I am looking at 2 prints today, so scroll down further for AP's Romantic Cat.
First today though, I am looking at Alice and the Labyrinth of the Clockwork World by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories and socks.
First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is simple, but cute. I think the straps look a very supportive width. These straps have ribbon threaded through them and are also lined neatly with lace. I really like these details, but less shiny ribbon would have been nice. The waistline is topped with a line of lace. I am not usually a fan of this kind of detail, as it can make the waistline look lumpy and bulky, but in this instance I think this lace being here works. I think it may be because the bodice has been set out to look like a corset, and the waistline lace 'completes' the look. The bodice features 2 ribbon corsets. The ribbon has been well spaced out and the lace holding the ribbon in place at least looks quite strong, so hopefully this detail wont get damaged easily. However, once again I feel the ribbon used is too shiny. The 'corset' ends at the chest area. Hopefully it will sit comfortably on most wearers, but I do worry it wont sit right on somebody with a larger bust. The chest area is loosely gathered, which I think works well with the more fitted 'corset' bottom half. I do feel the material could have been gathered a bit neater though. It looks a little lazy. There are 2 ribbon bows on the bodice, which are a good size and shape. The top one features an AatP logo charm. I did question whether these bows were perhaps a bit cutesy in design for AatP, but this seems to be the direction they are heading in nowadays. There is a wide line of lace finishing off the neckline. I like the lace, but I wish it tapered off gently before reaching the armpits instead of having all that lace just hanging there. The back offers a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a generous amount of volume and it can flare outwards a great deal. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of lace which has ribbon threaded through it. I think this is a really good choice for the bottom hem, as it matches the details elsewhere on the dress.
This is JSK II. Considering the shirring on the back and the gathering on the front, the bodice is surprisingly quite shapely. At least we also know that there will be a decent amount of stretch, as the neckline and sleeves (I refuse to call them straps, even if this is supposed to be a JSK) are elasticated too. There is a pair of neck straps as well, which hopefully will help to keep everything in place. As mentioned, the main straps are more like sleeves and I would be tempted to go blouseless if I had this dress. I think if you wore a blouse with this dress it would look a bit bulky. Whilst I admire the size flexibility, I don't like the overall shape of the sleeves. I think they look bulky. The lace lining the sleeves looks odd to me as well. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but that lace looks really strange. The front of the bodice features a gathered panel with floral lace going up the sides and some lines of wide lace on top. The way it has been gathered almost makes it look like a shirring panel. I am not really a fan of the look of this look, so these details do not really appeal to me. However, I will be generous and say that at least the lace choices look pretty decent and I like how ribbon has been threaded through the lace. Although the ribbon has been tied in to bows, I sort of feel as though the neckline could have done with a small bow or something. It feels as though the bodice is lacking something and a neckline bow wouldn't have been too difficult to add. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so there is lots of size flexibility, but it also means the unattractive looking shirring has nothing concealing it. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards a lot. It is a shame I don't like the bodice on this dress as much, as I think I prefer the skirt on this dress! I think it has lots of potential. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of good quality lace. I was a little surprised they didn't thread some ribbon through this lace, but the lace looks fine on its own.
Here is one part of the print...
... and another. This series comes in lavender, green, navy and black. I suspect you all think the navy is going to be my favourite, but actually I really love the lavender! There is something about the colour combinations on the lavender version which I find quite appealing. But all 4 colours work quite well with the print. I am not so fond of the black version compared to the others, but it still works. As for the print itself, I am not 100% sure what is supposed to be going on in this print (Alice in Wonderland meets Steampunk?) but what is in the print has been drawn well. All of the clockwork mechanisms have interesting details to them which makes the print more fun to look at. I especially love the moon carrying Alice and the prince. In fact, I wish I had a moon shaped carriage like that! On a slightly more negative note though, I do feel as though there are a lot of conflicting themes going on in this print. Among the clockwork pieces we can see clouds, musical notes, flowers, butterflies and a series of dots making buildings in the background. It is very overwhelming and the print has a lot going on in it. I feel that at least some of these elements need to be removed from the print. If I were to choose, I would get rid of the flowers and butterflies (although it was mainly the flowers that attracted me to the lavender version of this print...). Out of all of the items in the print, I think it is the flowers which stick out the most and look the most out of place.
So unfortunately I don't feel a great deal of enthusiasm towards this series. I like certain aspects of the print, but not all together. There are things that I would want to change about both dress designs too. So I think it is safe to say I would not get this series. My top choice would be JSK I in lavender. If the flowers have to be in the print, then I think I may as well pick the flowers which I think are the prettiest colour! It is a shame, as I think there are parts of the print which are really lovely and would have looked amazing if they were not in this cluttered print.
Today I am also looking at Romantic Cat by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a head bow, socks, wrist cuffs, a bag, a necklace and a ring.
First up is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted. I generally like the bodice shape, with the exception of the sleeves. I feel they could have done with being a little bit shorter and a bit puffier. The use of pretty lace on the sleeves matches the OTT lacy bodice well though. There is a lacy belt and waist bow, which I think is a reasonable size for the dress. The bow is a cute shape and it sits well on the dress. What I really love though, is how the bow has a layer of lace layered over the ribbon. Not only does it distract from how shiny the ribbon is, but the lace has a beautiful design to it as well. The bodice can pretty much be summed up in one word- lace. There is a lace panel, several lines of lace running up the bodice, a lace jabot and many lines of lace on the neckline. It sounds like an OTT disaster, but for the most part I think it kind of works. The only part I don't like is the lace jabot. I just don't feel it works here and the rest of the bodice details would still look good if it wasn't there. I would also lose the 2 gold rose buttons, as I think it looks a bit strange just having 2 random gold buttons here. Thankfully, the lace jabot and neckline bow are detachable, which I think looks a lot better. I think it could do with a bow being there though, so I would be tempted to add on a matching bow of my own. Removing the lace jabot also reveals another gold rose button, so they look a bit less random. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is sadly limited. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and nicely rounded. It will hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a double layer of lace. I think the top layer of lace is pretty and of a good quality, but the layer underneath looks a bit cheap. So it is lucky that the layer of lace on top helps to disguise it a little bit.
Here we have the JSK. The bodice looks quite well fitted and the shape is simple, but lovely. I think the straps are a bit on the thin side, but I also feel they suit the style of the bodice. The strap design is really pretty though. It features lace with ribbon threaded through it. I could take or leave the shoulder bows though. Unlike similar strap designs, it looks as though the bows have been angled slightly forward, so you can actually see the bows properly. I just dislike how shiny the ribbon used for the bows is. There is a waist bow, which is a bit big, but again I feel it suits the dress. The shape is really sweet and well formed. This bow is dotted with fake pearls as well. I have to be honest though, I do prefer the waist bow on the OP! The bodice features several lines of lace, leading up to a lacy panel on the chest area. These lines are neatly set out and I really love the lace choices here. There is a line of gold rose shaped buttons and this time they look better positioned and spaced out. Where the lines of lace meets the lace panel, there is a line of lace with ribbon threaded through. This matches up perfectly with the straps. The bodice is finished off with 2 large bows on the chest area. The bows are a cute shape, but I am not fond of the size of them. It would have been nice if AP had made them detachable, but the dress listing seems to suggest you can't detach them. I feel this is unfortunate, as the size makes them look very bulky. It would have been good to have the option, as perhaps the bows would look better if there was only one attached. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and flares out well. I think there is a lot of potential to create that super sweet AP skirt shape. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of the better quality lace. Thankfully, the scratchy cheap looking lace does not make an appearance this time!
Finally, here is the print. This series comes in pink, mint, lavender and grey. I know there has been a bit of confusion online about how similar the lavender and grey versions look. I personally think both these colours look fantastic and they are my favourites from this series! The other 2 colours look good as well, but I think the grey is my absolute favourite. As for the print, it is not exactly original, but I think there are enough differences here to keep the cat print fans happy. Unlike other AP cat prints, the cats in this print feel a bit more 'animated'. They look playful, rather than just sitting still in the print and not looking natural. They look super cute too! The lines of ribbons and drapes fit in well and help to break up the border and non-border parts nicely. I do feel some parts of the border print, such as the frames, look as though they have been drawn in for the sake of it. However, they do at least help to break up the empty space. The non-border part of the print with the roses is lovely. I would have loved to have seen this used with a floral border print! But the cats are still pretty good.
So overall I think this is a lovely series. I don't really go for cat prints myself, but I can definitely understand why this series has been so popular. The colour options are lovely and there are just a few small things I would want to tweak with the dress designs. Would I buy this series? No, but only for the simple reason that it doesn't really fit my usual style. Otherwise I would be all over this! My top choice would be the JSK in grey. I love that the grey offers a slightly more mature and non-pastel option. I think there needs to be more grey dresses. It is such a fresh alternative to black and still works with the print. This print offers a lot of different co-ordinating options, so I am looking forward to seeing how people wear it.