Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Timeline of Alice and the Pirates' Vampire Series

Ah, yes--Vampires. That theme that Goths can't seem to escape from. Something that seems to be almost universally adored by anyone with darker-leaning tastes (although the debate on who would win in a fight, a vampire or a werewolf, may remain a debate for eternity). It was only a matter of time before Baby the Stars Shine Bright used vampires as a theme in their darker sub-brand, Alice and the Pirates. And this was a decision that sparked some of their most famous items--and a Vampire Series that would carry on over 6 years.

Vampire Requiem (2009)

Vampire Requiem Limited OP, Long JSK, Corset Skirt, Short JSK

Colors: Black, Lavender, Cream, Red, Navy (2011 re-release only)

Vampire Requiem, the print that started it all. I don't think that Baby really knew how popular this series would end up being! Vampire Requiem has become one of Baby's most recognizable prints from their Alice and the Pirates line, and was the first entry in their Vampire-themed series.

The print itself takes a few cues from previous popular prints; the most striking detail is, of course, the border print of an iron gate, decorated with various vampire-themed illustrations such as coffins, bats, and even what we may surmise to be Dracula himself.

The series proved to be so popular that it was re-released in 2011 with a new colorway (navy) and a Limited version OP cut. Baby has released a host of other items featuring the print, as well, including tights, phone cases, and tote bags.

Vampire Forest (2010)

Vampire Forest Elizabeth OP, Prima Donna JSK, Bustle Skirt, and Carmilla JSK

Colors: Black, Navy, Purple, Red

Perhaps one of the more easily forgotten entries in their Vampire Series is Vampire Forest. Baby departed from the border print featured in Vampire Requiem in favor of an all-over print type when they released Vampire Forest the next year. The print features more of the motifs found in Vampire Requiem--bats, lanterns, roses, graveyards, and Dracula's castle all make an appearance.

If you are trying to get ahold of one of Alice and the Pirates' Vampire items on a budget, Vampire Forest may be a good choice for you; it tends to be one of the more cheaply priced items when purchased second hand, especially from Japanese sources.

Vampire Embroidery (2011)

Vampire Rose Embroidered Jacket, Vampire Embroidered Pants, Vampire Embroidered JSK

Colors: Black x Black (JSK only), Black x Gold (Jacket, Pants)

In 2011, Baby took a break from their Vampire prints, instead releasing a few items in a small Vampire Embroidery collection--a jacket, a pair of pants, and a JSK. The series was more simplistic in its design, but nevertheless made use of beautiful, high-quality embroidery to get across a vampire theme in a more subtle manner.

Vampire Prelude (2012)

Vampire Prelude JSK, Nosferatu OP, Corset Skirt, and OP

Colors: Black, Ivory, Purple, Red

Baby returned to the border print formula that had made Vampire Requiem so coveted when they released Vampire Prelude in 2012. Indeed, the styling of the print is quite reminiscent of Vampire Requiem, including an iron gate strewn with black and red roses, interspersed with small, detailed depictions of our vampire friends doing what they do best: living as Byronic lords, seducing women and generally being mysterious, romantic figures.

Even the cuts from the Vampire Prelude series seem to call back to earlier entries in the Vampire series; there is the obvious return of the corset skirt from Vampire Requiem, of course, but the cut of the OP is similar to a simplified version of the Elizabeth OP from Vampire Forest, minus the bustle. Vampire Prelude was beginning to solidify what made the series popular, and how to best market this much-adored Gothic theme.

Bonus: Vampire Rose items (2010-2015)

Vampire Rose Necklace, Vampire Rose OTKs, Vampire Rose Lace Blouse, Vampire Rose Comb, and Vampire Rose Round Headdress.

Colors: Varies by Item

Throughout the years, Alice and the Pirates has released several items listed under the title of "Vampire Rose"--Vampire-inspired items featuring, of course, roses as their main focus. While they aren't necessarily a part of any one set, I thought that, given their Vampiric inspiration, they also deserved a mention on this list.

With the first couple items being released in 2010 with Vampire Forest, the Vampire Rose items have been restocked and remade several times over the years, and include a variety of items--from headdresses to OTKs, and even a blouse. All of these items are subtly romantic and seductive, not unlike the Vampires that they take their name from--and are often created specifically to compliment any of the items released in Baby's Vampire Series.

Vampire Nocturne (2015)


Vampire Nocturne JSK I, JSK II, OP, and Skirt

Colors: Brown, Green, Red, Black

Despite the popularity of their previous Vampire Series entries, it would be three years before Alice and the Pirates would release another Vampire-themed print dress. Enter the latest entry: Vampire Nocturne, set to be released in September of 2015. Vampire Nocturne may hail from the illustrious background of Alice and the Pirates' Vampire Series, but it borrows more heavily from the newer trends than its roots. Despite keeping with its vampiric roots, Vampire Nocturne depicts its scene not unlike many of the painting prints that have become popular in Classic Lolita as of late. It also uses a more muted color palette than its predecessors.

The cuts, as well, are borrowing from the more mature trend that has been growing in Lolita as of late, with lower hem lines (good news for taller Lolitas!) and more mature lines. If your goal is to have a more subtle Vampire/Gothic coordinate, this series is right up your alley! You can find more information about the series (and pre-ordering!) on Baby's blog here.

Do you have a favorite item from Alice and the Pirates' Vampire series? Is Vampire Requiem your dream dress? I'd love to hear all your gushing about these prints down in the comments below. Until next week!

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