First up though, is British Bear. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories, tights, 2 bear shaped bags and a hoodie.
This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is very cute. The sleeves seem a decent length and have a suitable amount of puff to them. I really love the braid detailing and the military themed buttons on the cuffs. It is a subtle nod at military without being overpowering. There is a waist bow, which I feel is a suitable size for the dress. The shape of the bow is cute and it is well formed. It holds its shape well. It does blend in with the dress a fair bit though. The bodice is broken up by 2 subtle lines of thin lace, which helps break up the empty spaces. There is then a large collar, which has a smart shape to it with clean lines. I only wish it stopped a bit before the shoulders, as I feel it is a bit too wide. The collar is decorated beautifully with braid in a neat pattern and the pretty lace adds a bit of interest to the edges. There is a small bow topping the collar, which has a cute shape and is a good size. I like that the colours of the bow tie in with those on the print too. This bow is detachable, but I think the dress looks much better with it left on. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is quite limited. The back is quite neat and the zip blends in well. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards plenty. The overall skirt shape is very cute and matches up well with the bodice too. The skirt design is kept simple and so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with some really lovely crown themed lace.
Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks well fitted but I think the bodice shape is a little bit simple. The straps are a decent width and look supportive. They are lined neatly with pretty lace, which makes them look less plain. There is a generous sized waist bow, but I think it suits the dress. The shape of the bow is interesting and it sits well on the dress. But like with the OP, it feels as though the waist bow blends in to the dress a fair bit. Unlike the OP, I am not too fussed about the waist bow and wouldn't have minded if it was detachable, which it isn't. The bodice features 2 ribbon corsets on either side. These ribbon details are a suitable width and are spaced far enough apart from each other. My only complaint is that the ribbon looks a bit cheap and also a bit shiny. The neckline features a folded over 'collar' which has an interesting shape to it. I like the subtle use of braid on this 'collar'. The neckline is then topped off with a stripy ribbon which ties in with the print. This bow is detachable but I feel the neckline details look a bit too harsh without that bow there. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and will hold plenty of petticoat. I love the really rounded shape of the skirt. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same pretty crown themed lace.
And here we can see the print. This series comes in ivory, red, green and navy blue. These are pretty standard colour options for a tartan print and there are no real surprises here. The tartan works really well with the border print. As for the teddies, they look very cute. I love all the little details to them, such as the clothing they are wearing. It is nice how the bears are all different shades of white and brown as well, to stop it looking too repetitive. I really love the emblems and crowns topping the tartan too.
So overall this is quite a solid series. The dress designs are strong and the print has a lot that will appeal to AP's fan base. Would I buy this series? No, but only because bear prints are really not my style. If the dresses didn't have the teddy border and just had the tartan part with the emblems I would have definitely been after this! My top pick would be the OP in green or navy.
Next up today is Dreamy Jewel. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 hair accessories and tights.
Here we have the OP. The bodice seems a bit slouchy and I am not fond of the shape either. I think the chiffon shoulder part is putting me off this dress and I would possibly like it a lot more if it had the main dress fabric all over instead. There is something about the harsh break between the main dress fabric and the softer chiffon which doesn't look right. It is a shame because I think the lace and ruffles around the neckline have such a cute shape to them. The arms look a decent length but because of the way the chiffon cuts off the main fabric, it makes the sleeves look like 2 tubes of fabric that have just been stuck on the dress. On a more positive note, the lace used for the cuffs is quite cute. The waist area features a large bow. It is big in size, but because the rest of the dress is relatively simple in design I feel the dress gets away with having a bigger waist bow. The bow has a really cute shape to it and it holds its shape well. It sits well on the dress with no obvious signs of drooping. The back of the dress offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has lots of volume to it. I feel the overall skirt shape is a bit lacking though. It looks a bit shapeless. I think this OP should have been the same shape as the British Bear OP (see above). The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with some cute bow themed lace.
Next up is the Chest Ribbon JSK. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. The heart shaped neckline is really cute. The straps on this dress are really thin and look quite flimsy, but thicker straps would not suit the look of the dress. There is some lace lining the outsides of the straps, which has a pretty design to it and stops the straps looking too plain. I am a little unsure about the waist of this dress. The waist line is topped with a line of gold braid and there is also a line of lace too. Thankfully, it doesn't look too bulky, but I feel it cuts the dress in 2 quite awkwardly. There is a large bow on the neckline. The shape is cute and I like how it sticks out quite proudly on the dress. It doesn't droop at all. There is a pearl chain and charm dangling from the bow too, which is a really good choice for the print. The bow and neckline are very neatly lined with thin gold lace. It adds a nice finishing touch, without looking too fussy. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards nicely. I think there is definitely the potential to create a pretty shape with the skirt. The skirt is kept simple in design and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same bow themed lace.
This is the High Waist JSK. I feel the bodice material looks a little bit baggy and slouchy in places. Also, the bodice shape is a bit simple. The straps are quite thin but again, bulkier straps wouldn't suit the style of the dress. They are lined very neatly with gold lace on the outsides, which is a good finishing touch. The waist bow seems an okay size for the dress. The shape of the bow is cute, but I felt that in some of the stock photos some of the bows layers looked a bit droopy. The bodice has some thin layers of gold lace, giving the bodice a paneled appearance. It helps to break up the areas with less detail. I really like the lace on the neckline. The lace has a pretty design and it has been well shaped along the neckline. I am not too fussed about the really thin ribbon bow on the neckline though. I feel it is a bit pointless. The back is fully shirred, which means plenty of stretch, but also that the shirring is exposed and looks a bit unattractive. However, I think in this instance the print makes the shirring look less bad and the back of the dress is quite short anyway. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards plenty. I don't really like the shape of the skirt in the stock photos but I am sure with the right petticoat it could look really pretty. The skirt is kept simple in design and so, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the cute bow lace again.
Finally, here is the print close up. This series comes in pink, lavender, wine and black. The pink looks beautiful and the lavender looks pretty good too. The wine version however, looks absolutely hideous, especially with the brown in the print. I really don't know what AP were thinking with that wine colour. It doesn't work at all. As for the print, what is there is nice enough but as a whole, I don't think it works. The jewels themselves are really pretty and I love the idea of having pictures inside of the jewels. But I don't think the jewels are enough to make a whole print out of. I don't think they are interesting enough to work just on their own and there needs to be something else to the print. I guess what I am saying is the print is lacking something. It is hard to say what though. It is a shame, because when you look up close the print does have some interesting details. But at a quick glance, it doesn't feel that exciting a print.
At the time of writing this post, it looks as though none of this series has sold out. I can't say I am really that surprised as the whole series really lacks the 'wow' factor. I really don't like the dress designs. Although the print is pretty, it could definitely have been better. So this is a series I wont be buying. If I absolutely had to pick something, I guess I would go for the Chest Ribbon JSK in pink. I feel the pink version is by far the strongest colour. I feel that a lot more could have been done with the jewel theme and this series is a real let-down. I think part of the problem is that the dress designs are quite casual and jewels are generally seen as being quite decadent and luxurious. So the casual feel of this series doesn't live up to the sparkling jewels in the print.