First today I am looking at Mademoiselle de Paris by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a mini length skirt, a head bow, socks and a parasol.
First is the OP. The bodice looks very well fitted, given the fabric choice. I also love the bodice shape. It feels very mature and elegant, especially the arm length. The arms also have a suitable amount of puffiness to them and the cuffs are finished off neatly, but simply. There is no waist bow or belt, but the waistline is defined by a line of piping. It goes well with the piping details on the bodice. The bodice features a yoke, which is filled neatly with pleats and lines of good quality lace. The details are well positioned and spaced out, as are the row of pearly buttons running up the middle. I think the choice of pearly buttons fits in really well with the overall feel of the series. As mentioned, there are also lines of piping on the yoke. I think this helps to break up the white of the yoke. The lace lining the yoke is really pretty. It sits well on the dress too. The collar is a suitable size and a lovely shape. I like how it has been lined with a thin line of gold lace. It is also finished off with a ribbon bow. This bow has a cute shape and size. Although the ribbon is a bit shiny, it looks to be of a fair quality and the ends are sealed properly. This bow is detachable, but I would leave it attached. I feel that when this bow is removed, it looks a bit as though the dress is 'missing' something. It pulls the design together. The back unfortunately offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I also don't like the way the print is misaligned along the zip line in the stock photos. The stock photos show that the skirt is very plump and it flares outwards lots. It will hold more than enough petticoat. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. It is a shame how the print is cut off at the bottom hem though. The bottom hem is then finished off with a thin line of gold lace and some lace which features the poodle that appears in the print. I like that a lot of effort has gone in to the bottom hem lace!
Next is the JSK. The bodice seems fairly well fitted. I generally like the bodice shape, although I wish the neckline was a bit softer. The straps are very thin and look a bit flimsy. They are lined on the outsides with a thin line of gold lace, which compliments the subtle gold details elsewhere. The waistline is topped with a line of piping and a line of lace, which I think has been well shaped and sits nicely on the dress. It doesn't make the waistline look bulky, in fact it seems to help emphasise the waist. There is a waist bow, which is again a very cute shape. It is well formed and sits well on the dress. The ribbon used is again a little bit shiny though. The bodice features a line of buttons, which are spaced out well. Those pearly buttons have been used again. The sides of this line of buttons is lined with some piping and lace. These details are very neatly set out and the lace sits well on the dress. There are also additional lines of lace going up the bodice, which help to break up the empty space at the sides nicely. The neckline then features a line of piping, some cute polka dot lace and a ribbon bow. I think the bow is a suitable size and shape. It looks well proportioned in comparison to the waist bow. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good deal of volume and it flares outwards a lot. I really like the shape created in the stock photos, as I feel it compliments the bodice. So I have a lot of hope for the skirt. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed wonderfully, although the print is again cut off awkwardly along the bottom. The bottom hem is then finished off with gold lace and the poodle themed lace.
Finally, this is the print. As we can see, it comes in white, pink, lavender and black. These are quite standard colours for a print of this style and they all work very nicely. The colours are maybe a little predictable though. As for the print itself, I am usually a fan of these sort of prints, but I am underwhelmed by this one. Individually, the items in the print work well, but I think maybe I would have preferred this as a border print instead of an all-over print. That would have probably solved the problem of the print cutting off awkwardly at the bottom of the dresses as well. I personally am not a fan of the poodles, but they have been drawn well. The ribbons the poodles are wearing offer an interesting little pop of colour, so I suppose that works in their favour a bit. I like the chandeliers, bows and crowns. Individually, the items are well drawn and cute, but I remain unimpressed by this print.
Judging by the website, it seems this series sold fairly well? I have to admit I was a little bit surprised. I would much rather have a print like Cinema Doll or Fantastic Dolly (which are prints which I feel have a similar feel, but are better executed) instead of this one. I think AP have done better Paris themed prints as well. This print doesn't really scream 'France' to me. The dress cuts are pretty enough though. Would I buy this series? No, because despite the okay print and lovely dress designs, this is not a series that I would want to go out of my way to get hold of. It is pretty enough, but I don't think it is wishlist material. I feel that this series is good, but has so much wasted potential.
Today I am also looking at Kuma-chan's Glitter Milky Way by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a head bow, a star shaped rosette, a blouse, socks, an outfit for Usakumya and lots of pieces of jewellery.
First is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted but I think the bodice shape could have been a bit more interesting. A softer neckline shape could have been nice. The straps look a decent width and very supportive. They are topped with a tulle ruffle, which I really like. It gives them a soft and floaty appearance, but also match the bottom hem. The bodice features some lines of gold lace (which also lines a lot of the other details on the dress, so that is consistent) with some very colourful ribbons in the middle. I really love the soft, gentle colours chosen for the bows. It looks as though the ribbon is shimmery too. This is one instance where shiny works in the bows favour! The bows are a cute shape and size, although I wish the top bow was placed slightly lower, as it gets a bit obscured by the chest panel. The chest features a raised panel, which is further topped with a bow made of the print fabric and an additional fabric star on top of that. I do wonder how these details would sit on a larger chested wearer. It doesn't exactly look busty friendly. At first I thought the panel shape was a bit weird, but I realised afterwards that it has been gathered that way to make the star part look like a shooting star, with the panel underneath being the 'tail'. It is a really cute idea, although I think it could have been shaped a bit better to make the shooting star look a bit more obvious. I like the bow and star though, especially how it has been lined so neatly with thin gold lace. These chest details do not appear to be detachable, which may or may not appeal to potential buyers. I do like all of the bodice details, but overall it feels very cutesy and I would worry it would be too much for my personal tastes. 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 a lot. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is kept simple in design so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem then features an over-stitched tulle ruffle. It is a shame this ruffle has been over-stitched, as I feel under-stitched would have looked neater. But as mentioned earlier, this bottom hem is a good match for the strap details.
Here we have JSK II. The bodice looks very well fitted, but the bodice shape is again a bit plain. I do like that the neckline is not completely straight though, with a slight curve. The straps look a fair width. They are lined very neatly with some lace on the outsides, although it is not that obvious, so at first glance the straps look a bit plain. There are also shimmery bows at the bases of the straps, which look really cute. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the waist bow. It looks so sad and droopy. I don't think it helps having such a wide middle, which almost makes the bow look as though it is split in two. Although a soft, light fabric has been used for this bow, it still could have been shaped better. Some additional stitches would at least hold the bow in place a bit better. The bodice features a line of lace going along the neckline and another line going in a semi circle down the bodice. Even though the lace is of a fair quality, I don't think it was the right choice for this particular dress. The fabric used for the bows is soft and delicate, so a less 'solid' looking and softer lace would have probably fitted better. The lace also has a really dull design to it as well. There is also a chain on the neckline, which is concealed on one side by a fabric star. The chain is a good length and I like the pearl beads used. I think the star looks a bit plain without the lace lining it on this dress though. Again, these details do not appear to be detachable, but they are probably more bust-friendly than the other JSK. The back is fully shirred, so there is loads of size flexibility, but it also means the unattractive looking shirring has nothing covering it. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume and can flare outwards plenty. I was a little unsure about how the material has been joined to the waistline, but I think it indicates a lot of gathering in the material. So hopefully this skirt can hold a load of poof. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple neat line of lace. Again, the lace choice is a bit boring, but it does go well with the bodice lace.
Finally, this is one part of the print...
... and another part. This series comes in pink, lavender, red and navy blue. The red is a bit unusual for a starry themed print, but the other 3 colours are a bit more standard. As for the print itself, I have to admit that it reminds me of the Care Bears wallpaper I had as a kid! Although the Care Bears were sat on clouds instead of moons and stars. This print is very cute, but I can't shake off that 'kid's wallpaper' impression I get from it. It is a shame, because I really love the moons and stars in this print. Usakumya looks adorable as well, and I like the way the bears have been positioned. The clusters of stars are well positioned as well. It is a lovely, dreamy print. I love how some of the stars have smiley faces as well!
So overall, my impression of this series is that it is cute, but maybe a bit too cute. I find this series a bit 'young' for my tastes. But for an Usakumya print, this is a pretty decent offering. The design of JSK I has some very interesting details. I think it makes JSK II look a bit boring in comparison. So my top choice would be JSK I in navy. Alas, I shall be giving this series a miss though. I had high hopes for the jewellery... I thought it was going to be like the jewellery released for Twinkle Constellation, but it all has Usakumya's face stamped all over it! I like Usakumya (I even own a Usakumya pochette that I named Pinky) but I think you can have to much of a good thing.