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.