But first up today is Horror Garden by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a vest, 2 blouses, tights, 2 hair accessories, a bag and a few pieces of jewellery.
Here is the JSK. The bodice material looks a little bit loose and baggy but the shape is very interesting. I am a bit disappointed by the messy looking waist area though. There is this weird little flap of material and that definitely could have been done a lot neater. The straps seem a decent width and look fairly supportive. There is an added star studded strap on the back of the dress, which should add a little extra support as well. I love the bat shape collar topping the straps and neckline. The collar is so well shaped with neat lines. It makes the bodice look a whole lot more interesting too. The bodice features a line of star buttons along a fake opening, giving it the look of a vest. The buttons are well spaced out. I like the star button design, but I wonder if they are maybe a bit too cute for the theme of the dress. The collar is finished off with a velvet bow, which is an okay shape and size. I also feel this bow is a bit too cute though, so I am glad it is detachable. The low back is fully shirred, which is great for size flexibility but isn't that attractive to look at. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and rounded. It flares out well and will hold plenty of petticoat. The print is bold enough to show up underneath the organza overlay quite well. However, I can't say I am that fond of the way the organza has been done. Something about it looks a bit messy in the stock photos. The bottom hems of the dress and the tulle are both finished off very neatly.
Next up is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite pretty. The sleeves seem a decent length and I like that they are made from organza. It gives them an interesting appearance. However, I am not too keen on the bat-shaped part of the cuffs. It is an interesting idea, but I don't think it works that well. The star shaped buttons on the cuffs look a bit too sweet and there is too many of them as well. There is a large waist bow, but despite its size it seems to suit the style of the dress. I like the shape of the bow and think it is well formed. I actually like the bat shaped tails on the bow, maybe because it looks more subtle than the cuffs. The bow sits nicely on the dress too. The dress features a white coloured yoke. I love the shape of the edges of the yoke and I think the details around the edges of the yoke have been set out neatly. The black braid offers a nice pop of colour which contrasts well with the white part. The lace along the edge sits nicely on the dress and has a suitable cross design too. The yoke itself is set out neatly with some tidy pleats and a line of star shaped buttons. However, I feel the bat shaped collar pushes things too far. If it had a different colour underneath, the bat shape of the collar would have stood out better. I also feel the collar is too big and the velvet bow dangling from it is too droopy. There are plenty of other little hints at the bat theme on the rest of the dress, so I would of kept the pretty yoke and lose the bat collar. The back of the dress offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. The back looks very tidy and I adore the shape of the waist ties with another subtle hint of a bat wing shape. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and it flares out beautifully. I love the full, rounded shape. The skirt is set out in the exact same way as the skirt on the JSK, although I feel the organza looks a bit neater on the OP for some reason.
And here we can see the print. As you can see, this print comes in black, ivory and wine (although with the organza overlay, the black on the ivory version looks more grey). These are pretty standard colour choices for a series like this. Black and wine look amazing paired with gold, and ivory and black is quite a typical choice for a gothic looking series. As for the print itself, I like all the different bits of the print but I am a little unsure I like them all together. The coffins are beautiful and I love all the decoration around the edge of the coffins. The crosses inside the coffins are heavily detailed too. The gates are well drawn too, but I don't know if I like the gates and the coffins together. The crosses floating in the background are pretty but I think they could do with being a bit smaller.
I can see why this series would appeal to a lot of lolitas but to be honest, I am not amazed by it myself. There are details I love about this series, but there are other parts which I think are a little too OTT. So this is not a series I would go for myself. If I did, I would choose the black JSK. I do really like the bat collar though, and I am glad a separate vest released features this bat collar. I would probably be more interested in getting the vest than either of the dresses. And maybe next year AP should consider releasing their Halloween print a bit before Halloween, rather than the on actual day itself. That way more people would get the chance to wear the dress on Halloween.
Next up today is Angelic Heaven by Metamorphose. This series includes 2 dresses, a cape, 2 hair accessories, wrist cuffs, tights, socks and a scarf.
Here we have the Ribbon Shirred JSK. The bodice looks well fitted. I generally quite like the bodice shape, but I dislike the very square neckline. I think this neckline needs to be a bit softer and less harsh lines. The straps look a little on the thin side and I think they could have been just the tiniest bit wider. There is a line of gold braid lining the insides of the straps and the neckline, which looks very neat. There is then another line along the outside of the straps which then cuts across the chest about the inch below the neckline. This is also lined with lace. Although the braid and lace have been used neatly and the lace has a pretty design, I don't think I like the way it cuts across the bodice like this. I can't quite put my finger on why I don't like it though. I would have preferred the lace to continue along the outside of the straps and then taper off. There is a large waist bow. It is a bit big in size, but I don't think it looks too out of place on this dress. The bow has a pretty shape and it sits nicely on the dress. I like the lace on the ends of the bow tails, as it matches nicely with the use of the same lace elsewhere on the dress. I would lose the gold bijou and wing charm in the centre of the waist bow though, as they blend in to the background too much anyway. I didn't even realise the bow had a charm at first. The empty space on the bodice is broken up by 2 smaller bows. These bows look very cute and are a good size. I would have moved both bows down just slightly though. I think that would make the spacing look a bit better. The back is fully shirred, so it means there is a wider size range, but the shirring is very exposed. It doesn't look too appealing. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of flare and volume. There is lots of room for petticoat underneath. If the stock photos are any indication, there is lots of potential to create a really pretty, full shape. The skirt design is kept very simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same lace used on the rest of the dress, which is a nice bit of continuity.
This is the Clerical Dress. The bodice looks well fitted but I am not overly keen on the bodice shape, especially teamed with that collar. There is a small waist bow, which is a good size and sits well on the dress. I like the ribbon used for the waist bow, but not on this particular dress. It is too sheer and I feel the waist bow needs to be a bit bolder in design. As you can see in the picture above of the white colour way, the waist bow blends in to the background quite a lot and it is a bit too delicate looking paired with the bold print. The rest of the bodice is really plain in design, but most of it is taken up by the collar anyway. I really hate the shape of the collar. It looks really unappealing to me. Also, I didn't realise at first that there is in fact a set of regular JSK straps underneath the collar. If you look at this dress from the back, you can see these straps poking out where there is a gap between the collar and the back of the main dress. It looks really messy. I just feel the collar is too big and plain in design. It feels like an odd contrast having this really basic looking collar with the extravagant looking print. The back has a panel of shirring, although it's a bit difficult to tell from the site's pictures whether or not this shirring panel is topped with a ribbon corset or anything. I think the large, plain collar grabs the attention more than the shirring anyway! The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards plenty too. I prefer the shape of the skirt on the other JSK though. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace.
And finally, here we can see one bit of the print close up...
... and another part. This series comes in white, black and blue. The colours are good choices for the style of print. I do kind of wish the blue was more of a navy blue though. However, I do admit that the gold in the print really 'pops' on the bright blue that Meta have chosen. As for the print itself, it looks pretty, but I feel it could have been better. I like the cherubs in the print, but some of the details look a bit blurry and the edges don't seem that crisp. The gold swirls are a bit more promising and I like how there are roses and crowns within the gold details. I am not overly keen on the little boxes containing the brand logo and it feels like they are just there to fill in the empty spaced. When I initially saw this print I really liked it, but as time has gone on I have found more to dislike about it.
So overall, I am a little underwhelmed by this series. I do feel the print could have been drawn better. There are similar prints to this which have a bit more of the 'wow' factor to them. I also feel the Clerical Dress design looks messy. I can see what Meta were aiming for, but I don't feel they have quite pulled it off. So this is not a series I will be buying. If I did, I would be choosing the Ribbon Shirring JSK in black. If the blue had been a navy blue I would have gone for that colour instead. After a couple of quite good series from Meta, this one feels a bit disappointing in my opinion.