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BALLY: MFW AW16 Menswear Review

David Watts
21 January 2016

The starting point for BALLY AW16 was the artist David Hockney and the period before he relocated to America.  The mood boards were strewn with images of Hockney and the beau mode of the London Art Set in 60s swinging London.

Dressed in a rugby shirt under a purple velvet tuxedo jacket, with mismatched socks in his paint-splattered shoes, the artist leans in: "I'm thinking of moving there," he whispers sartorially. "The colour and light is so different, and everyone has a swimming pool." No limits, no rules, and tonight everything is possible.

Under the stewardship of creative director Pablo Coppola, appointed in early 2015, the menswear offer is moving ahead in veritable leaps and bounds. Whilst the Hockney homage was very direct, even down to the styling of the mis-matched socks, what Coppola achieved was a subtle balance between the retro influence and a modern take for menswear now.

Unlike other designers whose all too literal translation for 70s style will exclude most men over a certain age (I'd hazard a guess at 28) this collection will work on many levels. Butter soft suede and leather jackets take the form of denim workwear, some with fur collars. Six-button slim cut suits with a slightly wider notched lapel in muted and table cloth checks, were just the right nod to retro but also very now. Some fun retro prints (red lipstick) and dark foulards in burgundy and dark blue were used for tailoring shirts.

Coppola who was head of accessories at BALLY before being made creative director for all product ranges, knows his leather goods and certainly did not disappoint. From the magnificent crocodile brogues to the mock Monk-strap detailed loafer and the myriad trainers in multiple colour combinations, there was something here for almost every discerning man.

Bucket totes and enveloped fold-over top backpacks were in aubergine and teal blue.  A new hybrid shoe, that of the sneaker married with the brogue, added some fun the story and accents of bright yellow were liberally splashed into the collection, in small leather goods, roll neck knits, hosiery and a quilted jacket.

Images: BALLY


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