Where does a journey start, and where does it end?
After all, life itself is a journey. Some prefer it to be simple, without too many jolts, while others look for movement and adventure, searching for something that is continuously renewed while guided by curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
Sometimes the journey is the best part of the destination.
This time, the inspirational theme of the Avant Toi SS 2021 collection is not a country but a vehicle. The most famous and celebrated means of transportation in last century’s cultural imaginary: the magnificent Orient Express, which made the East feel terribly, exotically closer. Pleasures and mysteries, luxury and spices, splendor and allure which endure.
The Avant Toi woman finds herself perfectly at ease: a little bit princess, a little bit spy. She is valorized by hand painted, rustling and colorful silk which is declined in high-waist pants with a boot cut, gowns which appear almost liquid, sweaters and jackets which elegantly hug her form and can be worn at all times.
A roaring and romantic collection, like the ‘30s from which it descends. Colors which can only be imagined when looking at black and white movies, that come alive thanks to a touch of lurex and Mirko Ghignone’s knowledgeable hands which make the colors deeper thanks to the use of contrast: Silence, golden ochre yellows that recall the almost mystical relaxation of the desert, Danube Blue which enhances every complexion, Apple, a lively and energetic green, refined Toffee and Walnut, spiced like nutmeg. Vibrant orange Marmalade and Venetian red.
Very different decorations and patterns are happy to mix in ornate but light outfits. The silk tunic with long sleeves and a scoop neckline is covered in Toffee lozenges edged in black, inaccurate enough to show that they are painted with a brush. Instead, the coloring of the high-waisted stretch silk trousers is made by hand, mixing Silence with Toffee and other neutral colors.
Some garments are covered in brush strokes declined in the collection’s colors, such as the blue silk jacket that has a flower print base, or the ribbed fabric in very soft viscose with which the short-sleeved, boat-neck shirt and the pants are realized, where the red base is sprayed with black and dotted with points of light in silver lurex.
The flowers are instead stylized in ton sur ton on the Rosso Veneziano jacket or on the Apple trousers, with a three-dimensional and pleasantly wavy effect, or classically printed on the minidress. On other garments they are hand painted: large irises on one half of the smooth silk duster, half blue half green, with small patch pockets on the front; explosive brush strokes on the linen jersey tank top and on t-shirts; lovable peonies on the silk dress; matissiani on the reversible bomber with pink silk on the outside and bluette cashmere and silk on the inside. Fleece lives a moment of glory in the Apple parka: a sleeveless hoodie with a zip closure, in which one side is covered with sequins colored in mother-of-pearl, expertly applied so as to ripple without danger, everchanging in the reflections of light and three dimensionality. The long Silence sweater in cotton with half sleeves recalls Charleston with its deep neckline and a ribbon that knots as it descends, for a languid and feminine approach. There are many proposals in linen and cotton for the warm season, such as the duster and trousers painted in Silence, or the dress and the t-shirt with red flowers as large as fireworks. A cloud of paprika appears to have landed on the light gauze cotton cardigan with flared sleeves. As usual, the large foulards that complete the AVANT TOI look retain the materials, colors and patterns of the collection: vintage scarf inserts, hand painted silk, or printed and then handcolored, in the hues of Silence, Apple, Marmalade, and blue with an almost liquid movement.
The man also wants his part, a tightrope between gentleman and adventurer, and AVANT TOI has prepared his classics: slouched shirts with destroyed finishes, destructured and calibrated jackets, pants in which the apparently sporty cut it is treated with great sophistication. The extensive use of silk in the men’s collection unravels new, intriguing possibilities: pants, jackets and shirts with a nonchalant elegance. The total look is developed in more sober and reassuring colors, such as Corda on the cotton/linen jacket in micro-stitch worked with a herringbone tweed effect, or on the ribbed cardigan that manages to be sexy and sporty together. The two-button jacket is realized with creased, stretch cashmere and silk, while the reversible blouson is waterproof on the outside, and blue cashmere and silk on the inside. A powder coloring creates landscapes that never tire on brushed cotton sweatshirts and sweaters, while those decorated with a brush opt for structures between futurism and cubism. Large foulards are coordinated to the collection also for men, using an almost impalpable cashmere gauze or modal, to be chosen with mixtures of colors that seem to change depending on how you wear them, or more liquid stripes, or even painted flowers. Lightness and beauty, awareness and joie de vivre: once again, despite its continuous mutation, AVANT TOI firmly evolves in its values and emotions which it manages to transfuse in each of its creations.