Monday, 19 June 2017

Print Double

I am looking at 2 series today. Scroll down further for AP's Fancy Whip.

First today I am looking at Kitten's Sweet Cherries Cafe Diner by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses, a blouse, an apron, 3 hair accessories, socks, wrist cuffs, several items of jewelry and an outfit for Usakumya.

First is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is interesting. I don't like how there are 2 sets of straps though. It feels so unnecessary and makes the area look crowded. The outer set of straps are lined with lace on the outsides. Given how bulky the 2 sets of straps are already, perhaps some thinner lines of lace would have been better. The waist area features a stripy belt, which is further topped with a bow made of different stripy fabric. I feel the belt looks really messy. It is a bit too slouchy and also looks bulky when paired with the bow. It doesn't help that you can see a join line where bits of the belt have been sewn together. This stands out quite a bit because of how the stripes around this part are distorted. The bow is also quite big. I especially hate the area with the long bow ties and the ends of the belt. It is too crowded and OTT. The bodice is broken up with several lines of lace, creating a nice paneled look. I like the use of thin, colourful lace here, as it really stands out. There is an additional line of lace going across the chest, which is pretty, but I am not sure it is needed. The bodice also has a ribbon corset. The ribbon is well spaced out and although the ribbon used is a bit shiny, it appears to be of a good quality. There are also 2 ribbon bows at the bases of the straps, which are a cute shape but a bit big. I personally feel these strap bows would look better if there was less clutter around the waist area. The back features a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair bit of volume to it. I think there is a lot of potential to create a lovely sweet shape. The skirt is thankfully kept simple in design, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same colourful trim that is on the bodice and a line of good quality lace.

Here we have the Frill JSK. The bodice looks really well fitted. I think the bodice shape is a bit boring, but the details on the bodice help to liven it up quite a bit. The straps seem to be a decent width and very supportive. These straps are topped with layered ruffles, which continue down to the waistline. I really love the way the ruffles taper out as they reach the waistline. The ruffle shape is very pretty and the multiple layers create added texture, which looks really cute. My only complaint is the use of ric-rac trim on the ruffles. This trim generally tends to look a bit cheap and tacky, although thankfully in this instance it is not overly obvious. There are 2 ribbon bows on the waistline which are placed where the ruffles finish. I think this placement of the bows makes sense and the sizing of the bows is spot on as well. The ribbon is still a bit shiny though. There is a line of lace going along the neckline, which is nicely gathered for a fluffier appearance. It seems to be good quality lace as well. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset again. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards a lot. Judging by the worn photos, the skirt shape looks very promising. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. Unfortunately, I really hate the bottom hem! It features 2 over-stitched ruffles, where under-stitched ruffles would have probably looked better. But what really puts me off the bottom is the ric-rac trim making another appearance and this time it is more prominent. I hate it so much! I think it really cheapens the dress design. The bottom hem also features some ribbon bows, which compliment the waist bows. 

This is the OP. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted, but I dislike the bodice shape. It looks really frumpy, especially the sleeve shape. I think the shoulder area looks really wide and the sleeves are too long. The sleeves could also do with being a bit puffy, as they look really flat and lifeless. I feel something a bit more special could have been done to finish off the cuffs as well. There is a waist bow, which is sadly massive. I also don't think it has been shaped that well and sits poorly on the dress. Thankfully, this waist bow is detachable, and I would definitely remove it. The bodice has a small V shaped panel and a large collar. I do think the collar is too big and I dislike the use of ric-rac on it. The collar does make use of the stripy part of the print though, which is quite interesting. The V shaped panel is made of lacy fabric and topped with some small ribbon bows. There is also a larger ribbon bow finishing off the collar. I don't really like this panel, as it looks weirdly under-sized in comparison to all the other big bodice details. I don't think I would have bothered with this panel at all. It only adds more clutter to an already OTT design. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I do love how the collar looks from the back view though. It is square shaped and I think it is cute! The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards loads. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle layered over a line of lace. Although the ric-rac is present, it is used very subtly. The main colourful line you can see in the picture on the bottom part is not actually ric-rac. It is just a straight line of ribbon. If only they had done this on the Frill JSK as well! 

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

... and another part. This series comes in off-white, pink, yellow and sax blue. I think the colours mostly work well. The sax blue offers something a bit more quirky with its use of red. There isn't a great deal of difference between the off-white and yellow, apart from the off-white featuring red and the yellow featuring lots of green. I personally don't like the yellow as much as the other 3 colours. As for the print, it is really bold with a very whimsical design. I love trying to spot all of the cats in the cafe themed print. I am quite impressed with how the print features cats, but they are not overly dominant. And as far as I'm concerned, the sign saying to eat more ice cream is some pretty good advice! I love how the windows are filled with various pots and kitchenware. It helps to break up the more sparse areas of the print. The umbrellas also help to break up the more plain brickwork parts as well. The stripy canopy is also very striking. I think the use of stripes elsewhere on the dress designs is a bit hit and miss, but in the print the canopy looks really pretty.

So overall, this is a really lovely print. However, I feel the dress designs let the print down. The dresses look very cluttered in places and I hate the use of cheap ric-rac trim. It is especially jarring teamed with a very OTT print. So sadly this is not a series I would buy. My top choice would be the Frill JSK in sax blue. I think it is a shame, as this series could of had a lot of potential.

Today I am also looking at Fancy Whip by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, a blouse, socks and a head bow.

First is the OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the overall bodice shape is really cute. It is a bit 'young' for my personal tastes though. The sleeves are a nice length and suitably puffy. They have also been kept quite simple, just finished off with a thin line of lace, which I think works well. The bodice features a solid coloured yoke and collar. These details are lined with some really adorable heart themed lace around the yoke and bunny themed lace on the collar. Although the bunny lace is really pretty, I don't think it suits being used on the collar like this. It is quite bulky and I personally feel it would have looked better if the collar had the heart lace as well. I am also dismayed to see rick-rack trim on both the yoke and the collar. It looks so cheap, as if the dress has been invaded by some kid's craft project. I think the bodice would look a whole lot better without the rick-rack. Whilst I appreciate it is there to mimic the appearance of piped frosting and it fits the theme, I still don't like it being there at all. The lace and heart shaped buttons on the yoke are lovely though. I am also impressed with the pearls decorating the collar. They remind me of those little edible ball cake decorations you can get. The bodice is finished with 2 bows, one at the bottom of the yoke and another stripy bow finishing off the collar. These bows are of a reasonable size and are well shaped. They sit well on the dress too. The collar bow is detachable, but I think I would leave it attached. In fact, I would have preferred it if the waist bow was the bow which was detachable. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. I am also disappointed that the print doesn't line up that well along the zip line. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair amount of volume and it flares outwards well. I think it has the potential to look really cute. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of rick-rack (urgh...) and a line of the bunny lace. The bunny lace works so much better here on the bottom hem.

This is the JSK. The bodice seems fairly well fitted but I am a bit underwhelmed by the bodice shape. I think it looks a bit dull. The straps are a decent width and quite supportive. They are lined neatly with the bunny lace on the outside. I like that this lace has been tapered, giving it a better shape. Unfortunately the straps also feature some rick-rack, but thankfully it is not overly obvious here. There is a waist bow, which I think is a good size. The shape is pretty cute too and it is lined really neatly with thin lace. The bodice features several lines of lace and a criss-crossed ribbon pattern in the middle. Sadly the ribbon used is quite shiny, but it is well spaced out. I think the bows spoil the ribbon part though. There are 2 small bows among the crossed ribbon and then a massive bow sitting on the neckline. I feel this makes the bodice look too cluttered. I would get rid of the small bows and replace the neckline bow with a much smaller bow. I do like the choices of lace though and think they look very pretty. Sadly the neckline features more rick-rack, but also has some nice lace. In its defense, it does match up with the details elsewhere on the bodice. At least on the JSK the rick-rack is a bit more subtle. The back is fully shirred, which means lots of size flexibility, but also that the unattractive shirring is left very exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards a lot. I really like the shape created for the stock photos and think the skirt has a lot of potential. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off the same way with the rick-rack and bunny lace.

Here we can see a bit of the print. As we can see, this series comes in yellow, pink, mint and black. These colour choices remind me of AP releases from around 2011, although the mint is a bit darker now. I find the pink version a bit overwhelming. It is very sugary sweet! I like the other 3 colours though. As for the print, it also has that 2011 AP era feel to it. Lyrical Bunny and Shy Bear are looking as adorable as ever. I am very excited to see a new cat character introduced. I think the cat fits right in with the other critters in the print. Hopefully we will see more of the cat in the future. The print is very neatly set out and I love the lines of piped icing. However, if I am being honest I find the overall print a bit dull. The way the print is laid out feels a bit 'safe' and it would have been nice to have the animals doing something other than just sitting there. I know they are holding things, but they look very still. Some of the ways that the space between the animals has been filled feels a bit lazy as well. But it is quite reminiscent of AP prints from a couple of years ago and I expect this print will have its fair share of fans because of that.

Maybe it is because I find the series too cutesy for my tastes to want to wear it, but I wasn't overly wowed by this offering. The use of rick-rack throughout the series doesn't help. Although the print is very cute, I don't think it is that original and it could have been a lot better. So I think it is safe to say I wouldn't get this series. If I did, my top choice would be the JSK in mint. For some reason I find that dark mint colour very appealing. 

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