Ecdysis is not a word many may be familiar with, but it is the one creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor chose as the name of his first collection for Bally. Why? Because, according to the Britannica, ecdysis is “the process of shedding an external skeleton for the purpose of growth or change in shape” — basically a metamorphosis.
To be sure, ahead of the show in Milan, the designer said he was eager to leave his own mark on the storied brand, to start the “Rhuigi era of Bally,” growing the Swiss label with new categories and developing it according to his own sensibilities and aesthetics.
And so he did, to a certain extent, presenting a sensual woman who loves to show some skin but is also comfortable donning a utilitarian denim shirt over a high-slit full-length skirt hand-embroidered with tiers of resin baguette beads. Villaseñor’s American point of view is contributing to the reset of Bally and there were strong echoes of Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford in the perfectly tailored yet easy men’s linen suits or the knit dress with strategically placed cutouts, respectively. He has a basically clean slate to work with in ready-to-wear, given Bally’s expertise in accessories, so it will be interesting to see how he will define and differentiate the brand going forward.
Here, there were some pieces that will appeal to Bally’s luxury customer, such as the tiger-printed suit in velvet, or the shantung pajama set in bright yellow. Colors were indeed spun in unexpected combinations, as in the va-va-voom bright pink suede jacket or satin dress paired with boots in the same color.
Boots in python and archival Mary Jane pumps with Cuban heels were some of the standout accessories, as well as the cool hobo bags embellished with the new hardware logo — an interwoven stylized “B” — and oversize suede totes. For men who dare, Villaseñor offered slippers with a gold mesh on the vamp.