up...

... and another part. This series is available in red, lavender, blue and black. I really love the blue and lavender versions. The black is pretty too, although I am a bit unsure about the red. As for the print itself, I like that AatP have used quite a fresh and new idea which is not often seen in lolita. The layout of the print looks quite well thought out. I love the shapes of the buildings and the hints of gold are perfect. The books and flying carpets are interesting to look at and are well positioned in the print. I especially like the way the bird is coming out of the book. The background of the print has been kept simple and the print does not look over-crowded.

This series is definitely a bit different from your typical lolita release. There are a few elements of both dress designs which I find quite interesting. The print is not to my taste but I can appreciate that AatP have done something a bit different from the usual over-done themes. So I may not be buying this series myself, but I do think it is fascinating. If I had to go for this series, my choice would be JSK II in lavender. I don't think the design of JSK I has been executed that well. The one item from this series that I may be interested in is the headdress, as I like the use of gold ribbon and the little head chain at the front. I will be keeping an eye out for worn pictures of the headdress!

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