Monday, 16 November 2015

Another Brand Print Double

Today is another brand print double because it's that time of the year when my favourite brands seem to love releasing a lot of stuff in a short period of time! So scroll down further to see Labyrinth Collection Room by Baby.

First up today though is Alice and the Mechanical Wonder Time Travel by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, 2 hair accessories, tights, a tote bag, jacket, pants and a bag.

Here we have JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted, although the bodice shape is a bit basic. I don't like how plain the square neckline looks. The straps are very wide and I feel they need to be a little bit narrower. They also don't have any lace or trims along them so they look too simple. In fact, the only real detail on the entire bodice is a small line of lace with ribbon threaded though it, which runs along the neckline. Even this detail looks as though it has been stuck on the dress with little thought put in to it. There is a waist bow, which helps to liven up the dress a little bit, but it looks too big for the dress. It also feels a bit odd having such a cute looking bow on a very plain dress. The waist bow is detachable and unfortunately, I think I would detach it. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been very neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a fair amount of volume to it and it flares outwards okay. I feel the skirt shape could have been a little more rounded though. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of the ribbon threaded lace. At least it matches up with the lace on the bodice. Every now and then, there is a small ribbon bow, but they don't make much of an impact.

Next up is JSK II. The bodice is very well fitted but I find the shape a little bizarre. It is certainly different! The round part that makes up the straps and neckline has been done neatly and I feel the width of the straps suits the dress really well. I am still not 100% sold on the look of this though. The outside of the 'circle' is lined very neatly with thin lace. What I really like about the neckline though, is the chains and the gear charm in the centre. The chains are neatly spaced out and dangle perfectly from their metal hoops. It is also good that the gear charm reflects the steampunk nature of the print. It is a lovely subtle nod to steampunk without overdoing it. There is a waist bow, which looks a reasonably good size. The shape seems okay and it sits nicely on the dress with no obvious signs of drooping. Although the charm in the centre of the waist bow is pretty, I don't feel it is needed. This waist bow is also detachable, but I think in this instance I would leave it on. The back has a panel of shirring which has again been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The straps end on the back really smoothly next to the sides of the shirring panel and it all looks quite neat. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards well. There is the potential to create a really nice A-line shape. The skirt is kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of very thin lace. I think this dress has a better balance of steampunk and sweeter lolita elements compared to the other dress.

And here is what some of the print looks like. Apologies for the poor picture. This series comes in sax blue, khaki, brown and black. The colour choices are certainly suitable for the steampunk theme. The sax blue version worked out a lot better than I was expecting. As for the print itself, it is a very interesting take on the Alice in Wonderland theme we see frequently in lolita. I applaud AatP for coming up with something fairly original. I love how the card suits all have these mechanical gears and swirls to them. The characters such as the white rabbit fit quite well within the print as well. I think it is because there is a limited number of colours in the print. The golden colour is bold on the sax blue and brown colour ways, and I like the way it stands out. The gears in the background are kept nice and subtle too. The non-border part of the print has a really lovely Alice themed print to it and when you look up close you can see just how detailed it is. But at the same time the non-border part is muted enough that it doesn't distract too much from the bold border print.

I am actually quite surprised by how much I like the print, seeing as steampunk is not really my thing. I think it is a really interesting idea and it is well executed. The dress designs however, are a bit lacking. JSK I is just too basic in design. Would I buy this series? Possibly, but I wont be going out of my way to get it. My top choice would be JSK II in either sax blue or khaki. I am having a hard time deciding which is the best colour. I do feel a bit let down by the dress designs though.

Next up today is Labyrinth Collection Room by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 5 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, 4 hair accessories, a blouse and tights.

First up is the Arete JSK. The bodice material seems a little bit baggy and it seems to lack any real shape to it. The overall shape is a bit basic. I really dislike the 'straps' on this dress. To be honest, this is an OP, not a JSK. I suppose it could be worn as either though. The sleeves are a strange shape and I feel it will make the wearer's shoulders look super wide. The sleeves are lined with lace, but the lace is a bit too wide and it just sort of hangs limply from the sleeves. The lace lining the inside of the neckline is a bit better and sits quite nicely. I don't think it is the best choice of lace for this area though. The waist area has a band of fabric, which is lined with lace on either side. The lace is quite subtle and sits quite nicely. I don't really feel the waist details do much to emphasise or flatter the waist area, but it doesn't look too bad. There is a waist bow, which is a bit on the large side. I think the size works reasonably well with this dress though. The bow has an interesting shape and it holds its shape well. This bow is detachable and after looking at this dress for a while I am unsure if I would keep it attached or not. Along the neckline, which would usually be where the base of JSK straps would be, there are 2 ribbon bows. If this dress had normal, thin JSK straps then these bows would have looked really pretty, but with the really wide sleeves they just don't work. The ribbon has a really pretty design to it, so it is a real shame. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume, considering this series has quite a classic looking print. I think it could have looked better if it flared outwards a bit more. With the right petticoat, the skirt could have a really nice shape. The main part of the skirt is kept simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a thin line of gold braid, some ribbon bows (which look a bit droopy and need to be placed a bit further apart) and 2 layers of wide lace. The lace is layered well and I like the lace used for the top layer. The bottom layer underneath looks a bit cheap though. It is a good job this ugly lace is partially hidden by the nicer lace on top of it!

This is the Mireille JSK. The bodice material looks a little bit baggy. The shape of the bodice is simple, but all the lace helps to liven them up a bit. I think the straps are a decent width and look quite supportive. The straps are lined with 2 lines of lace on the outsides. This lace has been layered neatly and it creates a pretty shape. I am not so fond of the choice of lace though, and I feel that having this lace going along the neckline as well is a bit too OTT. I would have kept it just to the straps and had a thinner, more subtle line of lace along the neckline. There is a waist bow, which I think is too big. The shape of the bow is simple but well formed and it doesn't seem to droop much. The waist bow on this dress doesn't seem to be detachable, which is a shame, because I feel the dress would look so much better without it. The bodice has a line of lace running across the chest area, which helps to split up the different parts of the print quite nicely. I do wonder how bust-friendly this design is though. The bodice also features 2 ribbon bows. The ribbon has such a pretty design to it. I love the sheer bits and the golden lines on the ribbon. The bows are a good shape and size. I do feel that these 2 ribbon bows are enough bows and they would have looked fine without the waist bow being there. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good length to it and it has a decent amount of volume. There is plenty of flare to create a nice classic shape. The main skirt shows off the print quite well, although I don't feel the print has been lined up neatly enough along the sides. The sides feature a bit of gathering at the bottom, which I don't feel has been done that neatly. I don't think the shape of the bottom hem looks that great and I think that gathering could have been done better. These gathered bits are topped with ribbon bows, which match up nicely with the chest bows. The bottom hem is then finished off with a wide tassel trim and some lace underneath, which evens out the bottom hem. I really don't like how the tassel trim looks and once again I really dislike the choice of lace. 

Here we have the Ample JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is simple, but pretty. The straps seem a suitable width for the dress. There is lace running along the outsides of the straps, which has been nicely gathered and creates a cute shape. The bodice and the skirt features some solid coloured material overlaid the rest of the bodice and when you look closely at it, you can see it has a pretty rose pattern to it. The edges of the solid coloured material are lined with lace, but I personally feel it looks a bit messy. I think a thinner lace would have looked neater. The middle bit of the bodice is topped with many ribbon bows. Whilst the bows are pretty, I think there are too many of them and they are not that well spaced out. The additional bow on the neckline is too big and has an awkward shape. I don't feel this is needed at all and luckily it is detachable. The chest area features some layers of lace, which I feel look very messy. Overall, the printed area of the bodice is far too crowded. This dress only uses the busy, floral part of the print and when this is teamed with so much lace and lots of bows it all feels a bit overwhelming. The back features a panel of shirring, which has been topped well with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares outwards well. The rounded shape is cute. However, I do think it could have been longer in length. I also feel it is important to get the right petticoat to make sure the solid over-skirt sits okay on top. I am still not convinced I like the shape of the over-skirt. In some of the photos it looks okay, but in others it looks a bit bumpy and creates a strange silhouette. The over-skirt is also topped with even more ribbon bows. The print is only really visible in the middle front of the skirt but considering the dress only uses the floral bit of the print, it doesn't feel as though we are really missing that much. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 lines of lace. I don't like the way the lace sticks out at a funny angle and once again, I really dislike the choice of lace.

And here is the OP. The bodice is well fitted and the overall bodice shape is quite pretty. However, I am really disliking the mini off-the-shoulder sleeves using the printed fabric layered over the solid coloured sleeves. If those printed sleeves were not there then the OP would look so much better. I just feel it makes the upper arm area look awkward and too bulky, especially with the ribbon bows topping these printed sleeves. It also makes it look as though the sleeves have fallen off the shoulders, which I don't think is a great look. The solid coloured parts however, are really nicely shaped. I like how the bell shaped part of the sleeves flares out and the lace used is really pretty. I don't even mind there being ribbon bows at the elbow area, even though this dress has a ridiculous amount of bows on it. I like the way the solid coloured fabric and the printed fabric are set out on the bodice. The triangle of solid coloured material on the bodice has been done neatly and I like the shape of the solid coloured fabric around the shoulder area too. It has been neatly lined with lace and I love all the thin lines of gold braid too. But there are too many ribbon bows. Maybe it would have looked better if some of the bows were a bit smaller or something, but as it is, the bows are too overpowering. I know some people really love the more OTT Baby dresses, but in my opinion it looks too fussy. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is quite limited. The back of the dress looks quite neat and tidy. It amuses me how simple the dress looks from the back in comparison to the front. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards quite well. There is plenty of room for petticoat underneath and I feel there is the potential to create a really pretty shape. The skirt, like the bodice, is loaded with detail. From the back, you can see the print quite well but the front  is all about that open-front design  and all the detail going on with the solid coloured parts underneath. I personally think this OP should have just stuck with the floral part of the print, like the Ample JSK did. The details on this dress are far too distracting for this sort of print. The solid coloured part features 2 over-stitched ruffles, which I don't think sit that nicely on the dress. The bottom of the solid coloured fabric is then gathered, which I feel could have also been done neater. And of course, this has been topped with even more ribbon bows! The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 layers of wide lace. 

And once again, I apologise for the poor picture of the print (sigh). This series comes in ivory, pink, bright green and brown. The colours look quite good with the print, but I dislike the use of pink lace on the pink version. I am not fond of the colour of the pink lace. As for the print itself, I am really unsure about whether I like it or not. I love all the little ornaments and sewing boxes. These objects have some really cute details to them. I am not sure I like the way the print has been set out in to squares though. Whilst I like the floral background, I don't think I like it paired with the rest of the print. The floral looks a bit too busy and it is quite a contrast with the less busy room part of the print. There are some really lovely parts to this print, but I don't think they have been used and put together in the best possible way.

So overall, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the dress designs and I am not really a fan of the print either. I absolutely despise the OP. I am grateful that some of the dress designs are a little bit more simple, so there is at least some options for those who don't really go for the whole OTT classic look. So I can confidently say this is not a series I would like to buy. If I did, I would go for the Mireille JSK in ivory. I would probably want to remove that waist bow though. I am sure there are many lolitas who are going to absolutely love this series but I personally am glad that my bank account is safe for now.

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