Monday, 11 September 2017

Print Double

Today I am looking at 2 different prints, so scroll down for a look at a new print from Baby.

First today though, is Lovely Shopping by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses (one is a more casual cutsew dress), 4 hair accessories and socks.

First we have the OP. The bodice shape is quite cute, although I am not sure I like the waistline being that high up. That waistline is bound to sit strangely on those with a larger bust. The arms look a generous length though. They have a suitable amount of puff to them and the cuffs finish them off smartly. I absolutely love the use of heart buttons on the cuffs! The bodice is mostly kept simple, but given how short it is I suppose this makes sense. There is a ruffle going along the waistline and sides of the bodice. This ruffle looks very cutesy and it is well gathered. I quite like it, although I imagine there will be some who find it a bit childish. The collar is nicely shaped, albeit a bit small. I do wonder if perhaps it is the bow attached to the collar which is throwing me off. The bow has really long tails and I think it looks too 'heavy' for the collar. Thankfully, the bow is detachable and I would be tempted to do this because I think it makes the collar look more in proportion. There is a line of cute heart shaped buttons underneath the bow on the bodice as well, which stops it from looking too plain. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. I really dislike the way the print is misaligned along the zip line as well. It looks a bit messy. The stock photos show that the sack-like skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards decently. I think the level of puff that AP have done in the stock photos suits the bodice, but it looks as though it will hold plenty more petticoat if need be. The stock is kept simple in design, so the all-over print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a solid line of ribbon and some polka dot themed AP logo lace. I like the lace, but I think that solid line of ribbon is quite jarring, especially the black on the red version.

Next we have the JSK. The bodice seems quite well fitted and the bodice shape is simple, but lovely. I think the straps are a tiny bit on the thin side, but they suit the style of the bodice. They are very neatly lined with some scalloped lace. This lace is very bold and striking. It is also used down the bodice too, which helps break up the empty space. There is a waist bow, which I think is a bit too big. Its simple shape works quite well though and it is well formed. The only real issue I have with the waist bow is that it blends in to the background quite a lot. The waistline features a 'belt' which is marked out by 2 lines of piping. I don't think this feature adds much to the dress. Perhaps a solid coloured belt would have not only broken up the print a bit, but also helped to define the waistline. There are 3 small bows on the bodice, which look very cute. They are well spaced out too. There is also a line of lace along the neckline, which helps to soften it. The back is fully shirred, so there is lots of size flexibility but it also means the shirring is left exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards generously. I am not 100% sold on the shape in the stock photos, but at least it looks as though the skirt has plenty of room. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem then features a wide ruffle with thin lines of lace lining both the top and bottom of the ruffle. This is the same lace used on the straps, so that is a good bit of continuity.

Here we have the print. As we can see, this series comes in white, lavender, red and grey. Some of the colours chosen are a bit more predictable than others, but I am glad to see there is a bit of variety in there. Grey really seems to be popular with the AP designers at the moment! As for the print itself, I am not quite sure what to make of it. When I initially saw a small photo of it, I thought that from a distance it looked like one of Metamorphose's camouflage prints! I was really surprised when I found out it was actually AP. If I am being completely honest, I think this looks like a load of clip-art pictures carelessly thrown together, especially the hearts. The mirror and shopping bag are lovely though. I like the little details on them. I don't think that is enough to convince me though!

So I can't say that I am overly impressed with this series. Dare I say, it even looks a bit tacky? It could have been a really cute design, but it misses the mark. I think it is safe to say that I wont be buying this series! I guess my top choice would be the JSK in lavender but I am struggling to find anything positive to say about any of the cuts or colours. However, I do really like the short crew socks with the heart pattern on them. I would want them for larme kei rather than lolita though!

Today I am also looking at Kumya's Snowy Kingdom (already on to the Winter prints!). This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a dress for an Usakumya doll, 2 hair accessories, socks, a blouse, a tote bag and a blanket cape.

First is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted and the bodice shape is generally quite cute. I like the scalloped neckline, but I don't think the scallops work as well on the straps. There is not enough room on the straps to get any decent scalloped shapes. The straps are a suitable width though and look very supportive. There is a waist bow, which looks and okay size and shape. It sits well on the dress. I think I would have liked the waist bow a bit more if it was more in proportion to the neckline bow. Or maybe the waist bow should have been detachable so we could see how the dress looks with just the neckline bow. The waist bow features some small pom poms and is also lined with pom pom trim. Now, my long-term readers may be aware that I have a real hatred towards pom pom trim, but in this instance I do like it! I like it because it fits in well with the snowy theme (the trim looks a bit like snowballs). The pom pom trim has also been used in several lines going up the bodice and along the edge of a raised chest panel, which has a scalloped edge. I think this detail has been really well executed. The pom poms are appropriate and used neatly. It really helps to emphasize the scalloped edge of the chest panel. My only complaint is that I wish the pom poms stopped before reaching the arm pit area. Otherwise, I am really impressed. The neckline bow is made from this lovely matte ribbon. It has polka dots on it, which go well with the snow theme. I am still not sure I like the sizes of both bows together, but I don't know what Baby could do to improve it either. The back offers a panel of shirring, which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is nicely rounded and very full. There is lots of potential to create a very cute shape. The skirt is kept simple in design so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a neat line of good quality lace. I am surprised Baby didn't try doing something with the pom pom trim on the bottom hem, but the lace looks decent enough.

Next we have JSK II. I think the bodice looks very tube-like and the shape is very boring. It is very simple and quite square. A softer neckline shape would have perhaps been more pleasant too. The straps are a decent width and look very supportive. They are lined very neatly with thin lines of lace, which stop them from looking too plain. There is a waist bow, which I think is an okay size. However, I am not so keen on the bow shape. It looks slightly saggy as well. I am impressed that Baby used the Usakumya part of the print on the bow though, and managed to line it up so well. Fingers crossed you can see Usakumya on each dress and this isn't a one-off fluke! The bodice is broken up by some vertical lines of lace. This lace is of a reasonable quality, as is the lace on the waist bow and neckline. There is a yoke on the bodice, but I really dislike the shape of it. It looks too square and I think a more rounded shape would have been cuter. Even the lace lining the yoke doesn't contribute much to the shape. The yoke also appears to be very flat with little detail to it. It is topped with a ribbon bow though, done in much the same style as it is on the other JSK. This bow is a decent size and well formed. The back is fully shirred, so there is loads of size flexibility but it means the shirring is left exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and flares outwards plenty. It will hold lots of petticoat underneath. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of good quality lace. It is decent enough, but nothing to write home about.

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

... and another part. This series is available in pink, sax blue, lavender and navy. These seem like pretty safe colour options for a snowy print like this. I think the sax blue and navy versions especially stand out. As for the print itself, I am not really an Usakumya print person, but I do think this print is adorable. There are so many cute little details to the print. My favourite part is the Kumyas making a Snow Kumya. I like how they are wearing cute fur-lined capes and Usakumya's facial expression is so full of joy. The heart buttons on the Snow Kumya are a nice touch too. The rest of the print is filled nicely. The snow covered trees help to fill in any gaps, as do the falling snowflakes. The aurora in the sky is a nice touch too. There is only one bit of this print which I don't understand- the strawberries. It is not the first time Baby have done a Wintry print with strawberries in it, but this time I feel as though nothing has been done to fit the strawberries in with the rest of the print. They look so out of place. I associate strawberries with Summer!

So I think this is a cute series. There are some parts of this series which seem stronger than others. It is probably quite obvious that I favour one JSK design over the other. The print is really cute if I ignore the random strawberries. Would I buy this series? No, because it is not my style. But for an Usakumya print, I think this is a really good offering. I am sure it will have plenty of fans. My top choice would be JSK I in either the sax blue or navy (probably the navy!). I am sure this print is going to look super cute, especially nearer the Winter time.


  1. I know exactly what you mean about the Lovely Shopping print looking like the Meta camouflage print. To me this looks like an attempt to revive the makeu-up/dressing room themed prints, like Fantastic Dolly or Dreamy Girl, but without the charm or finesse of those. It is a bit messy in execution and I'm starting to think that it's because of all those hearts in the background.

    And the Baby print I find to be a bit empty, but in the sense that a lot of what you see is just a landscape kind of background rather than trying to fill it in with objects or characters. It has everything that I should like, yet somehow misses the mark for me. I seem to remember that there were loads of strawberries around in winter when I was in Japan and what the Japanese call a Christmas cake is a shortcake full of vanilla cream and strawberries, so for the Japanese strawberries are quite a Christmas thing. Makes little sense pretty much anywhere else where they're not in season until late May/June, but once you know that, they seem that teeny tiny bit less out of place. Or at least they do to me. :P

    1. I totally agree, AP seems to be trying to revive the success of Fantastic Dolly. It does look messy. I think the hearts are the worst bit of the print.

      I actually like that the Baby print is not overly crowded! I was aware of the Japanese Christmas cake thing with the strawberries but to me they still look a bit out of place. Maybe if the strawberries were actually on a cake instead of being shown growing on a vine it would look a bit more Winter appropriate? As strawberries need warmer weather to grow, it looks at odds with the snowy scene to me!

  2. I actually rather like the Lovely Shopping print, though you are right and it is a bit tacky!

    1. I have to admit that I sometimes secretly love tacky things! Lovely Shopping is not one of them though :)


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