Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Vintage Holiday Review: 2009 Fancy Flower Outfit

It might only be November, but I am starting to bring out the holiday dresses and preparing my girls for the holiday season. The 2009 Fancy Flower Outfit is a very recent acquisition for my collection and I spent over a month scouring secondary marketplace sources to find the entire ensemble. How I absolutely adore this dress!

Lilja, otherwise known as the stunning #55, is modeling this dream of silver taffeta covered in ribbon embroidery.

The dress has a layered skirt and comes with a pair of matching embroidered taffeta shoes and a white fax-fur shrug (see below for shrug).

The ribbon embroidery is truly unique and the effect is breathtaking.

The shoes are also made of taffeta and this choice is wonderfully understated--quite different from the many faux patent leather or glittery shoes of the more recently released holiday dresses from American Girl. The shoes also have a velvety elastic band across the top.

The white faux-fur shrug is the final piece of the outfit and it adds a touch of holiday glam. I believe it is one of the more successful shrugs--it really enhances rather than distracts from the dress. In fact, I love the Fancy Flower ensemble both with and without the shrug, something I can not say for all of the recent holiday "dress + faux-fur shrug" offerings.

The only downside to this ensemble is that it more delicate than many other AG holiday dresses and may not hold up to play by young hands. The workmanship is marvelous and every detail crafted and sewn with precision, however the materials of the outfit require some extra care in use and in storage. The fabric (taffeta) shoes are wonderful, but need to be stored so that they hold their shape when not worn. The fabric flower on the faux-fur shrug is prone to ruinous fraying on the edges. And the dress itself shows wrinkles easily and the ribbon embroidery easily crushed. 

But I can not be swayed from my love of this dress. The extra care and fuss is worth it and I am satisfied to know that while this dress will likely age quicker than other AG holiday dresses, that it will likely age with grace with just a little bit of extra care.

I may have a difficult time getting Lilja to wear anything else but the Fancy Flower dress between now and the holidays! This dress was well worth the long search. It is already a classic and sure to be a perennial favorite here during the holidays.

Grade: A+ 

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