Monday, 14 August 2017

Fondant Chocolat Nounours Collection by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am looking at Fondant Chocolat Nounours Collection by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 4 dresses (one non-print), 5 hair accessories, a blouse, socks, a JSK for Usakumya and several pieces of jewelry.

First is the Babydoll JSK. The bodice shape is a little strange and it also looks as though there is a lot of loose, baggy material. I really don't like the neckline and I also feel the straps are too thin and plain. The straps could have definitely done with being a bit wider and at least being lined with some lace. There is a ribbon belt, which defines the waist nicely (I didn't choose the best picture for this, but the belt does look better when it isn't tied loosely like this). I love how the ribbon is printed with the brand name on it, although the ribbon itself is quite shiny and maybe a bit cheap looking. The neckline features 2 wide ruffles, which are lined with lace. I think the lace used is pretty (although I dislike how it has been used along the neckline as it seems to stick upwards awkwardly) and the ruffles have been layered well. It gives the neckline an interesting texture and plenty of movement. However, I do wish the ruffles had been tapered at the sides. The neckline is then topped with a bow using the same ribbon as the belt and a really cute bear themed charm. This bow is a suitable size and has a cute shape. The back is fully shirred, which means lots of size flexibility but also that the unattractive shirring is quite exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is quite full and it flares outwards okay. I do feel the skirt could have been better, partly due to the tiered design creating a slightly odd silhouette. It should be possible to create a good amount of volume still though. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a gentle ruffle with a line of thin lace layered over the top. I think the bottom looks quite underwhelming. Perhaps a bit more lace or more gathering in the ruffle could have livened it up a bit.

Next is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice has a lovely shape, although I find the fit a bit confusing. It seems as though the center panel is very loose and baggy in comparison to the best of the bodice. The neckline shape is beautiful though, and I think the straps are a much more suitable width. I think the strap and neckline details on this dress are stunning. The gold trim and lace lining the straps sits so perfectly. I especially love all the details on the neckline bow. The bow is well shaped and I like how it has been folded for extra depth and detail. The gold trim lining the bow looks flawless and the bear charm in the middle is a lovely finishing touch. I have nothing but positive things to say about this neckline bow! The waist bow however, I find a bit less appealing. Although the edges are lined neatly with gold trim, I don't think this bow has the prettiest of shapes. In comparison to the neckline bow, the waist bow seems a bit lazy and simple. There are no other details on the bodice. I think some thin lines of lace could at least have broken up the empty space. The back offers 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. Out of all the dresses, I think this dress has the skirt with the most potential to create a great shape. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a double chiffon ruffle. 

This is the OP. This is quite a sack-like dress, so there isn't a great deal of bodice to it. The arms look very long in length, almost too long. However, I guess with the fitted cuffs it is very simple to push the sleeves up so they don't hang beyond the wrists. A lot of attention to detail has gone in to the cuffs. They feature a line of teddy bear shaped buttons, which are so adorable. They are also finished off neatly with a line of lace. Although I personally think the line of lace could have been narrower, it is at least of a decent quality and looks quite tidy. The chest area features what looks like a slightly raised panel which is lined with gold trim and lace on either side. I think the shape of this panel and the placement is terrible. It means that this dress is probably going to look awkward on anybody who has even a slightly large bust. This panel is topped with a ribbon bow. Although the bow is pretty, the placement is also not that great. I think the bow only emphasizes how strange the raised panel looks. There is a collar, which has a fun 'dripping' shape. However, I think the collar is too wide and I don't like the way that it has lace on the sides which makes it look even wider. I also think the neck hole on the collar looks too basic and bare. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair bit of volume and can flare outwards a lot. But I do think it is going to be difficult to create an ideal shape with this skirt. It even looks awkward in the pictures of Midori modelling it. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a neat double ruffle of chiffon.

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

... and another. This series comes in ivory, pink, beige and mint. These are pretty safe choices for a chocolate themed print and they all work really well. As for the print, I want to like it, but something about it just doesn't feel right to me. The idea is cute, but in some areas I think it could have been drawn or coloured better. The chocolate parts look a bit two dimensional in places and I feel it needs a bit more 'sheen' on it to make it look a bit more realistic. I also think a few of the animals could have done with a bit more shading and detail. There are some parts of the print that I like though. The cherry cupcakes look very moreish and some of the bears look really cute. However, I really dislike how the bottom of the print has a band with the Baby name spelled out in chocolate letters. This area is quite sparse with detail, so it gives the illusion that the border print starts a bit higher up the skirt. 

Sadly, this series does not live up to my expectations. If you are going to do a frequently used theme, especially a popular one such as chocolate, then you really need to do something special with it and the dress designs need to impress. I don't think the dress designs are that great. It is a shame, as there are certain details (such as the neckline bow on the Ribbon JSK) which have been brilliantly executed. It is unfortunately let down by the weaker parts of the design. The print is cute, but you could get a print of equal quality on Taobao for a lot less money. So this is not a series that I personally would buy. It just doesn't feel worth it. My top choice would probably be the Ribbon JSK in beige.

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