Monday, 1 February 2016

Be My Valentine by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today's print discussion is going to be about Be My Valentine by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. Or to give it its full title- Be My Valentine ~ Bless from Juno and the Aria of Birds ~. This series includes 8 dresses (1 has a completely different floral print, 3 are non-print), a skirt, 5 hair accessories, 3 blouses, a bag, a necklace, tights, a lace gilet and lace peplum.

First up is the Princess JSK. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is interesting. I do worry that the thin straps look a bit flimsy though. The lace lining the outsides of the straps is pretty though, and has been well shaped. There is a large waist bow, which I feel really lets the dress down. It is too big in size and the style of the bow is too basic in comparison to the other dress details. The bow is also very floppy and appears to droop considerably. I am so glad this bow is detachable, because the dress looks a whole lot better with it detached. The centre of the bodice has a line frothy looking lace running up it, which is then topped with 2 large ribbon bows and a load of pearly buttons. The ribbon bows are a bit big, but I think they look a bit better balanced when the waist bow is detached. I am not too keen on the pearl buttons though. The buttons themselves have a pretty design, but they don't seem that well spread out and the buttons seem to be loosely sewn on, with not much care put in to them. The neckline is lined with some wide lace. I think the choice of lace is pretty, but it could have been better shaped where the lace ends. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume and it should hold a reasonable amount of petticoat. The shape in the stock photos is pretty, without being too OTT. The skirt features an open front design, but the opening is not that wide and the print is still displayed quite well. I love that the edges of the main dress fabric have been lined with a ruffle, giving a soft, romantic effect. My only wish is that the ribbon bows topping this ruffle were not there, or were perhaps at least spread a bit further apart. I think the bows make this area of the dress look a little too cluttered. The opening at the front reveals some beautiful, delicate layers which sit well on top of each other and are well spaced out. The bottom is then finished off with a further ruffle, which helps even things out nicely. 

Here we have the Ribbon JSK. The bodice seems well fitted and the overall bodice shape is beautiful. I adore the neckline on this dress! The lace lining the inside of the neckline and the straps is pretty too, and it sits nicely. There is a thin line of trim about an inch inside of the neckline, which really helps to define the bold shape as well. The straps are a suitable width and look very supportive. The waist area is topped with 2 ribbon bows. I think the bows themselves look very cute and they are a nice size, although the ribbon used is a bit shiny. I don't like how close together they have been placed in the stock photos, but thankfully they are detachable, so they can be positioned however you like them. Personally, I feel the dress looks a bit too plain without the waist bows. The bodice has a couple of lines of lace running vertically up it. The lace is nicely laid out, but I don't like the choice of lace used for the line running up the centre of the bodice. I think a more delicate looking lace would have been a better choice. The chest area is topped with a bow, which is an okay size. The shape is very clearly defined, although once again the bow design looks a bit too simple. At least this bow holds its shape a bit better and doesn't seem to sag at all. This bow is detachable, and I think I probably would detach it. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. If the stock photos are anything to go by, then I find the skirt a bit disappointing. There seems to be a bit of volume, but the skirt looks a bit shapeless and dull. I think it needs to flare out a bit more. Fingers crossed it looks better in person. The skirt is very simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently, although compared to the bodice the skirt looks a bit too plain. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a simple tulle ruffle.

Next up is the Frill JSK. The bodice looks like a shapeless tube with no real defined shape to it. It's really boring and I can't imagine it being that well fitted either. The straps are a bit thin, although I don't think bulky straps would suit the style of the dress. They are lined really neatly with a tulle ruffle on the outsides. The tulle is well gathered and adds a bit of interest to the straps. There is a tulle waist bow, which I really loathe. The size of the bow looks wrong and the design is too basic. Due to the type of material, it just looks like a saggy mess. The bow hasn't even tied that neatly and it looks cheap. This waist bow is detachable, and if I owned this dress detaching that bow would be the first thing I would do. The bodice has several tulle ruffles running vertically up it. These are quite neatly set out and well spaced out. It gives the bodice and interesting texture and makes it look more exciting too. There is a line of pearl buttons in the centre, which are well spaced out, but seem to have been sewn on without much care or attention. In the stock photos, the buttons are facing all different directions. Although the lace lining the neckline has a pretty design, I don't feel it looks right here. It looks a bit too wild and messy. Perhaps some thinner lace would have made it look a bit tidier. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring which has been topped with a ribbon corset once again. I approve greatly that all the dresses have had this so far! The stock photos show the skirt has a fair amount of volume, but nothing too OTT. In the photos of Misako wearing this dress, the skirt has a pretty and full shape, so it is possible to create a great shape. The skirt is kept quite simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a double tulle ruffle. The tulle has been well gathered, giving these 2 ruffles plenty of shape, so they don't just hang lifelessly.

This is the OP. The bodice seems to have a nice shape overall, although the material looks a bit baggy in places. The arms seem to have a decent amount of length to them and I love the shape. I really love the use of chiffon for the sleeves as it gives a soft appearance. I am a little unsure about the cuffs though, as they look quite solid and stiff paired with the floaty, delicate chiffon. The cuffs are nicely set out though, with a neat design and lovely lace too. However, I don't feel the bows are a needed on the cuffs, as they make the cuffs look a bit fussy. The waist area features 2 detachable ribbon bows, exactly like the ones on the Ribbon JSK. I don't think these ribbon bows work quite as well on this OP as they do on the JSK, but at least they are detachable. The bodice features 2 lines of lace, which helps to break up the empty space on the bodice. I am glad the bodice details have been kept subtle, because it means the lacy collar is the main focus of attention. The lace collar is so pretty. It has a lovely shape to it and the lace seems to be of a reasonable quality. I like the rose pattern lace that lines the edge of the lace collar. The lace collar is topped with a detachable little lace jabot, which has a ribbon bow on it. Although I feel the ribbon bow on the jabot is a bit too big, I prefer the dress with the jabot attached. It makes the collar look a bit less flat. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is a bit limited. The waist ties on this dress are really thin too, so I don't know how good they will be at helping to pull the dress in a bit, if needed. The stock photos show that the skirt appears to have a good length to it. It doesn't look like the most voluminous of skirts, but I don't think you would want to use too much poof with this style of dress anyway. The skirt flares out nicely enough. The only issue I have with the skirt shape is that it looks like the ruffles at the bottom have been stitched a bit too tightly, causing a slight balloon effect with the skirt material near the bottom. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed really well. The chiffon ruffles at the bottom are beautiful and sit well on top of each other. However, they have been over-stitched and I generally prefer these things to be under-stitched. The ruffles are then topped with 2 ribbon bows, which don't look too distracting. 

And finally, here is the print. This series comes in ivory, pink, lavender and sax blue. All the colours are very light and pastel, but I think it goes with the sweet, romantic and delicate look of the print. As for the print itself, I think the bird cages are absolutely gorgeous. I may be a bit biased though, as I usually love bird cage prints! The birds and valentines inside the cages are cute too. I like the ribbons in the print and the way the lines of ribbon are broken up by the occasional bow to make them a bit more interesting. The lace doilies are pretty too, with some really intricate patterns. I was a bit unsure about the text in the background at first, but when you look at the actual dresses, the text part seems quite subtle. Funnily enough, this print looks almost identical to a Valentines card I gave my husband one year, so Baby are definitely spot on with the Valentines theme!

So overall, I think this is a really pretty series and I really love the print. I've got to be honest though- R Series recently released a series called The Emperor's Nightingale which looks really similar to this print, and I do wonder which print I actually prefer. The dress designs for Baby's series are interesting, but I really wish I could pair together the skirt of the Princess JSK with the bodice of the Ribbon JSK. I think that would have made such a beautiful dress! Would I buy this series? Possibly, but the R Series release is making my decision really difficult. My top choice would be the Princess JSK in pink or lavender. I really wish I could see this series in person before making a decision about whether to buy it or not.

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