Monday, 13 June 2016

A Print Double

Today I am taking a look at 2 different series. So scroll down further to see my thoughts on Angelic Pretty's Antoinette Decoration.

But first up today I am looking at The Ticking Clock by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a hair accessory, a blouse, socks and several pieces of jewellery.

First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted, although the shape seems a little weird. I think it might be the way the fabric on the straps drapes down. Something about it just doesn't look quite right and I think maybe it would have looked better if the material gently tapered off rather than being left to hang down the bodice. If it wasn't for the untidy looking dangling bits, the straps (well, they are more like sleeves, and I would treat this dress as an OP almost) would be quite pretty. I like the layering of the main dress fabric over the shimmery tulle. The tulle bit is shaped so nicely and it looks lovely. There is a waist bow, which is a decent shape and size. It holds its shape well and sits quite well on the dress with no signs of drooping. This waist bow is detachable and although the bow is pretty, I think the dress looks better with it detached. There isn't a great deal of detail to the main part of the bodice, but I feel there is enough detail on the neckline to make sure the dress doesn't look too plain. The neckline features a pretty semi-circle of lace, which looks to be of a good quality and has a nice design. There is then a small chain and a cute star charm dangling on top, and I think the charm looks really great. The star charm and chain is detachable, but I would leave it on. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards well. The sweet bell shape looks really lovely and the skirt should hold more than enough petticoat. I like that the skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with some star shaped lace and a neat ruffle of tulle. I think that if the star charm is left attached, the lace at the bottom ties in with the rest of the dress perfectly. The tulle ruffle matches the sleeves too.

Here we have JSK II. The short bodice looks well fitted, but I think the bodice shape is a bit too simple. The straps are a bit on the thin side, but I don't think wide straps would have suited this particular style of dress. However, I do think AatP could have gone a bit more extravagant with the choice of lace lining the outsides of the straps. I feel the straps look quite plain, although I am glad there is a bit of lace there, rather than nothing at all. There isn't a massive amount of detail to the bodice, but the bodice is very short anyway (that high waist will certainly be unpopular with some people). The neckline then features 2 lines of lace and some shimmery tulle layered on top of each other. I like that the lace and tulle is of a reasonable quality with a nice design, and the layering has been doen well too. However, I do think the lace needs to be a bit more shaped at the sides. There are also 2 small bows at the bases of the straps, which on certain colour ways (like the purple colour above) adds a nice little pop of colour. This little bit of colour does appear in the print, so it is not as if the bow colour is out of place. The back is fully shirred which means lots of stretch, but it does mean the shirring is exposed and not too attractive to look at. I guess though, that with such a short bodice, a ribbon corset wouldn't have been worth including. The stock photos show that the skirt has lots of volume and it flares out well. There should be enough room to create a great shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of thin good quality lace and a tulle ruffle. As there are no star details on the rest of the dress, I think AatP made the right choice by not using the star lace again here. 

This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted, but I really hate the bodice shape. There is something about the shoulders and the shape of the sleeves which makes the bodice look a bit odd in my opinion. I think the sleeves need to be shorter and a bit puffier. The shape of the collar is terrible and it looks like a bog-standard work shirt collar. It looks so basic and I would expect something a bit more special looking. The bodice is incredibly plain, with the only real detail being the change of material on the shoulders. There isn't even any lace lining the seams or going down the bodice. It is boring! The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I feel the back could have been done neater, with the print lining along the zip line better and also not having the gaping hole at the top. Even the button that does up the collar at the back is very basic and dull. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair amount of volume and flares outwards okay. The skirt is once again kept simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle of tulle, which looks pretty, but I wonder why they didn't bother using any lace here either. I am really baffled by how plain AatP have made this dress.

And here is a small look at what the print looks like (I couldn't find a decent print picture unfortunately). This series comes in sax blue, blue, purple and black. They all sound like decent colour choices for this sort of print, but sadly the black colourway features the most hideous shade of yellow and also this sludge looking brown. Thankfully, the other 3 colours all look quite complimentary and work with the print. As for the print itself the sky looks very dreamy, with soft colours. The buildings at the bottom are a bit basic looking and look a bit like shapeless blobs in places. The silhouettes of the Peter Pan characters have been well done though, and I like the way that script has been used to fill in the shadowy characters. The other items floating about in the sky are done softly, which is good because it means they are not too attention grabbing. I think a lot of the focus is on the use of colour and the silhouettes, which is nice.

So overall, I think this series is okay, but nothing over-whelming. I am not really a fan of any of the dress designs, although some are definitely better than others. As for the print, I really like the use of colour and shadows, but I am not too fussed about the bottom of the print. To be honest, I have never really been a fan of Peter Pan, so this series was always going to be hard to please me. So I think it is safe to say that I wouldn't buy this series. My top choice would be JSK I in blue. Some of the jewellery from this series is really pretty though.

Next up today is Antoinette Decoration by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 hair accessories and tights. 

First up is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the bodice shape is lovely. I initially felt that the sleeves could have been puffier, but on reflection I feel the sleeves have a nice mature look to them, which suits the slightly maturer print. The lace on the sleeves has a pretty design too, although I wish AP hadn't put bows on the sleeves as I feel the bows are a bit too much. I find the bodice of this dress so overwhelming. There is lace and bows everywhere. It feels like there is never-ending layers of lace on top of lace and the bows are quite big in size as well. Personally, I think I could forgive the bodice if the waist bow was detachable and there was just a little bit less of the lace. The waist bow is a cute shape and it has even been decorated neatly with lots of pearls, but I think it pushes the OTT feel of the dress a bit too far and I am a fan of a nicely defined waistline as well, which the bow distracts from. The lace on the bodice has a gorgeous design to it and it is layered nicely, but I think the ruffles and lace going up the sides are not needed. The bows on the bodice are very nicely shaped and sit well on the dress. They are nicely spaced out as well. I just feel all the bows just needed to be a bit smaller in size. The very top bow has a detachable brooch, which has a pretty design. I think I would detach it, just to tone down the dress just that little bit more to be honest! There is also a matching choker, which is very lacy, but at least it matches the dress perfectly. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. To add to all of the business of the bodice, there is also an over-skirt. The over-skirt is made of such lovely material and the hem is finished off so neatly as well. I also like that the over-skirt finishes before we get down to the heavy detail of the boder print, so that is not obscured. However, I wouldn't have bothered with the over-skirt because the bodice is already so OTT. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards well. It will hold more than enough petticoat and I really love the shape of the skirt in the stock photos. Aside from the over-skirt, the skirt is relatively simple, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a double layer of lace which has unfortunately been over-stitched. You can actually see in the stock photo above that the lace at the bottom is sticking out at odd angles and sitting funny in places, which I don't think would have been a problem if the lace had been under-stitched. It is a shame, because the lace has a pretty design and if it had been under-stitched it would have finished the dress off nicely.

This is the Bustier JSK. The bodice looks a bit loose fitting and puckered in a few of the stock photos, but the shape of the bodice is generally quite pretty looking. I love the slight heart shaped neckline. The straps are a bit thin and look quite flimsy. I do feel they need to be a little bit wider. The lace going along the outsides of the straps is perhaps a little bit wide and I think it could have been shaped a little bit better too. I am also not a fan of the bows that sit right on top of the shoulders, as unless somebody is super tall, most people are not going to be able to see the bow shape and it just feels unnecessary. The waist line features a line of lace on top of a ruffle of polka dot tulle. Not only do these details make the waistline look too fussy, I feel the polka dot tulle looks really out of place. It looks too cutesy and it doesn't really fit in with the overall feel of the dress and the print. The bodice features a ribbon corset. Although the ribbon used is a bit shiny, the ribbon has been well spaced out and never looks too bunched together. I like the use of wide lace along the edges of the ribbon corset too, as it keeps everything looking tidy, and the lace sits well on the lace despite its width. There is also a line of wide lace along the neckline, which also sits nicely. Despite there being a lot of lace on the bodice, I like that it looks organised and well thought out. It is nowhere near as overwhelming as the lace on the OP. There is also a cutely shaped bow on the neckline, which is a nice shape and features the same detachable brooch as the bow on the OP. This time, I would leave the brooch attached though. My only criticism with the neckline bow is that I wish there had been some small bows near the bottom of the dress as well, just to help balance out the design a bit more. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very plump and full of volume. There is the potential to create a great shape with the skirt. The skirt is kept relatively simple, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of lace layered over 2 ruffles of the polka dot tulle. I still feel the polka dots look really out of place and annoyingly, these details have been over-stitched again. One the one hand I love how frothy and fluffy the bottom of this dress looks, but on the other hand I think it looks a bit messy.

Here we have the Standard JSK. The bodice material looks a bit loose and saggy. I guess the shape of the bodice is okay, but it is maybe a bit dull. It is all very straight lines and not very exciting. The straps are again a bit on the thin side and I don't feel making the straps a tiny bit wider would have harmed the overall design in any way. The lace along the straps is very pretty though with a nice pattern on it. There is a waist bow, which has a good, solid shape to it. It could have maybe been a bit smaller, but I don't think the size of the bow is too intimidating. Making it detachable would have been a nice option. The bow sits nicely enough on the dress though, and holds its shape well. I really like how the edges are lined so neatly with gold lace and the 2 teardrop pearls dangling carefully from the bow tails. The bodice features 2 subtle lines of gold lace running up it, and then we get to the chest area. There is a line of lace running across the chest area on the bodice, which looks a bit awkward. Not only could this line of lace sit really strangely on some wearers, I also think the lace looks really out of place. There is already a line of wide lace going along the neckline, so it feels weird to have this line cutting across the chest as well. Also, when you compare the chest lace to the rest of the lace on the dress, this lace is a bit more solid and not as dainty looking. It sticks out like a sore thumb. In my opinion, that line of lace on the chest ruins the whole bodice for me and the dress would look so much better without it. As well as a wide line of lace, the neckline features 2 bows at the bases of the straps which have a pearl chain running between them. Maybe it is just me, but I feel the bows don't look 'regal' enough for the print and overall theme of the series. The bows are very basic in shape and design and with just a few subtle additions, like thin lace or trim, could have maybe worked a bit better. The pearl chain is a nice touch though. There is also the same detachable brooch here on one of the strap bows as well, but I think it makes the details look a bit one-sided and unbalanced, so I would detach it. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it means that unattractive shirring is left uncovered. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards generously. I am liking the plump, rounded shape and think the skirt has the potential to look great. The skirt is once again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle topped with a polka dot tulle ruffle, and then an additional line of lace right at the very bottom. Once again, I am doubting the inclusion of the polka dot ruffle and I feel the bottom of this dress looks a bit messy. The lace is pretty though, and of a good quality.

Finally, this is what the print looks like. As we can see, the print comes in ivory, pink, mint and blue. I am really liking these colour choices and I think they suit the print so well. I am so glad that AP went for this shade of blue instead of the usual sax blue or even navy blue. There is just something about that shade of blue that works really well. But the muted non-pastel tones of all 4 colours are really pretty. As for the print itself, it is very decorative and full of detail. The cakes are gorgeous and I love how much thought has gone in to the decorations. I especially love the macaron pyramid and the swan cake topper. The crown and the feathers are also very decadent. These are definitely the sort of cakes I could imagine Marie Antoinette eating. The background is also very pretty, with its swirls and framed crowns. I initially found the background a little distracting, but it has grown on me. 

In my opinion, this is probably one of the better prints I have seen from Angelic Pretty recently. However, I am not sold on the dress designs. I kind of feel that there needs to be a dress somewhere between the very OTT OP and the more simpler JSK designs. It is almost like I feel the OP is OTT, but OTT in the wrong sort of way. I just find the OP a bit bizarre to be honest. But at least with the JSKs there is the option to choose a really dressy blouse if that is what the wearer desires. Would I buy this series? No, probably not. I do like the print, but it is maybe a bit too much for me. My top choice would be the Bustier JSK in blue. I am writing this post a couple of days after the release and tellingly, each of the dresses has only sold out in the mint and blue. People are clearly very fond of those 2 colours, but sadly that means the pink and ivory are not getting as much love, even though they look decent too. I guess that is what happens when one or two colours exceed in popularity, and it will be interesting to see how much the mint and blue colours go for when they start to hit the second hand market.

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