Monday, 23 October 2017

Toy Circus by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Toy Circus by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 2 dresses, socks and a head bow. Some complimenting blouses and cutsews were also released at the same time.

First is the OP. The bodice seems a bit loose and baggy, or that is at least the impression I get. I think the overall shape is interesting though. It has been designed to look like a bustier JSK with a chiffon blouse and a collar. The chiffon 'blouse' part is quite pretty. I like the amount of puffiness to the sleeves and the way the cuffs are gathered. The bows and gold trim of the cuffs looks really neat too. I just feel that the 'bustier' part of the bodice could have been better fitted. Perhaps it is because of the material choice? There is a waist bow, which I think is a little too big. It has a lot of detail to it though, and I like the fancy shape. The gold braid on the bow really helps to emphasize the intricate shape. Sadly, this waist bow does not appear to be detachable, which I feel would have been a good option to have. The bodice is broken up with some vertical lines of lace. This lace is pretty and of a good quality. It also sits well on the dress. Then in the middle we have some cris-crossed  gold braid forming a diamond pattern, which is topped with golden emblem themed buttons. These details are well executed, although I personally feel there are a few too many buttons. There is then a solid coloured collar and bow. I appreciate that the collar is meant to look like a clown ruffle, but I feel it looks too stiff. It looks more like something you would see on a nun's outfit than on a clown. Maybe if it was ruffled instead of pleated it would have worked better. I am a fan of the bow though, so I am glad that both the collar and the bow are not only detachable, but also detachable from each other. So if you wanted to remove the collar but still keep the bow, you can! That is how I would wear it if I owned this dress. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The stock photos show that the skirt looks very plump and nicely rounded. It looks very full and well suited for sweet lolita. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace.

This is the JSK. The bodice material again looks a bit loose (again, I think this is down to the fabric AP have chosen) but the overall bodice shape is quite cute. The straps are a suitable width and look quite supportive. They are lined with gold lace, gathered lace and a chiffon ruffle. This sounds like it would be overkill, but I think AP have managed to pull it off. The parts are well gathered and shaped. It compliments the waistline ruffles well. As mentioned, there are indeed ruffles going along the waist, which are made of chiffon. These add quite a bit of volume to the waistline, which is why I think it is a shame that the bodice material is so loose. It would have been nice to have the contrast between well fitted and to then have these voluminous waist ruffles. But this is just a minor nit-pick. As for the waist ruffles themselves, I really love them. They are shaped and gathered perfectly and sit well on top of each other. The gold lace lining the ruffles is a lovely finishing touch too. The bodice is set out in a very similar way to the OP bodice. Again, I feel there are too many buttons, but the lace and braid is generally well set out. The neckline is finished off with a gathered ruffle of lace and a bow. This bow is a suitable size and shape. It is very firm and holds its shape well. I wouldn't have bothered with the star buttons on the bow though, as they just make the bow look a little bit fussy and crowded. The back is fully shirred, which means loads of size flexibility but also that the shirring is left exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is really full and flares outwards plenty. I love the shape created in the stock photos and I think it has a lot of potential. Waist ruffles aside, the skirt is kept very simple, so the print is displayed wonderfully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of star themed lace.

Finally, here we have the print. As we can see, this series comes in blue, wine, green and black. These are pretty standard colour choices for whenever AP does a circus themed print and once again they all work very well. The dark colours compliment the gold accents in the print. As for the print, it is well executed but I am getting a strong sense of deja vu looking at it. If it wasn't for the harlequin colomns in between the toys, I would have easily mistaken this for AP's Toy March print. In fact, the toys in this new print are almost identical (there is no squirrel this time though). It is still a very well drawn print though. I really like the bunny riding the moon. That is my favourite part. The biggest variation with this print is the inclusion of the circus tent tops, which serves as a great way to break up the border from the non-border part of the print, and the diamond background. I really like these details, especially the diamonds, so I am inclined to like this print a bit more than Toy March. It is still disappointing when AP keep churning out similar looking prints though.

So this is quite a good series but once again, Angelic Pretty lose points for lack of originality. I personally don't feel that the changed details in the print are enough to make it different enough from previous AP circus prints. But if this does not concern you, it is a pretty decent looking series. There are things I would change about the dresses (mostly the OP) but they are generally well executed designs. This is not a series that I would buy personally, but that is because I am not really a big fan of toy prints anyway. My top choice would be the JSK in black. 

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