I think clowns are a pretty common phobia (coulrophobia – thanks, Wiki!), so it’s perhaps a little surprising that Alice and the Pirates have plumped for a clown-filled circus print released for reserve just the day before yesterday. I’m not particularly scared of clowns (Stephen King’s IT notwithstanding! ARGH!), but even so, I don’t think there’s enough red noses and baggy trousers here to give lolita fashion lovers nightmares – more likely to have bad dreams about inferior lace and stains on dream dresses, I’m sure!

With its nonsensical German and circus folk, I was prepared not to be phased at all by the print, but I have to say that I really like it! Although this is a late summer/autumn release, it does have more of a winter feel to it, and I’m a huge sucker for sheer fabric and lashing of black lace…

Well. This is just fantastic! I love that at first glance you might think it was a blouse/skirt combo, but no – they’re not separates! I could practically write a love letter to this dress: eye-catching print; great colours; sheer fabric; beautiful lace collar; detachable sleeves… I could continue, but for my sanity, and probably yours, I shan’t.

Jumperskirt version one – not to everyone’s taste, but personally I love the military details and over-use of bows on the back (trying so hard not get into ‘Yo dawg, I heard you like bows…’ meme territory right now!). The bow back reminds me of Luella’s heart-back dresses that were all the rage last summer – I’m sure there’s a closer comparison, but can’t quite put my finger on it. Anyway, huge kudos to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Alice for not being afraid to push lolita dress design a little further.

Print colourways – which is your favourite? I might step outside my comfort zone and go for blue!

Second jumperskirt version; perhaps a little more summery in cream and with thinner straps? I’m not sure how well the straps would work with a standard blouse, but it’s an excellent opportunity to get into the fabulous world of boleros and shrugs.

Highwaisted skirt – yes please! I love the side lacing ribbon and tiny rose buttons.

I think I might actually cave in and buy the black blouse soon. Diamond-print sheer black? Yes indeed.

Aside from the hanged clown (really?!) and pompoms, I am digging the circus tent bag most of all – I love a themed bag, and lolita fashion is the perfect excuse to go all-out matchy-matchy right down to bags. Fantastic.

So, if your coulrophobia hasn’t got the better of you, will you be indulging the circus runaway in you? Head over to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright if balloons and big shoes tickle your fancy…

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