My Carousel Theater preorder from Lief finally came in. I decided that in order to help give Lief more exposure, I would do a review, so I took a ton of pictures of the unpacking process and the skirt itself. I hope this is helpful to anyone who may be on the fence about this wonderful Korean indie brand!
Ordering was very easy, all through email and in English. You simply filled out the form from her Facebook page and sent it to the provided email address. I got a response within 24 hours saying that my order was received, and with the total price. She sent the PayPal invoice shortly after that, and once payment was received communication ceased until I got the tracking information. I ordered the first week of the reserve period, in order to take advantage of the free shipping campaign, so I had a long time to wait before I got my shipping number!
The total was $193 USD for the skirt and matching bow pair.
Shipping & Packaging
Shipping was through EMS, and was free/included for me since I ordered within the first week of reserves. Once I got the shipping notification and tracking information, the package arrived within five days. It was nicely packed in a pink box, with very minor shipping damage to the outside.
She included a little package of Korean candy, which was nice, and a note with the care instructions. The skirt and bows themselves were individually wrapped in plastic, and packaged together in a cute plastic shopping bag. Everything was in great condition.
Quality and Construction
The skirt is a lovely medium-heavy fabric that drapes beautifully and barely wrinkles at all. The inside is fully lined and the edges are overlocked. The waistband closes with two skirt clasps, and has hanging loops. The partial shirring on the waist is a little wonky, but it's on par with what I make myself.
The braid on the front is sewed on nicely, and everything looks great except for one of the buttons which is a bit lopsided, but will be super easy to fix myself. The stiff interfacing in the waistband is a little awkward, but I think it will be fine after some wearing.
The bow clips are nicely put together and sturdy, and the print on them makes them nice and stiff. The only thing I don't like is that the clips are just slipped through the center piece, not sewn on, but I guess that makes them more versatile. I also expected the clips to not be very grippy when used that way, but they were surprisingly sturdy in my thin hair, so that's definitely a plus.
She also included detailed care instructions on a little card.
The print is clear for the level of detail that is included, and a very vibrant shiny gold. Because of the nature of the design and the type of printing used, I don't think that they could have gotten much more detailed than it is, and the edges themselves are very crisp. The horses are a little indistinct in some places where they blend in with the gold of the background, but otherwise it looks really great.
Lief's "Carousel Theater" series is a beautiful design that blends Classic and Sweet styles in a very elegant way. The quality is definitely worth the price, and it filled my need for a black x gold item wonderfully.
Overall score: 14.5/15
I put together a quick test coordinate with Alice and the Pirates' Lace Collar Blouse and black x gold harlequin socks, just to see how it looks on. I can't wait to put everything together properly! (Please excuse my blocked out face, I was too excited to put on makeup or a wig.)
Some notes on the sizing: I got a Small/Medium size, and the skirt length is listed as about 60cm (not counting the high waist design). I am 5' 9" (175cm), and it's a good length on me--I would say about the same as many of my Alice and the Pirates skirts/jumperskirts. If you are on the taller side, I would definitely recommend Lief dresses, since my Instruments Regimental JSK is also quite long!
I hope this helped anyone who is thinking about getting a Lief dress, or maybe I even was able to introduce someone new to them. As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!