BALLY has presented its new vision under the helm of its new Creative Director Simone Bellotti – the ex-Gucci Men’s Ready-to-Wear designer, and ex-senior staffer at Dolce & Gabbana and at Bottega Veneta. He took over from Rhuigi Villaseñor earlier this year, after the RHUDE founder had produced just two collections for the Swiss luxury label that eventually saw him and BALLY part ways on a “joint and mutual decision.” And frankly, that decision was the right one, as Simone Bellotti has injected a much-need oomph, wow-factor, and delicious combination of contemporary design and heritage luxury into his Spring/Summer 2024 debut.
There were elements for all occasions at BALLY SS24. School uniforms were reinterpreted with asymmetrical edges, skewing the waist of a skirt and elongating the hemline for proportions that gave height to the body. Tailoring wasn’t Balenciaga-oversized, nor was it Jil Sander minimal, but instead, just perfect, just right. The Goldilocks of suiting, if you will, with silhouettes staying slender, slick, and sophisticated.
On the contrary, blue collar aesthetics were explored with spread collar shirts paired with playfully-branded hats and navy blue slacks, accented with a briefcase bag hooked in hand (but more on the bags later). Because as the show went on, the fun unravelled – buttercup yellow leather was used on a blazer, scoop neck sweaters in fine grey wool were scooped to new curvaceous dimensions, and a ribbed red sweater was complete with its shoulder pads, 1980s style.
Usually, when so many themes are at play in one collection, we’d critique. But when it comes to having a new Creative Director, it’s beneficial to see how they can deliver a BALLY for everybody. It’s why we were given strawberry-covered swimsuits moments before a cream trench coat was worn over denim, or shown a slightly NSFW black chevron knit dress that’s not only semi-transparent, but also worn short with high-riding black leather boots.
There are multiple strengths within this collection, something which was only elevated by the show’s gorgeous Palazzo backdrop. With floral gardens sprawling and historic Milanese walls backing the show, items like a see-through sweater, an architectural red leather dress, a scrunched and ruched blue dress, and then suddenly cowboy attire in the form of a Canadian Tuxedo, all worked well to define what BALLY can be, and now is.
It’s up there with the greats, and this collection solidifies that notion. Point proven by the bags – every single one of them, from strawberry briefcases to supple brown leather holdalls and smaller bags with cow bells on them, went to show BALLY’s versatility.
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See: Prada SS24.
See: Ferragamo SS24.