But first today, I am taking a look at Chess Emblem by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a beret, socks and a bag.
First up is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted. I love the smart, sharp lines of the bodice shape. It looks quite mature. The sleeves seem a reasonable length and the cuffs are kept neat and tidy. I think the lace on the cuffs adds just the right amount of cute without overdoing it. The waist features a wide ribbon belt, which defines the waist nicely. The ribbon looks a decent length and I like that AP have chosen a matte ribbon. The ends of the ribbon are properly finished as well. Obviously the belt is detachable but because the print on the bodice and skirt doesn't quite line up, I definitely prefer the dress with the belt left on. The main part of the bodice is broken up with some thin lines of lace. I think this is the right amount of detail here because the print is very busy. The collar has a really interesting shape and it has been laid out neatly. I love the use of gold braid and lace as it goes with the gold in the print. The buttons and chain between the 2 points of the collar is a lovely idea too. It is a bit unusual, but I think it works. The buttons have a suitable design to them too. The collar is finished off with a ribbon bow. The ribbon choice is again kept matte and I like the bow shape and size. This bow is detachable, but I feel the bow really completes the look of the collar. The back of the dress offers no shirring, so sizing is quite limited. The back of the dress is set out really neatly with no obvious zip line and the collar looks neat from the back too. The stock photos show the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards well. There is the potential to create a really great shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, which is good because the print is very busy. The print is displayed beautifully as well with nothing cluttering it up. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some really pretty regal themed lace, which I think is a good match for the print.
Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks well fitted. I do think the shape of the bodice is a bit simple, but with a busy print simplicity is maybe not such a bad thing. The straps look a suitable width and quite supportive. I love the way the insides of the straps and neckline have been lined with gold braid and lace. The lace has a really pretty design. I really like the way it has been set out too, with the square neckline still being neatly defined. It sits nicely on the dress and stops the dress looking too basic. The waist area has the same wide ribbon belt as the OP. It is good to have a bit of solid colour to break up the business of the print. The bodice features 4 pairs of buttons with chains dangling between them. It looks really smart and adds a slight military feel to the dress, which I really like. My only complaint is that I wish there was 1 fewer pairs of buttons. I don't feel the lowest set of buttons and chain is really needed and it gets in the way of the waist belt. The neckline is topped with a matte ribbon bow. The bow has a cute shape but maybe the tails of the ribbon could have been a bit shorter. The bow is detachable, but I think it adds a much needed touch of cuteness. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and it flares outwards beautifully. I really like the full, rounded shape in the stock photos. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same regal lace.
And this is what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, mint, wine and black. I feel the mint colour is by far the weakest colour. The other 3 colours are stunning though. I had a really hard time figuring out if I liked the ivory or wine version the best. As for the print itself, I do admit that it is extremely bold and busy. But I feel that what is there is stunning. Then again, I am a bit of sucker for royalty themes, especially when chess pieces are involved. Perhaps I am a little biased! The chess pieces are well drawn with plenty of detail to them. I love the frames around the pieces too and feel that the print is nicely set out. The use of gold in the print adds a lovely luxurious touch to the print as well, which is perfect for the print theme.
So I think it is safe to say that I really like this series! In fact, I fell in love with it the second the pictures were posted online. It is bold and rich. The print is a bit OTT but I feel the maturer dress designs help to balance it out a bit. So I think it goes without saying that this is a series I would buy. It is on my wishlist! I am aiming for the JSK in wine but I would possibly settle for the ivory colour. Both look beautiful. I am already trying to think up lots of fun outfits to wear with it.
Next up today is Fun Fun School Coronation by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 5 hair accessories, 2 blouses, 2 pairs of socks and a tote bag.
Here we have JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted, although the bodice shape feels a bit simple. I think the straps look very supportive. They are quite wide and Baby could have perhaps gotten away with making them a bit narrower. The straps are lined very neatly with thin lace, which finishes the edges off nicely without adding too much to the bulkiness of the straps. I dislike the folded down flaps on the chest area. Even though these flaps have been lined neatly with lace and decorated with gold braid, there is just something about the way the finished flaps look that doesn't appeal to me personally. I also feel that the bows at the bases of the straps look strange paired with the chest flaps. The bows themselves are a cute shape, although a bit on the big side. The bows are detachable, and I do feel that would make the flaps look less awkward. However, I would have preferred the flaps to not be there instead. The bodice features a neatly set out ribbon corset. The ribbon is well spaced out and a matte ribbon has been used. The edges of the ribbon have been lined with lines of lace too. The ribbon details have been done in a way that compliments the v-shaped waistline. I think for me, the most confusing part of this dress is the half-sash that has been tucked underneath the chest flaps. The sash itself is really pretty with a gorgeous design. I love how it has been laid out, especially with the use of gold braid. The sash matches up well with the dress. But I really feel like the partial sash looks really odd and I don't think it works. I would have much preferred a proper full length sash which is separate from the dress. That way you would be able to use the sash with other dresses as well. The half-sash is detachable and the dress looks a lot better without it attached. It is a real pity, because the sash itself could have been beautiful. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The sash mostly covers the shirring as well, if you choose to leave the sash attached. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards well. The skirt shape could look really pretty. I like the full, rounded look of the skirt. The skirt design is kept simple, but because the skirt material is quite gathered, I feel the print is a tiny bit obscured in places. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with gold braid and a line of lace. The lace used is of a good quality, but I think the design picked is a bit boring.
This is JSK II. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and the shape is simple, but cute. I do think the straps are too bulky though. They are really wide and to add to that, the lace lining them on both the insides and outsides is also quite wide. There is a waist bow, which is a cute shape but is also a bit on the big side. It seems to sit well on the dress and holds its shape well. This waist bow is detachable and if it was me, I would detach it. The bodice has 2 lines of wide lace running up it and also a lace yoke on the chest area. Individually, these details would have been fine, but it feels like there is a bit too much lace on the bodice. The lace is of a good quality and I love the lace chosen for the yoke. But it does feel overwhelming. I would remove the 2 lines of lace running up the bodice and just had the yoke. I think that would have made the bodice look a bit better balanced. The lace yoke is topped with 2 large ribbon bows. The bows are well shaped and the choice of ribbon is pretty. They would have been fine if they were just a bit smaller. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has an excellent amount of volume and it flares out really well. I really love the full bell shape of the skirt and I feel it is perfect for such a cute, sweet print. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same good quality, but average looking lace.
Finally, here is the print. This series comes in cream, pink and sax blue. The 3 colours work well with the print and are good choices for a very sweet print. I do wonder why Baby decided to do only 3 colours though, and I would have liked at least one darker colour option. As for the print, it is set out quite neatly and I like the way it is laid out. Usakumya is looking as cute as ever. The scenes in the border print are very cute. I like the way the bears have been framed by the curtains and the roses. I do think the non-border part of the print is a bit too busy though. Although thankfully, there isn't much of it on the actual dresses.
So this is a very cute series, but perhaps a bit too cute! There are things I would change about both dress designs too. Baby have tried some interesting ideas with the dress designs but they don't necessarily work, especially the strange sash thing on JSK I. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because it is a bit too sugary sweet for me. My top choice would be JSK I in cream, on the condition that I would detach the sash part. The sash is just too unusual for me!