Monday, 29 June 2015

Ex Libris The Dolls by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Giveaway still going on here- Win Free Stuff!

Today I shall be taking a look at Ex Libris the Dolls by Baby the Stars Shine bright. This series includes 4 dresses, a skirt, 2 blouses, tights, a pochette, a barrette, a head bow, a hat, and a few pieces of jewellery.



First up is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice looks very tube-like and it will be interesting to see how well it fits in person. The bodice shape is also a bit dull and I dislike the straight neckline. I think the straps are a reasonable width but could do with being lined with some thin lace, just to stop them looking so plain. The waist area is topped with a stripy belt, which helps to nip in the waist area nicely. The belt also helps break up the print a bit. I really love the shape and size of the waist bow as well. I think it is the perfect size. The majority of the bodice is kept plain, as there is quite a lot of neckline details. However, I do feel Baby could have added some thin lines of lace running up the bodice, just to subtly break up the plain areas. The neckline features a strip of the stripy ribbon, topped with bows, and a line of wide lace hiding underneath. There is also a pleat running along the neckline, which has been done neatly, but doesn't do much to soften the neckline. I don't think the pleat looks that attractive used here like this. The bows are a cute shape and size and I like that the 2 outer bows are lined with lace. Perhaps the bow tails on the outer bows could have been a bit shorter and the middle bow a bit smaller, but I don't think they look too bad. I do feel the lace is needed underneath these bows, as it softens the bow detail quite nicely. However, I am not sure I like the choice of lace used and I dislike the way the lace has been gathered, which makes it stick out awkwardly from underneath the bows. The back has a generous panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. It is all kept fairly tidy. The stock photos show the skirt has a pretty shape, with just the right amount of volume to create a nice sweet-classic shape. It flares out nicely too. The skirt design is kept simple and so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is finished with a line of stripy ribbon topped with bows, a pleat and then a chiffon ruffle. It sounds quite crowded, but I actually feel it has been well executed. The ribbon and the pleats keep things neat and then the chiffon gives a softer finish. The bows on top of the ribbon could have been too OTT, but they are quite discreet and are a lovely finishing touch.




Next we have the Lace Frill JSK. The bodice material look a tiny bit loose and baggy in the stock photos, but didn't look too bad on the photo of the dress worn on the model. The overall bodice shape looks quite pretty. My main complaint with the bodice is the way the bodice has been split in to panels and the way the print has been lined up along these joins, so there are bits of text and pictures cut off. The straps seem to be a decent width and look quite supportive. I love how the straps and neckline have been topped beautifully with a line of gathered lace and chiffon. The gathering has been done so well and it creates a lovely, fluffy appearance. The waist is topped with a stripy belt again, which helps break up the print. I don't feel the belt on this dress has been done as well as it has on the Ribbon JSK though. With this belt you have to tie your own bow, and I feel the belt material is a bit too long. It doesn't look bad, but the belt doesn't look as neat and tidy as it does on the previous JSK. The bottom half of the bodice has a small ribbon corset in the centre. This is kept to quite a small area, so I feel the ribbon looks a bit bunched together. I would have made the ribbon corset a bit wider, or not bothered with it at all. The top of the bodice features 2 stripy bows, which I think are too big in size. The bows would look a lot better if the bow tails were a lot shorter. I do like that the bows are lined with lace though, to stop them looking a bit less plain. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume. I personally would have liked a little more length and volume. The overall skirt shape looks quite pretty though. The skirt design is again kept simple and the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 wide chiffon ruffles. The tiers are layered well and sit greatly on top of each other. My only complaint is these ruffles are over-stitched instead of under-stitched, which I feel looks a bit messier.




This is the Frill Frill JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the overall shape is quite interesting. I love the soft neckline shape. The straps are an okay width, which suits the style of dress. I like that the outside of the straps are lined with a chiffon ruffle to stop them looking too basic, but I feel it is a little overwhelming with the neckline ruffle. I don't really know how else I would have done this design though, as I like the neckline ruffle as well! The waist area has a bow, which has an okay overall size, but I think could have been a better shape. The middle bit of the bow is a bit wide. The edges of the waist bow are lined with lace, which I don't feel adds that much to the design but at least make the edges a bit smarter. The bodice features a yoke with a pleated edge. The yokes shape and size is okay, but I am not keen on the way the pleated edge looks. The yoke is filled up with lace and pleats, which adds a nice bit of texture to the yoke. The yoke is then topped with 3 large stripy bows. The bows are a cute shape but look too big. It makes the yoke look too crowded. I believe this dress could have worked with none of the stripy bows at all, even the ones at the bottom of the dress, although perhaps some bows would be better than none at all. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares out well. I do feel the way the chiffon ruffles at the bottom have been layered give the skirt a bit of a lumpy silhouette though. The print is displayed quite well on the top part of the skirt. I think it would have worked better if the printed part was a bit longer and there was one less chiffon ruffle. I do like the alternating colours of the chiffon ruffles though. It is just a shame the ruffles don't sit that well on top of each other. The top 2 ruffles and the bottom 2 ruffles seem to be split apart from each other, probably because of the way the ruffles have been gathered. The bottom of the printed part of the skirt is topped with 2 bows. The bows are cute but I am not sure they are really needed. 




Here we have the OP. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and the shape is quite cute. I think the sleeves have a suitable amount of puff to them but perhaps could be a little longer. The cuffs of the sleeves are very neatly set out but could be a bit shorter and the lace a little narrower. The pearl buttons on the cuffs are a nice touch though. There is once again a stripy ribbon belt, which creates a a good shape and breaks up the dress nicely. I still think the Ribbon JSK waist belt looks best though. The bodice features a square shaped yoke, which is made up of the printed fabric. I really don't like the shape of the yoke and the use of wide lace lining the bottom of it. I do like the idea of using the printed fabric for the yoke though, as it is something a bit different. The yoke material is neatly pleated for a bit of extra depth. Although I don't like the lace at the bottom of the yoke, the rest of the lace used around and on the yoke is gorgeous and set out in a lovely way. The lace really stands out against the printed fabric too. The lace in the middle of the yoke is neatly topped with a line of pearl buttons. The pearl buttons are a lovely design and well spaced out. I think my favourite bit of this dress is the lace and chiffon ruffles around the neckline. It is gathered really well and the chiffon and lace sit so well on top of each other. I think it is really cute! The bottom of the yoke and the neckline are topped with stripy bows. I don't think the bow at the bottom of the yoke is needed, but the one on the neckline is a cute shape and nice size. So I think it is a real shame that the neckline bow is detachable but the yoke bow doesn't seem to be. I really think it should be the other way around! The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is quite limited. There is a square sailor-like panel on the back, which stops the back from looking too plain, which I felt was a nice touch. I felt the print along the zipline wasn't too bad and if you were casually glancing you may not noticed the print is misaligned along it. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume to it and it flares out well. There wont be room for an OTT amount of petticoat here, but there is the potential to create a lovely sweet-classic shape. The skirt is once again kept quite simple and so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a double ruffle of chiffon. The chiffon looks pretty but it is a shame they have been over-stitched.




And finally, here is one part of the print close up...




... and another part of the print close up. This series is available in pink, sax blue, green and brown. All of the colours seem to work really well with the print. As for the print itself, it is a really interesting layout which reminds me of my old children's picture books. The square design is very bold, and it works well with the simpler dress designs. The pictures in the squares are pretty, with a very whimsical look to them. I love the cute kitten and the goldfish panel! The pictures look a bit fuzzy though, and could do with being a bit crisper. The writing is also nice and works with the book style layout of the print. Again, I feel the text could have been a bit crisper. Hopefully it will actually look better in person.

So I feel this is a very interesting series. The dress designs are not that OTT but the print is quite eye-catching. I just worry the print might look a bit blurry in person, which is not something you want from a brand print. I am liking the more mature sweet look and the dress designs definitely contribute to this. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but only because this is not my usual style. Unusually for me, I think I actually like the OP the most. I would probably go for the pink if I was going for this series.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Frilly Ninja Custom Bolero Review

I was casually browsing Storenvy when I came across the Frilly Ninja and spotted their Belle bolero. I have been searching for a navy blue bolero for a while, but I wanted a long sleeve design. So I decided to drop the owner a message to ask if they would mind making me a Belle bolero, but with full length sleeves. Luckily, my wish was granted!




The store owner's communication was good and she responded to my emails very quickly. I felt like my needs were met and I was offered 3 different designs for the full length sleeves. Once I had given my arm measurement and picked my design, I was told the bolero would take 2 weeks to make. It actually took less time than that and my bolero was shipped out super quickly as well. My bolero cost £30 and that included tracked shipping. The bolero was shipped in a plastic mail bag and was well sealed.




Inside, my bolero was wrapped up in tissue paper and I had a nice little note from the store owner as well. The bolero was well packaged and I don't think there was much more that could have been done to improve this.




And here is the finished bolero! The colour is perfect and exactly what I was after. I knew from the listing that the material would be light and this bolero is definitely more for adding a light layer than keeping warm. The material is similar to what you may see used for a blouse. The only potential issue I can see here is the material looks like it might wrinkle a little bit when stored away.




The stitching was generally quite neat. The ruffles were nicely gathered and created a lovely shape when worn. The sizing was also perfect for wearing over a dress for me.




The stitching on the inside was also neatly done. I was surprised to see the thread used here was black, but you can't see the black at all from the outside.




The ribbon was cut very neatly, although I am a little worried the ends will start fraying eventually. The ribbon is a bit shiny and I am sure I recognise it from Hobbycraft. The ribbon choice could have been better but it is not awful either.




I was very pleased with the fit. The arm length was spot on and finished perfectly at my wrist area. As you can probably see from the photo, the material at the cuffs is not 100% opaque an you can see some light coming through. The main part of the bolero is not like this though.

So overall, I would say that the customer service I received was perfect and the seller was very friendly and easy to talk to. As for the bolero, the materials could have been better in places but the design is very pretty. The bolero fitted my arms perfectly. For some reason, boleros for lolita can be quite difficult to find, so I was quite grateful that the Frilly Ninja went to the effort of altering her Belle design for me. The bolero is not brand quality, but for the price I paid I think what I got was quite good value for money. I will still be keeping an eye out for my dream bolero (AP's Romantic Ribbon bolero in navy blue, in case anybody was wondering!) but I am glad I now own a navy blue bolero.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dark Night Guardian by Metamorphose

Giveaway sill going on- Giveaway here

Today I shall be taking a look at Dark Night Guardian by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses (one comes in 2 different lengths), 2 skirts, a cape, 4 hair accessories, wrist cuffs, socks and an under-skirt.




First up is the Cross Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape of the bodice is quite pretty. The straps look a supportive width and also suit the dress. I really like how the straps are topped with crisscrossed ribbon too, as it is neatly spaced out and well executed. The ribbon used here doesn't look that shiny either. The waist area is topped with a line of very bold lace. The lace is quite pretty and it sits fairly well on the dress. I do feel it could have been shaped a bit better though. The waist area also has chains dangling down and sitting on top of the skirt. The chains are well spaced out and are light enough not to weigh the skirt down. I would have liked this detail a lot more if the chains were a bit more obvious though, as they really blend in to the background. These waist chains are detachable. I think I would leave the chains attached but I am still disappointed they don't stand out more. The bodice is topped with some thin lines of trim and topped with some frog hook buttons. The details are pretty and fit in with the style of the dress, but once again I don't feel these details stand out that much. Maybe it will look bolder in person. The top of the bodice then has a slightly raised panel which is an interesting shape. The edges of this panel have been lined with a subtle line of thin lace, which looks very neat and tidy. The panel features lines of thin lace and some crisscrossed ribbon in the centre. The details have been well laid out and the ribbon is neatly spaced. There is also a detachable brooch made up of a bow, fake rose and pearl chain. The bow part is well shaped and the fake rose is of a very good quality. The pearl chain dangles in a subtle manner underneath the rose. This brooch is detachable but I think I would leave it on, as I quite like it and thinks it fits the dress theme. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very rounded and plump. There is the potential to create a very full bell shape with the skirt. The skirt design is kept very simple and the waist chains are tucked neatly away at the sides, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of very wide lace. The bottom of the lace has a pretty design to it but I wish the line of lace was a bit narrower, perhaps with a bit less of the polka dot part of the lace showing. I think polka dots are a bit too sweet for this dress anyway.




This is the Vest-like Dress. The shape of the bodice is quite pretty and fairly well fitted. The pointed waistline looks interesting and I love the neckline. I think the straps are a suitable width and look very supportive. The straps are lined with very thin lace which is not that obvious but at least finishes off the edges in a neat way. The shoulder part of the straps is also topped with this folded over fabric and a button, in the style of an epaulette. This detail has been done neatly and the button design is lovely and suits the theme. However, it is quite hidden away so is anybody really going to notice this detail? The bodice is broken up with a few lines of lace, which gives the bodice a nice paneled appearance. I really like how the lace has been used in the centre to make it look a bit more like a buttoned up vest. This line of lace is lined with a row of buttons. The buttons are a pretty design and are well spaced out. This gold lace continues on to the neckline, which makes the neckline look a bit more interesting, but is subtle enough that you still get that sharp neckline shape. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. To be honest, this panel looks so small that I can't see it offering a great deal of stretch. The ribbon topping it just looks bunched together and this is one of those rare instances where I don't think this ribbon is needed. Either that or they should have made the panel just a little bit wider. What I really dislike about this dress is that you don't get a whole skirt and so, you are expected to pay out extra for an underskirt. I would understand if this dress was a great deal cheaper than the other 2 dresses, but it is only a few thousand yen less than the Shirred Pinafore JSK below and then it is recommended that you buy the matching under-skirt, which is an additional 17,000 yen. If you do buy the under-skirt with this dress then it is by far the most expensive dress and I just don't feel it is worth it. But back to the dress itself, it would appear that the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume to fit over an under-skirt. Despite the opening at the front, the print is still displayed quite well elsewhere on the skirt. The bottom hem is then finished off with a subtle line of thin lace, which is probably a good idea for this style of dress.




Here we have the Shirred Pinafore JSK. Shown here in the mini length. The bodice material looks a little bit loose in places and I feel the shape could have been a little bit more appealing. I think I dislike the shape because of the scoop neckline teamed with the quite thin straps. I feel the straps need to be a little thicker and perhaps then the overall bodice shape would look a bit more balanced. The insides of the straps and along the neckline is topped with a bold line of gold braid. The braid is pretty but the gold colour is quite bold and perhaps the braid could have been used elsewhere to help balance it out a bit better. There is a waist bow which is a bit big, but seems a suitable size for the dress. The shape of the bow is quite pretty and well formed. The bow sits quite nicely on the dress too. This waist bow is detachable but I think I prefer the dress with it attached. The bodice is mainly kept quite plain and simple, but there is plenty of details around the neckline area to keep it interesting. Perhaps some thin lines of lace running up the bodice could have livened it up a bit and broken up the plain bits. The neckline features a detachable double brooch, with a chain between 2 bows, and one bow topped with a fake rose and some feathers. The bows are well formed and are a cute shape. I think the chain between the 2 bows is a good length and drapes quite nicely when used. The fake rose used to top one of the bows is of a good quality, although I feel better quality feathers could have been used. The feathers also stick out at an odd angle in the stock photos, but a bit of readjusting would sort that out. The brooch is of course detachable, but I quite like it. I feel the dress looks far too plain without it. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which is great for size flexibility but does not look that attractive. The stock photos show the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards well. It will hold more than enough petticoat and there is the potential to create a pretty shape. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same lace as the Cross Pinafore JSK. 




And finally, here we can see the print. This series is available in ruby, emerald and charcoal. Although the colours do suit the print, I feel the colours could have been a bit more vibrant, as they look a bit washed out in some of the stock photos. Proper deep jewel tones for the ruby and emerald versions would have been so pretty. As for the print itself, it is an interesting design, but I am not convinced I like the way it has been laid out. The bendy castle looks a bit odd to me and I think the lions could have been a bit more lively instead of just laying there. The birds in flight are pretty though. I wish the birds and trees had been a stronger feature in this print. The moon phase is a good idea, but I don't think it quite works here. The feathers dangling from chains is interesting, but I think free-floating feathers would have been better. There are loads of interesting ideas in this print, but it doesn't quite work.

So this is quite an interesting series, but I don't think Meta quite manage to pull it off. The 2 dresses that are actually proper dresses are pretty enough and there are only a few small things I would change. As for the print, I did quite like it when I initially saw it on the dresses when the magazine scans came out, but when I actually properly looked at it, I began to like it a lot less. It is an interesting print, but I don't think it has been executed in the best possible way. So this probably wouldn't be a series I would go for. If I did, I would choose the Cross Pinafore JSK in charcoal. If the red colour on the ruby had been a bit deeper I would probably choose that colour instead. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Summer ILD Oxfordshire Lolitas Meet!

Happy Belated International Lolita Day! Shalisa, Sammi and I decided to combine our hosting skills and put on a party for the Oxfordshire Lolitas. We hired the upstairs of the Mitre, as it is a really large venue and there is always a pitcher of Pimm's waiting just downstairs. And we definitely needed the Summery drinks because the weather was hot and lovely.




It felt like ages since I had worn full-on sweet lolita, instead of classic or a more casual take on sweet lolita. So I decided this would be a good time to wear my Sweetie Violet JSK from Angelic Pretty. I teamed it with some of my favourite lavender items and the hat I ordered from Akilya. I used white to break up the pink and lavender, as I felt the colours were a bit overwhelming on their own. It was a light and airy outfit which was perfect for the weather conditions. I curled my real hair instead of wearing a wig. Sadly the curls did not last all day but I was just grateful not to have sweaty wig-head!




As part of the ticket price we provided a buffet. There were also gift bags and many prizes to be won. My Taobao order from last month could not have been timed better! I was quite pleased with how the food turned out. Sammi had made some macarons, which tasted amazing and she also brought along her infamous cous cous (she is the queen of cous cous). It doesn't look a lot in the picture, but I can confirm I was completely stuffed by the end of the day.




We did many different activities including a quiz that Shalisa kindly made. Our guests had to pick out the real brand print names. Some of them were really difficult. I sat this one out because I kept winning and decided to give somebody else a chance!




Next up was the Lolita Assault Course! This was my invention and it is based on etiquette advice given by the English Gothic Lolita Bibles and the silly videos that Misako Aoki has been doing recently about the rules of lolita. Our guests had to do their most composed walk around some cones whilst they had balloons chucked at them. Then they moved on to a posing station, had to sit down in the most considerate manner, tie some waist ties in to a bow, add some sugar to a cup of tea without making a racket and then finish off with giving us their best "lolita laugh". Judging by the reactions, people seemed to enjoy my course, so perhaps it will be making an appearance at a future meet...




And there was also a Pass the Parcel! Samm, Shalisa and I completely forgot how many layers we had wrapped, so it went on a bit longer than anticipated. And the random CD we had borrowed from the Mitre had the most peculiar music choices on it! Somehow we managed to get to the end and eventually Laura won the socks that were inside. Laura said she needed some new socks so I am glad we were able to help!




There was also a cake decorating contest. Some were certainly more inventive than others and everybody voted for the best cake. Laura won this contest as well, with her cute bird themed design (bottom right). There were some really cute designs. At least everybody got to eat cake afterwards.




And then there was Lolita Print Charades. Some of them proved harder than others and I had to omit some very embarrassing photos! There was a cake stand full of mini prizes to be won. Nicola and Hayley did especially well with the charades.




And finally, a group shot (minus both of the Lauras who had to leave a bit early). I really love how there was a nice balance between sweet and classic, as usually one style seems to dominate our meets. Everybody put a lot of effort in to their outfits and a lot of us wore our favourite pieces. I just hope everybody enjoyed themselves.

Afterwards the hosts went to get a drink and wind down. I think we earned it, as we were all exhausted afterwards. I don't think I will be hosting any big meets soon but I am hopeful to see the Oxford group again soon. I had a great time! I hope everybody reading had a great ILD too, no matter what you ended up doing.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Mixed Brand Print Double

Don't forget my sweet or classic colours giveaway- http://luna-rain.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/300-followers-giveaway-sweet-or-classic.html

Today I shall be taking a look at 2 recent brand prints. Scoll down further to see my views on Bambi de la Foret Secret by Baby.


First up today is Rose's Prisoner in Pirates Ship by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, a head bow, a tricorn, cuffs and socks.



First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. The straps are very thick and look quite thick and supportive. They are perhaps a bit too bulky but a thinner strap maybe wouldn't have worked as well with the design. The straps are lined with lace on the inside and carries on in a line to the underneath of the arms. The lace used is of a good quality but a bit boring in design. The lace sits well on the dress but I am not that keen on the way it breaks up the bodice and also how it looks teamed with the very straight neckline. The lower half of the bodice features a corset. The ribbon for the corset is neatly spaced out, but a little bit shiny. I like how the ribbon has been attached with the eyelets, as holds the ribbon is place securely and doesn't look too delicate. The neckline is topped with a large ribbon bow. I think the bow shape is quite interesting looking and it sits well on the dress. However, again the ribbon is a bit shiny. There is also a pair of antique gold buttons with a double chain on the straps which runs across the bodice. Whilst this detail is pretty, it doesn't really work when paired with the neckline bow. These 2 details clash with each other and as a result the chain has to hide beneath the bow. Perhaps a much smaller bow would have been a better idea. The back of the dress has a very small panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. The smaller shirring panel may mean there is less shirring on display, but in this case I think AatP could have gotten away with that panel being a little bit bigger. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards beautifully. There is more than enough room for petticoat underneath. The skirt features a side bustle with many chiffon layers. The chiffon layers sit well on top of each other and look very soft. However, I feel the spacing of the chiffon layers is a bit off. At first glance it looks well spaced out but after looking at the side view picture, I can see there is a small bit of a chiffon ruffle sticking out underneath the very top ruffle and I think it looks a bit untidy. The print doesn't really get much of a chance to shine on this dress, but I suppose with this dress it is the dress design that is going to catch the most attention anyway. 




Here we have JSK II. The bodice is well fitted but I really despise the bodice shape. I really don't like the neckline shape at all. The straps are also quite thin, but thicker straps may not have been a good match for the bodice. The straps are also very plain in design and look far too basic. The bodice features 2 large ribbon corsets. These corsets are far too bulky and are placed too close to each other. They definitely need to be a lot narrower. The corsets are also at an odd angle and go nearer the centre as they do go down the bodice. I feel this is a very peculiar idea. Inside the 2 ribbon corsets there are 2 large ribbon bows. The bows are a cute shape but they are too big. I also don't feel the bows work well teamed with the double ribbon corset design. Something about it just doesn't look right. Maybe using bows was not the best choice here. The neckline is topped with lace, which only seems to emphasise that horrible neckline shape. The lace also looks messy and I don't feel the lace was the best choice. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped very neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume. The skirt has a decent amount of flare to it. The skirt design is kept simple so at least the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some tassel trim. I don't really see how the tassel trim fits in with the rest of the dress design and it is also not the prettiest of trims I have seen.




This is the OP. The bodice looks fairly well fitted but I really hate the shape. I feel it is a bit top-heavy and dis-proportioned. The neckline is very close to the neck area and it makes the shoulders look huge. My least favourite bit of the entire dress has to be the sleeves. They are a very peculiar shape, starting off very puffy and then gather a bit, only to flare outwards again. Despite being puffy at the top, the heaviness of the bottom half of the sleeve drags it downwards and makes it look very saggy.



The other thing I find disappointing about the sleeves is the detailing on the bottom half. They are far too OTT and I think the details look very cheap. The lines of lace are really not needed. Also, the chiffon ruffles are a strange shape, especially when teamed with the very straight lines of the sleeves. It looks incredibly tacky.

The bottom half of the bodice is topped with a corset. The ribbon for the corset is well spaced out and done neatly. Again, the ribbon is held very securely in place and doesn't look flimsy at all. I am not fond of the way the corset has been lined with lace though. Something about it just looks cheap. Thankfully the corset is detachable and I feel this makes the dress look less cluttered. The chest area has a panel which is lined with wide lace on both sides. The lace used for this looks terrible. The wider lace of the 2 lace lines especially looks cheap. This little panel is topped with a ribbon brooch with an emblem topping it. The emblem is pretty but the brooch feels wasted on this dress design. The back has no shirring so there is limited size flexibility. The stock photos show the skirt has loads of volume and it flares out well. However, I really hate how the skirt design has been laid out. The front solid coloured chiffon panel is an awkward shape and I also hate how this panel is kept flat. It looks strange it being flat and some subtle layered chiffon would at least stop it looking so plain. This weirdly shaped panel also gives the printed fabric on top a weird shape. Despite the horrible panel in the front centre, the print is still very well displayed. The bottom is then finished off with some layered chiffon ruffles. The ruffles here at least look decent, are well spaced out and sit well on top of each other.



And finally here is the print close up. This series comes in gold, silver, bordeaux and blue. After seeing on the print on the dresses, I am leaning more towards the 2 darker colours. It does mean the print doesn't stand out as much, but the dress details I dislike look more obvious on the 2 lighter colours. As for the print itself, this is the sort of print that Alice and the Pirates excel at. So it is a shame I hate the dresses so much. I especially like the bows and draped fabric. It has been drawn so well. The print is mature and the pirate boats are pretty. The ropes and chains are a perfect way to fill in the empty spaces and the brand logo is not too showy.

So whilst I like the print, I feel the dress designs let it down. The OP is probably the one I find the most offensive. At least there is the skirt, which has a pretty good design to it. It is a shame, as I like pirate lolita and this is a nice print, which isn't too flashy but still looks pretty in an understated way. Would I buy this series? No, I would not. If I did, I would be opting for the skirt in bordeaux. I don't like any of the dresses enough to pick between them. On a more positive note, this pirate themed release does mean we get to see AatP release another tricorn hat.

Next up today is Bambide le Foret Secrete by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 4 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, 6 hair accessories, socks, 2 blouses and a cape.




First up is JSK I. The bodice looks very well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. I like that the straps have a decent amount of width to them and look very supportive. They could have perhaps been a tiny bit narrower, but I don't think the straps look too bulky here. The straps are lined very neatly with thin lines of lace on both the insides and outsides, which stops the edges from looking too plain, but also doesn't look too OTT. There is a waist bow, which I think is a very suitable size and the edges of the bow have been lined very neatly with thin lace. Although the general bow shape looks cute, the bow looks a bit poorly formed in some of the stock photos, but here is hoping it wont be like that for the actual release. The waist bow is detachable and I feel I may actually prefer the dress with it detached. The bodice features a ribbon corset which is partially topped by a scalloped panel on either side. The ribbon is well spaced out and looks very neat. I like that the ribbon used isn't shiny at all. However, I am not that keen on the scalloped part. The scallops are well shaped and everything, I just don't like how it looks, as I have never been the biggest fan of scallop details anyway. The edges of the ribbon corset and the neckline have been lined beautifully with lace. I really love the lace Baby have chosen and it sits nicely on the dress too. The bases of the straps are then topped with some matte ribbon bows. The bows are a cute shape and size. I am a little unsure I like the bows there though, so it is a shame they are not detachable. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards well. There is the potential to create a lovely shape. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed well too. The bottom hem is then finished off very neatly with a line of ribbon and some good quality lace. I like how the ribbon line adds one final little pop of colour to the bottom.




This is JSK II. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is once again quite interesting. The straps are a suitable width and suits the style of dress. They are lined neatly with lace on both the insides and outsides which makes them look a bit more interesting. The waist area features a "belt" design on the front area. It does nip the waist area in quite nicely. For this "belt" Baby have used part of the printed fabric and I am undecided whether I like it or would prefer a solid coloured belt. I also don't feel the lace lining the belt is really needed, as I feel it makes the belt look a bit fussy. There is also a waist bow, which I feel is a bit big. The lace lining this bow emphasises the large size of the bow as well, and I feel thinner lace would have been better. The shape of the bow is otherwise quite cute though. Luckily, this waist bow is detachable, and I would definitely be detaching it if I had this dress. The main part of the bodice is kept plain, but the neckline has a fair bit of detail anyway. Maybe 2 very thin lines of lace running up the bodice would break up the empty space a little bit without being too distracting. The neckline features a raised panel with a bold scalloped design. The scallops are nicely shaped but I think it maybe would have looked better if just the bottom of this panel was scalloped. I am not that keen on how the scallops look along the neckline. The scallops at the bottom of this panel are nice and subtle though. The scalloped panel is topped with a solid coloured ribbon bow. The bow is a very cute shape and I think with the waist bow detached, the panel bow would be a good size. The panel bow is big enough that it can work on its own without the waist bow there. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which means plenty of size flexibility, but it isn't that appealing to look at. The stock photos show the skirt flares out well and there is plenty of room for petticoat underneath. I love the bell shape of the skirt. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with lace with ribbon threaded through it. The lace has a lovely design and the ribbon threaded through it looks very pretty.




Here we have the OP. The bodice is a lovely shape and it looks reasonably well fitted. I think the top part of the sleeves could have been a bit shorter, but they have a nice amount of puff to them. I can't quite make up my mind if I like the detachable long part of the sleeves though. I don't think I like the look of how the detachable parts attach to the sleeves and the shape of the sleeves could have been prettier. I have never really been sure about this style of OP sleeve though, as it looks as though a blouse has been awkwardly shoved underneath the OP. So if it was me, I would probably detach the lower part of the sleeves. I do like the shape of the cuffs on the long sleeves though and the bows add a nice touch of colour. There is a big waist bow, which is a cute shape, although a bit floppy looking. The bow is lined neatly with lace. After looking at the photos, I feel the waist bow blends in to the background a bit too much. This waist bow is detachable, and I probably would detach it. The bodice features a yoke and a large collar. The yoke is very cute and a nice shape and size. I love the lace that has been used to line the yoke as it has a pretty design to it. The collar is also very pretty, although it is a bit big. The collar is topped with lace, which adds a subtle bit of detail to it. However, I am a little unsure if I like the yoke and collar together. There is something about it that looks a bit too bulky. I do like the old school feel to it though. The yoke is topped with 2 ribbon bows, which are a nice shape, but could do with being a little bit smaller. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is a bit limited. I also dislike the way the collar shape has been finished on the back. The stock photos show the skirt has a good amount of volume to it. The skirt flares out well and it has a pretty bell shape to it. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom of the skirt is finished off with a scallop shaped hem with lace layered underneath. I like this more subtle approach to scallops, as the lace underneath really soften the scallops and makes them look a lot less harsh.  




And finally, here is one part of the print close up...




... and another part. This series is available in ivory, blue, red and brown. The colour choices are good matches for the print. I was really surprised by how much I love the blue colour way. It is a bit deeper than the typical sax blue we are used to seeing, and it works really well with the colours in the print. The brown version is cute too. As for the print itself, I think it is really pretty. The burst of flowers and apples is beautiful. The apples adds a bright pop of colour which works very well. The animals in the print are well drawn and look very cute. I love the way the animals are frolicking and playing together. It is so sweet! This print reminds me of a sweeter take on Innocent World's Lotta, but this print is a lot bolder, with more detail. In fact, I do wonder if the flowers are a little bit too dominant, as they overshadow the deers a little bit. Overall though, I am quite impressed by the print and I like the flowers.

So overall I think this is a lovely series. There is the odd thing I would change about each of the dress designs but overall they are quite strong designs. The dress designs are a good match for the print too and I like the slight old-school feel. Would I buy this series? Maybe, but this is not the sort of series I would usually go for. If I were going for this series I think I would go for JSK I in the blue colour. That blue colour is gorgeous! I hope Baby use this combination of colours again in another series.





Thursday, 11 June 2015

300 Followers Giveaway! Sweet or Classic Colours

As promised, I am doing a giveaway to celebrate reaching 300 followers! There are 2 prizes- one with sweeter colours and one with more classic colours.


Classic Colours



Classic colours bundle includes- brown and ivory macaron embroidery blanket, brown double bow hair band, off-white lace ankle socks, see-through floral socks, ivory and gold hair bows x2, wine red wrist cuffs, red rose ring, brown notepad, brown cake shape eraser


Sweet Colours



Sweet Colours bundle includes- pale yellow and pink macaron embroidery blanket, pink double bow hair band, black cat themed socks, cupcake themed liner socks, star themed purple hair bows x2, sax blue wrist cuffs, blue cake themed ring, blue notepad, pink doughnut shape eraser

You can win one of these prizes! Entry for the giveaway is below, but please take a look at the terms and conditions first. You can enter to win both the sweet and classic bundles.


Terms and Conditions

1. Pink blanket in photos is for illustrative purposes only.
2. Competition entry is open for all countries.
3. Every effort will be made to ensure your prize gets to you safely. I bear no responsibility for loss or damage to the parcel once it has been sent. Be aware that if you are outside of the EU, there is the possibility the parcel may be subject to customs charges.
4. Giveaway ends at 12 midnight GMT on Wednesday the 8th of July
5. Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter and announced on this blog on Thursday the 9th of July. Winners will be given 5 days to get in contact with me. If no contact is made within this time, another winner will be picked.
6. By entering the competition you agree to these terms and conditions and if you win you agree to your name being published on this blog.


Enter Here! (Classic Colours entry can be selected using the arrows on the Rafflecoptor Widget below)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 8 June 2015

Mermaid Princess by Metamorphose and 300 Followers!

I just wanted to write a quick note to say a massive thank you to my followers. I have reached 300 followers!


 As promised, there will be a giveaway soon to mark this occasion. Please bear with me whilst I set this giveaway up. It will be coming soon, so do keep an eye out for it! I can't thank you all enough for sticking by me these past couple of years. And now, on to today's print discussion...


Today I shall be looking at Mermaid Princess by Metamorphose. This series includes 5 dresses (2 of the dresses are the same, just different lengths), a skirt, 5 hair accessories, gloves and socks.




First up is the Peplum JSK. The bodice material looks a bit loose in places, especially underneath the armpits. The length of the bodice looks a bit long. I also feel the bodice shape is a bit too basic and square looking and perhaps the neckline would have looked better if it wasn't so straight. The straps look a little bit thin and is even falling off the shoulder in the stock photo, so they could be a bit flimsy. They could probably do with being a little wider, although not too much. There is lace topping the straps that carries on down the bodice to make a yoke. The lace used looks like it is fairly good quality and it makes the straps look a lot less plain. The yoke on the bodice is filled neatly with lines of lace and a mini ribbon corset topped with a bow. The yoke details are interesting enough and the bow is a suitable shape and size. I am not that keen on the lines of lace coming down the bodice from the yoke to the waist as I feel they look a bit odd. I do like the shell shaped buttons on the bodice though. They are such a pretty design and very appropriate for the print. The waist area is topped with a organdie over-skirt and waist bow. The organdie over-skirt is beautiful. It is well gathered and shaped. It sits really well over the top of the skirt and really makes an impact. The lace keeps the edges of the organdie looking smart and also emphasises the shape that the gathering creates. It is also short enough to not obscure the print in any way. I don't think Meta could have executed this over-skirt any better. The waist bow is also very cute with a sweet shape to it and pearl chain. The waist bow is detachable but I am unsure if I would detach it or not. I like how the dress looks with and without it. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so the shirring is not concealed in any way. The stock photos show the skirt flares outwards really well and there is more than enough volume. I love the full rounded shape the skirt has. Apart from the over-skirt, the skirt design is quite simple and so the print is displayed fairly well. The bottom features 2 detachable bows, which I don't feel are really necessary. If I were to use these bows, I would perhaps use them on the bodice instead. The bottom hem is then finished off with scalloped shaped lace, which matches up with the theme well. Whilst I don't dislike anything about the bodice, I kind of feel like it lets the beautiful skirt design down a bit. It just looks a bit dull when teamed with that skirt.




Next up is the Asymmetry OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite pretty. I love the sheer sleeves and think they are a good match for the organdie parts of the dress. The sleeves are suitably puffy and are a good length. However, I am not fond of the solid pair of straps, as I don't see the point of them. I suppose though, they may offer a bit of extra support. The waist area is topped with a waist bow. Additionally, there are pearl chains that dangle between the waist bow and the waist ties. The pearl chains are such a beautiful idea and works perfectly with the print theme. I am a bit unsure I like the look of the waist bow though. I like the size of the bow but I think the bow shape could have been a bit more elaborate or perhaps they could have made the waist bow organdie. The chains are detachable but I would definitely leave them on. The bodice is split in to 2 by a panel of organdie overlay on the top half of the bodice. I think the line splitting the 2 bodice parts is low down enough that it shouldn't sit weirdly on top of the bust of most wearers. The organdie part is nicely gathered and I love that it is topped with pearls. The neckline is topped with a bow and organdie brooch which has a cute design that matches the rest of the dress. I think I actually prefer the dress with the brooch detached though. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and has a beautiful rounded shape. There is more than enough volume and the skirt flares outwards plenty. The skirt features a dramatic asymmetrical hemline with an organdie skirt underneath. I absolutely love it! The organdie tiers are layered so well and are well spaced out too. Despite the hemline, you still get a good amount of the print on show too. The skirt is well executed and overall the dress design is quite balanced.




This is the Angel Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is cute. I think the neckline looks like it sits a little too low down though. The straps look a good width and very supportive. They are lined neatly with thin lace as well, which stops them looking too boring. There is an additional set of off the shoulder straps made with organdie. I appreciate the floaty soft material goes well with the mermaid theme, but I feel the organdie straps don't really work on this particular dress. On the other hand, I think the dress could look quite plain with them detached (which you can, as they are detachable). The bodice features 2 subtle lines of lace which helps break up the bodice. The centre then features 3 organdie bows. I think the bows are a little big but at the same time I think they do work. The bows are cutely shaped and I love that they are topped with shell buttons. The spacing of the bows is very good too. The back is fully shirred, which is great for larger wearers but it does mean the shirring is quite exposed and it doesn't look as attractive. The stock photos show there is the potential to create a really pretty shape with the skirt. I really like the full bell shape in the stock photos. There is plenty of room for petticoat and the dress flares outwards quite well. The skirt design is quite simple and so the print is displayed beautifully. You can really see the print very clearly on this dress. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of lace and a ruffle of organdie. The lace on top of the organdie is quite effective and really stands out. It is a good choice of lace too. There are also some small bows topping the line of lace which are subtle enough to not be distracting and add a nice bit of extra detail.




Here is the Ribbon Shirred JSK (shown here in the mini length). The bodice again looks well fitted and despite being simple the bodice shape is quite nice. I only wish that they had made this a halterneck style dress instead of having the 2 sets of straps. The regular set of straps is a good width and very supportive. The organdie halterneck straps however, are very concealed and both sets are really not needed. I would have preferred to have just the halterneck straps as I think that would have been quite an interesting look. There is a waist bow, which is a bit large, but I think the size does actually work. The bow shape is simple, but well formed and sits well on the dress. It looks very perky and keeps its shape well. The main part of the bodice is very plain and it is a bit disappointing. The neckline details help to make up for this though. There are 3 organdie bows and 3 pearl chains dangling from the 2 outer bows. The bows are a bit big but I think they need to be big to make more of an impact on an otherwise plain bodice. I think the bow shape is very cute and they are very well formed. The pearl chains are pretty and help to break up the plain area of the bodice. The starfish charms are cute too. All of the neckline details are detachable but I would not detach a thing. The back is fully shirred, which means the shirring is quite exposed with nothing to cover it. The stock photos show the skirt is very full with loads of volume. There is enough material for the skirt to flare outwards loads. The skirt shape is very pretty, although I think I would go for a bit less volume than Meta have for the stock photos. The skirt design is kept simple and so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of good quality lace.




And finally here we have one piece of the print close up...




... and here is another part of the print. This series comes in navy, pink and lavender. The 3 colours are good choices for the print. I like that the lavender has a colder bluer tone to it. As for the print itself, it is very pretty. I love all the items of jewellery as they have nice little bits of detail to them. I like that a darker gold colour has been used as well, as it looks a bit more mature and not as flashy and OTT as some other mermaid prints. I like that the mermaids are present but are kept quite subtle, just appearing in the mirror. The subtle bubbles in the background are cute too. The only thing I am a little unsure of is the shells, as I feel they look a bit flat and could have been drawn a lot better.

So overall, I think this is a beautiful series that deserves to do well. Some dress designs are stronger than others but there is a lot of pretty things on offer. I am hoping that Meta release some pretty jewellery items to match this series. The print is beautiful too. Would I buy this series? Yes, I would. It isn't going on my wishlist but I do really like it. I think this is possibly one of my favourite mermaid prints so far, as the print is not a pastel overload. If I were to go for this series my top choice would be the Asymmetrical JSK in lavender. I had a hard time deciding between navy and lavender but the lavender just about wins it for me!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

May 2015 Taobao Order Review- Picture Heavy

It's time for another Taobao order review! As my readers have guessed by now, I am really happy with Taobao Spree's shopping service, so I always use them now. I was assigned Ray again and he was very helpful. He suggested how much to mark the value for the shipping and was once again very friendly. I do have some more stuff coming in another package but that is stuff I have already reviewed on this blog, so unless there is some massive delay or something goes wrong, I wont be reviewing the 2nd half of this order.




The items arrived to Taobao Spree in the time they estimated and there were no delays whatsoever. The parcel only took a few days to go from Taobao Spree to me as well and everything went smoothly. There was a little bit of a dent in the package though. It was nothing too serious, so I was not that concerned, and the items inside arrived safely. It looked like the parcel tape had been wrapped a little too tightly and it damaged the box a little. It was just a small rip in the cardboard and you can barely see it in the photo above. Inside the box everything was tightly packaged and there was no room for the items to move about and get bashed.




First up is the Cardcaptor Sakura beret which I have unfortunately lost the link to. But this beret has been doing the rounds a lot lately, so it shouldn't be too difficult to locate. I went for the black and the black colour looks very dark and rich. The gold embroidery really stands out against the background. A lot of people have been saying they are not that impressed with the beret and I am not really sure why. The beret is a good size for an adult head. The only real fault I could find is how to position the beret when worn. The embroidery part is quite firm and is not that flexible. So you have to wear the beret in a very specific way and I can't place it to one side like I usually do when I wear berets.




The embroidery is done very neatly and looks quite crisp. There were a few small bits which could have been done better but when you look at the design as a whole, it is quite a pretty design. I really love the magic circle design and unless you have watched Cardcaptor Sakura, chances are you wouldn't even notice it was based off a manga.



The detachable brooch is really cute. The ribbon used is matte, which is a bonus in my opinion. The clow key charm is adorable as well! The only part I am not that fussed by is the lace, as it looks a bit cheap and has been randomly placed. The back of the brooch has a standard badge backing to it. It is a shame there isn't a alligator clip on the back as well to make it just that little bit more versatile. So I feel the beret is nice enough. It is not perfect, but after hearing some average reviews, it was better than I was expecting.

Next up are the items I got from Mattys 



This macaron coin purse is a prize for out upcoming ILD meet (I decided to show this one prize and keep the rest a secret!). I ordered the Belamy Rose colour and the pink shade is so cute. I purposely went for the fluffy version and it has got a lovely texture to it. The materials used are so soft. The purse has been well sewn and looks very neat. The zip doesn't get caught and you can zip it open and closed with no issues. There is also a keychain, which is very useful. When I ordered a scented macaron purse for myself from another shop a while ago, it didn't come with a keychain. So I am glad this one does! The purse came in some very pretty packaging. It would make a lovely present for somebody.




What surprised me about the coin purse is the size. The macaron is so big! There is plenty of room inside as well. It will definitely hold plenty of coins inside. The purse is neatly lined too. I am a little bit sad that I don't get to keep it!




I also got myself a macaron blanket from the same store. And if you like the look of this item, do keep an eye out for the giveaway I am hosting when I hit 300 followers... The size of the blanket is okay for casually draping it over yourself. I think it could do with being a little bit bigger so you can really wrap yourself up in it though. I can't get over how soft the blanket is! It is really lovely to touch and is perfect to cuddle up with.



The embroidery on the macaron is done so neatly. It looks cute! I wish the Mattys logo on it was a bit more subtle but that is only a minor issue.




The edges of the blanket are also very neat and has a nice thick border. I love the blanket so much that I am tempted to buy more in other colours. This was definitely a good buy.

The last item I got myself was a tiara from Juese Bride




Although it is a bridal shop, there are loads of hair accessories which could work with lolita fashion, especially seeing as veils are popular right now. The beads and chains are of a good quality, especially considering the price. There was not a single bead out of place.




The tiara was a good size for an adult's head. If I was wearing a really thick wig it might be a little bit tight though. The spacing of the chains on the tiara is really good and very evenly spread out.




I especially like how the tiara looks from the side. I love having all the little beads dangling. It is such a pretty design. So I would probably recommend this Taobao store as well. I definitely got what I paid for. What I liked about this store as well, was that the tiara came wrapped up in bubble wrap and also came in its own box. There were also a few small spare pieces as well and some hair pins, which is very useful.

So this was quite a positive Taobao experience and I don't think there is a single store featured here that I wouldn't order from again. I especially love Mattys. I recommend looking at their store because they have all sorts of cute home wares, especially if you love macarons. I am hoping to do another Taobao order soon, so here is hoping that order goes as smoothly as this one.


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