Today I shall be taking a look at Steam Invitation by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses, 3 skirts, a gauze skirt, a blouse, 2 hair accessories, a leather corset, tights, socks, a necklace and a ring.
First up is the Zipper JSK. The bodice looks well fitted, but I am a bit wary of the shape. The scoop neckline goes very low down. My experience of this style of dress is that the straps tend to slip off your shoulders. Low scoop necklines do not suit everybody either, although it is a good excuse to break out a blouse with a decorative chest area. The straps look a decent width. The outsides and insides of the straps and also the neckline are lined neatly with a very thin line of lace. There is also an additional line of gold braid running about a centimetre inside the neckline. This stops the straps from looking too plain, but also doesn't look too fussy and fits the overall theme of the dress. There is a waist bow, which seems a reasonable size for this particular dress. It is a bit simple in design, but I don't feel a really frilly, lacy bow would work as well. There are some suitable steampunk themed charms dangling from it though, which are pretty cool. The bow seems to sit quite well on the dress and it holds its shape well. This bow is detachable and I think I like the look of the dress with it detached, even though the bow looks okay. The bodice features a strap with an ornate looking buckle. The buckle is really pretty and I really think it livens up the bodice. The buckle can be opened, but I am not really sure why the wearer would want to do that. At least the option is there, I guess! The back has a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. I am not a fan of the way the straps cross at the back though, as I don't feel it really adds anything to the design. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares outwards loads. I think the skirt looks a little too triangular in shape in some of the stock photos though, so that is something to watch out for. As the name would suggest, the skirt does indeed feature zips, which can be unzipped to open up the skirt. I am not convinced about this feature. You would then have to pay extra for a decent under-skirt to wear underneath and fill out the panels. Also, the print looks a bit bunched up when the zips are undone, although the print is still displayed quite well at the sides. It has the potential to look good, but it could also go horribly wrong. The bottom hem is then finished off with a thin line of lace, which is a nice continuation of the neckline lace.
Here we have the Ribbon JSK. Judging by the stock photos, the bodice doesn't look too well fitted and the material is a bit baggy in places. The bodice shape also feels a little bit plain. I think a softer neckline shape could have looked good and it wouldn't have affected the overall look of the dress too much. The straps seem a suitable width. Like the other JSK, this dress has a line of braid just inside the neckline, but there is no lace along the straps or neckline. I feel that lace would have helped soften the lines of the bodice and would have made the neckline area a bit more interesting. There is a waist bow, which I think is a bit too big and the design of the bow is also a bit too simple. I also don't understand why there is a random jewel in the middle of the bow because it doesn't really fit in with the overall feel of the series. The waist bow is detachable, and I definitely would detach it. The bodice features an additional 2 bows and a further bow on the neckline too. These bows, especially the neckline bow, look a bit more detailed an interesting in comparison to the waist bow. I love the way the tails of the neckline bow have been folded and it gives this a bow a really good shape. However, I do think the other 2 bows are a bit too cutesy looking and I wouldn't have bothered with them. The back is fully shirred, which means the dress has plenty of size flexibility and stretch, but it also means the shirring is very exposed and makes the back look unattractive. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards excellently. It would appear the skirt has a good amount of length to it too. There is more than enough room for petticoat and there is plenty of potential to create a really pretty shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple ruffle, which I think is the right amount of detail to finish off this particular dress.
This is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted, but there is something about the overall shape of the bodice which I don't think looks quite right. I think it might be the shoulder area? I think the neckline is too wide. Also the join where the main dress fabric meets the chiffon sleeves needs to be on the actual shoulder, rather than slightly off the shoulder. The chiffon sleeves are beautiful though. I love the slight bell shape and the delicate ruffles. The ribbons on the chiffon sleeves are perhaps a bit too much though. I also would have preferred it if the dress didn't have that little ruffled panel inside the neckline too. The neckline has a beautiful shape to it and is neatly lined with gold braid, and I think the ruffle inside the neckline spoils it a bit. The waist line is topped with a chiffon ruffle, which I feel looks a bit messy and is really not needed. The dress silhouette would look a lot smoother without that waist ruffle being there. There are 3 lines of ribbon going across the bodice, which are then topped with bows. I am not overly fond of the shape of these bows. I also think it is a bit odd having a gear charm dangling from the top bow, but the other 2 bows have those gemstones. Personally, I would have made the bows a bit smaller in size and I wouldn't have had the gemstones on the bottom 2 bows. The back has a generous panel of shirring, but it is not covered up. Seeing as it is not fully shirred, there is room for a ribbon corset, which would have been a bit neater. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full with a lovely rounded shape to it. It flares outwards generously too. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a chiffon ruffle, which balances out the chiffon elsewhere on the dress.
And finally, here is one part of the print close up...
... and another part. This series comes in beige, bordeaux and blue. The bordeaux and blue versions look very rich and I am glad that Meta didn't just stick to standard steampunk style colours. The beige version offers something a bit more standard. As for the print itself, all of the parts of the print are drawn well, but it feels a bit cluttered. The objects in the border part of the print are floating around with not much sense of purpose. If I were to judge each item in the print individually, I am a big fan of the hot air balloons, owls and the train. It is just a shame that the print lacks organisation. I really wish that the hot air balloons were a bigger feature in the print. I think a steampunk themed hot air balloon print could have looked amazing. But as far as this print is concerned, I like it but I wouldn't say I was amazed by it.
So overall, there are some interesting ideas in this series but in my personal opinion it doesn't quite come together. Some of the ideas, like the buckle on the Zipper JSK are interesting. Other ideas, such as the random gems stuck on some of the bows, don't seem to make much sense or really fit in with the overall theme of the series. There are a couple of things I would tweak about each dress design. The print is nice, but it could have been better. So I don't think this is a series that will be making it in to my wardrobe. My top choice would probably be the Zipper JSK in blue, although I would worry about the straps falling down. Maybe one of the skirts would be a safer option.