First up today though, is Witch in the Forest By Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses, 4 skirts, socks, 3 hair accessories, wrist cuff gloves and a cape.
First up is the Magical Girl JSK. It's hard to tell how well fitted the bodice is, as there is a organdie overlay sitting on top of the main bodice material. I feel this organdie layer is a bit too baggy and too much material is used, resulting in it looking a little bit messy on the close-up photos. However, it does match the style of the bottom of the dress. The straps look a very supportive width and I like that they have been lined neatly with gold braid and lace. The gold braid is used throughout the design, so there is a nice amount of continuity and the lace on the straps has a pretty design too. The bases of the straps are topped with dull satin bows, which are a cute shape and size and add a bit of interest to what is otherwise a very plain chest area. I really dislike the waist belt (cummerbund? waist cincher?) on this dress. I feel the belt is too wide and it sits a bit awkwardly on the dress. But what I really dislike about it is the way is is topped with 3 huge bows. The bows may be a cute shape, but they add far too much bulk to the waist area and it just makes the belt look too bulky and fussy looking. The pictures would suggest that at the very least, the larger printed bow is detachable, and I would definitely detach it and move it to the neckline (which looks a bit plain). Hopefully, the other 2 bows are detachable too, as they are definitely far too big. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The ribbon chosen for this is quite bold in colour though, so it doesn't really help much to blend in to the background. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full with more than enough volume. I felt the skirt looked a bit short in length, but perhaps that is just because of how much petticoat Meta have used on the stock photos. If nothing else, the stock photos do prove that the skirt can flare outwards loads. The main printed part of the skirt is kept simple, so the print is displayed fairly well. The amount of gathering of the skirt material does obscure the print a little bit though. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of gold braid and 2 ruffles of organdie. There is just something about the way the organdie has been layered and attached to the dress which looks a bit awkward to me. It seems to stick out at a funny angle. The bows sat along the gold braid are cute though, and are a nice shape and size.
Next today is the Corset JSK. The bodice looks very well fitted but the shape of the bodice is a bit too simple. The scoop neckline sits very low, although this would be a good excuse to pair this dress with a blouse which has a very decorative chest area. The straps look too thin and from experience of wearing a similar style dress from Meta, I can guarantee those straps will be slipping off shoulders. The straps and neckline of this dress have also been left very bare, and it looks too basic. I get the impression Meta were intending wearers to team this dress with more dressy items. The bodice is topped with 3 straps and gold buckles. These details have been laid out neatly and are nicely spaced. The gold buckles at least add a little bit of interest. The back features a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. I don't like the way the straps have been crossed at the back, but maybe that will help to hold the straps in place a bit better. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards beautifully. The shape is quite pretty. The skirt design is kept very simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality lace, which is about as exciting as this dress is going to get.
Here we have the Princess Sleeve OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is quite cute. The sleeve length is interesting and I like the way the bell part of the sleeve flares out. The gold braid and thin ruffle of organdie finish the sleeves off nicely. However, I feel the additional wide ruffles of organdie sprouting out of the middle of the sleeves is a step too far to me. It makes the sleeves look too bulky and OTT. The waist area is topped with an organdie over-skirt. The over-skirt has a pretty shape to it and it sits nicely on top of the skirt. The shorter front means it doesn't conceal the print too. The bodice is split in to panels, which have been lined neatly with gold braid. I like the fancy little loops of the braid as well, as it adds a further little bit of detail. The centre panel has some gathered material to mimic a bow. It has been done well, but I think it makes the bodice look too cluttered. The neckline is finished with a large bow. If it wasn't for the "bow" details below it, I think the size of the bow would work quite well. The bow is well shaped and sits well on the dress. However, the over-skirt and bows are in my opinion spoiled by the mini tassels, which are definitely a step too far. The tassels sit weirdly and they are too many of them, so they are very clustered together. The back has a panel of shirring, but it isn't topped by anything so it feels quite exposed and doesn't look too attractive. The stock photos show the skirt flares outwards loads and there is more than enough room for petticoat underneath. But I do feel the skirt could have been a little bit longer in length. The skirt is kept quite simple, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some gold braid and an organdie ruffle, which helps to balance out the use of organdie on the rest of the dress. The choker is a good match for the dress and I really love the moon charm dangling from it.
And this is part of the print close up. This series comes in navy blue, violet and grey. The colours are pretty standard for a Halloween print and they all work very well. As for the print itself, I think it shows quite an interesting scene. I like the mixture of the crystal balls on the foreground and the dark, castle in shadow background. There is a good mixture of brighter and darker elements. It feels like there is a lot going on in the border part of the print, but everything works well together and nothing really sticks out as being our of place. Whilst I think the diamond pattern in the non-border part of the print, I would have preferred to just have the stripes, because I think a simpler background would have worked better with all the dress details.
So overall this is an interesting series and I am not surprised that it sold so well. I am not 100% sold on the dress designs, but there are plenty of skirts to choose from and I like that the dresses have varying amount of detail to them. Would I buy this series? Possibly, but I feel a lot of the series is too OTT for me. Despite me finding it a bit too simple, I would actually go for the Corset JSK and I would then liven it up with a fancy blouse. As for the colour, I would go for the navy but the violet is pretty too. My top picks however, are the bat shaped cape and the socks.
Next up today is Tricky Nightmare Factory by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories and several bits of jewellery and hair pins.
First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted. I think the bodice shape is a bit simple though. The straps seem to be a good width, but it is a bit difficult to tell with that massive neckline ruffle! The ruffle is well constructed and each layer sits well. The lace used in the ruffle is of a good quality too. However, I feel that this generous ruffle makes the dress look a bit top-heavy. I feel it especially looks out of proportion when the apron is attached. It just looks a bit awkward. The apron is very cute and I love the shape. It also goes very well with the theme of the print, so I feel it is the neck ruffle that needs to go. I like the buttons used to attach the apron as well.
Here we can see what the dress looks like without the apron. I think the neck ruffle looks a little bit better when you detach the apron, but it still looks a tiny bit top-heavy. It is not the best design if you feel self-conscious about wide shoulders. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which has been topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and it flares out quite well. I feel a bit more volume in the skirt would have balanced out the neck ruffle a bit better though. The skirt is kept basic in design and even when the apron it attached the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace.
This is JSK II. The bodice looks well fitted, although the shape is a bit simple. The straps are a little bit thin but I think the thinner straps suit the style of the bodice. They are however, a bit too plain, and could do with just a little bit of thin lace to liven them up a bit. The waist area and most of the bodice is kept very plain, but this does mean the attention is focused more on the print. The neckline is lined very neatly with lace, but I feel a cuter style of lace could have been used. There is also the 2 bows at the bases of the straps. The bows are well formed and they sit well on the dress. I think that given the lack of detail elsewhere, the bows are a good size and I like the AatP charm on the slightly larger bow. The ribbon used for the bows is a tiny bit shiny, but nothing too drastic. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which means plenty of size flexibility, but the shirring is quite exposed and not too attractive to look at. The back is quite short though, so perhaps AatP didn't see the point in putting a ribbon corset on top of it. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards beautifully. Judging by the model photos, the skirt seems to have a fair amount of length to it as well. There is loads of room for petticoat. The skirt, like the bodice, is also kept very plain. This does mean the print is displayed beautifully though. The bottom hem is then finished off very neatly with a line of cute looking lace.
And finally, here is one part of the print close up...
... and another part. This series comes in mint, red, purple, brown and black. Yes, that is 5 different colours! I like how the colours reflect different aspects of the print as well. The mint and brown versions play up to the cute sweets in the print. The other colours embrace the more Halloween elements of the print. As for the print itself, I think it has a really quirky balance of cute and creepy. I wouldn't have thought that a factory machine line would make that interesting a print, but there are so many fun and playful bits to the print. The sweets coming out of the machine are cute. I especially love the pumpkin themed doughnut and the plump ghost cake. I adore the ghosts helping to make the sweets as well! There are lots of other little details in the print which give it more depth. I didn't spot the legs coming out of the bottom of the machine at first!
So this is a very cute offering for Halloween which may be a little too sweet for some, but I feel it could still appeal to a wide audience. I am really torn between the sweeter and darker elements of this series. Would I buy this series? Possibly, if I were more in to holiday themed prints. I am definitely keener on JSK II out of the 2 dresses, but I also like the cat ear shaped waist band featured on the skirt. As for the colour, I am torn between the mint and the purple. I suppose it depends how spooky you want to go!