It's only January and I am already having to double up on prints! Scroll down further to see my views on Baby's Creamy Berry Fairy Dream.
First up today though is The Grace ~ Hymn of the Departure ~ by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses (one non-print), a robe, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, a rosary necklace and something called a train, which looks like something a vicar would wear.
First up is JSK I. The bodice generally looks well fitted, but the material looked a bit baggy in some of the stock photos. Although the shape of the bodice is a bit simple, I think it works quite well. The straps look a very supportive width and they are lined really neatly with pretty lace on the outsides. I did initially think the straps could have been a little bit thinner, but on reflection I don't think they look too bad. The bodice features a line of lace running across the chest area. The lace has a pretty design and hopefully it wont sit too awkwardly on the wearer. There is also 3 quite large bows on the bodice. I really don't like how shiny the bows are and I also think the bows look too cute for the print. Also, I think that the spacing of the bows on the bodice looks a bit 'off'. They could have been positioned a lot better than this. I don't like the way they are clustered together at the bottom of the bodice, especially when they are as big a this. The neckline is lined reasonably well with lace. It could have been done neater, but it looks acceptable. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and rounded. It flares outwards beautifully. I really love the shape of the skirt in the stock photos, especially teamed with that bodice shape. The skirt features an open front with a bustle. The print is still really well displayed at the sides and back despite this bustle being there. I really like the way the bustle has been set out anyway. The layers are soft, so it doesn't stick outwards too much. Everything is well spaced out too, and I love the lace used on the bustle. The bottom hem is then finished off with this gorgeous lace which has this pretty crown design to it.
Next up is JSK II. From what we can see of it, the bodice seems well fitted. The shape of the bodice is really basic, but a more complex shape probably wouldn't have suited the overall look of this dress. I think the straps are a decent width for this style of dress, although they do look very plain, as there is no real detail to them. There is a waist bow, which is a good size, and the shape of the bow is interesting too. The bow sits on the dress well too, with no obvious signs of drooping. This bow is finished off with 2 small tassels. I don't really get the point of the tassels, but they are not too distracting. The waist bow is also detachable but actually, this is one of those occasions where I prefer the dress with it left on. The majority of the bodice on this dress is covered by the 2 really wide lines of lace going along the neckline. Even though the lace has a pretty design, I really hate how the lace has been used. I feel it looks a bit messy and gives off the illusion of drooping. But I think what really bugs me about this lace is that the rest of the dress looks quite basic in design, so the OTT looking lace looks a bit out of place. I think there at least needed to be more lace like this near the bottom of the dress to help balance out the overall design a bit better. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which means plenty of size flexibility, but it is not that appealing to look at because it is very exposed. The stock photos show the skirt has a good amount of volume to it. It flares out well and there is the potential to create a good A-line shape. The skirt is kept simple in design and the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a thin line of good quality lace. But as I mentioned, it doesn't really look that well balanced with the lace-heavy bodice.
And here we can see the print. This series comes in pink beige, mint, navy and black. All 4 colours look amazing with the print and I am actually having a really difficult time picking a favourite colour. They all look beautiful in their own special ways. As for the print itself, everything is really neatly set out. I love the golden arches with all their little details. The pictures inside the arches are a little bit too religious for my own personal tastes, but they are drawn well and I can see them having wide appeal. I also really like the flowers near the bottom of the print. However, I am not too keen on the music lines and floating crosses in the print. I don't like the solid coloured background behind the music lines and would have preferred to just have the music lines floating on the background of the print. I don't like the crosses because they are just floating randomly without much purpose. I get the feeling that AatP thought they were doing a religious themed print, so they had better stick some crosses in there, but they didn't really think about where to put them. The crosses could have easily been included within the arch part of the print instead of being aimlessly stuck on the top, just floating in thin air. The background of the print is full of detailed, but kept muted enough to not be a distraction.
So I get the impression that this series could do well for Alice and the Pirates. There are a couple of things I would want to change about both dress designs though. In my opinion, the bodices are what lets down both dress designs. The print is gorgeous though. Would I buy this series? Probably not, for the reason that religious prints are not really my thing. I still think its quite a good series though. My top choice would be JSK II in navy blue, or possibly the black. I know that if I owned that dress though, the neckline lace would bug me! Maybe I would opt for the skirt instead.
Today I am also taking a look at Creamy Berry Fairy Dream by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 4 hair accessories, 2 blouses and 2 pairs of socks.
First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted. The shape of the bodice is a bit simple though, and I am not keen on the straight neckline. I think the straps are a reasonable width and they suit the style of the bodice well. They are a bit simple though, with no lace lining them. The bodice features a semi-circle line of lace, which also goes along the neckline. The lace itself is really cute, with a pretty strawberry design, but overall I am a little underwhelmed by the design. The line of lace is topped with a stripy bow. I think the size and shape of the bow is cute, although the placement looks a bit odd to me. I also feel the stripy fabric for the bow sticks out and doesn't really fit in with the rest of the dress. There is also a large chest bow, which does feel a bit big in size for the chest area. The shape is cute though, and it holds its shape well, with no signs of drooping. This bow is detachable, and I would detach it, perhaps using it as a waist bow instead or maybe even as a hair accessory. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a brilliant amount of volume to it and it flares outwards plenty. I love the rounded shape, and it should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is kept relatively plain, so the print is displayed perfectly. There is a thin line of lace running across the skirt, but it blends in with the print really well and it isn't too much of a distraction. The bottom hem is then finished off with more cute strawberry shaped lace.
Here we have JSK II. The bodice shape looks too square and not that figure flattering. The straps are a decent width and look very supportive. They are lined neatly with lace on both the insides and outsides, but thankfully it doesn't look too bulky. It adds a bit of interest to the straps too. There is a waist bow, which looks quite big, but I think the size suits the dress. The shape of the bow is cute and it sits well on the dress too. However, I think the waist bow seems to be lacking something. Maybe it is because the bodice has a lot of lace, so it is making the waist bow appear a bit too basic. The waist bow is detachable and I think I would detach it. As mentioned, there is a lot of lace on the bodice, with 2 wide lines running up the bodice and going across the chest area too. The lace looks to be of a reasonably good quality, although it feels as though Baby have used the kind of lace that was popular around 2008. It looks a little bit dated. I also feel the lace going vertically up the bodice is too wide and looks too bulky. The chest lace is topped with a line of the stripy ribbon, which is then used for a generous sized bow in the centre. Again, I don't really feel the stripes fit in with the rest of the dress. Perhaps Baby could have added 2 small stripy bows to the bottom of the dress to help balance it out a bit more? The stripy ribbon also features the pretty Baby logo charm dangling from the centre, although the bow does obscure it a tiny bit. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it doesn't look too attractive. The back is quite short, so perhaps they didn't feel they could fit a smaller panel and a ribbon corset on the back. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume to it and it flares outwards well. The shape does look slightly triangular in the stock photos, but I am sure there is a lot of potential to create a cute shape. Again, the skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom features a scalloped hemline. I am not usually a fan of scallops, but it has been done quite gently and the scallops are well formed. The line of lace behind the scallops helps to soften the shape as well. The lace for the bottom hem is again of an okay quality but feels quite out-of-fashion.
And finally, this is the print. This series is available in off-white, pink, red and mint green. These are pretty standard choices for a berry themed print. They all work with the colours in the print too. Other colours like black may have looked a bit strange with the brown in the print. As for the print, it looks cute enough. I don't personally feel the berries look that realistic, especially the chocolate they are dipped in. They still look pretty though! My favourite part of the print is the chocolate lace. It has such a lovely design with plenty of detail to it. I am not too fussed by the flowers in the print, but they are subtle enough and don't stand out that much. I adore the chocolate ribbons and bows in the print. I love how there are those little strawberry and chocolate cone sweets in the print too. It reminds me of those chocolates that Meiji make! Although the print has the brand name in the print, it doesn't look too showy, and I love how it is spelled out in chocolate letters. It is nothing too original, but it works well.
I can't believe I am already talking about berry prints, and it is only January! As far as berry prints go, this one looks cute but I wouldn't say it was anything special. The dress designs look pretty good, although this series wouldn't look too out of place if it had come out a couple of years ago. Would I buy this series? Possibly, because I do like strawberry prints. I wont be going out of my way to get hold of it though. My top choice would be JSK I in mint green or maybe the off-white.