Peacockalorum - Carmilla Dress Review {positive}


I wasn't planning to buy any main pieces at Wicked and Whimsy - I'd just bought Honey Cake, after all, and I was happy with my main piece collection but knew I wanted more accessories to balance out my wardrobe. Then I saw Peacockalorum's Carmilla dress, and the plans went straight out with window - the dress was truly irresistible!

I am friends with the owner and designer of Peacockalorum, which meant I got to lust enviously over the dress as I helped her to pack up the night before. It's got several of the things I love - chiffon, a wine colour that suits me, and a low neckline with frills - and I was really blown away by how stunning it was. It's a non-print piece, but the details and the cut really made it stand out to me.

In the Wicked and Whimsy fashion show - photo by Giulia Hepburn
I was even more stunned by it when I saw it worn - it's such a flattering cut and, being tall, it's the perfect length for me. It looked amazing in the fashion show, dressed up to Wicked perfection, and I could already see it working with several different pieces in my wardrobe...

In the Wicked and Whimsy fashion show - photo by Giulia Hepburn
I was completely head-over-heels for this dress and needed it to come home with it did. I purchased this as a sample piece from the fashion show rather than waiting for a new one to be made, and I was lucky that it fit my measurements (it was meant to be!). I bought this understanding that it was a sample, and the "flaw" was pointed out to me that the bottom ruffles were a slightly different shade to the rest of the dress. I've put "flaw" in quotation marks because I genuinely can't see any difference in colour!

The dress an OP with a scoop neckline and a gathered underbust style. The dress is fitted at the front but elasticated at the back, and the sleeves are also elasticated, which means that it's a really comfy fit. It wasn't made to my specific measurements as it was a fashion-show piece, but I had very similar measurements to the model and I am very pleased with how this fits on me.

It's made of a duochrome-effect chiffon that is wine red but black where it catches the light - it's a really unusual effect that isn't seen much in lolita, but which really emphasises the opulence of the dress. The simple cut works well for this, as the fabric and the ruffles are the main attraction, and a dress with more going on would have distracted from this.

The ruffles are finished with a narrow overlocked edge in the same colour stitching as the fabric, bar for the top ruffle which is hemmed with a fold-over hem. The stitching is very neat, and all raw edges are finished so that the garment will last for a long time.

For owners of Peacockalorum underskirts, this is the same style used to finish the ruffles in the standard model. The chiffon is described on the store as wine iridescent chiffon, a "deep crimson shot with black", which is a very accurate description. It's hard to photograph due to the two-tone effect!

This is the gathered part under the front bust where the bodice meets the skirt. The stitching is in a thread that matches the fabric, and is very neat and kept along the lines of the seam, meaning that the dress has a clear silhouette without excessive topstitching.

The lining! There is three layers - from left to right it is lining fabric, chiffon layer under the iridescent layer, and the fashion fabric layer with the iridescent chiffon and ruffles. I love that there's extra layers in the dress - this means that it's really full even without a petticoat, and still retains a swoosh when I walk around in it. It also means the dress is extra-opaque for days when I am wearing dark tights/a black petticoat that I don't want to show through.

The main lining fabric is hemmed to stop fraying on the fabric, and has been pressed to ensure a neat finish to the lining. Small details like this really impress me, as it's often something I skip over in my own sewing! I think it really shows the level of professionalism in the construction of the dress. All seams are overlocked/serged. This finishes the seam and stops it from fraying, which means that the garment will be sturdy and last for a long time.

The sleeve is a single layer of iridescent chiffon, which means that there is minimal bulk around the armscye and stops me from getting overheated when I wear it. The elastic is backed with tape, which means that the gathering is reinforced and stronger, which prevents the sleeves from slipping up and down my arms when I wear the dress.

I am in love with this dress. It's a really versatile cut, and the short sleeves mean that if I want to dress it up with a bolero or blouse for a different feel, I can do. The details have been made with a lot of care and attention, and - bonus - the dress is machine washable so I can feel free to wear it out and about without worrying. Even though this is a sample piece for a fashion show, the dress has been finished beautifully and feels very sturdily constructed. I'm really happy with my purchase, and the most difficult part of owning this is wondering what colour I should get next! (I'm thinking forest green, which is likely to be the Ivy colourway, described as a "deep jewel green over black". I've worn it quite a few times already, as because it's an OP it's just easy to wear when I don't want to think too hard about my outfit, and it is just as versatile as I hoped. It also makes an excellent dress for meeting guinea pigs.

I can't review the communication as I ordered it in person, but Fuchsia was lovely to deal with in person and answered all my questions, such as how to care for the dress. I have ordered from Peacockalorum before (and since!) via Facebook, and communication there has always been excellent. As I said earlier, I am friends with the owner, but I paid for this and am reviewing it honestly - and if I didn't think it was absolutely worth the money, I would not have bought the dress...or planned to buy another one in a different colour.

Edit 10/10/16 - I have just washed the dress in the washing machine (30 degree cycle with spin cycle) and hung it to dry and it has come out fine.

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  1. Oh. That dress is pretty much what I was looking for. I really want solid red op, but on downside is I look really awfull with Empire cut. But machine washable sounds pretty tempting. I consider to get off the items I can't machine wash.

    1. I have few items that aren't machine washable - I like to be able to wear my clothes and not worry what will happen if they get dirty. It's a shame empire waist cuts don't suit you, maybe there will be another style made with a normal waist cut that would suit you more!

    2. The only thing I can't wash at moment is my btssb dress. Otherwise I could get some wide belts to lower waist.


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