A year ago, the biggest attraction at the Bally presentation was a pair of Siberian husky puppies. A lot has changed since then. Designers Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler made their exit, and incoming CEO Frédéric de Narp arrived fresh from a Harry Winston turnaround. Today, Bally's newly appointed design director Pablo Coppola showed his first accessories and ready-to-wear for the Swiss label. Coppola comes from Christian Dior most recently and Tom Ford before that, so this didn't have the feeling of a tentative debut. On the contrary, it was a bold and welcome departure, one that had editors queuing up to meet Coppola.

His instinct to clean up the bags and shoes and put an emphasis on construction both inside and out was a smart one. As a 160-year-old brand, Bally should stand for classics, although it certainly doesn't hurt that understated accessories are very much what's in the fashion atmosphere at the moment. Coppola kept hardware to a minimum, focusing instead on glossy leathers in subtly strong colors and non-flashy exotic skins. On the shoe side, an elegant pointy-toe pump and a stacked-heel knee-high boot with a vague 1970s feel both looked good. Among the bags, a square shape with one corner sliced off (an echo of the heel design on Bally's men's shoes) was the most distinctive.

Coppola described the ready-to-wear as "accessories to the accessories," but the clothes didn't look like afterthoughts. Here, too, there was an emphasis on craftsmanship and understatement. A camel coat, pinstripe trousers, ribbed pullovers, raw denim jeans, a leather puffer jacket—they were elevated basics, essentially, and strong building blocks for a revived Bally.