I received this dress today and give it an A-, so far.
As far as the color of the dress- in photos it is blue. In the sunlight it is a dark bluish-purple. In lamplight it is dark rich purple.
The dress was rather difficult to get onto the arms. The opening in the back doesn't seem quite long enough.
The dress falls right below the knee. On this point I echo the earlier post- because it is longer than some of Samantha's other dresses it looks like the outfit of an older girl. The hairband also makes it look more sophisticated.
Overall, the dress fits the body very well and I had a slip on underneath the dress to make it look fuller on the bottom. I think the dress would hold up to play, however the velcro is vicious to delicate fabrics and the doll's hair. I also have the fear that the color of the dress is so saturated that it may stain the body or vinyl of a doll. But I am too chicken to leave it on a doll long enough to really test that issue.
In addition, for $24.00 I would have liked to have some matching shoes with this dress.