This season was a season of returning champions and new debuts – one of which being Rhuigi Villaseñor’s, for BALLY. Once renowned for its leather goods, the Swiss label has undergone a recent rebrand as of late, starting with Rhuigi’s appointment as creative director at the beginning of the year, and coming to fruition in the brand’s first ever runway show this weekend in Milan. With a whole day-full of events to mark this new chapter in both parties’ journey, here’s a couple of key takeaways from the show.
THE GUEST LIST
Bally brought out the big guns for its big comeback. The FROW included everyone from queen of real estate Christine Quinn, to musicians Skepta and Future. Elsewhere watching proceedings was Emily Ratajowski and Sita Bellan, to name just a few. The models walking the show also made the VIP list, with Adut Akech opening and introducing the world to the New Bally.
This collection forefronted metallics in some of its most successful looks. We saw an all-gold look consisting of a multistrap, multi pocket jacket and matching knee high boots, with the look also coming in a baby pink foil iteration too. Elsewhere, snakeskin jeans were paired with tailored shirts, and we saw a sweeping cream gown adorned with gold hardware detailing.
The house’s signature leather was (perhaps predictably) a major element of the collection too. We saw glossy black leather shirts, more casual two piece offerings and strong leather dresses within the apparel. Accessories ranged from oversized shopper bags to tiny clutches, and the house’s long and established history in the accessory department was definitely noticed here.
THE AFTER PARTY
Taking over the multi-level townhouse that is Ronin in Milan, the Bally afterparty saw select attendees treated to a dinner hosted by Rhuigi, before heading upstairs to various bars and private rooms. On offer was a karaoke room, which played host to Glenn Martens just a few nights earlier and saw guests packed in til the early hours of the morning – thanks to the endless slew of bangers (and unlimited mezcal shots). Whether it was bumping into Lil Huddy or Mahmood, you never knew what each floor would bring you.
As mentioned, this was Rhuigi’s debut for BALLY, coming from his own brand Rhude. Founded in 2015, Rhude blends luxury fabrication and design with streetwear aesthetics, and has proved popular for its Californian influences too. A firm favourite of celebrities, the brand has got bigger and more impactful over the years, and most recently showed in Paris back in June.
Taking some maximalist elements of Rhude’s designs and translating them into a more refined, luxury offering in Milan for BALLY, this was a crossover that worked. It will no doubt be a few seasons before we start to see a brand identity really form, but from the debut and initial reactions, the future looks golden. Literally.
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