The starting point for the Bally
Spring 2012 men's collection, according to Michael Herz, who designs the line with Graeme Fidler, was a real-life ballet company who visited Paris in 1951 and stayed at the Scribe. (The hotel has already given its name to one of the house's best-selling shoe styles, seen here in an attractive new lightweight lace-up version called the Scribe Légère.) That may be more backstory than is strictly required to understand what Herz readily admits is a range of "believable menswear." The fifties inspiration lent a bit of Talented Mr. Ripley
panache to basics like leather bombers, flat-front khakis, and shawl-neck knits. Bringing things up to date were lightweight treatments such as perforated skins and details like the contrasting collar and cuffs on a leather Harrington. Similarly, patterned appliqués and sophisticated tones like dove gray lent new interest to classic holdalls. Herz believes he and Fidler, now in their second season at Bally, are laying a solid foundation for the company going forward. They're clearly enjoying the support provided by the Swiss-based label, for whom they recently shot a womenswear campaign with a certain big-name photographer. "I can't believe I was in a room with Steven Meisel," Herz said.