Alice Quartet or AQ for short, is a fashion firm that includes the custom clothing lines of four designers. All four work only in black and white, but in no other way have anything in common.
Makino, known as Makinon, at 24 is the leader of the group and the designer of “Le Croix de Lune,” specializing in frilly, goth-loli-esque dresses.
Yuuki, still in high school, does the very butchy, yet somehow feminine “Aqua Drop” line.
Uber-cute Suika, known as Su-chan, designs cute activewear line “P’s.”
And last, Fumi, who you may remember from Iono-sama, receives her direction from Maria-sama for her “Saya” line which blends classic Japanese and Western concepts.
The AQ store is owned by Yukino, called Yukinon, a former classmate of Makino’s, a childhood friend and now business partner. If it was up to Yukino, it would be life partner as well, but Makino’s not biting. Her loss.
Aside from Yukino’s overt interest in Makino, Yuuki pulls in a few female admirers in her chapter as well. Understandably so, as her design for her outfit is darn sexy and not really androgynous at all, while being both kinda butchy and very feminine.
As an added bonus, in the last chapter in which the AQ designers decide to hold an event and invite all their customers, (which follows my Microniche Marketing principle of rewarding engagement, so I approve wholeheartedly!) if you look carefully at the invitees, you will see some characters who are instantly recognizable. ^_^
This is not a book one reads for plot. This volume collects a few short chapters about each designer and their mutual vision for AQ through the seasons. Nothing “happens,” but if you like Fujieda’s clothes – and I do, which seems as deeply weird to me as it might seem to you – this is a lovely little volume about clothing and the women who make them.
Art – 9
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 4
Service – 2
Overall – 8
Fujieda Miyabi is probably the best costume designer in manga today. And, with the four designers that make up AQ, he can really stretch his skills. If you like clothes or stories about clothes or Fujieda’s art, with a little Yuri icing, this obscure little collection is a real treasure.