First up today though, is Kira Kira Parfait by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 4 dresses (1 non-print), a skirt, 5 hair accessories, socks, a blouse, a necklace, a ring and an outfit for Usakumya.
First up is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is cute. I like that the straps look a decent width and the line of lace topping the straps and ending on the chest area is lovely too. The lace is shaped in an interesting way. I do wonder if the modesty panel inside this lace could have been a bit simpler in design though. The bows on this chest panel are cute and I like that the ribbon used is not shiny at all. But I think the bows on this bit mean that the bodice is a bit overloaded with bows. Perhaps some simple pleats on this panel would have been just enough to ensure the area didn't look too flat and plain. I also feel the bow topping the lace line is cute with a lovely shape, but it needs to be a bit smaller in size. There is also a waist bow, which is a modest size, but I think it could have been shaped better. I don't like the lace lining the waist bow either and I think it could have been a bit more subtle. This waist bow is detachable, and I feel the dress looks a bit better with it detached. The back has a panel of shirring which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has lots of volume and it flares outwards generously. I love the full, rounded shape in the stock photos. The skirt is kept simple in design and the print is displayed really well. I am not usually a fan of scalloping, but the scalloped bottom hem has such neatly shaped scallops and it actually looks quite cute. The heart shaped lace lining the scallops is a cute touch too. The bottom hem is then evened out nicely with a tulle ruffle.
Next we have JSK II. The bodice seems a little tube-like in shape, so it will be interesting to see how well it fits. I like the rounded neckline shape though and although the straps are a tiny bit on the thin side, I think the straps fit the style of the rest of the bodice. The way the lace has been used along the straps and the neckline is generally quite lovely too, but I wish the lace tapered off gently on either side of the neckline. There is a waist bow, which is a fairly good size and the shape is cute enough. I feel the dress design looks a lot better with the waist bow detached though, so I am glad the option of detaching it is there. The bodice also features a ribbon corset. The ribbon is neatly spaced out. I think it is a shame though that such pretty lace has been used to hold the ribbon in place though, as it is a bit overshadowed by the other details. It feels like a bit of a waste! Also, I don't like that the ribbon is threaded through the lace, as this can damage the lace over time. There is also a solid coloured bow topping the lace on the neckline. I do feel it looks a bit too big, but if you detach the waist bow I don't think it looks as bad. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it isn't too attractive to look at with all that exposed shirring. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares out well. I personally would have liked the skirt to be just slightly more rounded, but I still think it looks quite nice. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace. The lace is okay, but I think lace with a more interesting design could have been used.
This is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is generally quite nice, if a bit dated, but the sleeves are terrible. The sleeves just look a bit frumpy and unflattering. I also think the lace on the sleeves is nice, but needs to be more narrow. This lace needs to be a bit more like the thinner lace running along the square neckline. The bodice features a ribbon corset, with the ribbon neatly spaced out and a good choice of matte ribbon used. However, the ribbon is once again held in place by thin loops on the lines of lace, which is quite flimsy and fragile. I am also not a fan of this lace choice. What I really dislike about this bodice though, is the raised panel with the scalloped edge on the chest area. It looks really weird and I also feel it makes the bodice look a bit top-heavy. The scalloped panel is then topped with a bow, which looks really cute. I like the cherry lace used on this bow too. If the scalloped panel hadn't been there, I think the bodice details would have looked a lot better. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is quite limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares out well. I like the rounded shape a lot. The skirt is once again kept simple in design so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of good quality lace, but once again I feel the choice of lace could have been more interesting.
And here we have the print. This series comes in pink, lemon yellow, red and sax blue. All the colours seem to work nicely wit the print. I suppose they are quite standard choices for a berry print. As for the print itself, it makes me feel really nostalgic. It reminds me of a lot of older Baby prints. The berries look cute and are drawn well. I like the little details, such as the heart shaped lemon slice as well. Berries and stars are usually some of my favourite themes but actually, I am not overly keen on the stars in this print. I don't think they fit in that well, so I am glad they are not too prominent in the print. Also, I dislike the way the background alternates between polka dots and stripes. I would have maybe just gone with the polka dots. The whipped cream lines are cute, but I would have spaced them a bit further apart from each other to give the print a less crowded feel.
I can't help but wonder how well a series like this is going to do in 2016. I have noticed that a lot of people seem to be feeling nostalgic for that 2010 era of lolita, and I can see this series appealing to those people. I am one of those people who misses that era, although I do feel that some bits of this series look a bit too dated. The dress designs are nice enough, but there are a few tweaks I would make here and there. Would I buy this series? Probably not, as there are other berry prints I like a lot more than this one. My top choice would be JSK II in red. This series is nice enough though, and I do hope it does well.
Next up today is Charlotte's Bear by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a head bow, tights, a brooch, a necklace and a ring. A special set for this series has also been released.
Here we have the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite smart. I like how the arms have a slight bit of puff to them, but not too much. The cuffs are a good shape too, although I wish some fancier looking buttons had been used on the cuffs. The polka dot lace on the cuffs is cute though. There is a waist bow, which has a really pretty shape and is a good size as well. It holds its shape well and sits nicely on the dress. The bodice features just a few lines of lace and some neat pleats. It could have looked a bit too plain, but the non-border part of the print and the tie stop the bodice from being too boring. The collar is cute and I like the shape. I like how the collar is lined with gold lace, which seems to go well with the details near the bottom of the print. There is also the tie I mentioned, which is a nice size and has a sweet bear emblem design on it. The tie part is detachable, but I am unsure if I think the dress looks too plain without it. I think this is something the wearer will probably have to try out when they wear the dress for themselves. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The back is kept very neat and the zip line is quite well concealed. The stock photos show that the skirt has a generous amount of volume and it flares out beautifully. I love the shape in the stock photos and think there is a lot of potential to create a cute shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of polka dot lace layered over a tulle ruffle. I like how these trims have been layered and it gives the bottom hem a slightly fluffier appearance.
Next up is the JSK. The bodice seems well fitted, but I am not fond of the bodice shape. I think it is a bit too square and the neckline is far too straight. A slight heart shaped neckline would have looked softer. The straps are a good width. I like the lace used to line the outsides of the straps and I think it has been shaped really cutely. What I am unsure about is the bows topping the straps, near the base. I guess after seeing bows placed on the straps horizontally for so many years, it feels a little odd that these bows have been placed vertically. The bows are also quite big in size and I am unsure I like the shape of the slightly larger strap bow on one side. Overall, I find these bows too bulky and I think it makes the straps look too cluttered. There is a waist bow, which is again a lovely size and has a fantastic shape. It sits well on the dress with no signs of drooping. I really dislike the bodice details on this dress. The bodice has a gathered section which takes on the appearance of a shirring panel, which has then been topped with lines of gold lace and some mini bows. I dislike the way uncovered shirring looks on the back of the dress, so I am certainly not liking it being on the front! And the use of the lace and bows only emphasises the "shirring" and draws attention to it. The bodice details really put me off this dress. The back of the dress has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares outwards really well. I love the slightly rounded bell shape and the skirt should hold more than enough petticoat. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off the same way as the OP is, with a line of polka dot lace layered neatly over a tulle ruffle.
Finally, this is what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, pink, sax blue and black. Whilst the colour choices are generally quite pretty, I personally would have liked to of seen a grey colour way instead of the black. I guess I find the black version a bit harsh looking? Although I suppose grey would be harder to co-ordinate. This print is an Imai Kira collaboration and although the print is cute, I can't imagine it becoming as popular as Cat's Tea Party. The teddy bears are very sweet and the print has a very whimsical feel to it. I love the rocking horse and the nicely detailed hat boxes. Weirdly, I find myself really drawn to the lampshade! I just think it looks really nice. The objects in the print are drawn well and they have been positioned in a way that is nicely set out, without looking overcrowded. That being said, I do think the bear emblems in the non-border part of the print could have been a bit smaller in size. Also, I thought for a moment that AP had managed to release a series without a cross in it, but it turns out there are crosses in the non-border part of the print. Seriously AP, not everything needs crosses! I am just glad they are not more prominent.
So overall, this is quite a pleasant looking series. I am really disliking the bodice of the JSK, but I guess the OP looks nice enough. The print is very cute too. There is definitely enough hear to keep the average AP fan happy. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because teddy bear prints have never really been my thing. Also, whilst this series may be alright looking, I am not overly impressed by it. My top choice would be the OP in sax blue.