In late October, Japanese lolita brand Royal Princess Alice posted pictures of a new print. “The Forest Library” had art from Japanese manga artist Tono. The adorable animal friends on the dress reminded me of Beatrix Potter and I instantly fell in love. The dress came in two colors, ivory and black, and had matching tights, headwear, and other accessories. The release was a preoder, with expected delivery slated for early February.
Royal Princess Alice, unlike brands like Metamorphose, Baby, or Innocent World, does not ship internationally. So while you can purchase items with a foreign credit card, you will need to use a mail forwarding service like Tenso to get your package from Japan to your home.
I’ll admit, this might be the most nervous I’ve been about ordering directly from Japan. While I shop confidently with sites like Closetchild, or with shopping services like Zenmarket, I knew that if I didn’t put my Tenso address incorrectly, my package could end up lost forever. Luckily, I’ve been assured that if Tenso receives a package for you that has the incorrect address, they will reach out so you can confirm that the package was meant for you.
The dress originally retailed for 30,690 yen, which was less than $250 at the time because of the exchange rate. On November 4, I placed my order with Royal Princess Alice. November 11 I received an email confirming my payment and reminding me that my dress would not ship for several months. On January 30, I got an email saying my package had been dispatched with a tracking number. Then on January 31, Tenso received my package and emailed me. The same day, I paid for shipping to the US. On February 2, 2023, Tenso shipped my package. It arrived to my home in Los Angeles on February 7, 2023!
The Forest Library dress is made from a textured polyester and is fully lined.. It is an “all over” print with three distinct parts. The bodice of the black features a scholarly fox, the top three tiers of the skirt feature books and other forest friends, and the bottom tier has large illustrations of different books. The dress has no closures and slips on over your head. It has a removable grosgrain ribbon belt and matching ribbon on the bodice. The back has generous shirring and the straps are adjustable. While the measurements said that it stretches up to 110 cm, I wouldn’t be surprised if it went larger than that. I was a little hesitant about the long length, but I really love how this dress looks worn.
I also got the matching tights in black. At 5’4”, these tights fit, but I think people taller than me might find them a bit too short. I did find that the design is a little distorted on my legs, so I also wouldn’t recommend Royal Princess Alice’s tights for plus size lolitas.
I LOVE this dress. The print is exactly what I love in classic lolita. Though I preferred the overall look of the white colorway, I ultimately decided on black because I liked the fox on the bodice more than the cats. I think that I’ll have fun mixing black and brown togethers, especially because the print already features browns, reds, and oranges. The woodland creatures and books mean that I have a ton of accessories to go with it. Moreover, this dress is easy to wear and comfortable, and I know I’ll be reaching for it over and over again for casual wear. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Royal Princess Alice in the future.