Monday, 20 March 2017

Alice Wonder Car Chase by Alice and the Pirates

Today I am looking at Alice Wonder Car Chase by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 5 dresses (2 non-print), a skirt, 5 hair accessories, a tote bag, an apron, a cutsew and a parachute shirt.

First up is JSK I. The bodice is well fitted, although the overall shape is a bit simple. I am also not keen on the neckline shape. The straps are a suitable with and look quite supportive. They are lined neatly with thin lace, which stops them looking too plain. There is a waist bow, which is an okay size. The shape is pretty and well formed. It sits well on the dress. It is neatly lined with lace too. The bodice features a raised panel with a scalloped edge. It will be interesting to see how this bodice detail will sit on bustier wearers. I really like how the edge of this panel is lined with lace. I think this looks really smart. The line of trim used to create the love hearts is an interesting idea, but I am not sure I like the way it looks. It is hard to say exactly why, but something about this design just doesn't quite work. I do appreciate AatP trying to do something a bit inventive with their dress details though. The chest area is further topped with 2 ribbon bows. These bows are a cute shape and a good size, but the ribbon used is too shiny. The same can be said for the gathered ruffle of ribbon going along the neckline. I do like the card suit shaped lace also going along the neckline. This particular detail has been well executed. It's just a shame the ribbon is so shiny. The back features a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume and it flares outwards plenty. I really like the shape depicted in the stock photos. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the card suit lace and a gathered ribbon ruffle. Once again, the ribbon is too shiny, but at least this bottom hem is consistent design-wise with the neckline.

Here we have JSK II. The bodice looks well fitted, but the bodice shape is just bizarre. I really hate the little panel inside the lacy straps. This is another bodice design where it is questionable how good it will look on larger busted wearers. The straps at least are a good, solid width. I really like the ladder lace with ribbon threaded through it layered over the straps as well. On a different bodice shape, this strap detail could have looked really pretty. It doesn't work having the strap details finish halfway down the bodice in this way. There is then a line of lace running from where the straps finish to the waistline, which is topped with some small bows and a bow. These details feel a bit 'forced' and I don't think they are needed at all. I think the bows look cheap too. The back is fully shirred, which means lots of size flexibility, but also that the unattractive looking shirring has nothing covering it. I am also not a fan of the way the straps cross on the back and how the lace abruptly ends. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards lots. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same style of ribbon threaded lace as the straps. So again the design features a lot of continuity.

This is the OP. The bodice looks quite well fitted, but the overall bodice shape is a bit frumpy. I think the sleeves are too long and lack shape. They look really flat and lifeless. I also don't like the dropped waistline. The lace topping the waistline only makes the dropped waist look worse, because it emphasises it. I think the sailor cuffs and collar are a cute idea, but it would have looked better on a simpler dress rather than with this busy print. The bow is cute though, and I like the size and shape. There are also some emblem themed buttons on the bodice. They are set out quite neatly and well spaced for this style of bodice. I think some thin lines of lace could have helped to break up the bodice and make it look a bit less flat though. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I don't think the print lines up that well along the zip line. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume. Despite the dropped waistline, I feel the stock photos show that it is possible to create a really cute shape with the skirt. It is such a shame that the waistline lace spoils it, in my opinion. The skirt is again kept quite simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of thin lace.

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

... and another part. This series comes in ivory, sax blue, red and black. The colours generally work well with the print. However, I think the red version looks a bit dull and almost brown in colour. A richer red would have possibly worked better. As for the print itself, the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was the cartoon Wacky Races. It is certainly a unique idea for a print, but as I am writing this, I have the Wacky Races music going around my head! There are a couple of ideas in the print which I think are really cute. I like the fact that the 'track' is in fact a ribbon. It is also interesting how the Lewis Caroll imagery has been incorporated in to the print. Even slightly more minor characters like the Dodo get featured. This is quite rare for an Alice themed print, which will typically feature Alice, the Red Queen and the White Rabbit at most. I am not really sure how the sweets fit in with the print though.

So overall I think this was a cute idea for a print, but it hasn't been that well executed. At times, the dress cuts are very strange. I don't feel they will look that flattering when worn either. I think the main problem is that this is a busy print and there are lots of details going on in the dress designs. It is good to experiment with new ideas, but I am not sure this was the best place to try out some of them and definitely not all at the same time. I can't see this series doing that well unfortunately. My top pick would be JSK I in black, but I think it is safe to say I wont be buying this series at all. I don't even like the print enough to consider the simple skirt.

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