First up today though, is The Wizarding Platform by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, socks, a rosette, a bow tie and a brooch.
First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted. Although the bodice shape is quite simple, it has smooth lines and looks very neat. My only slight concern is how low the scoop neckline is, as this wont suit everybody and maybe wont sit right on some either. The straps are a good width and look very supportive. I think the braid used for the insides of the straps and neckline is very bold with a striking design. It is a bit different to the bog standard braid we are used to seeing on a lot of lolita pieces. The bodice has a military design with 3 bands going across the bodice. The bands are well spaced out and the buttons topping them have a really pretty emblem design. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. Judging by the stock photos, the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and it flares outwards plenty. I can't imagine being able to create a super full shape, but there is enough room to hold a decent amount of petticoat. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with this slightly odd looking trim, which is barely visible. I appreciate lace is probably too frilly looking for this particular dress design, but I would have expected something a bit more interesting than the trim that has been used.
Here we have JSK II. The bodice looked a little bit baggy in some of the stock photos and I am unsure I like the shape either. The bodice shape is maybe a bit too mainstream fashion, rather than a typical lolita shape. However, I do appreciate that the low cut neckline does have a small lace modesty panel, making it a bit less daunting to wear. I suppose this is the perfect excuse to wear a blouse with plenty of chest details or a fancy looking jabot! The straps look very wide and supportive. There is a generously sized bow placed just above the waist line, which has a quirky and interesting shape to it. This bow sits nicely on the dress and adds some much needed detail to what is otherwise a quite simple dress.
I decided to include a picture of the back of this dress in my post, as I find it really unusual. The back of the bodice is definitely different and I admire AatP for trying out new designs. However, I feel this sort of design doesn't work with the shirring. The bottom of the back is fully shirred but with the gathered top part, I wonder just how useful that shirring is going to be. Personally, I don't think the back design works, but I guess the proof is in the wearing.
The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards nicely. I love the A-line shape created in the stock photos and I think it suits the bodice shape. The skirt is once again kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of thin lace, which keeps things looking smart.
This is the OP. The bodice seems a tiny bit baggy in the stock photos and I think the overall bodice shape is a bit frumpy. I feel it is the shape of the sleeves that contributes to the frumpy look. They lack any real shape. I also don't think the neckline shape suits the dress and is a bit too square. I do think the way the neckline has been lined with ribbon and thin lace looks really neat and tidy though. The ribbon only has a slight sheen to it, which is a bonus, and it is finished neatly with a ribbon bow in the middle as well. The waist has a ribbon belt, which at least helps to define the waist a bit better. I just wish the ribbon was just slightly shorter, so the bow tails didn't dangle so far down the dress. At least this is easy to adjust by tying the bow a bit differently and making the bow a bit bigger. The bodice is otherwise kept very plain and I think it looks too boring. At least the JSKs have some detail to them to stop them looking dull. The back offers no shirring so size flexibility is very limited. I like how well the zip has been concealed though and the back looks very clean and tidy. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair amount of volume to it and it flares outwards well. There is enough room for petticoat, and the skirt seems a decent length too. The skirt is once again kept very simple in design and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a neat line of ribbon and some thin lace, which I think looks really smart.
And finally, here is what the print looks like. This series comes in orange, bordeaux, navy blue and black. I think all 4 colours work really well with the print and I love how each colour has a different feel to it. As for the print, it is bold with an interesting design. It instantly makes me think of Harry Potter, but at the same time the HP feel is not too overpowering, so it can appeal to a wider audience. I love the detail to the train and the platform. What I find really interesting about the print though, is the way the steam from the train has been done. I like the way it gradually fades away, making way for the non-border part of the print. The non-border part of the print is smart, with sharp lines and a tidy design.
So overall this is a very interesting series and I suspect it is going to be popular. The print is interesting and it is something we have not really seen in a lolita print before. However, I do wonder if maybe the dress designs are a bit too plain or mainstream looking. You could almost say they don't look lolita. Would I buy this series? Probably not, but only because I can't see it fitting in to my wardrobe that well. My top choice would be JSK I in navy, as I like the military feel of that dress design. I am a fan of the socks from this series though, so I may be trying to get a pair of them!
Next up today I am having a look at Classic Frame by Metamorphose. This series includes 2 dresses (the Ribbon JSK comes in 2 lengths), a blouse, socks and 2 hair accessories.
Here we have the Bustle JSK. The bodice seems well fitted but there is something about the bodice shape which looks a bit strange. I think maybe the straps are too wide and it also doesn't help that the bodice is divided up weirdly. The neckline shape is quite pretty though, The solid tulle part on the chest area is supposed to be a bow shape, but it doesn't look very bow-like in the stock photos. I think it needed to be gathered more and the frame charm, although very pretty in design, needs to be smaller. It also doesn't help that the bow shape is cut off by the printed fabric of the straps and the lace used to line the insides of the straps. Speaking of the strap lace, I really don't like the way it continues down underneath the arms. I just think it doesn't look too appealing, although I can't put my finger on the exact reason why. The bodice also features a row of pretty pearl buttons, with a generous ruffle of tulle and gathered lace on either side. I really like the button design, but I don't feel the lace and tulle is needed. I think the tulle and ruffle makes the bodice look too cluttered. There is a waist bow, which is perhaps a bit too big, but has a cute shape and pretty charms. The shape of the bow is quirky and I quite like how it is double layered. The bow holds its shape reasonably well. I couldn't gather from the product listing whether or not the waist bow is detachable, but I am hoping it is. Maybe if the bow was detached, the bodice details would look a bit less busy. The back of the bodice has a small panel of shirring, which doesn't look too generous. There is definitely a bit of room for a wider panel. The shirring is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares outwards beautifully. I really love the full, rounded shape of the skirt in the stock photos. The front of the skirt is kept simple is design, so the print is displayed perfectly. As the dress name suggests, there is indeed a bustle on the back half of the skirt. This bustle is a good shape and size, with the tiers neatly spaced out. The bustle looks quite voluminous, but I am hoping with the soft materials used it wont stick outwards too much. The bottom hem of the dress is then finished off with a layer of swan themed lace layered neatly on top a tulle ruffle. I love that Meta have use custom swan themed lace! I think the swan design on the lace is maybe a bit too basic, but I am really pleased to see Meta at least giving custom lace a go. Maybe their lace choices will rival Angelic Pretty someday!
Next up we have the Ribbon JSK. This dress comes in 2 lengths, with the shorter mini length pictured above. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape looks interesting. I think the straps are on okay width, but they could have maybe been just a tiny bit wider, and it would have been nice to have some lace lining them. There is a bow, which has been placed a bit higher than the waist line. This bow is maybe a bit floppy, although a sturdy bow that stuck out a lot would maybe look too bulky placed here. The size of the bow is alright. Unlike the bow on the other dress, I don't like the choice of material used for this double layered bow. The ribbon used for the top layer has a pretty design, but I don't think it works with the printed fabric underneath. This bow is detachable but I think the dress looks a bit too plain without it, so I would leave it attached. The bodice has a thin line of braid and a line of lace, which is shaped to give the impression of a yoke. I quite like the shape this lace creates. It reminds me of a shield. Meta have used their custom swan lace for this bodice detail, which looks pretty. Inside the lines of braid and lace there is a chain with 3 charms dangling from it. Whilst the charms are pretty, I don't feel this was necessarily the best way to fill this space. The chain doesn't stand out that much and sort of blends in to the background. I would have liked to have seen tiny bows at the ends of the chain, just to make it look a bit less "stuck on" and more fancy looking. 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 good amount of volume and it flares out well. Despite being called a 'mini-length', the skirt actually has a fair amount of length to it as well. I am about 5'4'' and I reckon it would reach my knees! The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with the swan lace.
Finally, here is the print close up. This series comes in black. off-white and aqua blue. I personally feel the off-white could have been a more ivory colour, but the other 2 colours look decent enough. I do wonder if the aqua blue is going to be a bit too vibrant in person though. As for the print itself, it is set out quite well and the frame designs are nice enough. I feel that is lacks the 'wow' factor though. Maybe it needs a bit more colour to it? I am also disappointed to see that some of the pictures inside the frames appear to be upside down. It looks really odd having an upside down angel and crown. The infamous Meta swans and the feather cross look good though.
So overall, I feel this series is nice enough but it feels like it is lacking something. I am not overly impressed by the dress designs. I also think there are similar frame prints that have been released recently which perhaps have a bit more depth and detail to them. I am not really sure this series can compete. Would I buy this series? No, I probably wouldn't. It looks good, but I think this series could have been a lot better. It lacks impact. My top choice would be the Ribbon JSK in mini-length in the black colour.