January 17, 2011 Milan
The natural element was expressed in the materials: mainly leather, the house specialty for 160 years, though there were fine marled cashmeres and Shetland knits, too. The designers, formerly of Aquascutum, like to emphasize the timelessness and history of the Bally label when talking about their repositioning of the brand. For accessories, something men are already going to Bally for, they were boldest about updating their offerings. The brogued wingtip Birbur boot comes in 26-hole height and dark, burnished colors—most covetably, a deep pine green.
Those felt more now than then, but the perspective wasn't yet quite strong enough in ready-to-wear. There was a military inspiration, especially in a passage of cavalry twills and an officer's coat in bonded green and chocolate deerskin. That does suggest an update to the old standard, of course—probably no two-tone deerskin overcoats were noted among nineteenth-century Swiss infantrymen. But if Bally is to compete with resurgent heritage brands like Burberry and Trussardi, it will have to keep a closer eye on the present. Throughout, there were plenty of glimpses of what's possible, like a navy twill parka detailed in leather and lined in shearling but backed with cutout suede for the warmth without the weight.