As the landscape of fashion shifts, so do the stewards of iconic brands. Taking the reins of the Swiss fashion stalwart, Bally, Simone Bellotti beckons us into a reimagined sartorial domain with his Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Known for his 16-year spell at Gucci under stalwarts like Frida Giannini and Alessandro Michele, Bellotti has now been entrusted with the task of steering Bally into a confident future, leveraging the brand’s cherished heritage.
The San Simpliciano cloisters, with their serene aura, served as the backdrop to the debut, setting the tone for an intriguing play of contrasts. The formal gardens echoed the refined sensibility inherent to Swiss design. But Bellotti’s real genius lay in the way he channeled the spirit of Monte Verità. This commune from the 20th century, nestled in Ascona, became a melting pot of creativity and spiritual exploration for intellectuals and artists like Carl Jung and Paul Klee. It was this very duality of Swiss identity – the balance between rigorous execution and bohemian exuberance – that Bellotti brought to life.
The collection oscillated between the meticulous and the imaginative, becoming a tableau of precise outerwear, predominantly in leather, paired with whimsical details. Blazers, whether elongated or boxy, found harmony with matching shorts or pencil skirts. There were moments of sheer surprise – such as taffeta miniskirts evoking ballerina elegance peeking out from under the more masculine leather trenches or the crispness of a Swiss poplin shirt juxtaposed with diminutive tutus.
Yet, it wasn’t just about clothing. Playful nods to Swiss culture emerged in accessories, from a strawberry print reminiscent of picnic tablecloths on swimsuits and handbags to “Appenzeller” talismans taking form as tiny cowbell charms on crossbody bags painted in vibrant hues. The homage to Swiss tradition was unmistakable, but with a fresh interpretation.
Singer DK from the K-pop group Seventeen, now Bally’s brand ambassador, might have caused a stir outside the venue. Still, inside, Bellotti’s designs radiated a tranquility aligned with the trend of quiet luxury. The dark blue pantsuit echoing monastic simplicity, the hints of the 70s in denim paired with ribbed sweaters, and the leather vest showcased Bellotti’s intent to harmoniously unite Bally’s past with his vision.