Bally - FALL 2021 READY-TO-WEAR
This 170th-anniversary Bally collection for women and men was well supplied with aspirational, attractive pieces whose aesthetic reflected the Alpine identity of the house. Base-camp points of desire included a sleekly cut leather dress (look 4, womenswear), an artisanship-showcasing coat in leather patchwork (2), and some leather-lined variations of a double-breasted shearling of high beauty (7 and 10, menswear).
Robe coats for men and women in alpaca shearling were patterned by jacquard in the house B monogram, while handsome bags including 48-hour grips for men and buckets for women were determinedly but discreetly branded with monotone house Trainspotting striping and B lettering. Less labeled but still lovely were bio-wool knit loungewear looks and gender-specifically cut pants in Prince of Wales wool (Bally has delivered wickedly tailored womenswear pants for long enough to claim this as a heritage specialism too).
The house’s expertise is shoemaking, and this season saw an extension of its core Scribe dress shoe line for men into some variations designed for women. All were subject to a finishing process that takes an hour of labor by an artisan trained for a minimum of three years.
Late-1950s Bally-equipped Peruvian climbing expeditions by Lionel Terray (also instrumental in the history of Moncler) and Raymond Lambert inspired a new approach to the house’s signature climbing boot, with an updated version of the 1940s-vintage Grip sole. A new molded sole lambskin curling model made for a cool winter compromise between insufficient sneaker and overkill snow boot.
This was all good, yet probably the most impressive new-season innovation was not in the look book. Bally CEO Nicolas Girotto said over a Zoom call that the house was continuing its campaign to fund currently underemployed sherpas to mount expeditions dedicated to ridding some of the Himalayas’ most-climbed mountains of years of accrued waste. “So far over 47 days they have cleared 2.5 tons of plastic from the four highest peaks,” he added. Even more substantively, Girotto said, “We have decided to completely replace our best-selling main accessories line that was made of PVC—to completely eliminate PVC—and to replace it with a regenerated leather.” Bally’s determination to use actions before rhetoric when surveying sustainability’s high ground is as impressive as this collection was enticing.