As the new creative director at Bally, Rhuigi Villaseñor, wasted no time in making it clear that his debut Spring Summer 2023 collection shown in Milan would be a new era for the Swiss brand. Even if punters couldn’t tell from the softer, more urban feel to the brand that had meandered into mid somewhere back in 2010, the name of the collection was pulling no punches.

Bally SS23.

Villaseñor began his own brand, Rhude, at the age of 11 after arriving in LA from his native Phillipines. His interpretations of Americana were filtered through the lens of an outside, and it feels like the same tactic is being brought here to Bally. What to make of a brand that has, at its core, a sensibility that refers

Bally SS23.

Ecdysis – the shedding of old skin. This was an opportunity for a rebirth. The metaphor found its literal expression in the revival of python print leather and casualwear. Taking the brand further down the road of contemporary luxury, Villaseñor deftly mixed tailored finesse with sport-inspired detail. The stiffness that had made its way into previous collections was gone, replaced with much more fluid and nuanced lines. Just how fluid – a bathrobe also made its way down the runway. A nod to the louche life or if If Studio 54 was hosting a resort-themed evening, this would be the vibe.

Where Villaseñor was his strongest was the blending of streetwear elements – perfectly slouched washed denim with a suede pink jacket an immediate stand out look. A canary yellow cable knit and matching coat. Bermudas and blazers were a nod to the old guard, a Monaco-esque aesthetic that linked the past with the present. Underpinning all this was the ever-present loafer. Another carryover but tweaked in colour and delivery to match the energy of the clothing.

SS23.
SS23.
SS23.
SS23.

thoughts?