Monday, 28 November 2016

A Print Double

Today I am looking at 2 different series. Scroll down for Meta's Tailor's Bear.

First up today though, I am looking at True Rose Story by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, 2 hair accessories and socks.

First up is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape of the bodice is suitably princessy. It is not to my tastes, but I know the shape will appeal to some. I do feel that the sleeves are a pretty overall shape, but there is so much detail going on. It is far too much, especially for a printed dress.

I decided to include a picture of the side of the sleeves so you can all get a better idea of just how OTT they are. As you can see, the main dress fabric opens up to expose lacy material underneath. On the main length of the sleeve, I don't think this idea is too bad. But on the cuffs, I don't think the opening has been well shaped and I personally feel it looks a bit messy. In the first photo AP have fanned the sleeves out to their maximum, but this second picture probably gives a more realistic idea of how the sleeves will actually look when worn. In this photo the bell shape is a bit shapeless. But my main complaint is that the sleeves are further topped with velvet bows, with some even having fake flowers on top. It is detail, on top of detail, on top of even more detail and it is too much. As I was hinting above, these sleeves could have possibly looked okay if this was a solid coloured dress, where the OTT details would have been the only focal point. On this printed dress though, the sleeves are competing with the over-skirt and the print.

I think the neckline shape is very pretty. The gold braid really helps to define the neckline shape and the lace lining it sits very neatly. I really like the rose themed lace that was chosen. There is also a detachable modesty panel made up of lace, although with the pretty neckline I think I would be tempted to detach it. The bodice then features a small ribbon corset, but the interesting thing here is that AP have put the lace and braid continuing on down from the neckline underneath the ribbon, instead of to the sides. I am really unsure about this design. It means that you get bits where the ribbon is poking out of the lace and the ribbon has no defined lines. It is hard to put in to words, but it just doesn't look right. There is a matching choker too, which goes well with the neckline lace. I like that velveteen has been used for the bow on the choker as well, for a nice bit of continuity. I wouldn't have bothered with the pearl chain on the choker though. There is also a waist bow, which is a cute, well defined shape, but is also a bit too big. It seems to sit well on the dress though. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards generously. It will hold more than enough petticoat to create an OTT sweet shape to match the overall feel of the dress. There is an over-skirt, which in my opinion is one of the worst over-skirts I have ever seen. It looks like lacy net curtains. The choice of material seems a bit cheap looking for the regal princess feel of the series. I also hate the way it has been gathered at the front, which only adds to the curtain-like appearance. Whilst I appreciate there are curtains in the print, it does not translate well on to the actual over-skirt. Thankfully, this over-skirt is detachable! I think the dress looks loads better when it is removed. When the over-skirt is detached, the skirt is quite simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of the rose lace layered over a ruffle of the lacy floral fabric.

Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the bodice shape is simple, but lovely. I think the straps are a suitable width. They look quite plain from a distance, but the straps are actually lined neatly with some subtle lines of lace. I feel this enough, just to stop them from looking too plain. The bodice features some criss-crossed gold braid, which is lined neatly with lace on either side. I think the gold braid looks bold, and the use of gold really brings out the gold parts of the print. The gold braid is also neatly spaced out. I think the choice of lace looks okay, and it is of a good quality. There are also 2 velveteen bows at the waist area, which are a cute shape and a suitable size. I think the positioning of these 2 bows looks pretty decent as well. The neckline features a line of wide lace with rose shaped lace layered in top. I think this is quite pretty, although I wish it tapered off gently at the sides. There is also a bow on the neckline, which is a cute shape and very sturdy, but it is also massive. But despite its size, I think it works really well on the dress. I like the use of gold braid and the fake rose on the bow too. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards plenty. I really like the full, rounded shape created in the stock photos. The skirt is kept quite simple in design, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of rose themed lace.

Finally, this is the print. This series comes in pink, wine, blue and black. The colours on the black version don't particularly appeal to my personal taste, but I think all 4 colours work nicely with the print. As for the print itself, it is bold and interesting. I think the curtains are well set out. It is really sweet how the curtains have a line of rose embroidery and gold on them. It makes the curtains look a lot more interesting and stops there being large areas of the print with just plain, solid colour. The crowns topping the curtains are a nice touch too. The areas inside the curtains are well filled in. I like the bird cages and the spinning wheel is a lovely subtle nod to Sleeping Beauty. The Sleeping Beauty theme is not overwhelming, so it is not as if you have to like that fairy tale to be a fan of the print. The non-border part of the print is very striking with the swirls of gold and roses. It is a bit busy, but this is clearly a series with a lot to say.

I have very conflicting feelings towards this series. Personally, I feel the OP pushes the OTT too far and it comes across as a costume rather than a fashion dress. The JSK is a lot more restrained in comparison. The print is really pretty, and nothing in the print looks out of place. I think the colours are a good mix of cutesy sweet and more mature colours. Would I buy this series? No, because I don't think the print is my style. I think it is pretty obvious I would go for the JSK, and my top choice would be the blue colour. The blue, red and gold colour combination looks very regal in my opinion.

Today I am also looking at Tailor's Bear by Metamorphose. This series includes 2 dresses, 2 skirts, a blouse, a vest, shorts, a cape and 2 hair accessories.

Firstly we have the Stand Collar OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is very smart. I think it looks very mature. The arms appear to have a good amount of length to them. Although the cuffs look quite plain and a bit like work shirt sleeves, in this instance I quite like them. Meta could have added a ruffle to the cuffs, but I don't think it is needed. The bodice features a button up design, which ends mid-skirt. Seeing as this line of buttons is how you appear to get in to the dress, it was probably necessary for the buttons to go a bit further down, so that the wearer could comfortably get the dress on. But purely based on appearance, it would have been better if the buttons stopped at the waistline. It would have been easy to have a zip at the back instead. The buttons and lace used are very cute though. I really like the pleats and ruffles to the sides of the button line too. It is all set out very neatly. The buttons are then topped with a ribbon bow at the collar and another bow at the waistline. The waist bow is a cute shape and I think the size is spot on. It holds its shape decently as well, with no obvious signs of drooping. The ribbon bow is okay too, although I could take or leave it. The back offers a bit of shirring, which does not have anything covering it. Although the shirring is exposed, it kind of blends in to the print. I don't feel the shirring looks that obvious. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards enough. I absolutely adore the shape created for the stock photos. Aside from the button line, the skirt is otherwise very simple, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a double ruffle, which looks very cute.

This is the Collared JSK. The bodice seems quite well fitted, but the shape of the bodice is very square. I don't like that very straight neckline either. The straps look a suitable width and quite supportive. I don't think the shoulder details really add anything to the straps and some subtle lines of lace could have livened them up a bit. Or perhaps the straps could have been lined with braid like the folded down collar has. This collar is very neat, but I feel the overall collar shape could have been cuter. Maybe a more rounded shape could have worked? In the middle, there is a bow on the neckline. This bow is a lovely shape and size, although I am note sure I like how it looks with the collar. But I still feel it is the collar that needs changing and not the bow.  This bow is detachable, but I would leave it on. I think the dress looks too plain with it removed. There are also 6 buttons on the bodice. These buttons have a pretty emblem design and are well positioned. However, some of the buttons seem to be drooping and pointing downwards in some of the stock photos. I hope they are sewn on well on the actual dresses, although resewing the buttons would only need a quick fix. The back is fully shirred which means lots of size flexibility, but it also means the shirring is very exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards generously. There should be plenty of room for petticoat. The skirt is once again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of gold lace.

Finally, this is the print. This series comes in burgandy, deep blue and brown. All 3 colours look amazing with the print. I don't think Meta could have picked better colours. As for the print itself, the bears look adorable. I really love their facial expressions and how some of the bears have mustaches! The cotton reels and buttons are nicely drawn. The ribbon swirls in a fancy way around the bears. If I was being picky, there is maybe a bit too much empty space in the border print. Although maybe this is better than having an overcrowded print. The check background is perfect and I think it is a great choice to go with the border print. The little items floating around the background are nice and subtle too, so they are not distracting. 

So overall I think this is a really cute series. The print is lovely and I quite like both dress designs, even if there are a few small things I would tweak here and there. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because teddy bears are not really my thing. But if I were to go for a teddy print, this would definitely be one of my top choices. My top choice would be the OP in burgandy, despite the buttons continuing down the skirt on the OP. Although I may not be going for this print, I was a bit tempted by the check pattern only shorts and vest. I think those pieces look really smart, but look a bit cuter than some of the boy-style pieces from other brands. I would really love to see these pieces worn, so do let me know if you brought them!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Taobao Haul November 2016- Photo Heavy

I decided to get one last Taobao order in before Christmas, so today I will be reviewing what I got (minus Christmas presents!). First though, I would like to apologise for the quality of a few of the photographs in this post. With limited daylight and a cheap camera, getting decent photographs proved difficult!

First up is this Haruhi Clover beret. The beret is soft and a good size for an adult head. I really like the colour, which I felt was represented well in the stock photos.

The bow is made of good materials. I love the rose themed ribbon, although it is slightly shiny. My only real complaint is that the bow seems to be upside down. The way the pearls were attached to the bow suggested that it is meant to be the way up I have displayed it in the photo above. But to me, this looks incorrect, as I feel the smaller bow parts should be at the top. I reattached the bow the other way up and managed to get the pearl chain to sit in a way that I liked, but it still feel that something about the way the pearls have been attached isn't quite right.

The back of the bow has a simple pin clip and the way the pin was placed suggests that the bigger bow bits should be at the top. But the clip feels quite secure when done up, so I am sure it will be fine to wear it either way up. There was a small loose thread on the back, but it was too tiny to get in the photograph. At least it was hidden at the back, and I was able to just snip it off.

These shoe clips are also from Haruhi Clover. I am not really sure how I feel about these, but as I was ordering from this store anyway I decided to chuck them in with my order. The bows are made from standard shiny ribbon which you can get at any craft store. It does mean that you would have to be careful wearing these in wet weather, or they will get stained easily. The star charms keep tucking themselves away and are a bit hidden when worn (worn photos are at the bottom of the post). Also, everything about these clips are too big. The bows need to be smaller and maybe the pearl chain needs to be a little shorter too.

The metal clip is simple and I like that a bit of ribbon has been placed inside to reduce rubbing. It is a shame a little bit of ribbon wasn't put on the outside of the clip as well. The metal clip is hidden reasonably well when worn, with only a very small bit of metal visible at the top.

Next up is this necklace and bracelets from My Little Song. The necklace is 'light purple' and the bracelets are 'light purple' and 'transparent'. I think the general quality of the jewelry is reasonable. It is a similar level of quality to a lot of plastic Japanese brand jewelry to be honest. The beads are cute, especially the star beads. There is a bit of size flexibility too, which is useful.

This is a close up of the light purple bracelet pegasus charm. As you can see, it is quite a delicate shade of purple. I would have maybe liked a bit less of the star shaped glitter inside the charm, as it looks a bit crowded. But overall, I am very impressed with the quality of the bracelets.

The 'light purple' colour of the necklace is darker than I was expecting though. I wont be able to use it the dresses I wanted to, although I still think it looks quite cool. The glitter inside is at least a bit more evenly dispersed. The chain on the necklace is super long, and features a cross charm, so you can double layer the chain. I completely forgot to photograph the cross charm, but it looks of a decent quality. Although it wasn't quite was I was expecting (I was expecting the colour to be more like the purple bracelet) I still really like it. So it has not completely put me off buying from this Taobao store again. The quality is good, and they arrived at my shopping service quickly. It can be difficult to find decent jewelry on Taobao sometimes, especially resin jewelry. Their store is definitely worth checking out.

I also got these shoe clips from here. The star parts are the exact same padded stars you see used for star clips from loads of different Taobao stores. The edges of the stars are neat. As for the wings, I like how the individual feathers are well defined. The shape is cute. They are a bit more flimsy than I was expecting. If they had been firmer, they would probably be less likely to bend and flap about.

The backs are identical to those used on the Haruhi Clover shoe clips. This time there is no ribbon to decrease rubbing at all. I also spotted that the wings were obviously originally a pair, that had been cut in half. The edges of the wings could have done with a bit of sealing to prevent them getting damaged. Worn photos are near the bottom of the post.

Next up is this cape from To Alice. The main cape material feels a bit cheap in quality. As you can see from the photo, it wrinkles pretty easily as well. The ribbon tie neck means that the sizing is a bit flexible. I think I was perhaps expecting there to be a bit more lace on this cape. The lace looks a bit more prominent in the stock photos.

The lace is of a so-so quality. It could have been a lot worse, but it is not spectacular. The ruffles are lovely though.

The stitching generally looks pretty neat. I saw no big flaws. However, there were a lot of loose threads coming off this cape. I feel the materials are what really lets this cape down. They are fair for the price, but I know I could have gotten much better quality products for just a little bit more money.

I got this top also from To Alice. My intention was to wear it as sleepwear and given how thin the material is, I am glad I had no ideas about wearing it outside the house. The thin material is perfect for wearing during Spring/Summer nights, but when I tried it on I could see the outline of my bra. So there is no way I would wear this as an actual top! The material at least feels really soft, so it will be pleasant to wear in bed.

The ruffles are done neatly and are a lovely way to finish off the cuffs and bottom of the top.

The duck face applique has crisp edges and I think it looks very cute.

When I turned the top inside out, the stitching looked very neat. I couldn't find any mistakes. Unlike the cape, there wasn't a load of loose threads. So I am more impressed by this top than I am the cape. I think in the future I will be a bit more hesitant about buying from To Alice. Their stuff seems to be of low-average quality and a bit hit-and-miss.

Finally, I got this cropped blouse from Infanta. Sorry for photographing a lavender blouse on a purple duvet! I wanted to give this blouse a go because the sleeves (see below) reminded me of my favourite blouse design by Baby the Stars Shine Bright, but at the same time it was different enough to not be a direct replica. And the Baby blouse does not come in this lavender colour either. The material is of a reasonable quality. I think the lace used throughout was excellent quality for a blouse of this price. The elastic has plenty of stretch and the blouse is very comfortable to wear. 

The princess sleeves flare outwards plenty and are a nice shape when worn (worn photos are further down). I think the seam has been done quite neatly too.

The only thing I find a bit confusing about the lace is the use of star themed lace and floral lace. I don't think the 2 themes really gel well together. Although at a quick glance, the lace is not that noticeable.

The sleeves are attached using a button system, which is fairly straight-forward. The loops could do with being a bit bigger though.

And now I shall show some worn photos of everything.

These are both sets of shoe clips. I found the bow ones dug just slightly in to my feet. I wouldn't recommend using these with your favourite socks of tights. The wing clips rubbed much less, although that could be down to them being placed in a different location. 

As you can see, the Infanta blouse sleeves flare out generously. I really like how the neckline sits on me too. It reaches under my bust comfortably, although it wont suit a much larger bust.

Here is the To Alice duck top. It feels very comfortable.

However, as you can see there is no waist definition. There was a load of loose material at the sides. My hand shows where my waist is and you can see there is a lot of baggy excess material.

Finally, the cape. I found it was a good length on me and sat nicely. The cape is one-size but as I mentioned, the ribbon tie neck means the size is a bit flexible.

So overall, this has been a bit of a mixed bag. Haruhi Clover still remains one of my favourite stores for accessories on Taobao. I am also impressed with My Little Song. To Alice however, was a bit disappointing quality wise. It is fair for the price, but there are so many other options out there for general cute clothing like this. I am not sure if I would buy from them again. As for the other stores, I will be keeping all of them in mind when I place future orders.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Aurora Soiree By Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am looking at Aurora Soiree By Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 4 hair accessories, tights and a few pieces of jewelry.

First up we have the Lind JSK. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and the bodice shape is interesting to look at. I really like that neckline. The straps look a suitable width and quite supportive. The neckline and straps are lined with this really pretty lace. Although I like the lace choice, I do wish the lace on the outsides of the straps tapered off gently before reaching the arm pit area. I personally think that would have looked neater. There is a waist bow, but I think the bow shape is a bit basic and uninspiring. The lace lining the waist bow doesn't really add much, apart from making the bow edges very rounded, which I am not fond of. However, I fear that with the waist bow detached, the dress looks too plain. I would be tempted to add my own ribbon belt if I had this dress. The bodice is kept quite simple, with some darts, but not a lot in the way of trims. The neckline at least has a thin line of gold lace, which emphasises the neckline shape nicely. There is also a glittery ribbon bow with a flower in the middle which, like the waist bow, is detachable. I would probably leave this bow attached, but not because I think the bow looks great, but because the bow stops the bodice looking too plain. The bow is a nice shape and size, but the 'flower' in the middle is a gathered bit of material with no defined shape to it. It doesn't look as though a lot of effort went in to forming the shape. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume. It should hold a fair amount of petticoat. The skirt is kept very simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some good quality lace. This dress offers a simpler option, but I do wonder if maybe it is a bit too plain, especially with both bows detached.

This is the Princess JSK. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is quite cute. The straps look a good, supportive width too. However, I am really not keen on the excessive use of lace and bows, tulle and wide lace along the neckline and the straps. I like the tulle on the straps and I think it is well gathered, but I don't feel it works with all the neckline details. The wide lace on the neckline is of a good quality, but it just hangs there limply and there is no gradual tapering at the sides. This means there is a lot of material flapping about at the arm pits. The bow in the middle of the neckline and 2 bows at the bases of the straps are a cute shape, but the tails need to be cut shorter. In fact, I don't like the tails of the middle bow hanging down the bodice at all. The strap bows just need to be smaller in general. Overall, the details are pretty, but they need to be a bit more refined. Underneath the neckline there are no details on the bodice, which could have been broken up with some discrete thin lines of lace. There is a waist bow, which is a bit on the big side, and I am not sure about the shape. I do love that this bow is lined super neatly with thin gold lace though, which is a nice touch. This bow is detachable, which I think I would do. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt seems to have plenty of volume and it flares outwards generously. I have high hopes that the wearer could create a gorgeous shape with this skirt. The skirt features an open front design with lots of ruffles at the bottom. I think the soft looking chiffon material is perfect for doing the ruffles and I am generally very impressed with the way the skirt is set out. I really love how soft and fluffy all of those ruffles look! I think the ruffle going along the edge of the main dress fabric and the small bows are a nice touch. Despite the open front, you can still see the print quite clearly at the sides. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with another chiffon ruffle.

Here we have the OP. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted, but the fabric is a bit loose in places. I think the bodice shape is lovely though. The soft chiffon sleeves look light and dreamy. They seem to be a decent length and I love the layered lace on the cuffs. I could take or leave the bows on the sleeves though, and feel they could at least have been a bit smaller. The neckline also features many ruffles and lines of lace. Generally, these neckline ruffles look really pretty, and I think they go well with the cuffs. The only bit I am a bit unsure of is the rolled up, rounded puffy layer. I just don't feel it fits in with the rest of the design. To finish, the neckline has a golden ribbon bow with flower, just like the Lind JSK. Sadly, I don't think this bow looks much better here. The flower still looks poorly done. There is a waist bow, which is an okay size. It is a bit big for my personal tastes. In some of the photos, the waist bow looks a bit droopy, and I am not overly fond of the shape either. Gold lace lining the bow could have been a nice touch too, but this time the bow has been left quite plain. Once again, the bodice is quite plain in design, and some thin lines of lace could have broken up the empty space. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has lots of volume to it and it flares outwards quite well. It has a good amount of length to it too, for a slightly longer dress design. The skirt is generally kept simple, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 wide chiffon ruffles and some metallic ribbon bows. I think the ruffles are layered reasonably well, but I really wish they had been under-stitched instead of over-stitched.

Finally, this is one part of the print...

... and another part. This essentially covers what the border print looks like, and then above the trees you can see, there is the Aurora Borealis. This series comes in pink, orange, sax blue and navy. I think the colour options are generally lovely and work well with the print. However, I feel a better shade of orange could have been chosen. The combination of orange and pink flowers in the print could of had a lot of potential, but I personally am not impressed. As for the print itself, I think it is really pretty. The leaves don't have a massive amount of detail to them, but I think that kind of adds to the overall effect. The roses look pretty, with lots of detailed petals. I love the fairies too, which flutter so effortlessly around the pools of water. The trees make for a good, strong background. I like the aurora too, which creates some interesting shades in the sky. The one thing I am not so keen on is the Baby logo in the water, which I don't feel is needed.

My feelings towards this series are generally quite positive. There are a few small things I would change, but the dress designs are quite pretty. The print is pretty too, with a lovely dreamy feel to it. Would I buy this series? Possibly. Although I think it is pleasant to look at and can already think up ways to wear this series, I don't think this is a series I would go out of my way to get. I do like this series a lot more than a lot of recent Baby prints though. My top choice would be the Princess JSK in pink. I am not sure why, but I find the pink colour of this series very appealing. Although I wont be getting this series, I do really hope it does well for Baby. It has a similar look to it that Baby's Labyrinth has, and that series sold well. I think this series will have its fans. I am looking forward to seeing lots of pretty flower fairy lolitas!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Latest Haul- Late October Edition

I haven't really been buying that much the past month or so (some of these purchases were actually made before October but due to circumstances I have only recently obtained) but I managed to get a few pieces, including something which I am absolutely ecstatic to finally cross of my wishlist.

Not long after finding the Little Bird's Symphonia skirt, I managed to find the matching ivory socks. Sadly it wasn't on the same second hand site, otherwise I could have saved on the shipping! I got the socks from Lolita Desu and they very kindly chucked in a small handful of Halloween marshmallows, shaped like ghosts. I am absolutely amazed at the condition these socks are in.They can't have been worn that much. I am also pleased to say I detected the faint smell of washing detergent, so I am satisfied that they have been cleaned well.

Here is a little close up of the bird cages on the socks. Given how many bird themed items I now own, I reckon I will get a decent amount of use out of these socks. The brand name writing is really clear and easy to read in person and the AP logo on the sole was also still in perfect condition.

But what has really got me excited is I have finally obtained Moon Cat by Metamorphose! I only really wanted the hoody, but the seller was selling the hoody and skirt as a set, and I may as well talk about the skirt a bit too. It has got an interesting asymmetrical design and comes with a small detachable bow. I admit I didn't hold up much hope for the skirt, but it is actually a lot cuter than I was expecting. I found the skirt fitted comfortably, although the shirring was a bit on the stiff side. I am glad I am not big enough to stretch it to the maximum, as I feel that would be too uncomfortable.

The cute moon cat applique! I love how crisp the design is. And after all these years, both the skirt and hoody are in fantastic condition still.

The ruffles are really cute and nicely finished off. I love how neat and tidy the finish is.

Here is something that really made me laugh- there is a butt pocket! I suppose with the way the skirt is designed, it wasn't really possible to put a pocket by the side. I was just amazed that there were any pockets at all. I don't usually like pockets at the back though, so I highly doubt I will be using it. At least it is there as an option.

And finally, the matching hoody! I cannot even begin to tell you how badly I have wanted this hoody for many years. Angelic Pretty put out a similar design, but Meta's Moon Cat has always been my ultimate goal. This has been on my wishlist almost since I first got in to lolita. As far as thickness goes, it is quite a thin hoody. It is definitely more suited to Spring/Summer than this time of year. When I was checking the measurements I thought they sounded a bit small, but after getting it I can confirm that it is quite small in size with only a small amount of stretch. I am so glad I have a small bust!

There is that Moon Cat that I fell in love with once again! Please excuse my blurry photo, the design does look clearer in person.

This is what the back design looks like. 

And here is a worn photo. As you can see, this is definitely more casual wear. I intended to get the hoody for my everyday wardrobe anyway and I am looking forward to getting Winter out of the way so I can wear it more. I am very pleased that the hoody does reach the whole of my torso. I have found with my Angelic Pretty hoodies that they are not quite long enough in length, but this Meta one is fine. As for the skirt, I am pleased it is long enough to cover all the essential areas. I am very torn about using a small petticoat with it though. I feel a petticoat may help make the ruffles look a bit perkier, but I am worried it would then be too short at the back. But seeing as I only wanted the hoody anyway, I think the skirt was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be too short on me, even without a petticoat. 

So the skirt was better than expected and I am pleased to say that the hoody totally lived up to my dreams. Outside of dresses, this hoody was by far my biggest dream item. It has taken 7 years, but it is finally mine. Maybe I will keep an eye out and see if I can obtain the hoody in black someday. And I am very pleased I was able to get the socks as well. I think in the run-up to Christmas I probably wont be looking out for potential buys as much, but I have done very well shopping-wise lately. I am curious to know if there are any long-term lolitas reading this who have waited years to find a dream item. What is the longest you have taken to track an item down? As I started wearing lolita mid-2009, 7 years is the longest I have gone so far. Can anybody reading this beat that, I wonder?

Monday, 14 November 2016

Rose Museum by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Rose Museum by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a head bow and tights. Various rose themed accessories have also been released.

First up is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is quite interesting. I like the arm length and I think the bell shape of the sleeves flares out nicely. There is quite a lot of details on the sleeves though, and I don't think the shoulder bows or swirls of gold braid are needed. They just add unnecessary bulk. The lace used for the bell sleeves is beautiful though. I am not really fond of how the bodice seems to be cut in to two halves by the line of braid and lace going across the bodice. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about it looks a bit awkward to me. The bottom half features criss-crossed ribbon set out like a ribbon corset, with braid and lace lines on either side. I think the ribbon has been spaced out quite sparsely and the choice of ribbon looks weirdly simple next to all the more fancy trim choices. The ribbon corset is finished off at the bottom with 2 bows with a fake rose. I think these rose bows make the waist look too bulky and they are too close together. I would not have bothered with these bows on the waist, or at least not with these particular bodice details. The top half of the bodice features a lacy chest panel with a line of braid lining the edge of the panel and then a further line of lace. The lace again is of a good quality with a pretty design. However, something about the chest lace looks a bit messy in my opinion. Maybe it is the way it has been gathered, or perhaps AP needed to give the dress a bit of a steam before taking the stock photos. There is then a big bow with a big fake rose in the middle. I personally think it is a bit too OTT with all the other details going on with the bodice, but if some of the other details were not there I think I would have maybe liked it a bit more. There is also a matching choker, but despite the materials used being of good quality, I feel the choker gives off a bit of a 'cheap' vibe. It is essentially just a line of lace with a line of fake pearls stuck on the top. I don't feel much thought went in to it. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The back is at least set out nicely. I think the print lines up quite nicely along the zip line too, not looking that noticeable. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards loads. There is plenty of volume to create an OTT shape to match the OTT dress design. The skirt features a lace over-skirt which is finished off with some large bows. I think the shape of the over-skirt works well, and it ends before it reaches the border part of the print. Also, I feel that lacy fabric was a better choice than the organza material we are used to seeing AP use for their over-skirts. Lace feels a lot more suited to this dress. I wouldn't have bothered with the bows though. They just look too bulky. Despite the over-skirt, you can still see the border part of the print quite well, but it could have been much better. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of thin gold lace and then a ruffle of the same floral lace fabric used for the over-skirt.

Here we have the Tiered JSK. The bodice material seemed a little baggy in some of the stock photos, but the overall bodice shape looks quite nice. I think the straps are a suitable width, offering just enough support without being too wide. The floral lace "sleeves" drape beautifully, creating a lovely, frilly shape. This goes well with the bottom of the dress too. However, I am a bit unsure I like the gold lace used here. It seems to work better on some colour ways compared to others. The bodice features many vertical lines of lace and gold braid. This is set out quite neatly and I really like the choice of lace here. I think all of the bows on this bodice are a bit overwhelming though. There is the large, rose topped neckline bow, a row of smaller bows running down the middle (mostly concealed by the neckline bow) and 2 further bows at the waistline. I actually quite like the waist bows this time, so if it was me, I wouldn't have done the row of smaller bows and would have just made the neckline bow just slightly smaller. I feel that would have been a bit more balanced out. On a more positive note, all of the bows at least have a cute shape to them and I like the choice of crepe de chine fabric. The waist bows are topped nicely with fake pearls and I even think the fake rose on the neckline bow looks pretty. The back has a panel of shirring which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and rounded. I think this skirt has a load of potential to create a really pretty shape. The top part of the skirt appears to have a lacy overlay (if this is incorrect, please excuse me. I am writing this post quite late at night) which I think works very well and you can still see the print underneath it. It would seem from the pictures that the skirt material is gathered quite a lot, but with a good amount of petticoat I think the print should be displayed decently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of pretty lace layered over a floral lace fabric ruffle. There are also 2 large bows topping the bottom hem, which I don't completely dislike, but they need to be smaller and spread further apart from each other.

Next we have the Standard JSK. The bodice seems reasonably well fitted, but the bodice shape looks quite square, with too many straight lines. At the very least, I think the neckline could have done with being a slightly softer shape. The straps are very thin and look quite flimsy. They are lined very neatly with lace on the outsides though, so they at least don't look too plain. There is a waist bow, which I think looks a suitable size for the dress. It is quite a cute shape and it seems to hold its shape well, with no obvious signs of sagging. I like that it is lined with gold lace too, although I could take or leave the lines of pearls. The bodice features a ribbon corset, where the ribbon appears to be spaced out quite well. I like that the sides are lined with gold braid and lace, which keeps it looking very tidy. There are further lines of gold lace on the sides, which help to break up the empty space without looking too OTT. The top half of the bodice then has a floral lace overlay, which I quite like. I do wonder how well these details on the chest area will sit on somebody with a larger bust though. The neckline features 3 bows- 2 bows made of lacy fabric at the bases of the straps and a bow in the middle made of the main dress fabric. I like the bow in the middle, but I personally think the lacy bows look a bit tacky. I wouldn't have bothered with them. The back is fully shirred, so there is a lot of size flexibility, but that means the shirring is very exposed with nothing to cover it. The skirt is clearly very full and flares outwards plenty. It should hold a fair amount of petticoat. The top of the skirt seems to feature some sort of lacy design, which seems to be set out beautifully. I quite like the line of gold braid with the small bows. The skirt is otherwise kept quite simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle of the floral lace fabric layered on top of a line of pretty lace. Personally I would have preferred to just have had the lace here.

Finally, here is what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, pink, mint and lavender (which is very blue looking). I think all 4 colours work really well with the print, with each colour having its own strengths. The mint and ivory versions look amazing next to the pink flowers in the print. Despite the lavender looking quite blue in tone, I think the end result is quite effective. The pink is probably my least favourite of the colour options, but I can see some people really liking it. As for the print itself, I think what is there is beautiful and well drawn, but perhaps it is a bit too crowded. I adore the gold frames with the roses inside. The lines of ribbon with the crown are a cute shape too. I think maybe the background needs to be a bit less busy. In fact, the whole print could possibly benefit from being a bit less crowded. It is a gorgeous print with lots of classy elements, but all together it is a bit too much.

So overall, I think this series is one that could easily make a big statement at a large lolita event, but it is maybe a bit much for a smaller comm meet. I personally don't feel that OTT dress designs paired with an OTT print is a winning combination, but I know there are some who are going to love this series. There are some nice ideas in the dress designs though, and if the dresses had been a bit more toned down I probably would have really liked this series. So I think it is safe to say I wouldn't buy this series. As for what my top pick would be, it is very difficult to say. I love the bodice on the Tiered JSK, but prefer the skirt design of the Standard JSK. My top colour choice though, is most certainly the mint. I love that colour combination! I see from the dress listings that ivory seems to be selling the best, and that would have been my second choice. 

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