|Happy St. Nicholas Day from Kanani Akina!|
The Starry Night Outfit was released in 2002 and, like the Twilight Outfit and Garnet Holiday Outfit before it2 and the Radiant Rhinestones Outfit after it, was a Limited Edition Holiday Set that came with extra accessories, a shiny special box, and was gone by early 2003. The dress cost $26 originally. I actually bought the set twice; once with just the dress for $15 with shipping, and one that was complete with another set for, when divided, $22. But I gifted one set to AJ when I sent Miss Mari along to her because when I like a person, all the generous comes out. So either way, I got it for below cost.
The dress came with a long black sleeveless velvet dress, black knee high net socks, and black ankle shoes. Accessories had a purse, silver hair combs, and a present in a silver box that was--spoiler--a Coconut snow globe. Excitement, she said in a flat sarcastic voice. Instead, we have decided to dress this up with a black grosgrain ribbon and a black choker made of a black ponytail holder.
Our presenter today is Kanani Akina. Kanani is the absolute best. I loved her the moment I saw her. She was so exciting for me as a collector--what's that? A collection not focusing on another boring white girl?--that I ordered her and a massive part of her starter collection at midnight with my Giftmas money from my in laws, and then blew my then work bonus on the rest of her collection when AG Seattle opened in July. I have all of her collection except the ice stand, because it was sold out when I went to buy it in November. (Eventually someday, she said.) Also, while book canon has her as half white, here in my gang her mother is Hawaiian and her father is Japanese. I don't need a spoonful of whiteness to make the ethnicity go down. She loves her heritage, warm sweaters, Cooking Mama, and Lilo and Stitch.
|Bodice. Could use something over it.|
|Sleeveless dresses bug me so much.|
The dress closes, instead of with velcro, snaps. This is a rarity in the AG world, and I like it here. There's a snap at the top and at the waistline, and that's it. Nice and neat.
|Bow at the back. But how?|
|Oh, Snap !|
|Ooo la la.|
|Shoes: Hit and miss.|
And I hate that. They are complicated shoes, yes, and they have their faults which I'm about to explain, but replacing these shoes with just a pair of plain black Mary Janes--or worse, chunky black holiday shoes from 1906--spoils the outfit so. Damn. Much. These shoes are so classy and mature, and to toss them aside for some juvenile strapped shoes is a tragedy. You could at least do black flats, for the love of fuck, if you can't stand the idea of dolls wearing cuter shoes than you.
I have lots of shoes feels.
|The fault of the shoes.|
But there is nothing to be done to fix it.
This is the box the outfit and accessories came in. I have an old .pdf AG guide that has some shots of things like this--I think it only goes as far back as 2006-2007 or so, if that. Either way, I get pictures all the time from it for the AG Wiki. It's open source, but I don't know who took this picture.
Overall Feel: Unlike many later sets and a few prior ones, this one has a mature, sophisticated mid-teen look to it. I can definitely see a girl of 11-14 in this dress and think that she's starting to grow up and become a pretty young lady. The shoes, despite their failing in fit, are very mature and unique, and the stockings are trés chic. However, the bare back and shoulders feel unfinished and cold. I think that something as simple as a sheer black or sliver lacework shawl would really improve the look, and cover the bare arms and back. Time to buy some craft thread and make one, clearly.
Cost Value: I got the set on the cheap both times--when I got just the dress, and when I got a replacement set to get the shoes and socks and forwarded the dress to a buddy. Pay no more than $30-35 dollars for a set that has everything. If you can't get the outfit with the socks, then only pay about $25 and get a decent set of fishnet panty hose. Don't just do boring black tights or worse, white tights. Give it the fishnets it deserves. We want sophistication.
Timeliness/Datedness: Nope! Not in the least. Yes, it's not good for the past--I wouldn't do it before the late 90s and even that's pushing it--but as a modern outfit it looks great. Suitable not just for holiday parties, but for going to the theatre5 or a semi-formal event or other classy events.
Mix and Match Levels: Nah, not really. Unlike the last set, I think this one stands alone. The shoes had potential, but the straps make them difficult. The socks could work under another long skirt, but it might be better to do some pantyhose. If you decide to replace the shoes for whatever reason though, just do black patent leather flats or another pair of sophisticated shoes. Don't downgrade the age by using fucking Samantha's Mary Janes or some shit. And this is from someone who loves a good pair of Mary Janes.
Final Grade: B+. Good job, dress. Let me just improve you with a shawl.
1 I ran up my entire birth chart at age 15 with Equal House Ascendant house division. Astrology is part of my faith.
2 They're coming, give me time.
3 Craft idea! *takes notes*
4 Post idea! *takes notes*
5 Weird quirk of mine. Theatre = stage, with live actors, you dress for the occasion in nice clothes and go out to dinner at a nice restaurant before or after. Theater = movies and popcorn and soda, can go in jeans or some shit.