Monday, 21 August 2017

Review: Krad Lanrete's Transilvania Moonlight Skirt

Transilvania Moonlight is finally in my hands, 2 years after it was first revealed on Krad Lanrete's Weibo! I wasn't a fan of either JSK cut, so I decided to go for the skirt in the red colourway - I was feeling some nostalgic AatP Vampire Requiem/Vampire Prelude vibes. I preordered the skirt for $138 USD through Clobba. Here's my quick review!

However, I had some reservations about purchasing this dress. For those of you who don't know, Krad's customer service has always been questionable but they were involved in some major drama back in 2015 when their Constellations of the Zodiac series was released. The Etsy reseller set up to serve overseas customers had astronomical markups and horrifyingly bad customer service. When I say horrifyingly bad, I mean that they stopped communicating with customers, closed their Etsy store without warning while people still had open orders, and took months to ship out orders. Dozens of people filed Paypal claims to get their money back. Eventually, it came out that the Etsy reseller was operating separately from Krad and things continued to go off the rails.

Ultimately, this culminated in a huge shitstorm resulting in Krad only accepting overseas orders through the Taobao shopping service Clobba. Unfortunately, this means that overseas customers have to pay Clobba's SS fees as well as Krad's markup. While Clobba has excellent customer service, many people would prefer to save money by using an SS to order from Krad's Taobao shop (which they no longer allow). In addition, the dresses shipped out after the preorder date and as far as I'm aware, Krad didn't explain the delay. I do think that customer service is an important part of the shopping experience, which is why it's included in the review. So in summary, buying from Krad is a royal pain in the ass.

Clobba delivered pretty good service as usual, although there were some long delays in communication. Krad was a couple of weeks later than their estimated delivery date, as expected. I have to admit I was a little salty seeing reviews from Chinese customers on Taobao who received their dresses weeks before Western customers (and I'm not including the shipping time which was super fast)...with absolutely no comunication from Krad whatsoever. Thanks!

Onto the actual review! Peep my badass Sailor Moon blanket.

Firstly, let's go over the appearance of the skirt. The skirt is made from a beautiful textured fabric, just like the AatP Vampire series dresses. The waist is trimmed with a cute chiffon ruffle, while the hem is trimmed with a simple cross lace. I've seen this lace on many Taobao pieces so it isn't unique, but it's well-made and very pretty. The stock photo is a bright crimson red while in person it's got a cooler, almost purple undertone. The print is very crisp and clear with no pixellation or blurry spots, although again the colour is slightly cooler and bluer than in the stock photo. There's actually a lot of teal in the print, and so many other details that are not visible in the stock photos. It's a real treat to look at!

Now for a quick rundown of the construction quality and structure. The skirt is fully lined with a smooth red polyester. The seam on the inside of the skirt's hem is serged, and the lace trim is sewn neatly along the seam with no uneven spots or lumps. All of the finishing on the inside of the skirt is done very cleanly. No pockets, sadly.

The corset waist has decorative lacing with silver grommets in the front and functional lacing with a shirring panel in the back. The lacing is your standard high-quality satin double-sided ribbon. The plastic boning in the corset waist is very soft and flexible, so it doesn't add a lot of structure and you don't really feel it putting pressure on your waist. It's mainly used to maintain the shape of the widow's peak on the corset.

The back has partial shirring with a good amount of stretch (maybe 2-3 inches) with corset lacing overtop. The corset loops are just loops of fabric sewn into the inside of the corset, so even though there's a decent amount of shirring the pressure on the loops might rip them out. I say this because I managed to rip a loop out on the second wear and I'm well below the max measurements for the skirt. It was an easy fix but still...I have no idea why brands use grommets as decoration in front and crappy little loops or lace on the actual functioning corset lacing. WHY?!

Ahem. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this skirt. The design is beautiful and I appreciate the more mature take on the vampire theme - a lot of brands' Halloween prints are too sugary sweet for my tastes. The construction quality is quite good and feels roughly on par with my Vampire Prelude skirt. It doesn't really suit my personal style, though - I prefer simple prints and solids rather than detailed, multicoloured illustrations. I have since sold it.

Shopping Experience: 3/5
Quality: 4/5
Overall Score: 3.5/5

Here are some coordinates!

I love horror and guro themes in lolita, so I had tons of fun making this coord!
Blouse: Moi-même-Moitié
Headdress: Antique Beast
Tights: Triple Fortune
Shoes: Angelic Imprint
Bag: Killstar
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand
I went for a more elegant, aristocrat-inspired styling this time. I love the subtle grey print on these socks and how it matches the grey in the skirt!
Jacket: Atelier Boz
Blouse: Offbrand
Bonnet: Elpress L
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood
Bag: Killstar
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand, handmade

This picture is from my Instagram, so the quality is hot garbage and you can't see the cute red print on the socks. Just a simple comfortable coord that I happened to wear to a vampire-themed escape room. Did I mention I love vampires?
Blouse: Offbrand
Capelet: Ecailles de Lune
Headdress: Antique Beast
Socks: Alice and the Pirates
Shoes: Bodyline
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand

Thanks for reading!