First up today I am looking at Rosy Night's Masquerade by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 hair accessories and a masquerade mask themed choker. Unless I missed them, there doesn't appear to be any leg wear, which is a bit weird.
First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is certainly interesting. I am not sure if I like the very pointy neckline shape, although I wonder if that is because I think the choice of lace for the neckline doesn't quite work with it. The pretty, almost floral looking lace, seems at odds with the bold neckline shape. The straps on this dress are very thin and look quite flimsy. They also have no decoration to them, so they look very basic. The bodice features a double ribbon corset design. Whilst individually, the ribbon corsets have well spaced out ribbon and are lined really well with rose themed lace, I am not sure about the spacing of the 2 ribbon corsets. Maybe they could have been spaced a bit further apart? Although maybe that wouldn't have worked with the way the ribbon corsets lean outwards at the top. There is a giant bow on the chest area. I actually think they get away with putting a larger sized bow here. The way the bow tails have been folded looks gorgeous. It gives the bow more depth and makes it look a lot more interesting. The back has a panel of shirring. which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt seems to have a good amount of volume and it flares outwards well. I like the rounded shape created in the stock photos, and think this works great. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with this really pretty good quality lace. I like that AatP have gone for a slightly different looking lace compared to the lace they use frequently.
Here we have JSK II. The bodice seems quite well fitted, although I find the overall bodice shape a bit dull. I feel that the straps on this dress could have been a bit wider as well. Even though these straps are lined with ribbon, they still lack the 'wow' factor and still look plain. Also, the check patterned ribbon used here looks a bit cheap. The bodice is divided up, with a ribbon corset on the bottom half and a gathered chiffon overlay. I think the ribbon corset has been done well, with well spaced out ribbon. There is pretty rose lace holding the ribbon in place, although I worry this could be a bit flimsy and prone to damage if the ribbon becomes too taut. As for the gathered part on the chest, I feel it looks okay, but it could have had a bit more material and gathering. It looks a bit flat. Overall, I don't think the proportions of the bodice details are well spaced out. I feel the line between the ribbon corset and chiffon overlay needs to be a bit lower down. These bodice details may sit strangely on some wearers. The neckline is finished off with a bow to one side and a pretty chain design. The chain is really pretty, well spaced out and makes good use of the AatP logo charm. Although I do feel some sort of bow is needed here, I don't like the way the bow obscures some of the chain details. If it had been smaller or positioned just slightly differently, then maybe it would have worked better. The bow itself is quite a nice shape, but the ribbon used is a bit shiny. Maybe AatP should have made this bow detachable so the wearer could position the bow how they choose. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility but it also means there is nothing covering the shirring. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards generously. I really love the full, rounded bell shape created in some of the stock photos. There is a bustle on the front of the skirt, which alternates between layers of chiffon and wide lace. I like the shape of the bustle, but I think they could have gotten away with making it a bit wider at the bottom. The spacing of the tiers looks okay and the lace is of a good quality. However, the brown chiffon used for the ivory colour way looks a bit too shiny for my liking. Despite the bustle, the print is still well displayed on the sides of the dress. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same wide rose themed lace used elsewhere on the dress.
Finally, this is what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, red, purple, grey and black. Personally, the ivory is not to my taste, and I am unsure I like the purple version either. I think the other 3 colours look really good. I am at least impressed that AatP have offered 5 colour choices for this series, which is higher than average for most lolita brands, let alone AatP. As for the print itself, it is gorgeous and really well set out. Nothing looks out of place and it really does look like a scene from a party. I love the masquerade masks, especially the plague doctor! The ouija board parlour game really adds to the feel of those old masquerade parties. The stripy background and is kept relatively simple, so the focus is all on the border print. I do like the rabbit chess pieces in the background though. However the stripes are barely visible in the ivory colour way, which is a shame, but also understandable.
The Halloween Alice and the Pirates series is one that usually does well each year, and this year I can see why it is popular. The print is gorgeous and a big improvement on the Halloween print they did last year. There are things I would tweak about both dress designs, but nothing too major. Would I buy this series? No, but only because it is not really my style. If I did, I would go for the red colour. As for which JSK, it is difficult to choose. I feel they are on a very similar level. The choker is my favourite item from this series.
Next up today I am looking at Astro Regimen by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a jacket, a skirt, a blouse, a parka, a head bow and tights.
First up is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape of the bodice is really interesting. I think the arms have a good amount of puff and length to them, and the cuffs keep the sleeves looking smart. There is a belt at the waist, which is a strip of solid coloured fabric topped with gold braid. Whilst the belt has been done quite neatly and defines the waist, I feel the belt actually looks a little out of place. I am not overly fond of the look of the bow on the belt as well. The dress would have worked just as well if the belt wasn't there. The bodice features a solid coloured panel, which makes up the collar as well. I really like the sharp, bold lines. The gold lace lining it really helps to define the shape as well. In the middle, we have a pleated area topped with 3 pairs of buttons and chains. The pleats give the area some added texture, although I question whether or not they are actually needed. They have been done neatly at least. The buttons are well spread out and even though the chains between the buttons are detachable, I would leave them on. I like the emblem design on the buttons too. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The zip is at least well concealed. In the stock photos, the print has been lined up excellently along the zip line as well. In fact, you can barely see where the zip is. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume and it flares outwards plenty. There is plenty of room for petticoat. The skirt is kept very simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of gold lace and a neat looking pleat. I guess that explains the bodice pleats. That is a nice bit of continuity.
Here we have the Regular JSK. The bodice fit looks okay, but I think the bodice shape looks really boring, or at least it does at the front. There is all sorts of crazy things going on with the straps on the back. The straps are a decent width. I really love how the straps come to a point and have a star charm dangling from them. I think this is quite a cool detail and I would like to see it used again sometime. This JSK has the same belt as the OP, done in the exact same style. I am still not convinced that I like it. There are 2 rows of criss-crossed ribbon on the bodice, which have been well executed, but I am not sure they are necessary. The chest details are already quite bold, and the gold lace would have been enough to break up the empty areas. I don't feel the ribbon details really fit in with the overall theme of the series. They almost look a bit too cutesy. The chest has a folded over panel with a triangular hemline. I really like this part of the design, especially the triangle in the middle which is topped with an Angelic Pretty emblem. It is the same emblem that appears in the print.
I am not going to attempt to explain the straps on the back, so here is a picture. It looks a bit chaotic and I don't really get how it fits in with the theme of the series. There is also no shirring again, so there is little size flexibility.
The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair amount of volume, but I don't feel the listing for this dress gives us a full idea of the skirt's potential. I think it is because the skirt has these additional flaps of material layered over the skirt. If you use to much petticoat, those flaps are not going to sit well on the skirt. The skirt is otherwise kept simple, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some gold lace and then a line of AP logo lace, which has stars on it.
This is the Frill JSK. The bodice seems fairly well fitted and the overall shape is simple, but looks lovely. The ribbon straps (which run the whole way down the bodice) are a reasonable width. They are lined very neatly with metallic lace on the outsides as well, so they don't look too plain. This dress also features the same belted design. On this dress is looks a bit better, because the bow has been placed to the side and it compliments the skirt details. The bodice features some tidy pleats and a row of buttons in the middle, with lace on either side. The buttons are well spaced out and the details around them keep the design looking smart. I like the choice of lace, and think it sits well on the bodice. There is also a bow on the neckline, which is a suitable size, with a well formed shape. I wouldn't change anything about this bow at all. I like that the neckline is finished off with a line of braid as well. The back is fully shirred, so there is a lot of size flexibility, but it means the shirring is exposed. Given that the other 2 dresses offer no shirring, I think it is a good thing that at least one dress offers a good amount of flexibility. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards plenty. It looks like it will have a lot of potential. This skirt features a side bustle, with the main dress fabric draped around either side. The bustle appears to be well spaced out and perfectly layered. I really love the way the main fabric drapes around it too. It creates such an interesting shape. However, I don't really feel this skirt design fits in with the theme of the print (Maybe it is just me. I know some people are very fond of this dress cut). Also, this style of skirt means that the print is going in all different directions, and with a print where vertical stripes are a big part of it, the change in print direction is quite obvious. The skirt is gorgeous, but I feel this design would work better on a solid piece, rather than with a print.
Finally, this is what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, sax blue, blue and wine. I felt wine was a bit of an unusual choice, but it at least offers something a bit different. The other 3 colours are not really that surprising, and they work very well with the print. As for the print itself, I want to like it but it reminds me of children's bed sheets. The individual bits of the print are lovely, but the overall appearance of the print is quite cartoonish. I will however give AP credit for coming up with a lolita print which is very original looking. I do really like the background, and some of the medals look pretty too. After staring at this print for a very long time, I think it is the planet in the print which makes me feel so unsure about it. For some reason, it sticks out.
I really want to like this series, but I just can't. The print is certainly an interesting concept, but I don't feel AP quite pull it off. As for the dress cuts, I really like them, but not with this print. I feel some of the details on the dresses don't fit with the image in my head of how this series should look. Personally, I think the OP goes the best with the print, but if I ignore the print then my favourite dress is the Frill JSK. I think it is safe to say I wont be getting this series. My top choice would be the ivory colour, but I am not sure I can pick a top dress choice. This series has left me feeling stumped.