But first up today is Stardust Fantasia by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 4 hair accessories, socks, a few pieces of jewellery and a cape made for Usakumya.
First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is fairly cute. I am not overly keen on the scalloped neckline, but the bow covers some of the neckline anyway. The straps look quite a supportive width. I am not overly keen on the tulle overlaying the straps which also makes up the ruffle on the outsides of the straps. The colour of the tulle looks very dull compared to the stark and bright colour of the star shaped lace also going along the straps. I think the tulle is meant to be gold coloured, but it looks very pale compared to the gold lace and charms used on the dress. The ruffles have been cutely shaped though. The waist area features a star shaped brooch. The brooch has a cute design, but the star shape of the brooch is not that clearly defined. I think the lace used around the edge of the brooch stops the star shape looking immediately obvious. The middle of the brooch is filled in nicely and I like the pearl and star charm chain. I have to admit though, that I prefer the dress with the brooch detached. The bodice is broken up in the panels. I really like how the different kinds of lace have been used to line the edges of these panels. It has been done so neatly and the choices of lace are so cute. I like that different types of lace are used too, and I especially like the inclusion of the gold lace. The neckline features a bow, which is a very sweet shape. The bow is nicely formed and the size is a good. The use of gold lace on the bow and a gold star charm compliments the use of gold lace on the bodice too. This bow is detachable but I think the dress looked better with it attached. The back features 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 and it flares outwards plenty. There is the potential to create a really cute shape. The skirt is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem features a scalloped edge which is lined with star lace and finished off with a ruffle of tulle. The scallops are well shaped and the star lace helps to soften them. The tulle further helps to even out the bottom hemline. The tulle matches the tulle used on the straps, but I still feel the colour of the tulle is a bit dull.
Here we have JSK II. The bodice seems well fitted. Although the bodice shape is quite simple, the design looks quite cute. The straps look a very supportive width. The straps are lined neatly with lace on the insides and outsides. I think the lace makes the straps look a tiny bit bulky. However, it does match up with the very lacy neckline. The waist line is topped with a ribbon "belt" which helps to clearly define the waist area and keeps things looking tidy. The ribbon used has a pretty design to it, although it is a bit shiny. The belt design is finished with a bow in the centre, which is a good size and looks quite well in proportion with the neckline details. The bow is cutely shaped too and sits nicely on the dress. The bodice is broken up in to panels. Perhaps these lines between the panels could have been topped with a very thin line of lace, but maybe that would have been just a bit too much lace for the already very lacy bodice. The lace at the neckline is very bold. I like the different layers of lace and they sit well on top of each other. I like the subtle line of ribbon threaded through the top layer of lace too. There is a pearl chain dangling from the neckline and I admire how well concealed the ends of the chain are. The ends are hidden away underneath the lace. The chain is a reasonably good length but I think it could have been shorter. I think the chains dangling from the chain are quite cute. To one side, there is an additional star shaped brooch. Despite being lined with lace again, I feel this time the star shape of the brooch is quite easy to make out. The brooch design is simpler compared to the one on the other JSK, but it works better. Both the brooch and chain are detachable but I quite like the dress with both attached. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so great for a wider size range but not so attractive to look at. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards pretty well. I love the subtle yet sweet bell shape and think it really suits the overall feel of the series. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off simply, but neatly, with a line of good quality lace.
And here is one part of the print close up...
... and another part. This series comes in pink, sax blue, wine and navy blue. I am not overly fond of the wine version because it feels like there is a lot of pink and some of the shades of pink don't work as well with the wine background. The other 3 colours though are very dreamy looking and I feel they suit the style of print very well. I do worry the print looks a bit washed out on the pink version though. As for the print itself, it is very cute! It perhaps looks a little bit too cluttered, but I personally like all the stars floating about the print. If I were to get rid of anything, it would probably be the fireworks, just to free up a bit of space. The cats in the print are adorable. I especially love the cats dressed as witches and wearing capes. They look so cute! All the different bits of the print are rich with detail and the details have also been well thought out.
So overall this is a very sweet take on Halloween, but sometimes cute can be a good thing. This is a print packed with plenty of details and there are quite a few different ways you could go about coordinating this series. The dress designs are pretty decent as well. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because it's not really my thing. But I do feel this is a series worth going for. I would definitely be picking JSK II in navy if I were to buy this series.
Next up today is Vampire Nocturne by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, gloves, socks and a necklace.
First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted, but the overall shape of the bodice is very simple. I think the straps are far too thin and look really flimsy. They lack detail and the narrowness of the straps looks odd teamed with the bodice. They definitely need to be wider and lined with a bit of lace to liven them up. The bodice is broken up in to panels, which sees the panels lined neatly with lace. The lace sits very well on the dress and I think the design of lace used is quite pretty, but not too distracting. The centre panel of the bodice features 4 buttons in a square with chains dangling between them. I feel the buttons could have been positioned a bit better, perhaps with the top 2 buttons being a bit lower down so they don't get so obscured by the heavily detailed neckline. Perhaps this button design is not the best of choices to pair with the heavy looking neckline. The neckline features a couple of ruffles with alternate between lace and satin. These ruffles are very wide and heavily gathered, which creates a lot of volume. I feel this gives the dress a bit of a top-heavy appearance. I also don't feel the layers sit well on top of each other and the line of wide lace at the bottom just hangs limply. There is just too much detail going on here and something needs to go. All of these ruffles are then further topped with a shiny ribbon bow. Although the bow is a bit big, the size doesn't look too bad. The charm in the centre of the bow is pretty too. This bow is detachable, but I am not sure if I would detach it. The back of the bodice is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility but the shirring is not covered with anything. Due to the dark colours used for this series though, the shirring thankfully doesn't stick out as much. The stock photos show the skirt doesn't seem to have a massive amount of volume and flare, but there is more than enough there to create a standard gothic shape. The skirt shape looks pretty decent in the model pictures. The skirt design is kept simple and as a result, the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace, which has a really pretty design to it. I hope AatP uses this lace again sometime!
Here we have JSK II. The bodice looks well fitted, but the overall bodice shape is a bit it. I like the neckline shape, but the straps spoil it for me. The straps are far too wide and they look so bulky. It is almost verging on being an OP. The lace along the neckline and outside of the straps is pretty though. It is perfectly gathered and sits nicely. The waist area is topped with a line of wide lace, which has been well shaped and sits nicely on top of the top of the skirt. The lace has a lovely rose themed design too, which is a good match for the print. However, I feel the lace here does blend in to the background quite a bit, which is a shame. The front of the bodice features a ribbon corset. This detail is kept quite narrow, so it's good that the ribbon used is very thin, otherwise it would look quite bunched together. The gold eyelets hold the ribbon securely and it doesn't look fragile at all. There are 2 lines of rose themed lace running up the bodice, which help break up the bodice. I am not convinced that all these details are spaced out in the best way, but I think that is because of the wide straps. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt again has enough flare and volume for a gothic shape. There seems to be a decent amount of room for petticoat and the length of the skirt looks good too. The skirt is kept simple and so, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some rose themed lace. The rose theme of the lace matches the print, although I think I prefer the lace used on the bottom of the other JSK.
This is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape looks quite interesting. The sleeves are an interesting length. I think the wide length on the ends of the sleeves works quite well to add a romantic gothic look. The bodice is divided up in to a solid corset style bodice and then sheer shoulders. The 'corset' part is broken up with lines of lace and I love the choices of lace used. The lace looks really pretty, although I wonder if the lines of lace should have been positioned a bit further apart. I like the sheer material used for the shoulders and I think it gives the dress a very slight ero feel without looking too tacky. Obviously, the wearer will have to choose their underwear carefully though! The collar features generous layers of wide lace. It gives a very dramatic appearance, but perhaps it is a little bit too bulky. It almost reminds me of those neck ruffs from olden times! The back offers no shirring, so the size flexibility is a bit limited. I feel the zip line also stands out and looks quite obvious, which is a shame. The stock photos show the skirt has a fair bit of volume and it flares out reasonably well. There is the potential to create a decent shape for gothic lolita. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with good quality lace.
And finally, here we have a part of the print close up. This series comes in brown, green, red and black. I am really disappointed after seeing the colours on the Baby website. The brown colour looks very dreary and sludge coloured. I feel the red version needs a more vibrant, deeper red to it too. The green and black versions do look pretty decent though. As for the print itself, I think it shows a perfect gothic scene. The beds and the coffins are well drawn and I love all the details, like the roses topping them. I like the derelict looking building as well. My favourite bit though, is the spooky looking trees and the bats dancing in front of the moon. The bat themed non border part of the print is pretty too. It is just a shame the colours let the print down. I think there needs to be more hints of red in the border print as well.
So overall, I feel the print is let down by some poor colour choices and some average looking dress designs. There doesn't seem to be as much hype about this AatP series and there usually is for their annual Halloween series, and I can completely understand why. I do wonder though, if this is going to be one of those series which will gain some more popularity once we have seen it being worn a bit more. The green and black colours definitely have some potential. This is definitely not a series I would go for myself, but I think I would pick the OP in green if I were to pick anything. Although I think I prefer the skirt over any of the dress designs.