Set to a dramatic music mix of Felix Leban and Dino Moran, Avant Apparel launched their latest collection at Mercedes Benz fashion week Johannesburg last night. At first glance you can see the shift from former, more structured, collections that focussed on the form and curve of a woman's body. For 2013 they delved right into texture, never once forgetting their original M.O. In fact, all but three looks contained emphasis on the waist by either embellishments or structure. Their various uses of herringbone ribbon accented and embroidered lace were dramatic yes, but carefully placed. This allowed looks like the textured organza dress with appliqued embroidered lace top to juxtapose perfectly (see below). 



Avant took inspiration from the more fantastical spectrum this time, admitting their heroin was the birth child of an alien and a princess. Their clever use of gold horse bits acted as an exoskeleton in their various parts (and in some case as a head-piece) and accented strongly over their natural palette. For the less embellished looks, it was, for me, the peach-skin peplum dress in satine stretched cotton with a fishtail finish that was a winner, or the pleated high-waist trousers I would liked to have seen more of.



It was no surprise that the crowd pleasers included a theatrical cape and dress with black herringbone ribbon that was so beautifully crafted it never looked costume, or the silk organza 'umbrella dress' that was boned in steel, appliqued in embroidered lace and accessorized with the gold body chain. This collection certainly captured the ethereal beauty that was intended, coming in like a whisper and leaving you a little speechless. Not only does this solidify Bailey Allison and Lauren Du Plessis in a league of their own locally but if the world doesn't take notice then I don't know what will.